Before you start your rant about the inappropriateness of including diversity recruiting in the same sentence as horror films, or start laughing because the juxtaposition completely mirrors your experience, hear me out.
What time of day do essentially all horror scenes happen? Night time, of course when it is dark. Some evil being is right around the corner, or lurking overhead, or poised to strike from behind. You don’t know where the attack will come from, or exactly what the monster looks like, but you know it is going to be bad.
Classic horror scene – right?
Now imagine what would happen to the fear factor if you turned the lights on and shot the same scene in the middle of the day. What if you got a good look at the monster? What if you could see the surroundings and knew where the beast was hiding? You have a far less scary situation.
What does this have to do with diversity recruiting? Everything.
When we were doing candidate research as part of the SparcStart design process, we asked women and people of color about their expectations and concerns around new career opportunities. Because our platform puts hiring manager videos into job descriptions, and we knew that a large number of hiring managers were white men, we wanted to know if the videos would discourage diverse candidates from applying.
As a female CEO, I should have anticipated the results, but I didn’t. The message we heard almost without exception was that women and people of color don’t need to work for another woman or person of color, they just want a boss that isn’t a monster. They want to work for someone who will respect them, support their careers, treat them fairly and reward them for their work.
Inclusion of hiring manager video has the same effect as turning the lights on. When candidates can see and hear from their potential boss, they see the warmth and humanity. Even if the hiring manager is a white guy, he’s probably a reasonable human being that a candidate can see themselves working for – or at least talking to in the recruiting process. All the scariness that this potential boss might be a monster is gone.
And the results bear that out. In one study, the inclusion of hiring manager video increased applications from women and underrepresented candidates by 41%.
And all it took was a 20 second video clip that the hiring manager recorded on their phone – in 20 seconds. If you could increase your diversity applications by 41% with just 20 seconds of your hiring managers’ time, why wouldn’t you.
Now, if you have an organization that is full of monsters and you want to keep them hidden, then stick with your text-only job descriptions and just plan for the inevitable turnover. In other words, just keep doing what you are doing and follow the horror movie model.
But if your people really are your greatest asset and are perfectly nice human beings, then turn the lights on! Don’t make candidates wait until halfway through the recruiting process to meet them. By the time you get to hiring manager interviews, you’ve already lost the bulk of your diverse candidates, because they never applied.
Diversity recruiting has many challenges, but removing the trepidation of candidates is completely solvable. The technology is available to easily add hiring manager video at scale with all the approvals and security you need.
Or, you can continue with the horror movie model.
Maury Hanigan is CEO of SparcStart, the recruitment marketing video platform that makes video simple, secure and scalable. For more information about automating the inclusion of hiring manager video into your job descriptions, visit www.SparcStart.com.