LIVE WEBINAR

Inclusive Hiring in an Economic Slowdown: Actions from the Experts

ABOUT THE WEBINAR:

Is maintaining inclusive hiring practices during an economic slowdown feasible? What are the most important aspects of recruitment to make it inclusive, and are they scalable?

Listen as Dr. Sheri Feinzig, Dr. Charles Handler, and Dr. Christina Norris-Watts discuss:

MODERATED BY:

Dave Mayers, Ph.D.

Dave Mayers, Ph.D.

Industrial-Organizational Psychologist, Knockri

EXPERT PANELISTS:

Sheri Feinzig Headshot

Dr. Sheri Feinzig

Global Head of Workforce Planning and Analytics, Marsh McLennan

An experienced executive and acclaimed author focusing on change management, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and employee experience
Charles Handler

Dr. Charles Handler

President, Sova Assessment

A thought leader, analyst, podcast host, and practitioner specializing in talent assessment and employee selection
1661461081785

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts

Head of Assessment & People Practices, Johnson & Johnson

An expert in talent assessment and talent management responsible for defining and leading enterprise-wide development, skill, and competency strategies for workforce planning

Watch Now

Transcript

00:00:00:21 – 00:00:27:24 

Dave Mayers 

Hi everyone, and welcome to our expert panel today on Inclusive Hiring During An Economic Slowdown: Actions From The Experts. So let’s begin. With inflation running wild and interest rates on the rise, it’s possible that the global economy enters into a time of economic slowdown. When the economy cools, it can influence the labor market, and these changes can impact the way that organizations find and recruit talent. 

 

00:00:28:12 – 00:00:55:13 

Dave Mayers 

During this time, it is helpful to think about how the economy can influence an organization’s ability to hire top talent and maybe provide the impetus for organizations to rethink their recruitment selection strategy. For today’s talk, I will give you a brief introduction to myself. I will then introduce the superstar lineup of panelists we have today. Then I’ll enter into a discussion with questions that I have ready to go for the panelists. 

 

00:00:55:22 – 00:01:19:16 

Dave Mayers 

And then what we’ll do is we’ll open it up for audience Q&A. So I just wanted to throw in a disclaimer: so the majority of today’s session will be recorded. However, in order to create an atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable speaking their mind and asking questions during the audience question and answer period, we’ll stop the recording so that all of you have the ability to feel free to ask whatever questions you feel like getting answered today. 

 

00:01:20:02 – 00:01:45:06 

Dave Mayers 

At any point, feel free to ask questions. So what you’ll see is on the bottom of your control panel, you’ll see a questions tab. And so during the panel, feel free to write whatever question you have, and we’ll do our best to get to your question today. Unfortunately, we may not have time to get to every question but rest assured that your questions will be answered if we don’t get to your question in today’s discussion, we’ll send out an email to you after our discussion with our response. 

 

00:01:46:07 – 00:02:11:22 

Dave Mayers 

So let me introduce myself. My name is Dave Mayers, and I’m an industrial organizational psychologist that works for a Toronto-based company called Knockri. My role in Knockri involves the development of assessments used for applicant screening and consulting with organizational leaders to embed selection assessments into the hiring process. My current areas of focus are machine learning, automated interviews, and explainable A.I. 

 

00:02:12:12 – 00:02:35:23 

Dave Mayers 

Knockri is a platform that shortlists candidates ethically and efficiently. Knockri was founded with the mission to provide every candidate with an equal and equitable opportunity for employment. Knockri assessments measure a wide range of behavioral skills required for success on the job. And without any further ado, let me introduce today’s panelists. First, we have Dr. Sheri L. Feinzig. 

 

00:02:35:23 – 00:03:04:26 

Dave Mayers 

Sheri L. Feinzig, Ph.D. is the Global Head of Workforce Planning and Analytics for Marsh McLennan. She is an experienced executive with a history of successfully leading teams through a range of business challenges, transformations, and growth. Sheri has expertise in human resources research, organizational change management, and business transformation. Recent focus areas include people analytics, diversity, equity and inclusion, Artificial Intelligence (AI) ethics, employee experience, and workforce planning. 

 

00:03:05:11 – 00:03:40:20 

Dave Mayers 

Sheri is an adjunct professor for New York University’s Human Capital Analytics and Technology master’s program. She speaks frequently on various HR-related topics and is an author of numerous publications including the critically acclaimed workforce analytics book The Power of People. Sherri earned her Ph.D. in industrial organizational psychology from the university at Albany. Next speaker, Dr. Charles Handler. 

 

00:03:40:26 – 00:04:06:11 

Dave Mayers 

He is a thought leader, analyst, and practitioner in the talent assessment and human capital space. Dr. Handler currently serves as the president of US operations for Sova Assessment, a full-service assessment technology provider. Throughout his career, Handler has specialized in developing effective, legally defensible employee selection systems. Since 2001, Dr. Handler has been a driving force for innovation in talent assessment. 

 

00:04:06:23 – 00:04:35:09 

Dave Mayers 

Dr. Handler has helped companies such as Nike, Delta, Hershey’s Intuit, Wells Fargo, and many more to design, implement, and measure impactful employee selection processes. Through his prolific writing for media outlets such as ERE.net, his work as a pre-hire assessment analyst for Bersin by Deloitte, his podcast Science 4-Hire, and worldwide public speaking, Dr. Handler is a highly visible futurist and evangelist for the talent assessment space. 

