The world is in a state of awakening right now. We’re distraught by the recent deaths in the United States of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and all others that stemmed from systems that foster white supremacy. Black lives matter.
As a voice in the recruiting space, diversity is a frequent topic of conversation. We’ve always been of the belief that diverse hiring isn’t a recruiting strategy, rather it’s a byproduct of good hiring. In other words, if you hire free of biases; if you choose people that offer different perspectives than yours; if you employ anonymous hiring practices; it’s likely that you’ll build a diverse team and benefit from its humanity. What we’ve learned though, is that it’s not enough to not be racist. We need to be anti-racist.
We encourage our clients and employers to hire for attitude over aptitude, and to choose integrity, motivation, and grit, over pedigree and past-performance – but it’s time to do more than that.
Unfortunately, even at the entry-level, the lack of black candidates in the talent pool is caused by systemic racism that has infiltrated the education system. There has been so much white privilege in the world, that while we work towards abolishing it entirely, redistributing it is a good start. As of right now, these positions – where one recent graduate’s skillset is simply not that different from another’s – represent an ideal opportunity to make a positive impact.
Take a good hard look at how you promote internally. It’s time to stop advancing white males in order to appease your predominantly white male board. If we take an honest look at our own biases, it’s only a matter of time before we’ll see more black leaders, executives and board members.
The change required to move the dial is daunting, but we are hopeful for a better future. It seems that white privilege is so entrenched in society that it’s hard to know where to start. The important thing is that you do your part. Educate yourself. Ask questions. Listen. Check your privilege. Support black-owned businesses. Be kind. Be compassionate. Most importantly, don’t stand by as injustice unfolds.