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    Breaking Through Bias: How to Overcome Tech Discrimination & Get the Job You Want (VIDEO)

    How can jobseekers advance their careers despite systemic hiring biases in tech?

    Watch this on-demand webinar to hear experts discuss key findings from Hired’s 2023 State of Wage Inequality report and share approaches to help you advocate for yourself in the job market.

    You’ll hear from:

    Co-Founder & Author, Ladies Get Paid, Claire Wasserman

    Assistant Professor, MIT, Nina Roussille

    Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Consultant, Colorintech, Maria Petnga-Wallace

    Program Manager of RISE, Gusto, Mercedez Bluebyrd

    Vice-Chair, Techqueria, Marco Lopez

    Read an excerpt of the conversation here and scroll down to access the full webinar. 

    What’s the temperature on the leverage candidates currently have in the job market?

    Nina

    I won’t deny what the economic situation is. Specifically, in the tech sector (defined narrowly as the Silicon Valley tech roles) it’s been more dire than it used to be. That being said, I’ll try to be optimistic a little bit for the crowd. There are two things I think are interesting. 

    One of them is very actionable: try to redefine for yourself what a tech role is. There are now opportunities in tech occupations in companies that are not defined as tech firms. Every firm out there, even in the older industries, needs tech workers. Those industries have been way less affected recently than the Silicon Valley firms. Broaden your perspective. Think a little bit more creatively about what a tech role should be. 

    The other one is remote work, which makes it so you don’t need to find a job exactly where you’re located. A lot of these dinosaur industries are more open to remote and flexible workers. My optimistic take is it will require more creativity and a broader search, but there are still opportunities out there.

    Claire

    I read recently that despite all of the layoffs, a lot of these companies actually still have more employees now than they did at the beginning of the pandemic. Take data and statistics with context. 

    Marco

    It is true. Even though there were massive layoffs, a lot of people kept their jobs. We have a certain loss per se of DEI experts in the marketplace but we still need more representation. 

    Maria

    A number of our members have been impacted in terms of mental health and the experiences of belonging. However, a lot of the large tech firms still do have a commitment to engage in networks with potential employees. 

    If it’s not now, it’s certainly with a view of engaging with talent in the near future. There’s still a need for particular skills, especially in AI and machine learning. Within the company I work with in cyber, there’s still a real drive to have, for example, female and underrepresented group representation.

    I encourage everyone to network. Identify the organizations you wish to work with in the near future and engage with people in those tech firms.

    Mercedez

    Of course, we have seen some major shifts in the DEI work in a lot of companies, but I have to double-click on what Maria said. There are still companies very much committed to the work. There has been a shift in availability and what is actually being done on each team to where it can feel very performative. I don’t think we want to ignore that some companies are just doing what needs to be done to hit numbers. 

    But you have leverage in really understanding who you are and what you bring to the table. If you’re a talented person who really understands what you can do for a company, there’s a value add there and that leverage is limitless. 

    What’s really important is understanding what you can do for a business and using that as well as any demographic aspects or DEI work to create value. 

    There are some performative companies out there but if they are at least being performative that’s another notch for you to utilize as a way to get a job. So either way, figure out where you want to be and what you bring to the table and use that. 

    Also, make sure you’re working somewhere where you want to work. Are you just taking a job because you need a job? Some of us are and some of us are looking for the perfect unicorn job. Be aware of what that really is so you’re holding yourself to those parameters and doing something that works for you, whether it’s to pay your bills or because you really want it to be the perfect place.

    What else does the summit cover? 

    Why networking is essential 

    How to ask about a company’s DEI initiatives 

    How to negotiate a fair salary

    Culture fit vs culture add

    And more!  More

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    Diversity & Inclusion Recruitment, Retaining Talent, & More: Talk Talent to Me March ’23 Recap

    Catch up on the March 2023 episodes of Hired’s Talk Talent to Me podcast featuring recruiting and talent acquisition leadership who share strategies, techniques, and trends shaping the recruitment industry. 

    Diversity and inclusion recruitment with Jacob Rivas, Sr Global Technical Talent Sourcer, Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) at WW/WeightWatchers

    Recruiting and retaining with Nancy Connery, Co-Founder of OpenComp

    1. Jacob Rivas, Sr Global Technical Talent Sourcer, Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) at WW/WeightWatchers

    Jacob shares his recruitment knowledge, including how he communicates with candidates and best practices for approaching subject lines. He also explains how he got into D&I and how things have changed for him since leaving Vox. Jacob wraps up the conversation by sharing the most impactful career advice he has ever received!

    “Diversity is really the new area to go and if you’re intentional, you can make a big impact.”

    Listen to the full episode.

    2. Nancy Connery, Co-Founder of OpenComp 

    Fun fact: Nancy was the very first VP of HR at Salesforce. She spearheaded strategic investments in human capital and fueled the company’s remarkable growth by building its industry-leading HR infrastructure. Her latest venture is co-founding the compensational intelligence company, OpenComp. Nancy also co-hosts the OpenComp podcast, High Growth Matters. In this episode, Nancy sheds light on her days at Salesforce and her critical role in recruiting (and retaining) the best talent as the company grew. She explains her decision to leave a comfortable position as VP to pursue her own path in the industry. You’ll also gain insight into her belief that talent retention and upskilling are as important as hiring.