 

00:04:35:24 – 00:05:01:26 

Dave Mayers 

Throughout his career, Dr. Handler has been at the forefront of innovation in the talent assessment space, applying his sound foundation in psychometrics to help drive innovation in assessments using gaming, social media, big data, and other advanced technologies. Dr. Handler holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in I-O Psychology from Louisiana State University. Our next speaker is Dr. Christina Norris-Watts. 

 

00:05:02:00 – 00:05:39:12 

Dave Mayers 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts is the Head of Assessment and People Practices at Johnson & Johnson. In this role she’s responsible for defining and leading the enterprise-wide selection and development assessment strategy, overseeing the organization’s skill and competency strategy, and integrating this all into J&J’s workforce and succession planning strategy. Christina has twenty years of experience in talent assessment and talent management. She previously worked in Financial Services and Consulting leading the design and implementation of their performance management process, job architecture strategy, selection assessment, competency modeling, and organizational analytics solutions. 

 

00:05:39:19 – 00:05:46:14 

Dave Mayers 

Christina has a PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Akron. 

 

00:05:49:05 – 00:06:13:23 

Dave Mayers 

All right. So now let’s jump into questions. People can’t see Charles, but he’s here. Rest assured, he’s in here somewhere. So we’ll have him on audio today. So, you know, just to get us started, inclusive hiring, at least the way I understand it, is when organizations actively recogniz diversity and embrace, you know, a wide range of qualities and perspectives that candidates bring. 

 

00:06:14:03 – 00:06:38:10 

Dave Mayers 

It’s about making every effort to invite diverse applicants to be part of the organization’s story and to participate in that narrative. It’s about making sure that anyone that might be a good fit for a job is given an equal and equitable opportunity to both apply and be considered for the job. So at a high level, that’s what I think inclusive hiring is, but very curious to hear what you all think. 

 

00:06:38:10 – 00:06:55:10 

Dave Mayers 

So what I think I’m going to do is for my first question is ask the three of you, you know, kind of how do we know that our hiring practices are inclusive? What are we looking for? Or perhaps what are some of the red flags? How do we know that things are going wrong if they are? 

 

00:06:55:21 – 00:06:59:05 

Dave Mayers 

So I’ll leave it up and see if we have anyone that wants to jump in. 

 

00:07:00:23 – 00:07:23:23 

Dr. Charles Handler 

You know, I’ll jump in without the visual cues. It’s hard to see me raising my hand, so I’ll just jump right in, and apologies I can’t be in on camera today. We had some technical problems. So, you know, over the years we’ve done a lot of in the assessment space, especially, you’re asked to come in and say, hey, do we have a problem here? 

 

00:07:23:23 – 00:07:59:25 

Dr. Charles Handler 

Let’s do a study or run some numbers and, you know, look at the relationship between the tests or the measures that we’re using and the outcomes. And when you’re able to get demographic data, you know, you could take a look at that, so consistently over probably 20-some years in that process, we often see things that companies probably know are going on already where we look at just the overall demographics of the population and we say, wait a minute, they’re sure a lot of people missing here from a diversity standpoint. 

 

00:07:59:25 – 00:08:27:04 

Dr. Charles Handler 

Right. So to me, you know, you have a problem if you look at your population of people in a job and they all pretty much look the same. And there’s not even enough data in the sales of analysis to give you anything to work with. Right. So if you look at that, you could say, well, something’s going on here systematically that’s leaving this company or this section that we’re looking at with no diversity. To me that it doesn’t get any more clear than that. 

 

00:08:28:13 – 00:09:01:09 

Dr. Sheri Feinzig 

Yeah, for sure, Charles. And I think one thing for talent acquisition teams to ask themselves in organizations is how diverse is the talent or talent acquisition team? If the people responsible for recruiting and creating an inclusive environment are not themselves diverse, they might not be asking the same questions that a more diverse team would ask. So I would start there in terms of kind of diagnosis and potential red flags. 

 

00:09:01:20 – 00:09:31:22 

Dr. Sheri Feinzig 

And then once you’ve got those diverse perspectives looking at the situation, there are certainly red flags to look at. You can look at the language in your job postings. For example, is there offputting language that would systematically exclude some people because they’ll look at that and not see themselves? So just as an example, using terms like Ninja Warrior, which, you know, could be off putting for some people, they might not see themselves as fitting into a role that’s described that way. 

 

00:09:32:15 – 00:10:04:25 

Dr. Sheri Feinzig 

So just one example there. And then to your point, Charles, around just looking at the profile of the people you’ve got. And if you are able to start to bring some diverse candidates into the funnel, really looking across the entire acquisition funnel to see how those different groups are fairing at each stage. So how many candidates, diverse candidates are coming in and responding to your job application, to begin with? 

 

00:10:05:07 – 00:10:14:01 

Dr. Sheri Feinzig 

And then how many make it to the screening stage, in the interview stage, etc.? So just a couple of things to be looking at in a little bit more detail there as well. 

