Monthly Archives

August 2019

Instagram Resume Bias

Do ‘Instagram-Ready’ Resumes Incite Resume Bias? I’m Conflicted

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You may be following the trend of ‘Instagram-Ready’ resumes being a “thing.” I wasn’t even aware of it until it was brought to my attention by my staff.  I recently found myself fascinated by the emergence of ‘Instagram-Ready’ resumes and the intriguing debate around whether this emerging trend is inherently inciting resume bias. To be completely honest, both sides of the debate bring up extremely valid points that directly tie into the Diversity and Inclusion space. So, do ‘Instagram-ready’ resumes incite bias? To be frank, I am conflicted. Let me dive into why.  

 Why this is happening 

With Gen-Z and young Millennials increasingly entering the workplace, we are seeing an increase in emphasis on “attention-grabbing” and “differentiation” as primary tactics being used by young professionals to stand out in a competitive job market. This is most-commonly manifesting in candidates leveraging their tech-savvy design skills to boost the potential appeal of their resumes. But does this take out the objectivity of a hiring process? 

 Why I support it (empowering young professionals) 

Firstly, with two sons who are Millennial/Gen-Z, I feel a certain connection to this issue. Naturally, I want my sons to be set up to compete in their respective job-markets so this topic (regardless of your stance) has a direct impact on them and the millions of young professionals like them.  

As it relates to my work in Diversity and Inclusion as a mechanism to empower individuals, and subsequently, teams, I argue this issue also has direct implications. My team always talks about how important it is that we should celebrate individuality and empower people to embrace the best version of themselves. If companies aren’t doing that, they aren’t being ‘inclusive’ of these professional’s individual genius. We also encourage rewarding and recognizing effort and achievement in the workplace. While resumes don’t directly fall under this scope, shouldn’t we reward a well-crafted resume? 

 Why I am against it (potential resume bias) 

To be frank, these kinds of resumes do objectively open the door to potential hiring bias. If the job application involves someone versed in some aspect of biotech, for example, whether they have mastered the art of presenting a visually appealing resume is highly irrelevant to the essential qualifications of that biotech job and could keep qualified candidates out.   I always teach that companies need to be objective in their hiring and that they must work proactively to eliminate any room for bias in every aspect of their culture and processes. When some ask, “why does a headshot matter?”, for example, it’s hard for me to ignore their objections. It clearly does matter because it brings focus to appearance, age, race, and gender, which, at a minimum, is a distraction from the actual “facts” of the person’s competence as set forth in their (hopefully accurate) resume. 

 

Diversity and Inclusion Coaching

 

All-in-all I feel that as we continue to work to create more inclusive workplaces and a more inclusive world, the impacts of bias will continue to dissipate. Its hard for me to discourage young professionals from embracing their individuality and going above and beyond in any aspect of their professional lives. Maybe our world needs to catch up to the future in this regard and find ways to encourage this trend while also negating the manifestations of resume bias (and bias of all kinds). Regardless, this debate is fascinating and ongoing.  

Workplace diversity and a culture of Inclusion transforms the way companies think and perform. Our ability as organizations and society, to enable professionals to be the best version of themselves will be crucial in dictating success. What are your thoughts? Does this trend incite resume bias? Leave a comment below or join the discussion at one of our live events.


About Lead Inclusively

Lead Inclusively is a technology-enabled Diversity and Inclusion Consulting firm devoted to developing leaders, teams, and organizations to leverage Diversity and Inclusion as an accelerator for business performance. Our collective experience has been that diversity only assures that we have a mix of different people in the workplace. Diverse people in a non-inclusive workplace may be retained for some period of time, but without inclusion, they will not thrive, advance, or become strong team collaborators. Our Unique Diversity and Inclusion solutions ensure impactful and sustained transformation in your Leadership Development, Culture,  Team, and Performance.

 

Your Leadership Development Program Fails When These Obstacles aren’t Overcome.

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Company leaders are uniquely equipped to bridge the gap between employee demands and company demands. As a result, companies can transform their culture, recruit and retain the best talent, mitigate risk, and foster overall innovation which affects the bottom line. This potential has put new-found emphasis and pressure on leadership training and a leadership development program that focuses on inclusion. However, if companies do not address certain obstacles, they WILL fail.

The right focus for your Leadership Development Program

The topic of organizational culture and leadership is extremely complex. Without being able to focus strategy and training, you risk overwhelming leaders and diluting the overall message you are sending throughout your organization. A clear methodology, with the right mix of focus and freedom, is an important first step. Inclusion is the focus area that has the right mix and targets intended outcomes in talent and productivity.

Training at scale

Not all organizations, departments or teams are the same, but having a focused training strategy is pointless if you can’t deploy it at a company-wide scale. Your company does not achieve its intended outcomes if training does not reach/impact all departments, teams, and individuals within a company. This is more relevant for larger companies, but it also applies to organizations of all sizes. Thankfully, technology is providing new opportunities for organizations to train effectively at scale.

Manager Schedule - Lead Inclusively

Day-to-day application

It seems like just about everyone in 2019 has a busy professional and personal life. It is easy to understand how leaders might find it difficult to remember and apply their training days, not to mention in a way that makes an impact. Finding new ways to reach develop leaders with more timely, consistent and relevant training will be the most important hurdle to achieving future results. Most people will forget more than 80% of what they just heard and learned within 24 hours. No one learns anything that sticks forever in just one session.

Business Impact of Diversity and Inclusion

Winning over detractors

Even if your organization has a new focus for its leadership training and a means of deploying this training at scale, results won’t happen without the right internal stakeholders’ buy-in. If your company’s top leaders don’t show belief in company training, then the overall workforce cannot follow. Getting the right buy-in is arguably the most crucial step to start with.

Focus on the human side (avoid pushing compliance)

If leadership training comes off as just another compliance tool, you will risk reducing buy-in and subsequent impact. Diversity and inclusion can sometimes be confused with compliance. Developing inclusive leaders breeds better leaders who are happier and more effective in their jobs. Empowering well-intentioned leaders to be better requires meaningful training on inclusion, providing leaders the tools to empower their teams to perform their best.

At the end of the day, the work of diversity and inclusion is aimed at building better workplaces and happier employees. Leadership is the intersection where companies can impact all the complexities that play into making better workplaces. Giving leaders the tools to empower themselves and their teams is a powerful way to change the workplace. It’s important to deepen these discussions whenever possible. Feel free to join our complimentary virtual events as a great way to further dialogue and grow in a community of thought-leadership. We would love to host your insights and answer your questions at my upcoming Q&A Roundtable.

Diversity and Inclusion - Denise Hummel