    “You need to think about employees [in the same manner as customers] as you grow the company, not only recruiting them but also, how do you develop them? How do you retain them? Can they grow with the life cycles and stages of the company?”

    Listen to the full episode.

    Want more insights into recruiting tips and trends?

    Tune into Hired’s podcast, Talk Talent to Me, to learn about the strategies, techniques, and trends shaping the recruitment industry—straight from top experts themselves. More

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    6 Ways to Be a Better Ally in the Workplace

    As a leader in diversity recruiting and hiring tools, we are both responsible for and committed to promoting and driving representation, inclusion, and equity in the hiring space. It brings us closer to our vision of a world where all hiring is equitable, efficient, and transparent. 

    As a step in this process, we launched our Ally Series. It is a series of content built on the foundation of providing both jobseekers and employers with the resources and valuable information to address DEI in the hiring space.

    Related: What is DEI? How Does it Improve the Sales & Tech Job Search Process? 

    In a world of increasing opportunity, economic mobility, and openness, companies are learning inclusivity and diversity are not only good for employees — but also for business. As our CEO, Josh Brenner, stated in Hired’s 2022 State of Wage Inequality in the Tech Industry report, “When competition is high, it benefits organizations to consistently identify non-traditional talent. It creates more robust pipelines of candidates with new ideas to drive businesses forward.” 

    As organizations push to create environments where diverse sets of employees feel comfortable and supported, other employees — often referred to as ‘allies’ — will play a key role. 

    Regardless of who you are, there are ways to be an ally to others at work—even if you yourself lean on allies for support. Below are six essential tips on how to be a better ally.

    1. Identify as an ally

    In order to identify as an ally, it is important to first define what an ally is. An ally is a person who “supports, empowers, or stands up for another person or a group of people.” At work, allies support BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and other marginalized colleagues. 

    To some, identifying as an ally is the most challenging part of their journey. It forces individuals to recognize and own their own privilege. Remember, even if you identify yourself as an ally, allyship is not just an identity. It is a lifelong commitment to building relationships based on trust, consistency, and accountability with marginalized individuals or groups.  

    Omoanatse McCarther, Senior Director of Per Scholas Diverse by Design highlights that as an ally, calling in and calling out can be two of the most transformational practices one can implement. This helpful resource from Harvard Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging highlights how. 

    2. Cast out assumptions

    An ally should celebrate the differences in employees’ backgrounds because it strengthens the entire workforce. Making assumptions about someone’s ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender, etc., is a surefire way to make them feel alienated. 

    Whether it’s upfront or discussed with other employees, avoid drawing your own conclusions about coworkers. If you want to learn more about a colleague, ask open questions to discover more about their professional and personal background.

    This also applies to making assumptions about whether a person wants these things to be exposed to the rest of the business. For example, if a colleague confides in you about coming out — whether in regard to sexuality, gender, mental illness, or something else — don’t assume they want everyone to know. 

    First, ask how you can help. If they want your assistance in spreading the word or coming up with a solution to talk to people about it, they’ll let you know — and you won’t risk compromising trust by spreading their information without permission. 

    3. Listen and learn

    It’s tempting to impose your own opinions and strategies when someone talks to you about something they’re struggling with — and it might feel like you’re helping out. However, being a good ally means understanding what works for one person won’t necessarily work for another. 

    Genuinely listening to their perspective not only helps you better understand them but also helps you be a better ally to others. Specifically, active listening helps you understand concerns and build empathy.

    Once you’ve done your listening, use what you’ve gathered to support this person going forward. Specifically, you can create a safe space — an environment where they feel more comfortable. 

    When creating these safe spaces, make sure all employees know they are welcome. An open, judgment-free environment encourages participation that more and more people may feel comfortable joining. 

    Related: How to Foster Psychological Safety in the Workplace, from Interviews to Management 

    4. Amplify and advocate

    The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging and Culture Team at Per Scholas says, “When advocating for others, be mindful of representing them in a way that aligns with their identities and experiences. Listen to how people refer to themselves and their identities, and honor the language they use. Language is crucial to DEI work, and allies should understand words’ power regarding inclusion and psychologically safe spaces.”

    Recognize your privilege as an ally and use that privilege for good. Mentor, advocate, amplify, and provide resources to your peers, particularly those from a less advantaged or diverse background. 

    Consider becoming a sponsor, an opportunity to advocate for an individual in an underrepresented group. In doing so, you support their career growth and even boost retention.

    Our partner, TopResume, suggests, “You can be an official sponsor through programs within your workplace, or you can serve as an unofficial sponsor/mentor. Once you have identified a need, you can offer your time and guidance to help give other helpful tools and tips for success.” 

    5. Know you’re not perfect

    Especially if you’re just starting out as an ally, be open about the fact that you don’t know everything. Apologize if and when you misstep. Own up to mistakes and de-center yourself by listening without focusing the conversation around your own views.   

    In general, people will appreciate you owning up to it and may even take the opportunity to help you learn. Even after you’ve had successes as an ally (perhaps multiple people have confided in you or thanked you for your support), don’t assume the learning ends there. Continue to absorb knowledge from other allies and maintain an open dialogue about where you have room to continue growing. 

