Here’s What I’ve Learned About the Diversity Pipeline Problem

Here’s What I’ve Learned About the Diversity Pipeline Problem

After lots of chats and failures.You may have heard the following statement when it comes to hiring a more diverse team: It’s a pipeline problem. My understanding of the pipeline problem argument goes something like this: “There aren’t enough qualified x (insert any underrepresented group here) out there, so it’s not our fault if we don’t hire them.”

You may have heard the following statement when it comes to hiring a more diverse team: It’s a pipeline problem. My understanding of the pipeline problem argument goes something like this: “There aren’t enough qualified x (insert any underrepresented group here) out there, so it’s not our fault if we don’t hire them.”

I find this to be such an antistartup viewpoint to hold. I’ve yet to come across a startup without a huge amount of obstacles to overcome. Nothing is easy, and their founders love defying the odds. Startups are founded and built despite the stats that they’ll fail and all the naysayers and nos.

And yet for all the challenges entrepreneurs must overcome, why do they simply accept this hiring challenge without a hard, thoughtful fight? My hope is that founders will be as resilient about constructing a diverse team as they are about building their product and strategy.

Beat your competition in attracting a disproportionate amount of a diverse talent pool by reframing the problem. What if this is a hiring and employee-experience challenge instead of a pipeline issue. Here are a few thoughts on how to rethink your employee journey.


Review Your Hiring Funnel Stats, and Rethink Your Interview Process

Do a quick analysis of your hiring funnel. You might be surprised what the numbers reveal.

Your best intentions of building a diverse workforce often result in (more of a) balance at the top of funnel (the early stages of your interview process — i.e., the number of folks who move to a phone interview). However, if you don’t have an interview process that ensures diversity as folks progress throughout the funnel, it won’t yield changes to hiring results.

Each company has their own distinct approach to hiring, so the cause of the drop off in the funnel will vary, but the point is: Don’t grade yourself at an “A” because you’ve got a diverse group of folks applying to roles.

What matters is your team composition, and that won’t change unless you get folks through your process — both getting the offer AND saying “yes” to an offer (more thoughts on getting the “yes” below).

women-in-tech hr inclusion diversity-in-tech programming

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