As an active participant in the #BOLDMoves program (as part of VIC ICT for Women), Caroline raised the possibility of conducting hiring experiments for IT roles within Computershare. Together with Kendra and Helena we came up with a plan of action.
Caroline Stainkamph - Head of Business Management & Transformation within Technology Services
Kendra Cheesman - Recruitment Partner within HR
Helena Andrews - Diversity Specialist within HR
Head of Business Management & Transformation within Technology Services
Two experiments were chosen to be conducted within the hiring process for IT roles. The first was blind resumes, where the candidates names would be removed prior to the hiring manager receiving the resumes for short-listing.
The second experiment was to rewrite the job ad to remove barriers that might discourage females from applying.
1) Devising a plan - which experiments to do, how to make them work within our environment including systems.
2) Stakeholder engagement - the HR management team for support, the recruitment team for their commitment and HR Information Systems team for their reporting expertise on measurements.
3) Hiring management engagement - to agree to participate in the experiments.
4) Pre-measures - before the experiments started to obtain a benchmark.
5) Conduct the experiments - this is still ongoing.
6) Data gathering - to gauge if the experiments are making a difference.
The approach was to not advertise the experiments that we were conducting, but rather to make sure the hiring managers were OK at the time of the hiring job brief. The rationale for this approach was we didn't want to introduce bias by introducing the Hawthorne effect.
Measurements were gathered prior to the experiments taking place so that we could see the effects (if any) the experiments would have in the hiring process.
The way we went about the blind CV's was a low-tech and quite manual solution so that we could get this done quickly. If successful, we'd need to consider how to automate the solution.
We've explored different sources of expertise on rewriting the job ads, such as external webinars and internal subject matter experts.
The experiments are still underway, so we don't have any results as yet.
However the concept of running experiments within the HR team has been a great journey to undertake in itself. Undertaking something new and not needing everything to be perfect upfront encourages a different mindset.
One of the responses so far has been a heightened awareness, both within HR and with the hiring managers, of their contribution to diversity. Everyone is keen to hear about the outcome of the experiments.
One of the initial sceptics of the experiments is now proactively engaged with the broader diversity agenda.
These ideas were presented as experiments from the outset, to reduce the potential for resistance.
The HR recruitment team initially had some concerns regarding additional work so a 3 month timeframe was agreed.
To overcome any initial uncertainty with the experiments, Kendra spent time listening to people's concerns and coming up with ways to overcome these and also educating people about the broader agenda that we're contributing to.
So far, there has been no resistance from the hiring managers.