As HR leaders, it’s on us to provide equitable experiences to our employees. But how can we make sure our actions reflect our intentions and we deliver on that promise?
In episode six of HR Labs, Jenn Hultman, leader of global operations and strategy for talent acquisition at Amazon, joins host Summer Salomonsen to discuss how we can build equity into the employee lifecycle starting with recruitment. Together, they walk through how to adopt an equity-focused mindset about recruitment and ways to uphold equitable processes and practices to give every employee access to the same opportunities.
“I think the definition of equity itself is really quite simple, it’s ensuring that everyone has access to the same opportunities and the same advancements. It's our actual behaviors that create unintentional barriers that complicate equity. And recruiting specifically being so process-oriented makes it vulnerable to sort of losing sight, and it needs constant inspection of our thoughts, our practices, and our process. You can't expect to understand how to be equitable without the right people at the table to question and challenge your existing frameworks,” said Hultman.
Workplace equity begins with introspection
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, but what is that step? Salomonsen and Hultman explored setting up a framework for equity and what the starting point for any HR leader should be.
“I think it begins with really inspecting who you have at the table how you're getting them there, what sort of culture have you set to encourage the right discussion and to empower people to feel like they can have a voice regardless of where they sit in the organization or how long they've been there, you have to remove I think those barriers of what's your title? What's my title? What's your level? Do you have decades of experience or do you only have a few? Everybody kind of comes with these unique experiences that give them a variance of perspective,” said Hultman.
A call to action for talent leaders
After an in-depth conversation about building equity into the recruitment process, Salomonsen asked Hultman for a call-to-action for HR Leaders. What’s the one thing that talent professionals must do going forward?
Hultman’s answer was simple, “Never stop talking about it.”
She ended the conversation with these words of encouragement for listeners, “Keep the constant drumbeat, and even on the days that it feels exhausting and you feel like you’re barely making progress, the days that you want to just say, 'I'm not the best person for this or we’re not getting there quickly enough, or I don't have all the right answers,' that's okay. Nobody has all the answers right now. And this should be a constant space of learning and evolution. Your frameworks for diversity and for equity and inclusion should be a living breathing thing. Reaching your success might look different than what you imagined initially, but it doesn't mean that it's not successful.”
Keep learning about DEIB
Equity is a crucial part of every conversation we have about creating a workplace that “works” for everyone. But if you’re looking for more DEIB resources, check out HR Labs season 3, where we delve into topics like unconscious bias and microaggressions in the workplace, and provide actionable tips for HR leaders.
HR Labs Season 4 episodes
- Feb. 22, 2022 – "Let's rebuild work" with Carly Cooper
- Mar. 1, 2022 – "Make learning foundational to growth" with Lisa Christensen
- Mar. 8, 2022 – "Turn skills into your new growth language" with Meredith Wellard of DPDHL
- Mar. 15, 2022 – "Changing from career paths into career possibilities" with Julie Winkle Giulioni, speaker/author
- Mar. 22, 2022 – "Reexamining the role of managers in the age of AI" with Ben Eubanks of Lighthouse Research
- Mar. 29, 2022 – "Putting equity into practice" with Jenn Hultman of Amazon
- Apr. 5, 2022 – "Thinking big and bold about the future-ready workforce" with John Helmer, writer/consultant
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