 

00:10:15:18 – 00:10:33:10 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts 

Yeah, sure. If I can just build on that a little bit because I think it’s really important with Charles was saying about the fairness statistics, but then you get at are you looking at it from the candidate’s point of view? Because the real question was like, how do you know if it’s inclusive or not? 

 

00:10:33:19 – 00:10:55:01 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts 

Well, inclusive is a feeling that is felt by each individual candidate. So does the individual or human being who applied, do they feel that they’re included? Do they feel that included in the language? Do they feel that they’re excluded in the process? Do they feel like they will be included then in this organization that they are applying for? 

 

00:10:55:14 – 00:11:16:05 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts 

And there’s the way to do that, is to first put yourself in the candidate’s shoes and go through the process. What does this look like? How does this feel? And then also to ask your candidate, how did it feel? Inclusion is a feeling — there’s not a legal definition, right, of inclusion the way we have for some of our other things. 

 

00:11:16:05 – 00:11:35:08 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts 

We talk about fairness. And so it really is. How does this individual feel? Because you can have all the best intentions and set up something that you think is so fair. And on paper, it’s so fair and it can still not feel inclusive. So really getting that candidate’s voice on in their feeling of what it’s like is so important. 

 

00:11:35:26 – 00:11:59:04 

Dr. Charles Handler 

That’s great. And I think so. You know, I’m kind of — I was talking about the outcomes of the process. You are talking about the lead-in somewhere in the middle of the process too. I’ll add we’ve had really good luck over the years and this is one of the most eye-opening things that’s ever happened to me in my career around this subject is, you know, our client asked us to convene an internal diversity review board. 

 

00:11:59:04 – 00:12:23:05 

Dr. Charles Handler 

We built that a screening tool, a high-volume screening tool for sales and customer service. So they said, well, we’re going to get the diversity representatives from our company and a diverse group of people to look at the questions that you all wrote. Now having been trained and, you know, feeling pretty good about myself as far as a question writer that can write good questions that are neutral and you know, and all that. 

 

00:12:23:24 – 00:12:46:03 

Dr. Charles Handler 

They came back with some just amazing feedback that I never would have thought of that, without being in that culture and really understanding, you know, how people outside that culture look at things. We made a lot of changes to that, you know, and we were able to get signoff kind of internally that yes, this thing now seems really clean. 

 

00:12:46:13 – 00:13:04:17 

Dr. Charles Handler 

I just was very surprised by that. So I think part of it is you might think, you know, that what you’re putting out there is inclusive, but you better get some folks that, you know, have representation of a lot of diversity to look at what you’re doing and make sure that you get their feedback on it. 

 

00:13:05:00 – 00:13:27:00 

Dr. Sheri Feinzig 

Yeah, that’s exactly what I was getting at. Charles is a great example to bring that to life. I mean, we all have our own lenses the way we view the world and we all have our blind spots. And that’s why it’s so crucial to have diverse voices making the decisions along every step of the way in the recruiting and onboarding process. 

 

00:13:27:00 – 00:13:58:26 

Dr. Sheri Feinzig 

And I’d also emphasize that, as well, in terms of an inclusive recruiting process, it doesn’t end when someone accepts an offer. We really need to be thinking through what is their onboarding experience going to be? How are we setting them up for success in this environment? So yes, completely aligned with that thought of bringing those diverse perspectives in people who have different lived experiences and view the world differently to stress test all along the process. 

 

00:14:00:02 – 00:14:02:01 

Dave Mayers 

Yeah, that’s good. That’s great. 

 

00:14:02:26 – 00:14:21:26 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts 

Sorry. I just got to say, and kudos to you, Charles, for having the humility, right, because it actually takes a lot of humility, not just from you, the question writer, but from your talent acquisition organization and maybe the leaders in your organization to listen to that and to say and to not say, oh, well, I’m the best question or question writer. 

 

00:14:21:26 – 00:14:33:26 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts 

So I know how to do this. Oh, I’ve been doing this for 20 years. I know how to do this. But to really step back and listen to that, hear that feedback and then change your approach based on that. 

 

00:14:33:26 – 00:15:08:01 

Dr. Charles Handler 

Yeah. And even, you know, thanks. And, you know, for me, we just always want the best end product for the client. But, and for the individuals who, you know, to make sure they have a fair process. One of the other really interesting things, just a quick aside that I have, again, my frame of reference, one of the people we were talking to said, you know, as an African American, we have to work twice as hard to get half as far. Like, you know, when you hear people telling you that I’m like, wow, I never thought about things that way. 

 

00:15:08:01 – 00:15:30:22 

Dr. Charles Handler 

But imagine that, you know, that perspective going into trying to get a job, going into your career and thinking that you have so many more obstacles ahead of you that other people do, that that’s got to be really disconcerting. So whatever we can do to help make that not happen is a good thing. 

