How Talent Mapping Can Solve Your Diversity Dilemma

BY THE TALENTDASH TEAM | October 26, 2016

Make new strides in your startup’s recruitment strategy by finding a way to map the talent you need, while keeping an open mind about exactly who that might end up being.

As a startup, it’s incredibly easy to find yourself stuck in a hiring rut. You need talent with specialised skill sets, similar professional backgrounds and an outlook on work-life balance and culture that aligns with the rest of your team. These are key people factors to being able to achieve your company’s vision.

But all too often this laser focus on hiring fast and similar can lead you down a very dangerous and monotonous path. Without a diversity objective attached to a recruitment strategy, startups find themselves picking and choosing very “same same” talent. It’s not always a conscious thing (which one could argue is even worse) but it’s not uncommon to walk into a startup environment and be confronted with a sea of mostly white, young (Millennial) male, tech savvy employees.

Enter blind recruitment.

The practice of blind recruitment — hiring without a inkling of personal identification such as age, gender and even people’s names – has gained popularity over the years. Although it’s still not something practiced by the majority of businesses, the ones who do incorporate it recognise they have a diversity problem. They understand that talent with “ethnic sounding names” need to send out 50% more resumes than the average white job seeker, and they know conscious bias and confirmation bias are elements of human nature that need to be addressed and controlled.

However, blind recruitment can be a difficult strategy for companies to actually implement. Unless you use a service that helps you to anonymise candidates and CVs, it can be a time consuming process, plus there are some very real benefits to being able to see how candidates conduct themselves in an interview.

So, how can startups take the best part of blind recruiting, while still enabling themselves to have an efficient, manageable hiring process? By finding a way to map the talent you need, but keeping an open mind about who that might be.

Broaden your horizons with talent mapping
The process of talent mapping allows employers to input search criteria and parameters to identify perfect potential candidates, without the opportunity for bias to creep in.

On a platform like TalentDash, you can state things like years of experience and competencies required for a role, but then you let the technology dig out the best candidates on the market that match your needs — without taking into account age, race, ethnicity, or gender.

The results returned to you will provide a snapshot of an incredibly diverse potential pool, which is a wonderful place for startups to begin their recruitment journey.

You can be as broad or as thorough as you like with your talent mapping search. If you are aware your company has a diversity problem, consider using search parameters that are wider and less specific, to return candidates that only possess the ‘must have’ requirements for the job. Leave all the other stuff out to ensure bias isn’t engaged, but have the option to discover more information if necessary.

Then, create blind interview processes
Depending on how far you want to go blind, you will need to create processes in your hiring strategy that support your criteria. After all, with talent mapping you haven’t yet met the person you have located — so now you need to decide how far you want to take that anonymity.

Some companies will keep the blind aspect going all the way through — even going as far as using voice masking technology so that every candidate sounds the same, and putting forward blind tests for personality assessments or specific skills. In order for blind recruitment to work, you have to incorporate relevant processes and tests that will offer a true reflection of their experiences and potential.

The information you receive will help you decide whether the person is the right kind of fit — with regards to ability and personality — without letting other factors cloud or change your judgement. Then, once you have decided on your final candidates, you will need to discover who they are in order to conduct a thorough reference check.

Not only will talent mapping and taking a blinder approach to hiring help you build a more diverse workforce, it will strengthen your bottom line and create a dynamic, innovative and multicultural place to work — a desirable environment for any top talent!

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