Open post Removing Bias From Your Recruiting Process_diverse panel

How to Remove Bias from Your Recruiting Process

Removing Bias From Your Recruiting Process

67% of job seekers look for workplace diversity when considering an offer.  Diversity within organizations improves collective critical thinking, problem-solving, and innovation. It’s indisputable that diversity across all facets is key to a company’s success. So why is it that so many organizations struggle to attain it? What if I told you that you may be unknowingly deterring talent through unconscious bias in your recruitment process? 

What is Unconscious Bias? 

Unconscious (or implicit) bias refers to when we have attitudes towards groups of people or associate stereotypes with them without our conscious knowledge. Everyone holds unconscious biases, and this can cloud judgment when it comes to choosing the best job candidates. Unlike conscious bias, people with unconscious bias don’t intend to discriminate. Nonetheless, implicit bias often leads to discrimination on the basis of race, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, disability, age, veteran status, and other factors.  

What Can You Do About It? 

Here are some important actions that companies should take to reduce bias in their recruitment process. 

Check Yourself   

Most people don’t intend to act in a discriminatory way. Yet, implicit bias leads to discrimination, which is harmful regardless of intent.  You can’t control harboring implicit bias. What you can control, however, is what you do about it. Understanding your own biases will help improve your intentionality and accountability. You can test yourself using Harvard, Virginia, and Washington Universities’ Implicit Association Test. 

Set Meaningful and Measurable Diversity Goals 

Go beyond hiring quotas. Striving for a company culture that is inclusive and equitable will ultimately be more effective at achieving diversity. Aim for goals that can be tracked. “We want to create an environment where people report feeling equally respected, regardless of race or ethnicity” and “we want to promote women at the same rate as men” are examples of objectives that are both meaningful (reflective of company atmosphere) and measurable (can be monitored utilizing surveys and statistics).  

Diversify Your Hiring Panel  

It matters who has a voice in recruitment. A diverse hiring panel will help your organization identify blind spots in its recruiting process. Aim for a fair mix of gender identity, cultural diversity, and a broad age range on your panel. 

Removing Bias From Your Recruiting Process

Widen Your Reach   

Improving the diversity of your applicant pool is a crucial step toward changing the status quo. There are so many different platforms to help you get the word out about your jobs, including job boards that specifically focus on recruiting diverse talent. Take advantage of them. 

Be Intentional About Wording of Job Descriptions  

Whether we realize it or not, much of the language we use is gendered. Gender stereotypes are subliminally perpetuated by language choices, and this has real implications when it comes to job descriptions. Women are significantly less likely to apply for jobs that use words that are culturally perceived as masculine like “competitive” or “outspoken”—even in female-dominated fields such as nursing. Thankfully, many tools, including the language-monitoring software Textio, exist to help you rework job descriptions to make them more inclusive.  

Only Include Essential Qualifications 

 Men apply for jobs when they meet 60% of the qualifications, where women only apply for jobs when they meet 100% of the qualifications. This confidence gap leads to many competent women being excluded from the applicant pool. Cultural differences may also make it difficult for qualified individuals to see themselves in positions where the requirements are unnecessarily extensive and specific. It’s important to acknowledge and respect such differences and adapt qualifications to be more welcoming of different cultural contexts. You can even employ tools like IDI Global Assessment to improve your cultural competencies.  

Standardize Evaluation of CVs or Resumes  

It has been shown that minorities who ‘whiten’ their resumes are more than twice as likely to get called back for an interview than those who reveal their racial background, and these results hold true even for companies that claim to value diversity. To combat this, create a scoring system that takes cold hard facts from a CV or resume and turns them into data that can be evaluated objectively. Where possible, it may also be useful to remove identity-revealing information such as names and photos. 

Homogenize the Interview Process  

Unstructured interviews can amplify biases. Unconscious bias leads employers to make immediate assumptions, and in unstructured interviews, you may unknowingly spend the rest of the interview trying to confirm these arbitrary first impressions.  Sticking to set scripts and evaluation criteria helps ensure that all candidates receive equal opportunity to prove their competencies.  

