On Becoming a More Equitable Company By Diversifying Hiring Pipelines
Diverse teams perform better. That’s not an opinion; it’s a fact—and it’s one that we at Guru have been focused on for years. As we started to see our headcount grow quickly in the aftermath of our Series A round, we realized it wasn’t just enough to hope for a more diverse company; we had to create an intentional and deliberate strategy to ensure we were actively building one.
To us, being deliberate means a few things:
Ensuring Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are reflected in our company values, in the form of Seeking and Sharing Knowledge
Setting company-level OKRs around DEI to hold ourselves accountable for meaningful improvement each quarter
Creating and nurturing Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) including Black at Guru, Womxn at Guru, Guru LGTBQ, and Solidarity (for non-Black employees working for racial justice)
Hosting open houses (in person or virtual) to provide an introduction to Guru to see if this is a place where a potential employee will consider joining, by sharing an introduction to the people who work here, our company values, and what problems we solve for our customers
Establishing partnerships with organizations that focus on DEI initiatives, including education (Hook & Fasten) and recruiting
That last item—creating a more equitable and diverse talent pipeline by partnering with DEI-focused organizations—has been one of our most rewarding efforts.
We’ve partnered with organizations like Jopwell, Philly Tech Sistas, Echo Me Forward, PowerToFly, Lesbians Who Tech, and Out in Tech (among others) to make sure that our open career opportunities reach more than traditional channels like LinkedIn and other similar job listings sites. By working with organizations and groups that really value and celebrate diversity, we see more applications awareness in communities that are historically underrepresented in tech jobs.
So, how do we choose our partners for this integral part of our talent pipeline? Our leadership has spent the last few years actively researching job markets as well as staying abreast of networking events and groups that serve exactly those segments mentioned above. But it’s not a one-way street. As Joe Gomez, our head of talent puts it, “I look to strengthen these relationships and see how we can align to help the organizations amplify their causes as well.”
One way we do that is by giving our facilities and our time (not just our money) to these organizations. We’ve hosted events like panels and networking for local organizations like Philly Tech Sistas because, quite frankly, we want better brand awareness in under-represented communities in order to be able to get more career interest from them.
We do this because we are deeply committed to being a more equitable company and because we know we can’t rely on traditional measures to get different results. Transparently, we want to see more women, Latinx, and Black candidates. Because these groups are underrepresented in tech today, it requires an intentional focus and strategy to expand our network, both to share our future job openings as well as showcase what it is like to work at Guru.
While partnerships are vital to our efforts (and will be for a very, very long time), we have a very clear idea of what success looks like for our DEI hiring efforts. We’ll know we’re on the right track when 1) we can post our open positions anywhere and see interest from historically under-represented candidates and 2) that we hire them. It’s not enough just to get these candidates into our talent pipeline—we want to be that diverse team that performs better.
I’m excited for all of you to learn about the entirety of our DEI strategy, so look for updates in the near future on topics like the reboot of our apprenticeship program, creating equity through company policies like flexible time off and paid parental leave, our education and inclusivity efforts, and more on our community engagement. If you have any questions about our DEI strategy or are interested in becoming a DEI partner, leave a comment below or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.