 

00:15:30:22 – 00:15:50:08 

Dave Mayers 

Yeah, absolutely. I think that those are great perspectives coming from, you know, how do we diagnose that there’s a problem to, kind of looking at that applicant journey, figuring out what’s going on and then actually working with the way that we’re communicating with candidates. I think that that’s very important information and all addresses kind of like that 

 

00:15:50:08 – 00:16:16:08 

Dave Mayers 

First question of, you know, like how do we know that we’re doing things right? And so, you know, I think, you know, where I’d like to bring this if we all agree is that, you know, in many cases when we speak about diversity, you know, we’re talking about intellectual diversity. We’re talking about bringing in people that have different backgrounds, making sure that we’re, you know, looking for people that might have different ways of solving problems or thinking. 

 

00:16:16:15 – 00:16:38:22 

Dave Mayers 

And so many times the best innovations come from this cross-pollination, you know, bringing in people from all different areas and try to build high performance teams, for example. So I think a good example of this is in the U.K., where health care professionals learned how to improve these high risk handoffs in the ICU. So this is when, you know, a patient that’s in critical care has a lot of stuff going on. 

 

00:16:38:22 – 00:16:55:08 

Dave Mayers 

And so like when they’re passed from one team to the next, they have to do a whole bunch of things. And so in the health care industry, what they did was they started borrowing strategies that were being used by Ferrari pit crews. So improving the quality of patient care by incorporating some of these procedures used in the race car industry. 

 

00:16:55:21 – 00:17:24:05 

Dave Mayers 

So my next question and I think this really speaks to, you know, where we’re headed in the economy and say, you know, let’s say the federal government is able to soften, you know, the labor market just a little. We have a lot of these skilled employees that are coming from diverse, non-traditional backgrounds. So as a, you know, a recruitment specialist or someone that’s working in the area of selection assessment, you know, how can organizations breed this type of cross-pollination and get this phenomenon from the recruitment side? 

 

00:17:24:14 – 00:17:35:21 

Dave Mayers 

So what might be some of the strategies that we can use to engage and attract talent that has some of these different industry backgrounds? 

 

00:17:35:21 – 00:17:59:12 

Dr. Sheri Feinzig 

So I can jump in. So I think, first of all, I love cross-discipline as a design point. Generally speaking, I think you’re just going to get so much better problem solving by bringing those diverse perspectives in. And I think in this context it really comes down to identifying what the core skills are that are relevant for the job that we’re talking about. 

 

00:17:59:16 – 00:18:21:09 

Dr. Sheri Feinzig 

So in your example, clearly there was some core skill that was common in those very different scenarios. Maybe it was being able to, you said, handle a million things at the same time with no time to react, like being able to make those split decisions taken lots of input and, and act immediately or whatever that core skill is. 

 

00:18:21:19 – 00:18:50:18 

Dr. Sheri Feinzig 

I think that’s the first step is identifying that and then focusing on that core skill that could be developed in a whole array of different contexts. And if you can find people who have that core skill in those different contexts and reach out to them, if they have people with a specific type of training in their communities around that, that you can reach out to and get to those different diverse communities that have that core skill to bring that in together. 

 

00:18:50:18 – 00:18:54:09 

Dr. Sheri Feinzig 

And then you could get that cross discipline magic happening. 

 

00:18:54:09 – 00:19:10:20 

Dave Mayers 

Mm hmm. That’s great, Sheri. And in terms of actually, like, recruiting them, do we know are there any strategies, like how do we get people with non-traditional backgrounds? How do we reach out to them? How do we, you know, is Johnson doing any strategies? Charles, what do you, do you have any strategies that you think might work in this regard? 

 

00:19:11:10 – 00:19:33:19 

Dr. Charles Handler 

Well, I’ve seen some really good stuff work before. And I agree completely with Sheri about the training aspect. That’s what I wrote in my notes here is, you know, find someone who does something similar in a completely different paradigm. So I remember reading somewhere where a company and I can’t even remember what the job was. They started hiring anthropologists to look at a problem in a completely different way. 

 

00:19:33:19 – 00:20:04:02 

Dr. Charles Handler 

And I wish I could remember what the problem was. So I think that, you know, that’s one part of it. And my other quick piece is just life experiences, right? There’s a thing called experiential diversity where but it’s kind of hard to tap into that at a scale systematic level, but we could potentially get there in exactly how I’m going to answer your question, which is what I’ve seen from a retail client of ours. 

 

00:20:04:02 – 00:20:31:00 

Dr. Charles Handler 

They are community ambassadors. So essentially they had individuals that are part of the recruiting team that would go to places where they felt like they would see their ideal people that could be community. And this was an athletic company. So community athletic meets, running clubs, or basketball pickup games or whatever and sometimes even find where they had structured events going and be able to set up like a little booth or something there. 

 

00:20:31:19 – 00:20:57:07 

Dr. Charles Handler 

So they hired these community ambassadors and their job was just to be out on the streets, basically looking for the type of people that they wanted where those people typically are. But it’s still, it’s really important. And then I’ll stop here again. What Sheri said, this applies to hiring anybody for anything. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you’re not going to find it. 

 

00:20:57:07 – 00:21:16:16 

Dr. Charles Handler 

So the very first thing is to really study what it is you’re looking for. And that may extend from skills to the type of person, the background, the training, and then understanding where, you know, where are those people, that’s got to be the planning and foundation of this stuff for it to be successful. 

 

00:21:17:25 – 00:21:19:09 

Dave Mayers 

Yeah, and Christina? 

