Improving inclusiveness in recruitment for a leading technology company

Case Study
  • region: Australasia
  • industry: Technology

The Situation

CXC partners with a technologies company operating in New Zealand and Australia, who employ over 200 employees ranging from operational to general IT staff. This company has been building a team to move legacy infrastructure into the cloud. Since the objectives of the new team have a significant impact on their financial and operational growth, there was a sense of urgency in getting candidates across.

CXC was tasked by the hiring manager (the Head of Development) to introduce five candidates within a seven-day timeframe. Additionally, during a briefing session, the stakeholder highlighted that the existing software development team consisted of predominantly males. To address this imbalance, CXC was given an additional target of successfully sourcing, introducing and placing a female candidate within a one-month timeframe.

The hiring manager emphasized the importance of creating and maintaining hiring processes that encourage candidates of all genders and cultures to apply.

Through our partnership, we understood our client’s commitment to gender diversity and inclusion, and endeavoured to build that approach into our recruitment strategy. We considered success as:

  1. Contributing towards building a diverse and inclusive team through successfully placing a female candidate. This client had a 4:1 male to female ratio, which we wanted to improve.
  2. Continuing to provide high-quality candidates through a process based on equity.
  3. Formalising our strategies to ensure diverse candidates are included in the recruitment process on an ongoing basis.

Because of our strong value alignment, we understood that finding the best candidate meant a recruitment process free from gender bias and language that would dissuade groups of applicants.

CXC's Solution

The scope of our recruitment was to create a more inclusive and diverse software development team for the company. The outcome was measured by CXC Talent’s ability to successfully source, introduce and place female candidates without compromising the skills required for the position.

This was achieved through:

  • Training – CXC’s recruitment specialists are trained in diversity sourcing, focusing on gender, age and race discrimination in the process.
  • Job description wording – Studies have shown that job description with feminine wording did little to discourage men from applying while job descriptions with masculine wording did discourage female candidates from applying. To improve the likelihood of attracting female candidates, we limited ‘masculine’ wording present in the job description. Examples of such wording are lead, strong, assert, handles, driven, competitive and decisions. We decided to include ‘feminine’ wording such as support, share, responsible, collaborate, connect, and committed.
  • Highlighting benefits – Female candidates often opt for roles that highlight role flexibility and wellbeing initiatives. We emphasied benefits such as health insurance, remote working flexibility and inclusive culture, to align with the collaborative environment the company is trying to build, and ensured these were promoted in the job advertisement.
  • Candidate templates – When introducing a candidate to the hiring manager, CXC only presented skills and competency for the role. This was designed to avoid unconscious bias.

In addition to the evidence-based process we used above to attract female candidates, we also had a targeted focus to ensure gender pay equity. Specifically in the technology sector, women are often paid $7.88 less than their male counterparts. CXC ensures gender pay equity by requesting a clear salary banding based on a candidate’s merit before going to market. To strengthen this approach, we request a further in-depth breakdown of which factors weigh more towards the candidate’s ability to receive the higher end of the banding. This helps a candidate receive the appropriate pay, based off their merit as opposed to factors out of their control, such as gender.

The Results

CXC was able to provide candidates through our equitable process within short timeframes. These included:

  • Goal specific talent pooling completed in 1 day
  • Ads up within 2 days.
  • Search and shortlist candidates in 2 days.
  • 8 CVs provided to client within 14 days.

Through a rigorous job advertisement process, which promoted a compelling employee value proposition, CXC shortlisted eight candidates for the role, six of which were female. We were then able to place one female Data Scientist.

We demonstrated a sustainable process for sourcing niche technology roles with a focus on improving their gender mix. With the significant number of female candidates CXC put forward, we were able to create talent pools for further roles with similar requirements.

Additionally, using this framework, CXC is formalising this approach for all future clients. This will enable us to consistently put forward diverse candidates in a repeatable manner.

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