Updated: Jan 4, 2021
Diversity has and always will be close to our hearts. I grew up in South California, which was fairly diverse in the community, but still was stereotyped as an Asian female throughout my career by colleagues and managers. Listening to feedback from them that I was never going to amount to much in my leadership career was a challenging headwind that can’t be fully understood unless you have been in that position.
We have always told our girls that you can do anything you want when you want to do it. We as individuals are not limited in opportunities by any race, gender, age, background. We believe that whole-heartedly because we have faced challenges throughout our careers and our lives. It is why we work the way we do and why we take on opportunities to be advocates for it in the community- to show others they can too, but also to show our girls that they can become whoever they want to be and do what they believe in.
Creating and launching JumpSearch was my opportunity to create a platform to express my voice and help others deeply understand their stories, struggles, successes, and bring them to light.
We believe that building diversity is important to individuals, organizations and communities. More meaningful value is created that benefits everyone involved by supporting diversity throughout processes and conversations. Through the recruiting and hiring processes we help support our clients with, we have seen the focus on diversity on the front end come back to create exponential value for the people and company on the operations end.
Building diversity into recruiting builds culture through a company’s growth.
With startups and companies at earlier stages of growth, the diversity of the company can be greatly influenced. Diversity breeds diversity. Companies that can show they are diverse in background, experience, gender, ethnicity, age, and education attract more diverse candidates. While the company is heading into phases of growth, the culture is going to grow with it.
We partner with the leadership team to understand where the culture is now, and where they want to be. Achieving the aspirational culture is dependent on people, so our part in hiring is crucial to fill the gaps with the right people that will help drive the company and growth. It takes the right people coming together to be a catalyst of change for the company’s success.
We take a unique position as a partner to our clients to be inside of their culture and operations, but not so immersed that we can view the roadmap the company is on and the destination of where they want to take their culture, but also the gaps they need to fill to get there. After meeting with the key decision makers, working closely with the hiring managers, and sitting in on internal meetings, we can develop a spectrum of fit we can evaluate candidates within.
We can also recognize where diversity can add to the team, where it might not be an exact culture fit but a culture add. As we manage the entire recruiting and interview process, we get to know the candidates on a very close level, enough to get a good picture of the potential hire. Coming from a position that views the dynamic of the aggregate experience for one candidate, we can collect all of the data and summarize findings into what is consistent, what needs a deeper dig, and help prompt conversations between the hiring team to clarify hiring needs.
Diversity can be built into the foundation of a company.
One of our clients, Chatbooks, fundamentally value diversity and realized how broad and diverse their customer base was, so they wove diversity into the company’s culture and recruiting strategy. They realized diversity would create value for the business, connect with the customers, and attract the type of team members that would want to work for the company. We started working with Chatbooks when the company had 25 employees and $25MM in Series A funding. Without a formal recruiting team and system, our challenge was to fill their mission-critical roles while preserving their unique culture that mattered so much to their customers.
Leading with the value of building a diverse team for Chatbooks, we were intentional and thoughtful about bringing in culture-add talent to their Management team that would help drive the company towards its vision. As the turn-key acquisition team, we were able to position diversity as a focus control at the front end of the talent pipeline, ensuring that every team member brought into the culture valued diversity and would positively impact the work environment at Chatbooks.
Digging deeper beyond the optics of diversity.
We have faced many challenges in diversity during our careers and all of our lives. It is one of the reasons why we can relate to and connect with people of diverse backgrounds, because we have similar experiences and it is just as important to us as it is to them. It has also enabled us to look past the first optics of diversity of age, gender, ethnicity, background, education, and dig into the diversity of life experiences, personalities, styles, work, and outlooks on life. Not many take this approach because it takes more work to dig deeper than the surface level to understand the culture of a team.
Even teams that may seem homogenous on the surface level may be diverse in their thinking, backgrounds, experiences enough to compliment each other and be successful. We read between the lines to discover diversity in breadth of experience, narrative, creation, communication, innovation, purpose, and style. We understand what the company stands for not only so we could qualify the right talent, but share with the candidates who they will be working with.
Diversity influences inclusion.
Ultimately, we are looking for differences in problem-solving when building diverse, high-performing teams. Diversity is important in the workplace because people have different experiences and lenses that influence their approaches to problem-solving, and collaborative problem-solving is the majority of work that happens within a company. Team members with open-mindedness, curiosity and a non-traditional approach that work together will solve problems in a more meaningful way.
The more diverse a company is, the more inclusive the culture is. Additionally, the more the company encourages inclusion, the more diversity comes out team connections and problem-solving. The more inclusive the culture is, the more value it creates.
The opportunities to encourage diversity are expanding.
Building diverse talent pipelines and high-performing teams has been a part of who we are and what we do since we began recruiting for clients. With the experiences we have personally and professionally collected, we are positioned with not only a cultural sensitivity in our approach to our work but also a deeper understanding of how diversity adds value to teams and organizations. As we are growing in remote recruiting work for companies and completing international searches, we are encouraged by how the remote workplace is evolving to open up even more opportunities and access to diverse talent pools.