Employ a Work Sample Test  

These tasks are a great predictor of future job performance. They also make it easy to compare applicants fairly. 

At Quardev we are committed to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and celebrating our differences. Talk to us about the steps we take to retain this commitment.

Open post Are Your Smart Home Devices Putting You At Risk

Are Your Smart Home Devices Putting You At Risk?

Are Your Smart Home Devices Putting You At Risk

As smart home and personal assistant products enter the mainstream market, consumers and businesses must weigh the risks associated with such a technologically invasive product. It seems as though, every day, a new appliance is connected to the internet of things. From air conditioners and refrigerators to kettles and even the locks on our doors, our homes are increasingly interconnected by a web of technology that makes our lives easier. However, with these conveniences comes serious risk. The more tasks we allocate to our Alexa, the more control we give away to a would-be hacker.

Almost two years ago, in late 2019, these security concerns were brought to the public’s attention. In a research paper authored by students of The University of Michigan, many personal assistant products were shown to have serious security flaws, which possibly enabled a bad actor to feed the device commands from 110 meters away. By aiming a powerful “amplitude-modulated” laser at the microphone of the device, the researchers proved it was possible to inject voice commands by simulating the vibrations caused by the human voice. 

The authors claim, “Examining various products that use Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Facebook’s Portal, and Google Assistant, we show how to use light to obtain control over these devices … Next, we show that user authentication on these devices is often lacking, allowing the attacker to use light-injected voice commands to unlock the target’s smartlock-protected front doors, open garage doors.” These security flaws were massive. In the coming weeks, all of the companies involved patched their software to increase security. Even though the research took place in a lab environment and used expensive equipment, this security lapse is worrying. 

Another vulnerability was shown in an article by The Verge around the same time. This security flaw allowed hackers to use commands which, after they failed or errored out, kept the device listening and transmitting data. Amazon and Google, the leading smart home competitors, both failed to check updates for malicious code, making this vulnerability exploitable. Quickly, however, their systems were updated to increase the security of third-party programs.

Perhaps these breaches never posed a large-scale threat, but they show something that has the possibility to be very dangerous in coming years. Smart home products can help us reimagine how we interact with our homes and free up time in our schedules, but any security flaw in a product such as Alexa or Google Home could have massive consequences. It could be exploited to lock people out of their homes, steal cars, ransom the heat in someone’s home, or even drain their bank account through amazon. 

smart home security

As we move towards a future where devices like these are increasingly commonplace, software and hardware security become increasingly important. In a time when our devices reach into what has forever been physical, what is important for our very survival like shelter and transportation, quality software penetration testing, too, moves from a digital necessity to a physical one. If the security of our products, as a society, falls far behind the products themselves, we devalue the innovation and risk our safety in the process.

If you want to keep your devices safe, there are a few easy first steps you can take. Safety.com has articles outlining how you can keep your devices, such as an Amazon Alexa or Google Home, safe. It boils down to making sure you know what your device knows and changing settings, where possible, to be more comfortable with it.

Open post Upskilling and Reskilling

Upskilling and Reskilling: The Secret to Staying Ahead of the Competition in Hiring and Brand Reputation

Interview Follow-up Tips to Set You Apart

More than half – 56 percent – of organizations believe they have a moderate to severe skills gap today, and 60 percent of employees believe that, to some extent, their current skill set will become outdated in the next three to five years. A commitment to Upskilling and Reskilling employees is quickly becoming the best path to overcoming skills gaps.

What is Upskilling and Reskilling?

Upskilling is learning new skills to optimize performance. Organizations upskill their employees to help them gain new skills and experience to stay relevant or move into a higher position. Whereas reskilling helps employees learn new skills to take up a new role within the same organization. Reskilling is more focused on training employees for a new position.