    Per Scholas’ Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging and Culture Team is a big fan of Glenn Singleton and his work, Courageous Conversations About Race. The first step in developing racial consciousness is simply acknowledging, “I don’t know what I don’t know.” As an ally, this can evolve into understanding, where one can proclaim, “I know, I know!” By acknowledging our imperfections, we are officially on a path to create change for ourselves and within the environments we share with others.

    6. Educate yourself and others 

    Understand your education is largely determined by you. As explained by Hubspot’s Chief People Officer, Katie Burke, “Allyship at its core is the act of unlearning and relearning.” Embrace opportunities to know more about diversity, equity, and inclusion and work to empathize with underprivileged groups.

    More resources to guide you on your allyship journey:

    Start reading our Ally Series: 

    Should You Disclose a Disability During Your Job Search? The Complete Guide

    How Jobseekers Can Combat Pregnancy Discrimination in the Hiring Process

    Anxiety, Fear of Failure? You’re Not Alone: How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

    What is Workplace Ageism? (+ 5 Ways to Combat Ageism in the Job Search) 

    Ready to find your next tech or sales role? Employers are looking for tech professionals now. Here’s how Hired works for jobseekers. More

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    Talent Acquisition Week Edition: Talk Talent to Me February ’23 Recap

    Catch up on the February 2023 episodes of Hired’s Talk Talent to Me podcast featuring recruiting and talent acquisition leadership who share strategies, techniques, and trends shaping the recruitment industry. In this special edition, we’re featuring 4 episodes recorded live at Talent Acquisition (TA) Week, a leading event educating talent acquisition pros!

    AI tools in recruiting and values-based versus skills-based with April Venables, VP of TA at Moderna 

    TA challenges in healthcare and implementing high-level strategies with Matt Rimer,  Director of TA at Trinity Health

    Leveraging online chat forums to recruit with Brian Fink, Talent Partner at McAfee

    Embedding DEI into TA practices with Tara Turk-Haynes, VP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and Talent Management at Leaf Group

    The power of authenticity and human nature related to TA with Mike Cohen, Founder and Sourcer at Wayne Technologies 

    1. April Venables, VP of TA at Moderna 

    Historically, talent acquisition and recruiting have relied heavily on networking but how has the influence of technology, AI tools, and systems changed these roles? April discusses today’s recruiter and how the role and required skillset have changed over the course of her career. April also talks about the different AI tools she implements to help the recruiting process, values-based versus skills-based, and what makes for a bad (or good) hire.

    “The traditional TA model, or strategy, that has worked historically, and what has worked for us here at Moderna to grow so quickly in a short period of time, is not the same strategy that is going to make us successful, long-term.”

    Listen to the full episode.

    More on TA Week

    We recorded the episodes below in person at TA Week, which spotlights critical topics from recruiting, sourcing, and employer branding to talent data analytics and DEI.

    Each day highlighted a different talent attraction event: 

    Social Recruiting Strategies Conference 

    Employer Branding Strategies Conference

    Talent Sourcing Strategies Summit

    Attendees learned to leverage emerging recruiting practices with a look into the latest global recruiting trends, recruitment marketing, candidate engagement, tools, and technology. Thanks to expert best practices and panel discussions, they left with no shortage of insights. 

    Among other impressive exhibitors, Hired joined the floor to engage attendees with an inside look into its innovative talent acquisition and sourcing solution.

    Related: Hired helps Unite Us connect with & source high-quality tech talent

    2. Matt Rimer, Director of TA at Trinity Health

    Kicking off coverage from the floor of TA Week, Matt shares some of the biggest hiring challenges currently facing healthcare and why it’s an exciting time to be involved with healthcare talent acquisition. Matt discusses the strategies Trinity Health is implementing to attract more healthcare talent, particularly nurses. He also offers insight into the involvement of C-Suite in these initiatives and the launch of Trinity’s employee referral program (find out the percent of total hires that should come from referrals!). 

    “I think it’s a good opportunity for talent acquisition professionals: To not only put up the strategy but then show that they’ve got the delivery muscle to actually meet the objectives that they’re setting out to do.” 

    Listen to the full episode.

    3. Brian Fink, TA Partner at McAfee

    Brian discusses why conversations must be taken offline and delves into why he offers practice interviews and resume reviews. In addition to sharing how he “hacks Slack,” Brian shares a few tips and tricks. This includes how he recruits on Discord, why you should use your personal email address when joining those communities, how you can find them, and what mistakes to avoid. 

    He also mentions why professionals should not miss out on TA Week (be sure to attend next year!) and why he loves Hired.

    “I like to think of recruitment as tuning into the channel, WIIFM: what’s in it for me? When you tune into WIIFM, we’re able to have a genuine conversation not built around what we’re trying to serve and the interests that we’re trying to perpetuate but instead the mission that that candidate or that individual is trying to serve.”

    Listen to the full episode.

    4. Tara Turk-Haynes, VP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and Talent Management at Leaf Group

    During her third appearance on TT2M, Tara shares how she embedded DEI into Leaf Group’s talent management strategy and why she’s more likely to recruit ‘career changers.’ She explains why the industry should pay more attention to how they market to emerging talent and how she recruited Leaf Group’s new Director of Recruiting Operations on a platform that might surprise you. 

    Tara concludes the chat with an overview of the current state of DEI and urges companies to better tailor their DEI targets according to their own needs, instead of setting them based on law and societal pressures. 

