The Diverse-Less Tech Industry – Change Never Happened in a Silo

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The Diverse-Less Tech Industry - Change Never Happened in a Silo

If corporations have mission statements, goals and initiatives that they work toward achieving in their own systems of operation, shouldn’t hiring employees simply involve sourcing individuals who can help achieve corporate goals? Seems simple enough. I’m sure there are many more complexities to consider but at the core of it, this is the reason why new positions open in companies. A resourceful skillset is needed to help the company achieve it’s mission, goal or initiative.

Looking at the current hiring trend within the IT industry, it is obvious that there are more layers to this issue than the simple prospective pondered in the paragraph above. The industry is struggling to create diverse landscapes of race and culture amongst its employee bases. The “issue” is most apparent when the good old race card is examined to reveal obvious disparities in hiring trends distinctly by race. It is truly a crippling shortcoming of the industry as it is no secret that creativity is a natural component of diversity. The issue is deeper than race and beyond the scope of this article.

In an effort to directly and positively impact this hiring trend I have often wondered and engaged in subtle discussion about a possible way assist. Often these talks led back to me asking this question;

If corporate goals are well defined then qualifying individuals who can help achieve it’s goals should also by extension be clearly defined. If the qualification process is defined according to corporate goals, it too should be by extension, clearly defined. With a clearly defined qualification process there is now the ability to potentially create a standard around the employee hiring process. A standard that relies primarily on its alignment to corporate goals and not on the subjective variances of individual bias.

In doing so a new possibilities opens up. A clearly defined standard of qualifying individuals for hire allows for a much more level playing field for sourcing the best employees suitable. Potential hires will now have a clear standard to aim for in regard to the quality of their skills and other nuances required to be successful in a position. Additionally, the present day ambiguity of hiring standard can stand to improve greatly. The layer of unqualified recruiters, assessment test, hiring staff and even HR departments can be replaced or upgraded to a more universally accepted standard which allows it to be easily administered by a broader demographic. I believe that it is a lack of this sort of standard that contributes to current hiring issues like disproportionate race or gender representation and mismatching employees with open positions.

In my own personal experience I cannot count how many times I have been sourced by a recruiter who has no clue what the technical expectation is for the position they are working on. Many recruiters that have contacted me are clearly unqualified to assess technical competency for the positions they are trying to fill. They literally read the technical keywords from the supplied job description. Answering “yes” to the question “do you have experience in > is as deep as the assessment goes. My profile is then submitted to a hiring manager. When misalignment and mismatch takes place this can and does clearly frustrate the hiring process for both employer and potential hire.

Today, this is the type of frustration that exists in the IT hiring process which is yielding the undesirable results of inequality, the prevalent “bro culture”, gender and race disproportions in professional work environments across the US. Considering this, I think it’s worth a shot in exploring options other than the status quo. Even with the appointment of diversity ambassadors and millions of dollars being donated by major corporations like Google and Apple, diversity at the workplace remains a significant issue.

A more unanimous and all inclusive effort which moves toward standardizing the process of hiring gives hope to having a CEO of a major tech firm who is gay and a woman. She runs a team of professionals that consist of 2 female black DBA’s, 3 .net developers a Pakistani guy, an African and Asian woman. Her UX expert is a white kid from the Bronx and her full stack web guru and visionary has dreadlocks like me.

Difference makes a difference!