Benefits of Upskilling or Reskilling

Stay Competitive and Improve Employee Retention

Employees want learning and development opportunities to help them stay relevant in their role as well as position them for advancement. Providing a pathway for skills development motivates employees. Making them feel valued and supported, increasing their likelihood to stay with your organization long term. Upskilling and reskilling team members also helps keep companies competitive and shows that they are motivated to invest in the professional development of their employees.

Improve Morale and Productivity

Training and development opportunities help employees move forward on their career path and helps them envision their future with the organization, improving morale. Across teams, efficiency and productivity is improved, paving the way for increased satisfaction and strengthening your company’s competitive edge.

Attracts Great Talent

As word of your commitment to upskilling and reskilling spreads, your reputation in the eyes of your employees and the wider talent market improves. 91% of the millennials indicated that they preferred career development to any other benefit when choosing to join a company. By offering the right mix of upskill and reskill opportunities, employees who are motivated to keep learning and growing are motivated to stay and great talent with a similar mindset is encouraged to join.

Reduces Hiring Costs

Hiring is costly, from one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary. A measurable advantage of upskilling and reskilling is that it reduces hiring efforts to search for a specialist in a field. It is a much smaller investment compared to the cost of the recruitment process for hiring a new employee.

Upskilling and reskilling can help your company secure the right people with the right skills that you need to compete today while providing flexibility to arm team members with the necessary skills needed in the future. This attention reduces the need to look outside for talent with specific skillsets, saving time and hiring costs and allows for continuity among team members when it comes to proprietary company knowledge that would have otherwise walked right out the door.

How to Upskill and Reskill Employees?

Online Courses/Webinars

Remote learning is the most popular way to upskill and reskill during the current times when most employees are working from home. Online courses can be free or paid, and most of them provide a certificate at the end of the course. Investing in online classes allows you to upskill employees regardless of their location and time zone.

Classroom Training

Organizations can also upskill employees in a traditional classroom setting. They can hire trainers or institutes to share ideas and teach new skills and software to their employees. However, with the project deadlines, work commitments, and remote working, it becomes less feasible to attend scheduled training on the allocated day, time, and location.

Mentors

Mentorship programs within the organization are another great way to upskill employees. Subject matter experts (SMEs) from different areas can pair with employees to share new skills. This helps companies to leverage their existing talent to meet future requirements. Mentorship programs come in various forms and can be customized based on the upskilling or reskilling needs.

Pioneer companies are aware of the changing technological demands of the workplace. Last year, Amazon announced it would be dedicating $700 million to provide 100,000 employees access to upskilling training programs. In comparison, salesforce pledged to train 500,000 Americans with the skills they need to earn Salesforce credentials. Analyzing what skills are missing across the organization and upskilling or reskilling employees based on those skills will help create a growth-focused culture and continuous learning.

 

Open post Interview follow-up tips

Interview Follow Up Tip To Set You Apart

Interview Follow-up Tips to Set You Apart

Have you ever experienced radio silence after an interview? Even an interview that you felt had gone well? One of the easiest and best ways to overcome radio silence is with consistent and timely follow up. Whether you’ve just completed a screening call or first interview with HR or Recruiting recruiter, or just stepped away from a technical interview with an entire team or direct hiring manager, following up will go a long way to set you apart from your competition as someone to hire. Incorporating these interview follow-up tips into your job search routine is a great start.

1. Don’t wait!

Take the time to reach out and follow up. Remember, not hbearing back from HR, your recruiter, or the hiring manager doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t want to proceed. Set a calendar invite for yourself as a reminder to follow up every 3 to 5 days. If you are actively interviewing or exchanging hiring details for the role, following up every day is preferred.

2. Keep it short.

When sending a follow-up message, think about it in the same way you would if you were texting someone; start with a pleasantry, keep it short, and remember, there is no need to apologize for following up. A quick note of thanks for their time is all you need.

3. Keep following up until you have a reason not to.

Stay positive, remember that delays in getting back to you can happen for a multitude of reasons. Take delays in stride and continue to follow up until you have a good reason not to.