    “My mission, and my own personal goal, is to talk about how we [can] embed diversity, equity, and inclusion into our practices, and not making them this separate thing that we talk about alongside talent.”

    Listen to the full episode.

    5. Mike Cohen, Founder and Sourcer at Wayne Technologies

    Mike starts off by sharing why he loves TA Week and how it provides authenticity, vulnerability, and acceptance in the talent world. He goes on to explain what DEI hiring is, why it is so important, and how people in talent acquisition need to take the safety of their employees seriously. 

    Looking deeper at safety, Mike explains that it is more complex than fire drills. It is about using vulnerability to go beyond the surface level. Finally, hear Mike’s thoughts on why there is no right way to do recruiting and what it means to be human.

    “There is no right way to do recruiting. There are a ton of wrong ways, but you’re never going to ‘get it’.”

    Listen to the full episode.

    Want more insights into recruiting tips and trends?

    Tune into Hired’s podcast, Talk Talent to Me, to learn about the strategies, techniques, and trends shaping the recruitment industry—straight from top experts themselves. More

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    How to Nurture Innovation, Strengthen Retention (Use Professional Development)

    If you want to foster employee professional development and growth, it’s essential to begin with a positive and supportive work environment. By providing opportunities for learning, as well as a culture of collaboration and open communication, companies encourage their employees to reach their full potential and become valuable assets to the organization. 

    In this blog, we explore laying the foundation for employee professional development beginning with the hiring process, and ways to create a nurturing environment. To help provide real-world examples and insights, we’ll lean on excerpts from episodes of Hired’s podcast, Talk Talent to Me, featuring these experts: 

    Consider growth potential from day one

    Riffat Jaffer shares, “There are so many jobs everyone does. But what are they going to grow into six months or three years from now and how will they add value to your company in the future?”

    Hiring for potential means looking beyond a candidate’s current skills and experience. It’s considering their ability to learn and grow in the role. The specific role you’re hiring for shouldn’t be the bottom line, but rather a starting point to build upon.

    This approach is particularly valuable for businesses ready to invest in their employees and support their professional development. Companies then bring on employees who may not have all the required skills at the time of hire. However, they have the aptitude and willingness to learn and grow.

    Leverage potential to build diversity

    One benefit of hiring for potential is helping companies build diverse and dynamic teams. By considering a candidate’s potential rather than just their existing credentials, businesses bring on employees with a range of backgrounds and perspectives. This contributes to creating a more vibrant and creative work environment and allows for more innovative solutions.

    In a past panel discussion, “An Insider’s Guide to Hiring in Tech,” Nathalie Grandy, formerly with Gem, now Head of Tech Recruiting at Mutiny, shared her insights. She says, “It starts with changing the mindset of what you’re looking for and potentially being open to those nontraditional backgrounds. For us, it’s encouraging hiring managers to think about the 80/20 rule. So 80% existing skill set and 20% coachability.”

    Impact down the line: employee retention

    Another advantage of hiring for potential is helping companies retain top talent. By providing opportunities for learning and growth, businesses support their employees in achieving their career goals and help them feel fulfilled in their roles. This leads to increased job satisfaction and a lower employee turnover rate.

    Riffat explains, “Candidates come in and maybe they’ve not done the job exactly like you want them to do. But they know you trusted them and hired them to do it. They’re willing to give it their all and more than somebody who has done it three times over now.” 

    Take a leap of faith

    Of course, hiring for potential does come with its challenges. For example, it is difficult to accurately assess a candidate’s potential. There is always a certain level of risk involved in bringing on employees who may not have all the required skills at the time of hire. 

    However, with careful consideration and a robust onboarding process, companies can successfully hire for potential and reap the many benefits of supporting employee professional development and growth.

    Riffat says, “Maybe they’re not where we want them to be today but our onboarding and training come in to get candidates where they want to go. Typically, you end up hiring the best candidates when you take a leap of faith.”

    According to Riffat, hiring for potential is all about “being able to partner with the hiring managers and make sure they see potential in a candidate. It also depends a lot on product maturity and if we can afford to give a candidate six months to become what we want.” 

    Build an inclusive environment to foster employee growth

    An inclusive workplace values and respects diversity, and is where all employees feel welcome and supported. By fostering an inclusive workplace, businesses create an environment to support employee development and growth. Here are a few ways to do this:

    1. Establish guiding values to support professional development and growth

    These values must emphasize the importance of providing opportunities for employees to learn and grow in their roles, and support their professional development. By adopting such values, companies create an environment that encourages employees to learn new skills and take on new challenges.

    Anabel Morales echoes this saying, “The key to scaling our culture successfully is equipping our leaders with tools to scale trust, transparency, and inclusion. When we hire managers or promote somebody into a management role, we’re introducing them to our leadership principles and educating them on how to live up those values.”

    2. Encourage open communication and feedback

    Create an environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas and providing feedback to one another. This helps identify and address any challenges or barriers employees may be facing, and can support their growth and development.

    To Anabel, this means “facilitating inclusion and teaching people how to build trust. Leading without micromanaging, asking for feedback, and being a good listener are basic things managers sometimes forget to do.” 

    “The psychological safety piece is also very important. It is something you need in a team to ensure innovation. The last thing you want as a manager is to have a team where everybody just agrees with you. Create an environment where people feel open to speak.”