 

00:21:19:10 – 00:21:53:05 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts 

So just a couple of things, just a couple of things to add. I couldn’t agree more on the defining the skills needed and then looking for those skills. What you asked if Johnson’s doing anything that’s been helpful. We’ve had a really successful Reignite Program that we call it, and that’s the Reignite Program is focused on bringing women back into the workplace after they have left the workforce to have a family or care for a family to really re-engage with those women and try to bring them back. 

 

00:21:53:05 – 00:22:17:10 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts 

That’s been a nice effort we’ve made. Part of that does rely on the being clear though on the skill sets. You know, we are looking for and what skills to bring in experiential learning, Charles was talking about, boy, you learn a lot when you have a newborn or a couple kids that you are project managing at home. 

 

00:22:18:18 – 00:22:42:12 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts 

You know, there’s a lot of skills that are gained in that sense. And, you know, it’s really, we’re seeing this even in the discussions that you hear about getting rid of college degree requirements or other degree requirements sometimes. Right. And they’re saying, well, we look at the skills. I mean, the reason we have those degree requirements is because they’re easy, right? 

 

00:22:42:12 – 00:23:05:16 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts 

It’s like, it’s easy to have that as a min qual. Oh, do you have a four-year degree or not? Yes. No. Great. And then we can move forward in our hiring process. It’s much harder to really identify the key skills and say, “What are you looking for?” Okay, you’re looking for this kind of problem-solving ability, this kind of logical reasoning, this kind of project management ability, and then measure that in the hiring process. 

 

00:23:05:23 – 00:23:38:03 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts 

Yes, it’s harder, but it’s more effective because then you actually get the skills you’re looking for instead of the proxy. See where you said, oh, four-year degree and seven years of experience. That’s just a proxy for the actual skills you are looking for. So it does take more time to set that up, but once it’s set up, you’re going to get a better candidate and you’re going to get candidates that are from a variety of different backgrounds that still have the skills that are necessary to be successful in the job in question. 

 

00:23:39:14 – 00:24:02:18 

Dave Mayers 

Absolutely. That was really well put, Christina. I really like that and I’m new to like that’s figuring out what the skills you really, really need are and trying to package them. And, you know, Charles did the outreach. So how do you get these more non-traditional recruits? Just setting up a booth at a pickup game, trying to entice people to kind of join the organization and to come along with that journey. 

 

00:24:02:18 – 00:24:22:23 

Dave Mayers 

So that’s great. And so I think that leads very nicely into the next set of questions that I really have. And, you know, I think this one actually is more focused for Christina. But let me give you a little bit of a primer here. So, you know, there’s many jobs where the war for talent still persists, right? 

 

00:24:22:23 – 00:24:48:17 

Dave Mayers 

So many organizations are actually hoarding highly skilled talent. It seems there’s just not enough applicants to satisfy the number of available openings. But there are some jobs where applicant pipelines are fairly robust. And as we head into rising interest rates and monetary policy, that is intended to increase even further the number of applicants that we have. I think this is a perfect question for you, Christina. 

 

00:24:48:17 – 00:25:00:21 

Dave Mayers 

So your experience and just speaking with you about your experience at Johnson and Johnson, that organization went from a few hundred thousand resumes to now what is it, 2 million applicants? 

 

00:25:00:21 – 00:25:02:12 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts 

We’re on track to hit 2 million applications. 

 

00:25:02:12 – 00:25:20:01 

Dave Mayers 

Are on track to hit 2 million. So how does an organization like Johnson and Johnson balance the need for both efficiency and inclusion as applicant volumes start to rise? So just very curious to know what you’d have to say on that. You’ve been probably have a lot of wealth of knowledge there. 

 

00:25:20:02 – 00:25:47:24 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts 

So listen, we have a marvellously skilled talent acquisition organization that works very, very hard. It’s a really interesting situation that we’re in at the moment right, externally where, to your point, Dave, we still have jobs that we are not getting a lot of applications for and that we have jobs where we get sometimes tens of thousands of applications for a job. 

 

00:25:47:24 – 00:26:12:03 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts 

And these are global jobs. And that’s why we’re on track for the 2 million application number. And it is a challenge, is a real challenge to figure out how you’re going to sort through that effectively and efficiently and how you’re going to sort through that while still ensuring the candidate feels included and feel like the candidate was able to put their best foot forward. 

 

00:26:12:09 – 00:26:38:14 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts 

So we have a variety of solutions depending on the level of the job, right. So we’re talking straight out of school or are we talking executive level? Are we talking anywhere in between? We have a variety of technologies that we use, from prerecorded interviews to live interviews. Of course, everything back in 2020 went fully, fully remote. 

 

00:26:38:14 – 00:27:06:13 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts 

Some things are back in person, but I think that most of our hiring will continue to stay remote, as that seems to be more efficient for both the people doing the interviewing and the folks being interviewed. So that’s a shift that I think will stay for a while. And then it goes like, honest to goodness, it goes back to the last answer of, well, what are the skills we’re looking for, right? 

