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4 ways to include diversity in your tech team hiring without turning it into a tick-box exercise

Posted on 25/08/2021
by Nick Boulton

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Everyone speaks of diversity and inclusion, but is it solely a numbers game? Client Server Director Nick Boulton talks about the four fundamentals for tech teams to implement a proper approach to adding diversity and inclusion without it being a tick-box exercise.  


Diversity is one of the hottest topics in the industry, but not many businesses get it right. Even if they believe in what they are trying to do, few take a step back to develop a robust, scalable, and repeatable process that will affect actual change in its recruitment model. 

Most still want a quick, one-size-fits-all solution to lure investors, stakeholders, and the outside world to believe they are doing the right thing. Inevitably, this means it becomes a tick-box exercise no one believes in, and there is insufficient buy-in from the wider business. 

If you want to attract the best talent and make a difference to your diversity hiring, you need to do more than force hiring managers to add a few diverse candidates to hit quota numbers. 

You have to tackle the problem from a few angles and build a strong foundation for approaching recruitment in your organisation. Doing this takes time, and many businesses cannot afford that commodity. Make a sustainable model that will help you get the best talent, not compromise quality, and have a continuous pipeline of diverse candidates. Here are four fundamentals to implement a reliable recruitment process:

  • Establish the correct internal process. You need to hire people who take ownership of this process, understand recruitment, are tech-savvy, and get what your business is trying to achieve. The interview process should be thorough and should never be more than three stages. Quick, detailed feedback to all parties is vital, and the ability to sell your business is crucial.
  • Buy-in from the business. Nine times out of ten, diversity hiring fails here. Owners, investors, and stakeholders tend to talk about more diversity and inclusion, knowing that this could bring value to their business. But without integrating a proper hiring process, their efforts are pointless. For the buy-in of the broader company to work, there must be consequences for hiring managers who do not meet the diversity you want. Likewise, those who achieve the correct levels should be incentivised and adequately rewarded. 
  • Partner with a quality recruitment agency. Unless you have a strong relationship with a reliable external recruitment company, you will never scale quickly enough or find the best talent for those hard-to-fill technical roles. You will need an expert who specialises in technology, not only with an RPO or new-aged managed services.
  • Work with a graduate training consultancy. To help ease the pain and stress of an immediate fix, engage with a reputable graduate academy/training consultancy. Make sure you do your due diligence by partnering with a consultancy that believes in what they do, with an appropriate approach to diversity and inclusion, and has the best technical curriculum. Sigmalabs is a company I have worked with recently, and they have a unique approach to people from diverse and low-income backgrounds. 

Now is the time to sit down and find a way to create a process that will stand the test of time. These four fundamentals are simply the beginning, but they will increase your immediate need for inclusion while building a future-proof recruitment process.


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