    3. Explore personal drive and growth

    Provide employees with support and guidance as they explore their personal drive for growth. This might include offering advice and mentorship to help guide their self-reflection as they define their purpose and future goals.

    Sacha Luthi says, “If you look at what success means, it’s very broad. I can make things very complicated as an HR person. Or, I can try to build an environment in which people want to work with you. I don’t want people to work with me because they have to. The true reason is finding the ‘Why are you here?’”

    4. Measure the impact of deficiencies

    There are endless avenues to take when it comes to professional development and growth. So many possibilities might become overwhelming, causing employees to struggle in picking their starting point. As a leader, aid employees in identifying personal development needs to plot their course.

    Reflecting on his own experience, Sacha says, “it took good leaders to see things I was not able to see in myself. You need people along the way who believe in you and build confidence.”

    Encourage self-reflection to measure the impact of deficiencies in order to identify growth opportunities. Sach poses a few questions for individuals to consider: “How do I find out what I’m really good at? What gives me energy? Where is the space for it to be used?”

    “If you are not good at something you should also look at it from a collective perspective. There are other people around you who may jump in or cover the gap, so look at performance and career. We still value and recognize individuals but how do we put those strengths together so the collective output is better?” 

    5. Provide opportunities for learning and development

    The opportunity to continuously learn and tackle new challenges continues to be the number one reason software engineers enter a career in the field. Employers should offer compelling career development opportunities to attract and retain software engineers and ensure they feel adequately challenged in their roles. 

    Based on our survey of software engineers, more than half said it’s important to them their employer provides professional development opportunities. 72.2% reported new challenges and continuous learning most attracted them to a career in software engineering.

    Set the tone for personal growth & professional development in your organization

    If you want to create an environment to encourage employees to develop new skills, cultivate new strengths, and continue the evolution of their careers, build an inclusive workplace and keep growth in mind from the hiring process on. 

    Tune into Hired.com’s podcast, Talk Talent to Me. Hear what top experts have to share about the strategies, techniques, and trends shaping the recruitment industry today.

    Want to listen to the full episodes featured in this article?

    Editor’s note: at the time of the podcast recording, Anabel was VP of Talent Acquisition, in August of 2022, she became VP, People and Culture. Congrats, Anabel!  More

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    Raise the Bar in 2023: Strategies from Top Employers Winning Tech Talent (VIDEO)

    Need insight to plan your recruiting and hiring strategies for 2023? Watch this on-demand webinar to hear talent acquisition experts from Top Employers Winning Tech Talent discuss key findings and data from Hired’s What Top Tech Employers Do Differently: New Hiring Data to Win in 2023 report. They share strategies for filling open positions with top talent and building a diverse team quickly and efficiently.

    Hear from:

    Hired SVP Marketing, Erica Yamamoto

    Manager, R&D Talent, Tray.io, Reece Batchelor

    Director of Tech Talent, SAP, Tatiana Moraes Nogueira

    Talent Acquisition Manager, Technology, iHeartMedia, Jeff Carr

    Read an excerpt of the conversation here and scroll down to access the full webinar. 

    What are strategies for driving qualified candidates?

    Tatiana Moraes Nogueira, Director of Tech Talent, SAP

    We invest a lot in preparing our interviewers to really understand what we are and how we are interviewing. What are the qualifications that we’re looking for in these candidates? We are always prioritizing candidate experience on top of everything. Transparency is a big thing for us. We are fast in providing feedback and we provide full feedback to our candidates.

    That is definitely something that always brings us more and more candidates. Whoever applied in the past understands why they were or were not approved. Then they go and work on the skills we wanted them to have and they can reapply. 

    We also are very strong on flex work. SAP is a company committed to employee experience first. SAP is a people-first company. We definitely communicate very broadly that some roles are going to be remote while some others need a bit more in-person time. SAP has amazing offices throughout the US and Canada. We are looking for people to be in the office maybe two or three times a week and we communicate this flex work approach in terms of hours, location, and days of the week.

    Flex work for us means you can accommodate your working hours around your projects and personal life. We also have a big returnship program. We are allowing people who have been away from work for over a year and a half to come back to the workforce. All these things are elevating our brand and allowing us to continue attracting the best talent out there.

    Reece Batchelor, Manager, R&D Talent, Tray.io

    Naturally, being a smaller company, we rely heavily on outbound strategies to attract talent. We do take quite an aggressive approach to this. We target 100 new messages per week. Hired is a great tool for us. 

    We also use a tool called Gem for messaging sequencing. At Tray, we don’t just staff emails out either. We try to get really personalized – not just ‘I see you work at X company.’ I’m talking about really calling out things on people’s LinkedIn profiles, including work they’ve done and blog posts they may have written too. 

    We’ve also looked at a lot of data on our outbound messaging to see what’s working and what’s not. 

    There are two real changes we’ve made recently. One is keeping our messages short, sweet, and to the point. No one has time to read lengthy emails. We’re just trying to hit what people want to know, which is why we are reaching out to them and what’s in it for them. Those are the two points we’re really trying to hit. 

    Secondly, we like hitting and tackling the elephant in the room, which is job security. It’s top of mind for everyone. We’re quite fortunate as we’ve done funding a couple of months ago, so we call that out in our messaging. 