 

00:27:06:13 – 00:27:27:26 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts 

So early on, upfront, we screen out the non-negotiables. So right, we ask about our leadership skills that we’re looking for. We call those leadership imperatives at J&J. And our credo, that’s foundational to every job at J&J. Let’s look at that first. Great. Then how are we going to assess the technical skills for this particular role? 

 

00:27:28:05 – 00:27:47:03 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts 

Great. Then how are we going to assess some of the other leadership, some of the other, whether they be soft or hard skills that are needed for the role, how we’re going to get those. So getting that process in place is so critical and you can do that even for the variety of jobs that we have J&J, right? 

 

00:27:47:03 – 00:28:16:14 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts 

We hire forklift operators, we hire PhD/MD researchers for all of them. They still need to have credo-aligned behavior. They need ethical decision-making and their inclusion and respect for others, all those things. They need the technical skills for that job. They’re going to need some other leadership skills that’s laid out. And we’ve laid out tools to help with the talent acquisition and the business assessed for those things, but goes back to the skills needed on the job. 

 

00:28:17:12 – 00:28:38:01 

Dave Mayers 

Awesome. Sheri, did you want to say something now? Okay. Yeah. So that’s great. I mean, you know, kind of laying out that pipeline and making sure that everything is getting access. Now, what are some of the challenges? I know you might have spoken about this previously and maybe a few conversations you’re having both of those populations with a disability. 

 

00:28:38:14 – 00:28:49:16 

Dave Mayers 

So are there any challenges that Johnson and Johnson like faces or is there anything that Johnson and Johnson is doing to address some of these challenges with populations with a disability? 

 

00:28:50:05 – 00:29:11:19 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts 

Yeah, we’re really spending a lot of time thinking about our populations with disabilities, both for applicants and for employees. Disabilities in the hiring process are so interesting because not all disabilities are visible, right? And candidates aren’t always super excited to bring up their disabilities while they’re trying to get their dream job or a new job that they want. 

 

00:29:11:25 – 00:29:29:26 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts 

So how do you create a safe space for them to do that? How do you make it clear who they should even mention it to? How do you make sure everyone feels comfortable if they do mention it because you don’t know who candidates will mention it to, they mention it to the first recruiter. Would they mention it to the hiring manager? 

 

00:29:29:26 – 00:29:53:12 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts 

Will they mention it to an interviewer that they just happened to be interviewing with? And disability conversations can sometimes make people really uncomfortable or uncertain in a hiring context. So you need to make sure that anyone who’s doing the interviewing knows how to respond appropriately and knows who to go to. They don’t need to have all the answers, but they need to at least know who to go to. 

 

00:29:53:12 – 00:30:14:23 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts 

And similarly, the candidate should always know who to go to. The candidate should always know from the very beginning of the hiring process who to reach out to if they have questions, who to reach out to if they need help, whatever they need to put their best foot forward is what they should be able to ask for. 

 

00:30:14:24 – 00:30:38:24 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts 

So how do you make that simple when disabilities can be as unique as the people who have them? So we’re really always looking for ways to make it simple, making sure that we audit ourselves a lot, like apply to our own jobs, a lot to understand when I send this email, how quickly do I get a response; when I call this number, do I get an answer that is appropriate? 

 

00:30:39:07 – 00:30:49:18 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts 

What does this feel like from a candidate’s point of view? Because it’s again, back to that feeling to get that feeling of inclusion. And we want all populations to feel included in the hiring process. 

 

00:30:50:09 – 00:30:55:01 

Dave Mayers 

Right on. Right on. Yeah. Yeah. Charles, you wanted to say something? 

 

00:30:55:18 – 00:31:18:26 

Dr. Charles Handler 

Yeah, I think that’s really great insight and it just keeps going back to the, you know, welcoming people and giving an inclusive, you know, vibe, if you will, from the process. Which, candidate point of view, you can’t ignore that. And I think it has so many more levels of depth than a lot of people might even think when they’re just thinking about, you know, a good candidate experience. 

 

00:31:19:15 – 00:31:41:13 

Dr. Charles Handler 

In the assessment world, we think a lot about just, okay, you know, do we need to make accommodations of some sort for someone to even complete this assessment? But it just goes well beyond that. And I feel like what I wanted to bring up, I learned about this because I had on my podcast a guest who is in charge of the neurodiversity hiring at Dell. 

 

00:31:41:23 – 00:32:07:19 

Dr. Charles Handler 

And so they have a really, really cool program there. The interesting thing is it’s a smaller program, right? It’s not scaled when you start thinking, and Dell does have 2 million applicants a year as well, but they’ve kind of taken up a more controlled laboratory-type approach. And they have a really good program where people are able to, you know, come on it, if they meet any. 

 

00:32:07:19 – 00:32:37:00 

Dr. Charles Handler 

And she had an interesting statistic on there. I can’t remember the percentage, but it’s something like 30% or 20% of all people have some form of thing that would be classified as neurodiversity. Right. They get a chance to enter into a program where they get assigned projects and they work with, you know, their hiring manager or whomever just to complete a project and get a feel for how they’re working and what they can contribute. 

