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Transcript of Diversity Recruiting
Women in Software Engineering
Framing the Strategy
When embarking upon our strategy to increase the pipeline of women engineers, I believe it requires that we look at the personal and professional needs of experienced vs. university candidates independently. Although they have a commonality of shared gender, both require unique approaches because they are attracted to different aspects of the company and have differing career goals and objectives. Therefore we must approach recruiting these candidates differently. Additionally, I believe in order for us to source and attract these candidates, we need to
execute programs that attract them to our company.
Use Twitter as an SMS Client
Omitting the use of the internet wouldn't impact the strategy drastically. Rather than focusing on sourcing from the comfort of one's desk (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.), we will hit the streets and engage in more face-to-face interaction with potential candidates. Without the internet, the strategy will be heavily focused on restructuring the marketing strategy.
*Note, I would continue to engage in all of the non-internet friendly programs mentioned previously (e.g. coffee at shuttle stops)
Coffee Shops & Classified Ads
Billboards, Bus Signs, Posters, and Sky Writing Planes
Attend Dissertation Presentations and Poster Sessions
How would you increase the number of women engineers from current 9% to 12%?
What Women Want
University Level Recruiting
Industry Level Recruiting
Computer Science and Engineering Libraries
Assuming you have no restrictions on resources or budgets. Also think of this in two ways, one being that you have access to internet and one that you have no internet access at all.
Would you be doing the same sourcing strategies?
Below are common points of what female industry and university level candidates desire in a company:
Women in Leadership Positions
Opportunities to Network
Opportunities to Give/Receive Mentorship
Support to Build a Family
To be successful, we must ensure that we have ensure all of our recruiters are well educated on the resources available, develop literature outlining these resources, and create programs that display our dedication to candidates who wish to attaining any or all of the above.
Many industry level candidates will be very interested in opportunities that will offer long-term career growth, work-life balance, and building of professional and support networks internally.
Chat with the advisers for the CS/CE department. They have a strong grasp of the major and know where to find top talent. Further, advisers can pull lists of students by demographic and email them about events and opportunities.
Advisers cannot provide you with the list of students, I would recommend hosting a workshop (i.e. networking 101, career panel, resume/interview) and asking advisers to invite these students exclusively, on your behalf. Once the students have the sign-in, feed them, teach them, and send a follow up with targeted emails.
Source and Attend Club Meetings:
A large percentage of female CS/CE students are involved in organizations like WICs, SWE, SHE++, etc. Many of these organizations have websites with officers and members listed. Contact the students and encourage them to apply.
Additionally, you can contact members of these organizations from the campus org list and ask if you can speak at their meeting. If they agree, bring donuts and a sign-in sheet and give them an overview of the company culture. If you don't have sign-ins, it's like you never attended.
To foster closer relationships with these organizations, facilitate an 'interviewing confidently' workshop. That way, we are building the candidate's skills and show them the company cares about their professional development. For graduate students, adjust the program to address Masters level/PhD woes, concerns and weaknesses. Further, we can present a modified version of our culture slides and focus it more on the goals and objectives of university level candidates.
*This can be duplicated at
CS and Honors Sororities
Open House in Sunnyvale Office
With a volatile rental market and an non-kid friendly environment, it can be difficult to recruit engineers with families to the SF office. Rather, we should host an open house in the Sunnyvale office. We can even make the event family friendly, host panels, and encourage an atmosphere for networking.
Invite candidates who are considering the company, near misses candidates, those who have rejected offers, or those who have been extended offers. To attract candidates who aren't in the pipeline, we can make this a +1 invite event.
Coffee and Cronuts at Shuttle Stops
Many of the top tech companies have shuttles pick up their employees and drive them to the South Bay. We should take advantage of this contingent of employees and offer them cronuts and coffee with cup koozies (formatted with the company logo and email alias) to keep their drinks warm and provide them with contact information. Further, we can plan this a week or two before an upcoming event and encourage them to attend our event and apply to our opportunities.
Host a WICs/SWE Meetup @ HQ
We've got the space, we can host a meet up at HQ and have WomEng engineers at the event. To continue marketing our efforts in diversity recruiting, we can hand out WomEng shirts to all who attend and have recruiters available for soft recruiting.
