October 28, 2020

4 Ways you may be Unfairly Rejecting Under-Represented Groups in Tech

tech talent

tech talent

Did you know that there's loads of incredible Tech talent out there that hiring managers are rejecting based on unfair and biased metrics?  Not only are these screening criteria outdated and biased, they’re not helpful. They tell you very little. How can we do better? Well...

Here are 4 things that we shouldn't place too much of an emphasis on:

1. Open Source Projects (You know who you are)

A controversial and seemingly counterintuitive one. Some companies are suggesting ‘contributions to open source projects’ are a good indicator of passion for one’s craft.

Being able to do so is a privilege, it requires the time and ability to work on hobbies for free- which disadvantages people with families and other commitments. Try to eliminate these as much as you can from your decision-making process.

2. Education

Another controversial one to some, maybe, but a crazy amount of incredible tech talent have no degree. Good grades don’t prove a developer will be great, and vice versa. The old standard of ‘Minimum 2:1 degree from a decent uni’ isn’t going to tell you much.

Side Note: ‘good’ universities are pretty notorious for having major issues with discrimination. Don’t rate the school- rate the engineer!

having time to do open source projects is a privilege.

3. The 'would I go for a beer with them?' test.

‘I could go for a drink with that guy’ is the type of statement that lets bias in through the back door. Don’t listen to that little voice!

When looking for friends we want people who are like us. Hiring based on who you think can be mates with leads to teams where everyone is the same. When looking for future colleagues we want people who can be collaborative and respectful.

‘Culture fit’ is a nicer way of saying ‘be like us.’ Instead, see if your values align.

4. Confidence

Asking for candidates who can project a confident aura in interviews disproportionately advantages white men, while making things more difficult for under-represented groups.

Likewise, self-aware people tend to have more realistic understandings of their own abilities, so they simply can’t appear as confident as people who are less self-aware!

Confidence is usually a positive trait, but it shouldn’t be screened for specifically.

Final Thoughts

Great talent comes from a huge variety of backgrounds. Don’t stick to the old metrics that discriminate and you’ll get a vibrant, creative team that can grow. As always, try to ensure the following: A process that is data-driven, consistent and considerate of a wide variety of backgrounds

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