    But what’s different now from maybe 12 months ago is we’re not saying we’ve done a round of funding and are in hyper-growth mode because that scares people. It’s all about how this is now sustainable and why joining Tray gives you the security you’re ultimately looking for. 

    Jeff Carr

    Automation is the name of the game. We try to automate as much as we can. We start with a lot of market data trends and share them with our executives, VPs, and hiring managers. This includes where these market trends are with compensation, the available workforce, what the time-to-fill is across the technology industry, and what you can expect as candidates move through the process. 

    We try to keep everything as efficient as possible. We do weekly meetings with the managers to keep communication feedback between the recruiter, candidate, and hiring manager as tight as possible in the process. 

    We’ve even adopted a tool for scheduling interviews. It’s taking the manual process out of the pattern to where everything is automatically shared with the candidate and hiring manager. That’s probably given each team member at least five hours back in their day.

    Showing the value proposition of where automation can help. Additionally, metrics and data points help keep everybody aligned on where process improvement is and where opportunities are for it. Any automation you can add to your process adds a lot of value back to the recruiting team members, candidates, and hiring manager.

    Related: Get Internal Approval for Recruiting Tools: A Step-by-Step Playbook 

    Watch the full collaborative panel discussion to discover: 

    Top strategies to increase interview response and acceptance rates 

    Why and how salary transparency increases equity and efficiency in hiring funnels

    Why tracking time-to-fill is only part of the story

    Ways to drive organizational innovation  More

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    How to Foster Psychological Safety in the Workplace, from Interviews to Management

    Why it’s Important to Create an Environment for Employees and Candidates that Welcomes Feedback

    The workplace hasn’t always felt like a safe space to speak up or out. Because of that, issues can go unaddressed and ideas can go unmentioned. Savvy organizations know an environment strong in psychological safety is more conducive to innovation and employee satisfaction. Haven’t heard of psychological safety before or don’t know what it is? Learn why it’s important in the workplace from interviewing to managing teams. Find out how to establish and nurture it within your company.

    What Is Psychological Safety?

    According to Harvard leadership professor Amy Edmondson, “psychological safety is a belief that it’s absolutely ok, in fact, it’s expected, to speak up with concerns, with questions, with ideas, with mistakes.” Everyone feels comfortable being themselves at work. There’s no fear of punishment or humiliation for one’s thoughts or ideas.

    This doesn’t mean work is sunshine and rainbows all the time. Conflict will happen. The difference is people are willing to speak up. There’s mutual support with psychological safety.

    Psychological safety lays the groundwork for innovation and adaptive performance. This can occur at all levels of an organization. It establishes an environment where team members feel comfortable expressing concerns. They ask tough questions because everyone’s input counts. They’re not afraid to throw out ideas for fear of rejection. When team members feel safe, they’re more likely to take risks, share new ideas, and challenge the status quo.

    Anabel Morales, VP of Talent Acquisition at Worksome describes psychological safety in a nutshell as “really just having the ability to speak your mind and being open to candor.”

    Tyler Parson, Head of Talent at Chili Piper explains how creating this space stems back to the organization taking initiative. “If you create a culture where it’s okay to say those things, then it takes all the fear out of it, or at least most of the fear out of it.” 

    Company Values & Culture Foster Psychological Safety

    Reinforce and promote psychological safety through the company’s values. Doing so allows you to set the tone for its development throughout the organization.

    Worksome’s company values are “Speak data, be brave, and have fun.” Anabel Morales explains how these values work to build an environment of psychological safety. 

    “Being brave really connects to letting people be authentic, speak their minds, and have fun. I think it’s not just about social events and team building, but it’s also about actually having a passion for your work and having fun at your job because of what you’re doing.” 

    “Our cultural framework is made up of trust, transparency, and inclusion. We try to approach everyday interactions with our colleagues in this way and also throughout the candidate journey.

    Culture promotes psychological safety for internal employees seeking changes too. Tyler Parson shares how this works.

    “What we’re trying to build at Chili Piper and have been successful in doing so far is creating a culture where if you want something new, you always ask for it internally first. If it’s in the realm of possibility and our growth plan, then we try it.”

    With clear values and a positive culture, employees can feel comfortable expressing themselves in the workplace and building trust with the company.

    Psychological Safety in Interviewing

    For far too long, an interview hasn’t always felt like an opportunity to speak up without fear of backlash. Or worse, getting the boot from the recruitment process. Building psychological safety in interviewing will change that.

    Anabel explains why Worksome makes an effort to provide psychological safety in the interview process. “We want to ensure people feel free to speak up and share failures as well as successes because we know that’s really where the learning happens and that’s just important to share.” 

    This welcomes the opportunity for candidates to share the adversity they overcame to achieve success!

    So, how do you set a precedent of psychological safety for a candidate in an interview? It starts with the interviewer.

    Tyler shares that Chilli Piper ensures during “interview trainings, hiring managers are equipped with how to create a basic positive candidate experience. Part of that is understanding how to make candidates feel comfortable, welcomed, and [empowered] to talk about their experiences in a way that doesn’t shy away from talking about their failures.

    Gauge a candidate’s ability to foster psychological safety in the workplace. Ask questions focusing on empathy and respect. Assess if this person will be a good fit in a culture of psychological safety.

    How do you go about building trust with your team?Provide an example of how you showed empathy in your current role.How would you help someone progress after a failure?Share how would you respond if someone else’s view on a task or project differed from yours.