Symposium and Workshop
We can host a WomEng focused symposium or workshop @ HQ and Sunnyvale and use video conference to connect the two worlds. The symposium would allow women to attend panels and workshops about advancing your career, balancing work with family, etc. Further, to ensure we make the event worth while, we can partner with the engineering learning org to host hands-on workshops to teach interested attendees programming language relevant to the company (i.e. ruby, scala). Lastly, we can encourage the air of networking by having engineers around during the workshop to allow for mentorship.
Partner with University
We can look through alumni-focused and old resume books and identify candidates who have graduated 2+ years ago.
Also, in exchange for travel grants to graduate students, we can ask faculty members for the names and contact information of their prized pupils from the past.
Lastly, we can attend alumni weekend and attend the CS/CE specific reunions and events.
One strategy I propose, is to approach our goal by spearheading sourcing initiatives to find candidates who are eligible for our opportunities. By doing this, we will fill the top of the pipeline. To do this, I recommend that we focus on the breadth of female software engineer talent rather than solely the depth. We can find these candidates through our platform and traditional sourcing approaches (e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook). The goal would be to:
Find every female software engineer on earth
Use the Twitter platform to find talent
Project Dove Sourcing Initiative
The goal is to map all of the female engineers on the face of the planet. To achieve this goal, we will need to source through LinkedIn, Facebook, organization lists and sites, our ATS, conference lists, resumes books, etc.
Candidates will be tracked according to their engagement patter (e.g. what event they attended). This will allow us to better pin point what events are successful, all the points in which this candidate engaged with our company, and what drove these candidates to apply.
We will need all recruiter's hand on deck to make this initiative successful.
Project Dove Sourcing
Engaging the Candidates
After we have sourced candidates, we can create an engagement plan. Different plans for candidates from different tiers:
Offer Decline candidates receive an email and get scheduled a phone call.
Candidates new to the pipeline receive an email informing them about why we are an amazing company.
All candidates will be sent a quarterly newsletter informing them about our opportunities, the impact they can make, successful engineer focused events we've had in the past quarter (highlighting women focused events), etc. All newsletter enrollees will be provided with an opt out option.
To maintain contact with these candidates, we can divide them between recruiters and encourage recruiters to email candidates and schedule phone calls with candidates who match roles we have available or keep them warm for future follow-up. All interactions would be documented in the ATS.
Project Dove Sourcing
How to Maintain the Program
The most important tool we will need to maintain this project is:
A candidate tracking systems that allows easy upload of attendance list and tagging.
ex: #GH2013 (met at Grace Hopper 2013)
Dedicated Project Dove sourcers
Success would be measured by evaluating:
# of project dove candidates sourced
# of hires made from this initiative at the industry and university level
Long term retention of these candidates
Project Dove Sourcing
To achieve success we will need:
Ten 6-month contractors dedicated exclusively to sourcing women engineer candidates
Recruiter All Hands Training on Project Dove Sourcing Action Plan
An ATS that allows for pulling reports and tracking tagged candidates
A lead tracker (e.g. Salesforce) allowing for easy upload of attendance list and tagging.
Incentives and recognition for top achievers and success stories (peer bonus, gift cards, eternal glory)
Using the Twitter Platform
Source from event hashtags (#GH2013, #Tapia2013 or #SWE2013)
Cross reference them in LinkedIn, Lever, Jobvite
DM them about our opportunities and encourage them to apply
Use Promoted and Targeted Tweets during Women Engineering focused events. This will allow us to capture multiple members of the community that are attending these events, and doing so by using our platform.
To be successful we will need to partner with members of the Sales and Marketing teams to grasp the reach of our platform. And, to understand how to creatively and accurately implement this strategy.
Collateral that highlights how our company supports career advancement, work-life balance, building a family, and networking.
Increase of WomEng focused blog
Technical focused blogs written by members of WomEng
An ATS that allows of easy tracking and reporting of candidates at entry of every point of engagement
Hiring manager buy-in because once we have all of these strong candidates, they've got to go somewhere ;)
Many university level candidates are particularly interested in opportunities that will offer them the ability to make an impact on the product, attain long-term career growth, work-life balance, and receive support in building networks internally. To increase the pipeline, we must create programming that addresses the above.
