Working at a staffing agency is a lot like being a line chef at any number of busy restaurants. The tickets roll in without ever seeming to end, but you can’t simply turn your back and ignore the orders. Each ticket is attached to one or more customers with very specific demands, and there are time limits. Your ability to meet the needs of each person will determine whether your restaurant succeeds or fails. Now imagine you’re the owner of a pizzeria, and your customers want pies with a wide range of the highest quality ingredients available. However, you keep sending out plain cheese pizza. It may be what some people ordered, but that’s not what everyone asked for or expects. Meanwhile, the pizzas with choice toppings get left on the cooling rack and degrade in quality.
What this delicious tableau aims to illustrate is the issue of diversity in today’s recruiting environment. Several recent reports have highlighted this problem, with the tech industry facing the brunt of the scrutiny, both in terms of hiring women and people of color. For instance, a recent Fast Company article highlighted the fact that Facebook and Google don’t have the greatest track record when it comes to having a workforce with a broad range of cultural backgrounds. For instance, an article for The Atlantic indicated that just 2 percent of workers at Google’s U.S.-based facilities are African American, and 3 percent are Hispanic. Meanwhile, 21 percent of the leadership is made up of women.
This isn’t isolated to one or two companies, and recruiting firms that leverage the best staffing software can be part of the solution.
Blinded by the light (of rock star talent)
The Fast Company article suggested the recruiting industry take a new approach to hiring candidates. While the promise of using a system of meritocracy is sure to get a few heads nodding in agreement among recruiters and job seekers alike, the reality of this policy has shown to worsen issues relating to evaluating workers – women in particular because they tend to be evaluated more harshly. One company looked to popular culture to innovate its hiring processes. One company used the NBC show “The Voice” as a model for interviewing candidates. In the live singing competition, people audition and the judges assess them on their voice alone. The idea is to translate the blind nature of the assessment to recruiting. The ultimate goal is to create a more diverse workforce.
Staffing software: In support of diversity
What today’s staffing firms need is an applicant tracking systems that goes beyond the bare minimum of functionality. You require one-touch search simplicity that allows you to source talent through the Web by leveraging profiles on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing, as well as social networks, including LinkedIn and Facebook. You’ll get a more thorough view of who each candidate is in order to place them with the right employer based on his or her skills. And that’s the important part: You’re using specific abilities and experiences to match the job seeker with your clients’ needs.
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