    Psychological Safety for Management

    Creating a psychologically safe workplace starts with strong leadership. Leaders need to model the behavior they want to see in their team members. They need to encourage open communication. Give employees the space to voice their opinions.

    Anabel believes “top leadership” setting a precedent has a ripple effect throughout the organization. “I think if they are living out their values then it will naturally trickle down to the rest of the company.” 

    “You can always use the values when you are trying to make tough decisions and when you reflect on the values, it’s [even] helpful in navigating your day-to-day.”

    “When we hire managers or if we promote somebody into a management role, right away we introduce them to our leadership principle, educating them on just how to live up to those values.”

    Tips to Build Psychological Safety

    Here are 3 important tips from Amy Edmondson to create psychological safety as a leader: 

    Frame the work as a learning problem, instead of an execution problem. Needing everyone’s involvement creates a rationale for speaking up.

    Ask more questions to invite sharingActively request opinions from those who tend to stay quiet

    Acknowledge your own fallibility to create more safety for speaking up. Tyler Parson supports this saying, “It starts with… you as a leader practicing vulnerability”

    Apologize when you make a mistakeAsk for help when you need it

    Model curiosity and ask a lot of questions to create a necessity for voice.

    Promote equal speaking time for everyone involvedEncourage feedback sharing and use it to build on ideas

    Psychological Safety Is the Foundation for Innovation

    Psychological safety establishes a baseline. Everyone can feel safe to speak up and feel heard when they do. In this sort of environment, innovation comes easily with the free flow of ideas. 

    Want more insights into recruiting tips and trends?

    Tune into Hired’s podcast, Talk Talent to Me, to learn about the strategies, techniques, and trends shaping the recruitment industry—straight from top experts themselves.

    Finally, want to listen to the full episodes featured in this article?

    Editor’s note: at the time of the podcast recording, Tyler was Head of Talent, in June of 2022, she was promoted to VP, People. Congrats, Tyler! Likewise, when her episode was recorded, Anabel was VP of Talent Acquisition, in August of 2022, she became VP, People and Culture. Congrats, Anabel! More

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    Why You Should be Recruiting Laid Off Talent (+ 3 Key Strategies) 

    Between shrinking labor force participation due to the pandemic and the “Great Resignation,” in which almost 50 million workers left their jobs, we’ve faced a whirlwind of a labor market. Now, amid increasing inflation and labor shortages, the job market remains uncertain. Whether it’s business as usual or you’re under a hiring freeze, it’s important to think about nurturing your pipeline and recruiting laid off talent. 

    This year, numerous layoffs came as a tough blow to many tech workers thrust back into the job market. In September of this year, job cuts surged 46% with US-based employers announcing over 29,000 layoffs. 

    Surprisingly, mass layoffs are a relatively recent occurrence dating just back to the 1970s. Since then, many Americans have come to accept layoffs as an inevitable outcome of economic downturns. Workers could no longer rely on the same company to employ them for the majority of their professional careers. 

    So, let’s review key strategies for talent acquisition teams and recruiters to grow their talent pool and find top candidates despite an economic downturn. Here’s how you should approach recruiting laid off talent and stand out in this market. 

    1. Don’t let stigma influence you

    Let’s get one thing straight. Firing is typically performance-based. About 74% of US workers are considered at-will employees. This means an employer may fire them for any reason (if not illegal), or no reason, without warning, and no just cause. 

    Layoffs, on the other hand, are typically unrelated to an employee’s ability to perform a job and the quality at which they do it. Let go of biases traditionally attached to hearing someone was “let go.” Do not assume a laid off worker is ‘less than’ someone a company continued to employ. Perhaps the individual who was laid off was great at their job but the company shifted direction or the economy took an unexpected turn. 

    These days, layoffs aren’t frowned upon as they were in the past. We see an open dialogue about the state of the hiring market and people’s experiences with layoffs. An explosion of  LinkedIn posts in which people share their stories helps prove we are overcoming a taboo. 

    Rethink the connotation of a “job hopper”

    In one LinkedIn post, Rowena Millward reflected on the days in which 10 years of tenure was the average. Then, a changing world of work prompted reinvention. From the shock of having to “adapt or die,” she found success and growth in “dabbling” and making multiple career transitions. Rowena garnered over 1,000 reactions on this post — her statements resonated. We should embrace reinvention. 

    Brittany King, Senior Manager of TA-Talent Intelligence & Diversity, encourages employers and jobseekers to reject negativity around “job-hopping.” In fact, she encourages employers to see past it as a DEI practice. 

    She says, “In many cases, ‘job-hoppers’ have had more barriers than others in the workforce.” This could include health challenges, economic hardships, or transportation issues. Brittany even credits job-hopping to her own career success. “My skills are varied, my familiarity with different industries is comprehensive, and my understanding of organizational culture is robust.”

    Many of the challenges laid off talent face stem from an occurrence simply out of their control. Empathize with them and recognize how much strength it takes to bounce back and re-enter the job search post-layoff. 

    2. Be open to diverse talent 

    Reframing your mindset around particular talent opens up your recruiting to a world of hiring opportunities in places you may not have expected. 

    Layoffs trigger a mix of emotions but also present the opportunity to pivot and explore careers in areas of passion and genuine interest. As people reassess their professional lives after a layoff, many decide to pivot into new fields or industries. In the spirit of Rowena Millward, they embrace reinvention.  