Yet, as important as following up is, knowing when NOT to follow up is important too. For instance, be mindful of timelines. If feedback timelines have been provided to you during the hiring process, or the hiring manager tells you to expect feedback within a specific timeframe, set yourself a reminder to follow up AFTER that timeframe, not before. This is true for HR and recruiter timelines as well.

What if you’ve been rejected for the role? Should you follow up? Even if you’ve been rejected for the role, sending a follow-up note of gratitude for having been considered is a great way to express your continued interest in the company and help you stand out as a potential fit for similar roles as they become available.

Remember, even if the role you interviewed for doesn’t work out for you, by following up you show that you are professional, courteous, and sincerely interested in the company and team so that if an alternate role should become available in the future, you’ll be top of mind for them as someone to reach out to and to hire.

For job search, interview and follow-up tips personalized to your needs, feel free to contact our team, contact@quardev.com. We’re here to help.

Looking for remote positions? Check our most recent job openings.

 

Open post Hiring in the New Normal

Hiring 2021: Time to Switch Gears

What can I expect out of a remote position

Do you remember when you were a kid and got your first bicycle that had gears on it? No more single speed silliness, but a real speed machine that could take you anywhere with relative ease.

You adjusted to using the gears quickly, and you did not give it a second thought when you downshifted as you were coming up to a hill to make it easier for you to climb. Perhaps you upshifted when going down a hill to give you even more speed without the pedals spinning around so fast that you couldn't keep up with them. You adapted to your environment to increase your efficiency with the available tools at the time, and you never gave it a second thought; you were switching gears.

In sailing, it is common to reduce the boat's sail area in a strong breeze by either reefing the sail or switching to a smaller sail altogether to reduce the sail's surface area. Too much sail is not necessarily a good thing. It only serves to heel the boat over (which, yes, is sort of fun) to a level that is not efficient. You don't go any faster through the water. You just heel over more and lose control of the boat.

Conversely, if the wind is too light, you want to add sail area by the opposite means. Boat racers refer to this as "switching gears." Just like on the bicycle, you are adapting to your environment to increase your efficiency. The sailboat example tends to take a little more work and forethought, but the objective is the same.

Fast forward to your professional life, and ask yourself how you are switching gears to increase your efficiency with the tools available to you?
We are in an unprecedented time of a global pandemic, and business as we know it is changing worldwide, whether we like it or not, and whether we are prepared for it or not. People are working remotely often, and you tend to rarely, if ever, go into an actual office or have a business meeting face to face anymore, and entire segments of the industry are disappearing overnight. It is easy to throw up your hands in despair and feel like you do not have control over this. Still, you also might want to ask yourself: How can I switch gears to adjust to this environment, and how can I push my business into the forefront of adapting to this new environment?

Companies that are adapting to and even embracing these changes are on the leading edge of establishing what our new workspace is going to look like. The "new normal" is flexible, remote, and adaptable while still providing your customers with the highest level of service.
When it became apparent to us here at Quardev that we needed to adjust our processes to serve our client's needs better, we wasted no time implementing a few of the following:

  • Enhancing our online coding challenges helps vet candidates' technical abilities, rather than a typical white-boarding session with our technical leads.
  • Participating in video conference calls as the norm, rather than the exception.
  • Assisting delivery staff and consultants to set up remote work environments.
  • Increasing the contact timing frequency with clients and consultants to more rapidly adjust to their changing needs.
  • Expanding our resource pool to include non-local candidates that may not have been practical when there was a requirement that all resources were on-site.

Yes, it is different. Yes, it takes a little planning and adjustment. It is time to switch gears to get in front of these changes and increase our efficiency with the tools we have.

Come and speak with us at Quardev about how we have been leading the transition into the new normal, and we might even be able to give you a few tips about how you can make it easier to switch gears too.

If you are considering hiring remote employees, check out our tips for virtual onboarding of new hires.

 

 

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