Scholarships and Travel Grants
One of the amazing things about scholarship and travel grants is that applicants self source because the top applicants usually apply. For a $2,000 travel grant or $10,000 scholarship, you can receive hundreds of applications. Although every applicant won't receive a scholarship, you can take advantage of the applicants' interest and engage with them long term and encourage them to apply for other opportunities.
To follow-up, you can invite top applicants to a Girl Geek +1 dinner (recommending that the +1 be a fellow. computer science major) At this event, the scholarship and grant winners and honorable mentions will be celebrated. You can have top women engineers in the company speak to their experience, have the CEO address the audience, and have a female VIT come and talk about the impact the platform has had on her life and work.
Afterward, you can engage with the attendees by contacting the guests each applicant brought and encourage them to apply to your opportunities.
Many 4-year colleges and universities have residence hall communities dedicated to Women in the Sciences, Women in STEM, Women in Engineering, or Women in Computer Science and Engineering. Typically, these communities consist of 35-60 1st year to 3rd years students living together on the same floor.
The Resident Assistant (RA) is always looking for programs to facilitate and bulletin boards to hang up for display. We can consider creating educational bulletin boards about Women Software Engineers, and focus it on Twitter. Alternatively, we can order pizza, breadsticks, and soda and we have a captivated audience of female engineers ready to receive your words from the comfort of their residence halls. Or, we can ask the RA to email the students your contact information and encourage them to reach out to you for guidance.
Who says you can't tweet without internet? Of course, it might be a little difficult, but tweeting the old fashioned way is (using SMS) still very possible.
Look through classified adds for job seekers who are women engineers.
Bring coffee and donuts, find students who match your profile, give them one of those fancy donuts and koozie protected coffees and encourage them to apply. Repeat during midterms and finals week. We can also walk around in the CS department and hand out donuts.
Spread the word and let people know we have opportunities available. Target these advertisements near gyms, day cares, and grocery stores near other top tech companies.
Encourage to students who match your profile to apply, gather their contact information, and walk the through the process
WomEng at the phone and onsite interview
and for closing calls
Women engineers must see themselves reflected in the fabric of the organization for which they are interviewing. To address this, we should compile a list of eligible and willing WomEng members and rotate them through interviewing female candidates. When a candidate makes it to the onsite stage, it will be imperative that one of their interviewers be a member of WomEng. If one isn't available, schedule a member for lunch with the candidate or to give the candidate a call after the interview.
** These engineers would also interview male candidates to ensure they are not lowering the bar or biasing their evaluation.
Curb Interviewer Bias
Often times, interviewers give candidates lower scores due to perceived characteristics like shyness, soft spokeness. When they score these candidates lower, they are often times projecting expectation of their traits upon the candidate. To safeguard against interviewers giving harsh feedback based on these traits, we should partner with the engineer learning org to create an anti-biases training that can be given to all interviewers.
For interviewers who we see showing bias in interviews, we can bring it to the attention of the manager and VP of Engineering and for the interviewees impacted by these interviewers, we can send them to an EngRevisit Subcommittee to review their full application and make a hiring decision.
Be Well Versed on WomEng
We should collaborate with WomEng to ensure that we have literature about their organization and they support they provide. During interviews, we can give interviewees a handout with information about the organization. To sweeten the deal, we need to ensure that all interviewers are aware of WomEng as a resource and can speak to the organization fluidly to any candidate who is interested. Same goes for any other ERG we have at our organization.
How do we ensure candidates are successful throughout the interview process?
Schedule Prep and Check In Calls
Throughout the process, we can schedule prep calls for all stages of interviews and check in calls afterward. Prep calls would be an opportunity for recruiters to give candidates a high level overview of what to expect during interviews. Additionally, candidates will be provided the opportunity to ask questions. Check-in calls would be scheduled a day or so after the interview to assess how the interviewee is feeling about her experience. The check in call is especially important so we can gather insight into each interviewees experience and have data points for educational discussions with interviewers, managers, the team, etc. Further, it would allow us to gather data for course correcting in the process moving forward.