Our workforce needs to reflect and understand the lived experiences of our users if we want to achieve our mission of redefining real estate in the consumer’s favor.
One of our main company goals is to take over more market share. A diverse workforce is instrumental in achieving this goal and recruiters and hiring managers are responsible for delivering it.
That’s why we make sure every slate of interview candidates includes at least one person from an underrepresented group. But for this approach to work, we need to attract a diverse set of applicants in the first place.
As recruiters, we work with hiring managers to identify opportunities using data, create inclusive job descriptions, and blow the horn to bring in more underrepresented candidates.
Using data to identify opportunities
If a hiring manager wants to recruit in Dallas, we build out a report that shows the locations and demographics of engineers in the area. If diversity is low, we ask if we need to slow down and be more intentional about sourcing locally. Do we need to look further afield? Or can we make this position semi or fully remote?
Assessing the data early on means we avoid getting to the bottom of the funnel and realizing we don’t have any underrepresented candidates. Our role as recruiters is to provide that up-to-date talent market data and continuously push back on hiring managers to set a healthy pace.
Writing inclusive candidate profiles
Our job descriptions and candidate profiles list must-haves, not nice-to-haves. We regularly challenge hiring managers’ assumptions around ‘meeting the bar’, which generally means coming from a prestigious company or school or having exposure to certain programming languages. Underrepresented people often miss out on these opportunities and can be late to the game in getting that exposure. We work hard to demystify ‘the bar’ and only list skills and competencies that are genuinely necessary for the role.
Blowing the horn
We work with hiring managers to relentlessly source potential candidates, sending welcome and follow-up messages to let underrepresented people know we’re interested
It’s about finding creative ways to engage diverse talent, from scraping our applicant tracking software for candidates who drop through the net, to attending community events. We also go out to various organizations like Colorstack, SHPE, AfroTech, and Gracehopper to let them know Redfin is an awesome place to work.
Our efforts are paying off, especially with entry-level engineers. There are many avenues to connect with these candidates, such as bootcamps and universities, and it’s easier to find diverse talent at this level. Over the last year, we’ve hit slate 100% of the time with entry-level talent, meaning every interview pool has had at least one diverse candidate. And we’ve converted an underrepresented interviewee into a new hire every time.
On the industry side (engineers with two-plus years of experience), progress is slower. In response, we’re partnering with organizations like LeadDev to connect us with senior-level engineers, and we’re building infrastructure to support our existing talent. We’re proposing a two-year program for underrepresented senior engineers to become team or tech leads. To increase the number of underrepresented engineering managers, we have a rotational program that allows talent to develop the necessary skills.
The more diverse our workforce, the more we’ll attract diverse talent. Our commitment to diversity applies to all our teams, including recruitment. When candidates see themselves represented during the hiring process, they’re more likely to want to work here. We’re not perfect and we have a long way to go, but we’re working hard to recruit more talented underrepresented people to help us on that journey.