Facebook – Doubling Your Hiring Rate Will Not Double Workforce Representation
By Pierre A. Towns | July 29, 2019
Bloomberg.com recently reported Facebook is planning to double the number of women it hires globally, as well the number of Black and Hispanic employees in the US in the next five years. They also want half of their U.S. Workforce to be from underrepresented groups by 2024. (Bloomberg.com: Facebook Sets Goal to Double Female Workforce in Five Years) Facebook’s most recent and sixth annual Diversity report indicated 36.9% female representation up from 36.3% a year ago.
It is a significant and admirable goal to ‘double female hires’ globally and double U.S. Hispanic and African-American hires, full stop! This effort alone, will not result in achieving the five-year goal to have half Facebook’s U.S. Workforce from underrepresented groups. In a tight job market, even a company with Facebook’s resources will have difficulty meeting this goal without creating an inviting and engaging environment for these groups! Underrepresented groups have choices. They have excellent qualifications and can work just about anywhere they want.
Understanding this, HRCC offers Facebook the following advice:
Recruiting is Not the Beginning of Diversifying Your Workforce - Culture Is!
If one thinks about staffing as sequential, they would start with hiring, however, even if you can march underrepresented groups through the front door, if your work environment does not meet their needs, overall workforce representation can stay the same or decrease as those staff quickly march out the back door!
Start with culture and offer candidates a comprehensive and CEO supported culture change process design as evidence of Facebook’s commitment to achieving their goal.
Design a Culture That Supports Diversity and Inclusion
Much like the algorithms upon which Facebook was built, creating a diverse and inclusive culture is systemic, very element of the work environment should be considered. We often see clients fail because they only deal with getting underrepresented staff in the door. Here are just a few other considerations:
- Train existing staff and address staff that cannot support diversity and inclusion
- Screen recruits for diversity and inclusion values and beliefs
- Support affinity groups
- Include staff development to support career pathing for all staff
- Leverage succession planning to immediately diversity the Board and Executive team
- Identify and build employee self-efficacy
Onboard Staff Effectively
Onboarding is different from new hire orientation. A comprehensive onboarding program that accelerates acclimating to the new organization, efficiency and effectiveness is essential for all new hires and especially beneficial to underrepresented new hires.
Recruit Underrepresented Candidates as Part of the Solution
People are motivated by being part of something bigger than themselves. Positioning a career with Facebook as an opportunity to lead the diversification of Facebook and the tech sector will be an effective element.
Be Prepared to Pay a Premium for Diverse Candidates
In a sub-4% unemployment labor market, general candidate scarcity becomes even more acute relative to the underrepresented. Like with any scare skill, product or service, the price will bid up.
Good luck, Facebook! As a minority, women-owned organization development consulting firm, HRCC is pulling for you!
Pierre A. Towns is the Managing Partner of Human Resource Capital Consultants Inc., (HRCC) and teaches at the College of Business Administration, California State University San Marcos. He has taught Organization Behavior for the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California (USC) and has guest lectured at the Andersen School of Business, UC Riverside. He is a former not-for-profit and for-profit ‘C’ level executive and has worked for Room to Read, MedUnite, ARCO, DreamWorks, Wells Fargo Bank and Monsanto. Mr. Towns earned an MBA from USC and, a B.S. in Economics and B.A. in Administration from U.C. Riverside. He has also been a guest speaker at International and domestic conferences.
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