 

00:32:37:00 – 00:33:06:20 

Dr. Charles Handler 

And of course, that’s potentially a ramp on to the job. And I believe they have kind of like a sponsor that’s assigned to have a very well-scripted program that really looks out for how do we achieve a higher level of neurodiversity in our company. And again, those things are cool little laboratories. I think the biggest challenge is how do we scale that when we have so many applicants? 

 

00:33:06:20 – 00:33:17:22 

Dr. Charles Handler 

How do we make sure we’re catching those nuances and subtleties in that firehose of applicants that people are getting bombarded with, and that is a challenge. 

 

00:33:17:22 – 00:33:41:07 

Dave Mayers 

Yeah, I definitely see the challenge when it comes to, you know, trying to accommodate, you know, neurodiversity populations with a disability while balancing, you know, the need for having, you know, a standardized selection process. So it’s, you know, how do we make sure that the assessments that we’re providing to these special populations are, you know, consistent with what we would be using for different groups of applicants? 

 

00:33:41:07 – 00:33:59:21 

Dave Mayers 

And are we really assessing skills that are relevant for the job, in many cases, across both of these? And so I think, you know, these are challenges that a lot of companies are still facing, and I think it becomes a problem at scale. Right. So, you know, and little projects, it might work. But, you know, how do we get this to this? 

 

00:33:59:21 – 00:34:21:06 

Dave Mayers 

Like, how do we get this at scale and how do we make sure that, you know, every recruitment team is following procedures that are going to be both inclusive, equitable, and fair for all of our candidates? And I mean, you know, Charles, it’s interesting that you mentioned that conversation that you had with the Neurodiversity leader from Dell actually, I listened to that podcast. 

 

00:34:21:14 – 00:34:57:03 

Dave Mayers 

And it made me think, you know, like, you know, you have so much experience as an analyst, you know, you talk to hundreds of, of HR professionals in this space. You look at, I think, what, in your last report you had over 300 different assessment tools that you took a look at. So, you know, like I have a question, you know, like from everything that you’ve kind of seen out there in the recruitment space, are there any technology used that you think helped drive candidate outreach or maybe would facilitate inclusion efforts for organizations? Like is there something that we can kind of look at that we can take a look at or, you know, any 

 

00:34:57:03 – 00:35:03:12 

Dave Mayers 

cool software or any cool tech or, you know, is do you think is still somewhat in its infancy? 

 

00:35:04:04 – 00:35:28:09 

Dr. Charles Handler 

Well, I think yeah. I think that the more technology evolves and the more we really care about it, the more we’ll be able to find, you know, evolve the solutions. I mean, I think one of the things that doesn’t even necessarily take a ton of technology, but I’ve seen in multiple places is just really blinding. If you’re going to use a resume, which, you know, it’s kind of that you have to in some ways. 

 

00:35:28:09 – 00:35:56:07 

Dr. Charles Handler 

But I also feel like that’s where the problems, I want to say, where they can start because they are a whole ‘nother layer of that discussion. But at the end of the day, being able to blank those out to any kind of triggers or cues that would, you know, intimate someone’s backgrounds or, you know, even where they went to school, there’s things beyond just kind of the standard demographic categories. 

 

00:35:56:07 – 00:36:24:26 

Dr. Charles Handler 

I feel like those are obviously very worthwhile. So you’re just boiling it down to what skills and abilities do? Do people have, you know, otherwise everybody’s trying to find good solutions. And I don’t think there’s any magic bullets by any means, but I just think it’s about platforms that provide a venue for the overall feeling of inclusiveness. 

 

00:36:24:26 – 00:36:59:19 

Dr. Charles Handler 

Right. The warmth that you might be able to project there through various means. So there’s a lot of tools now that are there called candidate CRM — so candidate relationship management systems — that kind of sit on top of ATSs and they at least make the process a little lighter and easier to apply. And I’m not saying all of those, you know, automatically achieve inclusiveness, but what they do is give you additional color or, you know, richness to be able to talk about what it is that you’re doing as a company. 

 

00:36:59:19 – 00:37:24:26 

Dr. Charles Handler 

I think there’s a lot of tech out there that allows little video, you know, kind of personalized video, things to be part of the process there. There is technology as well that, you know, supposedly can, you know, scour the web and pull out triggers for diversity. I’m not going to say I know that or feel that those are 100% effective. 

 

00:37:24:26 – 00:37:48:13 

Dr. Charles Handler 

It’s pretty easy to say you’re doing that by scraping someone’s LinkedIn profile and then saying, okay, we’re going to highlight this person as someone who you may want to pull in in the name of inclusive inclusivity or whatever. I’m not so sure about that. I’ll honestly say that I always go back to the basics. 

 

00:37:48:13 – 00:38:12:13 

Dr. Charles Handler 

I mean, it’s all just about making sure that every step of the way you’re doing the things we talked about here, and there are technologies that can help with that. I don’t think there’s one you can switch on that says, okay, all of a sudden this is just going to going to do everything you need. I do think also monitoring and data, data analysis tools are a great thing to look at as well. 

 

00:38:12:13 – 00:38:38:24 

Dr. Charles Handler 

Just so, you know, how are you tracking this information and how are you organizing it and utilizing it to decision and to just kind of take the pulse of what’s actually happening? Because without that, especially at a giant corporation, it’s not so easy to know everything about what’s going on. But the more you tie your data together and start looking for things that you can improve on, I think that’s important. 

