Last night some of our team went to an event called ‘Hiring Diversity’ to learn how to promote & encourage diversity in the recruitment space.
Okay, you caught us, we were initially sold when we saw the event invite offered complimentary food and bevvies. But in all fairness, we felt it would be a great opportunity to be in a room with people like us; people who work in recruiting agencies, in Sydney, who are hungry to learn more.
The event had a great line up of panel speakers who all had valuable experience to share, each with a different background and skills within the industry.
- Holly Fawcett – Curriculum Development Director at Social Talent
- Natalie Goldman – CEO of Flex Careers
- Charles Cameron – CEO of RCSA
- David Macciocco – CEO of VideoMyJob
- Host – Darren Watts of JobAdder
So, what exactly did we talk about? Here are three key takeaways that stuck with us.
1 – Unconscious bias. This was a big topic for the night and it’s certainly an important one. Natalie Goldman from Flex Careers spoke about how each and every one of us, whether we like to admit it or not, has some level of unconscious bias. As recruiters, we scan through hundreds of CVs per day. She noted that sometimes we don’t realise the impact we have to help candidates land a role, when perhaps they don’t have the traditional Australian work experience. It’s up to us, as recruiters, to have a voice and confidently present a wide range of candidates to our clients, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or age. We all can do a better job of eliminating unconscious biases and remember why diversity in the workplace is actually an incredibly positive thing.
2 – Another big takeaway was the difference in language used in job descriptions that can significantly impact the number of male versus female applicants. Holly Fawcett from Social Talent explained that there are certain words in job descriptions that are more ‘masculine’ meaning women typically shy away from applying. However, there are words that are considered more ‘feminine’, which proves higher application rates for both women and men. Take a look at some of the words below.
Perhaps it’s worth putting this list of words on your desk so the next job ad you write, you are attracting both men and women.
3 – The last takeaway we found interesting (and pretty humorous too) is that apparently the world’s favourite number is 7. Why 7? People all have their quirky reasons for why they love 7, but this transferred into job ads in an arguably unnecessary way. For example, hiring managers will note they want a minimum of 7 years’ experience. 7?! What does that even mean? As Holly Fawcett said, “In all honesty, what is the difference between 6 months and 5 years’ experience? Just a lot of politics and bad habits”. She’s absolutely right. If you can train someone on a certain skill, then don’t list it in the job description. A study by Hewlett Packard in 2010 shows that only 60% of women only apply for jobs when they meet 100% of the criteria. As such, if a skill can be trained by the employer (such as a certain software program), don’t list it as an essential skill or else you’ll have candidates (likely women) drop out and not apply.
Overall, it was a great event that was engaging, intimate and had excellent content. We’d recommend hitting up the next event put on by the JobAdder team, thanks for hosting a great night!
Until next time…