The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology today released a new report that outlines four key areas where companies should focus their recruitment efforts to increase access to a range of technical talent available in a highly competitive environment. Solutions to Recruit Technical Women is the first in a series of reports offering solutions companies can employ to improve the recruitment, retention, and advancement of technical women.
When it comes to technical talent, industry recruitment and hiring practices have become highly complex over the past decades as the labor market for scientists and engineers has shifted from individual national economies to a truly global labor market. Multinational companies face significant challenges and competition to fill technical positions, and renewed talk of a “global war for tech talent” emerged shortly after the recent global economic downturn.
The Anita Borg Institute report points out that for both large and small organizations who invest in a recruiting infrastructure as well as outsourced recruiters and head hunters, there continue to be consistent blind spots in recruiting and hiring practices that prevent companies from tapping into the wide spectrum of technical talent available — men, women or underrepresented minorities.
Extensive organizational research indicates that these blind spots are concentrated in four areas that, if ignored, can negatively impact equity, productivity and innovation:
• Concentrating recruitment at a small number of sites;
• Narrow recruitment criteria;
• Hiring processes that are implicitly biased; and
• Lack of organizational infrastructure to support recruitment and hiring efforts that yield high returns to both talent and diversity.
Solutions to Recruit Technical Women is designed to help companies overcome these blind spots based on data-driven results in both academic research and corporate practice. The report features case studies from Cisco, IBM, Intel and Intuit, and provides strategies to enables companies to address each blind spot:
• Recruitment avenues: Companies should consider expanding recruitment channels such as reaching out to a broader array of academic institutions, developing internship programs, leveraging social networks and other ways that expand their pool of job candidates.
• Recruitment practices: Carefully examining internal recruitment practices and how they market job opportunities externally will have a significant effect on how potential talent views the company and considers whether to join a candidate pool.
• Hiring process: As companies begin to attract more diverse candidates, then it becomes important to focus on the hiring process itself to ensure a positive experience for candidates and to reduce the elimination of candidates based on implicit biases.
• Overarching considerations: Lasting change depends on a variety of factors such as implementing solutions not in isolation but in bundles, commitment to diversity from the top leadership down, setting and measuring against established goals, and longer term, helping to build the pipeline by funding or engaging in K-12 initiatives when interest in STEM educations and careers is all too often made or broken.
"The goal of our Solutions to Recruit Technical Women report is to help companies continuously improve and adjust their hiring practices and reduce barriers to attracting a diverse pool of top technical talent," said Telle Whitney, CEO of the Anita Borg Institution. "By doing so, they will see greater returns on their recruitment investment, enhance innovation levels, and position themselves to succeed in an increasingly competitive global market."
For more information:
• Top Ten Solutions to Recruit Technical Women Identified in New Research Report from Anita Borg Institute, press release
• Solutions to Recruit Technical Women, full report
About the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology
The Anita Borg Institute (anitaborg.org) provides resources and programs to help industry, academia, and government recruit, retain, and develop women leaders in high-tech fields, resulting in higher levels of technological innovation. Our programs serve high-tech women by creating a community and providing tools to help them develop their careers. The Anita Borg Institute is a not-for-profit 501© 3 charitable organization. Partners include: Google, HP, Microsoft, CA Technologies, Cisco, Facebook, First Republic Bank, IBM, Intel, Intuit, Lockheed Martin, Marvell, National Science Foundation, National Security Agency, NetApp, SAP, Symantec, Thomson Reuters, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Amazon, Broadcom, Motorola Foundation, Raytheon, Salesforce.com, and Yahoo!
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