    At Hired, we’ve had the pleasure of meeting numerous jobseekers who broke into the tech sector from wildly unrelated fields — such as music.

    Paula Muldoon used Hired to land a role as a Senior Software Engineer. When we asked her to share her story with us, Paula explained she made a transition into tech from a classical music career. Paula said, “I turned 30 and wanted to earn more money and have a better quality of life. I knew a few developers and they seemed to be really happy and since I could retrain quickly, software seemed like a good option. And turns out I love it!” 

    A successful Makers Academy bootcamp grad, Paula took a bold leap and an unconventional route to make her big career move. Her story serves as a reminder to be open-minded about non-traditional talent or those with second careers.

    Read more stories about candidates who successfully pivoted their careers: 

    In Hired’s panel discussion, “An Insider’s Guide to Hiring in Tech,” our CTO Dave Walters joined TA leaders to discuss improving the recruiting experience for jobseekers and better practices for sourcing talent.

    Panelist John Beard, Director of Corporate & Technical Recruiting at One Medical, made notable points on expanding candidate pipelines with non-traditional talent. 

    “Look for those non-traditional avenues to become a Software Engineer. Look at the bootcamps and at earlier-in-career talent…If you’re an organization specifically looking for the traditional pedigree of Software Engineers from a traditional college education and program, you’re going to miss out on a lot of great Engineers. There are a lot of great self-taught Engineers. There are a lot of great bootcamp Engineers. I’ve hired a lot of great Engineers in their second careers. You can attract them and leverage them on your team, but you have to be open to it.”

    Related: Partner Roundup: Coding Bootcamps & Non-Traditional Tech Education 

    Defining talent based on pedigree is a disservice to your team and puts unnecessary limitations on your recruiting, so look beyond labels and hire for skills.

    Urging companies to prioritize equitable hiring, Hired’s CEO Josh Brenner, explained in the 2022 State of Wage Inequality report, “When competition is high, it benefits organizations to consistently identify non-traditional talent. It creates more robust pipelines of candidates with new ideas to drive businesses forward.”

    Pro Tip: You can add bootcamps to your search criteria on the Hired platform. Or you can work with our events team to create a coding challenge. They’ll help you connect with one or more of our bootcamp partners to co-host and co-promote a challenge or other event. 

    3. Offer what’s important to jobseekers

    To attract the right talent, provide what jobseekers want. In our 2022 State of Tech Salaries report, we explored what tech professionals seek in their roles and job offers. The top perks tech workers would trade for a higher salary/offer are:

    Flexible work schedulePhysical health benefits Paid time off   

    To be successful in recruiting laid off talent amid such volatile economic times, offer flexibility and practical benefits, such as health insurance and 401K retirement matching. These trade-offs are a sharp contrast to findings from the 2021 report, in which more candidates would accept a lower salary for company stock or equity. 

    Perhaps, this reflected a desire for stability as employees assessed what their careers meant in the midst of a pandemic. Employees likely wanted to feel connected to the business and its future growth.  

    Beyond what employers can tangibly offer, tech professionals weigh company values as important too. Again, referencing John Beard, we realize the importance of attracting tech workers who want work aligned with their values:

    “What a company does is increasingly important for engineers who can take their talent to just about any industry. The mission and what the company does really matters. This means concentrating on finding those missionaries as opposed to the mercenaries, who are just looking to maximize their earning potential.”

    Presenting what your company has to offer in values helps you identify the candidates who share your organization’s vision. 

    Is your culture represented well in your employer brand?

    For guidance, download our eBook written for scaling startups, Want to Boost Responses from Candidates? Add Your UVP in Strategic Recruitment Messaging. Work for a large enterprise corporation? Here’s Losing Top Candidates to Unicorns and FAANG Companies? How to Stop It.

    Don’t get us wrong — a competitive salary is essential! However, it loses some of its charm when the fear of getting laid off down the line is present. 

    Perhaps the candidates’ desire to join companies who do meaningful work and the candidates’ willingness to trade salary for benefits enhancing quality of life ultimately reflects their search for security and trust in their jobs. Make candidates feel safe. 

    When recruiting laid off talent, be transparent  

    Does your company offer professional development opportunities? Do they offer tuition reimbursement? What about PTO and family planning/maternity/paternity benefits? Be prepared to tell candidates all about it. Openly share them early in the process. Let them know you want to be supportive by investing in their future — not making them uncertain about it.

    Be sure to keep candidates informed throughout the process. Be upfront about what you’re looking for too as you build trust. Candidates want stability more than ever. Your honest communication about where the company was, is, and will go can help provide that. Share numbers and details to paint a clear picture of your organization. Sell them on why the candidate should begin the next chapter of their career with your team. 

    Go find new talent for your pipeline by recruiting laid off talent

    Do you need better alignment with your hiring teams? Check out our research on What Happens when TA & Hiring Managers Unite. Or if you’re simply spread thin these days, Hired Technical Sourcer offers short or long-term help shortlisting, communicating, and screening technical talent. 

    We also offer opportunities for candidates to showcase their engineering skills and for employers to asynchronously evaluate them using Hired Assessments. 

    Ready to learn more about how Hired supports talent acquisition and recruitment? See how it works for employers with a demo and set up a trial.  More