Recently, I have been thinking quite a lot about how we can make our work, including the recruiting process more inclusive; more welcoming to a beautifully diverse bunch of folks. At our organisation, the deeper you dive into the tech discipline and the higher you go up the ranks, the more male and predominantly white it becomes － and we need to change that.
Of course, it is crucial to make sure all the brilliant staff that’s already employed are happy with their work environment. Period. That’s a whole different issue that definitely needs to be tackled just as urgently. But as we have to start somewhere, let’s talk about the way we recruit people.
I’m not a recruiter, I’m just one of these mildly annoying people who compensate insecurities with action － so I interviewed at about 30 places to make sure I got my first job (which of course was absolute overkill). That’s as far as my experience goes. Many of these encounters were friendly, some felt outright odd. In most, I was interviewed by men. All of the conversations left an aftertaste － that we can do better.
So I am just wondering: How can we make the interview & recruitment process more diverse and inclusive?
I am not a massive fan of take home challenges, for example - in my opinion it’s just not fair game. Not everybody has the privilege to have enough time to complete a take home assignment, especially if it’s unpaid. A live coding challenge can be extremely stressful for introverted folks, regardless of experience. What if the applicant doesn’t have a bunch of side projects their work can be evaluated on?
Should we let applicants choose how they would like to be evaluated? Do you assess qualifications differently depending on the position to be filled? How do you approach the application process to decrease unconscious biases?
These are just some of my thoughts － which of course barely scrape the surface - on what is an utterly complex topic. But we need to start somewhere. And we would love to explore, discuss, and learn how we can do better.
What are your experiences when interviewing for technical positions? Feel free to share your thoughts below. Let’s approach this together 💪