We are currently expanding our sales team and while our company prides itself on diversity, I’m not seeing that diversity among the applicants. I’ve posted to LI and reached out to my network. What is the best way to find sales talent at scale to get more women and POC to apply?

likesmart
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As a POC I have a big problem with hiring based on skin color and not ability. What you’re essentially saying OP is that because there’s a lack of certain genitals and skin tone in the hiring pool that it’s not diverse. I really feel we’ve taken 10 steps back with this mentality, which I know is not PC to say these days.

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Also, “I don’t jump to conclusions like you do”....you really crack me up. Every comment you made is an assumption based on nothing but your lack of experience in that area.

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There could be unconscious bias in the job descriptions or in the screening processes. Check out some of the online resources to see if any of that is happening or if there are things you can change in the process to combat it.

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That is a really good point. I have I asked a recruiter to pass candidates that they had passed up on because I saw things in their resume or submission that caught my eye. There is a delicate way but direct that you can give the recruiter feedback on what you saw that they didn’t see. Great recruiters crave this type of feedback because they view the hiring manager as their customer so hopefully there is a dynamic where they are open to this type of feedback

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Entry level jobs: go to local colleges and ask to meet with clubs focused on diverse groups (ex. Black Student Association). Bring the job description there and have the recruiter fast track resumes from those orgs. Non-entry level: see if your company can raise the referral fee for anyone who is currently a member of an ERG. Ppl tend to refer friends and you’re more likely to get a diverse group of referrals from ppl who are diverse themselves. Again, make sure the recruiter fast tracks those referrals. You can also post the job description in diverse groups on social media. There’s many different options to target diverse candidates. If you’re not seeing them come through your pipeline, your recruiting team is either lazy or biased. I used to manage multiple teams across North America for a big company and I experienced this same problem. Only when someone makes lack of diverse candidates an issue is when recruiting makes an effort. Good luck!

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Thank you very much for the helpful suggestions!

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Can you clarify that you were stating that the applicant flow isn’t bringing in diverse candidates? Everything is a funnel, even in recruiting. I will be curious to see or hear what statistics you are collecting on the diversity of candidates when they are applying. I read an article a few months back where some people of color and others who would be considered in a protected class sometimes are inputting that they do not want to share or incorrectly putting in their race and ethnicity and hopes that they might get to the next step. Either way could you clarify that you are indicating that there is a lack of applicant flow and this is not the recruiting team not passing through people of color?

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That’s fair and a good observation. I unfortunately don’t get to see the resumes until they “pass” an initial round but of all the applicants I interviewed, I am yet to interview a woman or POC. I highly doubt it’s the recruitment team passing on protected classes as our team really wants to foster that diversity and avoid a “boys club” atmosphere. But to your point, I will follow up with HR to get some metrics. Right now we have good representation and I’d like to see that continue as we add people to our team.

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Also, maybe it’s just me, but I’ve looked on your careers page and can’t seem to find any job postings :(

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You and every company in America. The problem is you're trying to hire people who are already underrepresented in the hiring pool. By itself, the hiring pool already accounts for different preferences between men and women as well as preferences between people of different cultures and racial backgrounds. Take women, for example. Women, by and large, simply aren't interested in sales (we have the same problem trying to find female engineers). The ones who are interested will be grabbed up at the first place they apply. If you want to hire more women, you have to find a way to make all of the women across the country more interested in sales. We've been doing this for years with engineering, with very little success. But even if you could, you'd have to ask yourself are we still trying to fix discrimination? Or do we just want to look like a diverse company? The other option would be to give preferential hiring to women and POC, which creates a whole other set of problems. Imposter syndrome. Not to be taken likely. If you hire a woman who is under-qualified for her job, she will likely feel inadequate and will lag behind her peers in her performance. She'll be less likely to climb the company ladder, unless you give her preference at every level of promotion. Equal opportunity is the way to go. Don't hire based on race or gender.

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