Dice HQ

Hiring better: how DEI is helping us scale

Words by Alice Tull

Our Talent Operations Manager, Alice Tull, reflects on the process of weaving DEI into every stage of our hiring process.

Often when we interview candidates, they ask us how DICE creates a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for its employees. We used to tell them that DEI is at the forefront of everything we do (because it is), but we soon realised that statement alone wasn’t enough: it’s vital that we can prove it with tangible examples. 

As the gatekeepers of the fast-growing DICE team, those of us in Talent needed to understand how to introduce new and effective ways of attracting, sourcing and hiring. Posting every role on every job board and hoping it reaches different demographics just doesn’t cut it. 

Our Talent team sits within the People function at DICE and has tripled in the last year, so identifying our key goals was essential in order to align and move forwards. 

We took our aims:

  • Source, attract and hire diverse talent 
  • Create an inclusive and reliable hiring process
  • Reduce bias through education, reporting and training

And broke them into categories of improvement:

  • Posting and attracting
  • Reviewing and shortlisting
  • Interviewing
  • Reporting and improving

To kick off phase one of Talent redevelopment, we looked at how we could translate these into action.

We
used
to
tell
them
that
DEI
is
at
the
forefront
of
everything
we
do
(because
it
is),
but
we
soon
realised
that
statement
alone
wasn’t
enough:
it’s
vital
that
we
can
prove
it
with
tangible
examples.

Posting and attracting

The best way to attract prospective candidates is to show what it’s really like to work at DICE, and present an honest reflection of our company culture. To achieve this, we’ve started sharing interviews with members of the team. It might sound obvious, but hearing from the people doing the work gives prospective candidates a far clearer picture of what life at DICE is like.

We also made headway in terms of where we advertise our open roles. The team built out a library of job platforms so we could start to match roles and boards, and in turn measure the success of the platforms we use. We also partnered with platforms that had a more specific DEI focus to ensure our sourcing was as effective as possible:

  • Cord, our primary Technology candidate platform allows us to source without unconscious bias – we can hide candidates names and pictures.
  • Otta lets us add the details of our DEI representative and our DEI statement, so candidates can see our mission and ask questions. 
  • ERIC is a career guidance app for Gen Z. It’s opening up DICE to those who are just starting out and considering their career pathways.
Inclusion
nudges
have
been
turned
on
through
various
points
of
the
internal
hiring
process
to
encourage
best
practice,
and
we
can
choose
to
anonymise
candidates
by
removing
names
and
education
from
their
resumes.

Reviewing and shortlisting

Our applicant tracking system, Greenhouse, has an entire inclusion integration that we wanted to take advantage of. 

  • We turned on candidate pronouns for applicant submissions to ensure we address everyone correctly. 
  • Candidate name pronunciation recording has been made available for applicants. We are a global company and we know how frustrating it can be to have a hiring manager or interviewer incorrectly pronounce your name.
  • Inclusion nudges have been turned on through various points of the internal hiring process to encourage best practice, and we can choose to anonymise candidates by removing names and education from their resumes.

Interviewing

This is an ever-evolving project. As we hire in new regions, we’re always familiarising ourselves with laws and compliance, and while we develop this knowledge, we’re also improving other areas of the interview process. 

  • We’ve helped reduce bias by introducing two people to each interview stage.
  • We’ve anonymised candidate take-home tasks and assessments.
  • Our Hiring Manager 101s offer an overview of dos and don’ts, and what it means to be a Hiring Manager at DICE.  
  • This is followed by kick-off meetings to ensure we get as much information on the role ahead of application review, so we can focus on the role attributes for suitability. 
  • We also get more substantial interview templates from hiring managers, and structure scorecards for fair and constructive feedback so we can set candidates up for success.

Reporting and improving

By Q4 of 2021, we set up an optional, anonymous DEI questionnaire for all UK applicants. With five questions based on gender identity, race and/or ethnic identity, sexual orientation, living with a disability and living with an identified neurodiversity, we can use this data to determine key areas of improvement throughout the hiring process. 

As of Q4, we had an average participation rate of 56% on the survey. It was a strong start and all the actions above were implemented as a result of the survey’s findings. As we come to the end of Q1, the participation rate has risen to 72%, meaning we can look even closer at the sources we are using and pipelines to identify areas for improvement as we move into our next phase:

  • Introducing territory-applicable unconscious bias and interview training to set best practices across the board.
  • Creating a Language Glossary to make sure our job ads are gender-neutral.
  • Making sure we have active visibility at hiring events, or even better, hosting our own in-house at DICE.
  • Building a library of podcast articles and knowledge sharing for the Talent team, while encouraging active self learning so we can continue to educate one another.
  • Working even closer with the fully fledged DEI team to make sure we maintain a fair and inclusive process.
  • Introducing EEOC data surveys for the US to look into these areas of improvement.

We’ve also just closed our Annual DEI Survey to the company, which had 86% participation. The company has almost tripled since we conducted our last survey, so we’re excited to learn how our team has evolved through the improvements we’ve made to our hiring process. We’re committed to publishing our diversity data on our website. In the meantime, we are working through the data and exploring areas for further improvement across diversity, equity and inclusion at DICE.

As the People team, we are holding ourselves responsible and accountable for ensuring DEI is a core focus during hiring and beyond. It’s part of our day-to-day roles, not an afterthought or an “I’ll make time for that later”. We are nowhere near perfect yet, but we’re working on it, and we care about improving. So, next time someone asks us how we create a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment, forget the generic “it’s at the forefront” response – we can just steam straight into, “How much time do you have?”

We’re on a mission to get people out more

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