 

00:38:38:24 – 00:38:45:20 

Dr. Charles Handler 

That’s a long-winded answer to your question. I wish I had something in my pocket that could solve it all, right. Now that would be great. 

 

00:38:46:14 – 00:39:07:23 

Dave Mayers 

Yeah, totally. Oh, yeah. That was a great answer, Charles. And I think you actually led right into like the follow-up question that I had here, which is actually for Sheri. You know, like I think we’ve had a lot of information about, you know, like what inclusive hiring is, some of the strategies. But this question, you know, I think right up your alley. So you have a ton of experience in the area of change management and data analytics. 

 

00:39:08:05 – 00:39:21:10 

Dave Mayers 

So my question is, you know, when evaluating strategies that are used to help increase diversity, you know, what types of data are we looking to collect and how can we actually use this data to support our HR practices? 

 

00:39:22:02 – 00:39:48:03 

Dr. Sheri Feinzig 

Right. So it’s really important to collect as much demographic data as you can, first of all, because you’re going to want to do your analysis by demographic group, Important things get washed out in the averages. And if you can’t look at things like candidate experience, retention rates, you know, etc., by demographic group, then you’re going to lose a lot of important information. 

 

00:39:48:23 – 00:40:16:24 

Dr. Sheri Feinzig 

That, of course, is a huge challenge. I think that’s one of the more challenging data points to collect, particularly on the candidate side. It’s easier when employees join and they’re in-house, but to the extent that you can collect information, I think companies do a fairly good job of getting pretty comprehensive gender data in the US reasonably okay. At least once people are in the organization on race and ethnicity. 

 

00:40:17:02 – 00:40:49:25 

Dr. Sheri Feinzig 

Some of the other things we’ve been talking about obviously are more challenging, like disabilities that aren’t visible, the neurodiversity, etc. I think a lot of companies are, or at least some companies I’m aware of, have been using self-disclosure campaigns, self-ID campaigns to try to encourage the workforce to identify their different demographic groups or identities. And I think that can be helpful it’s really important if you do that, that you need to establish a level of trust with the employees. 

 

00:40:49:25 – 00:41:11:07 

Dr. Sheri Feinzig 

They need to understand why you’re collecting that information, that it is never going to be used to harm them in any way, that it is being collected to better understand experience at these different levels, to be able to improve the experience and, be able to establish, you know, great working experiences and careers for all different groups of people. 

 

00:41:12:03 – 00:41:30:12 

Dr. Sheri Feinzig 

So that’s fundamental with the data collection. And then we’re going to want to look at things like I talked about earlier: looking across the talent acquisition funnel of, you know, how many people are coming in, making it to the screening stage, the interviews stage, to an offer, how many people, what proportion from different groups are accepting your offers? 

 

00:41:31:03 – 00:41:59:05 

Dr. Sheri Feinzig 

You want to be looking at things like pay equity. You want to be looking at retention rates. And importantly, I think there’s some data points that I’ve seen recently that are really eye-opening. Look at those early-stage retention rates. How many people are turning over in the first six months, in the first year, if you’re losing people that quickly and if those losses are systematic by different diversity groups, that’s a big red flag. 

 

00:41:59:05 – 00:42:32:14 

Dr. Sheri Feinzig 

Like something is not working. Maybe you are able to attract people in, but you don’t have, you haven’t created the inclusive environment that you need to keep them. So from a data perspective. I think those are some of the things that you want to be looking at from an overall change management perspective, change really has to start from the top, so grassroots efforts can be very impactful, go a long way, but it needs to be complemented with the leader, leaders, true leadership support and buy-in. 

 

00:42:32:24 – 00:43:07:11 

Dr. Sheri Feinzig 

So you know the leaders really set the tone in an organization of what’s accepted, what’s rewarded when we’re talking about inclusive environments, what types of behaviors are okay and not okay, and calling those out explicitly and even if not okay behaviors are coming from your superstar salespeople or even from your clients, being able to be that bold and committed to not tolerate things that are going to be counter to an inclusive environment, I think are really important as well. 

 

00:43:07:26 – 00:43:32:06 

Dr. Sheri Feinzig 

And when the workforce sees that and it’s kind of, that gets modeled and that’s of, you know, employee value proposition that gets crafted for attracting people in. And we all know with Glassdoor and, you know, all the different outlets for people to express the experiences that they’ve had, that you want those expressions of experiences to be positive words. 

 

00:43:33:02 – 00:44:00:01 

Dave Mayers 

Absolutely. Yeah. And so, you know, I guess, you know, I think there’s a ton of HR professionals in here today knowing how do they get started. And this might be for you, Sheri, but also like Charles, feel free to chime in here. You know, for any HR professional that’s motivated for change or that sees things, you know, that might have been collecting some of that they need to go today that might be doing something on the ground right now. 

 

00:44:00:01 – 00:44:18:09 

Dave Mayers 

You know, how do they really know where should they begin or how do they get the support that they need to actually drive some of these initiatives? You know, it comes from leadership at the top. But you know what? What can someone in HR do to kind of try to help push the needle here? 

 

00:44:18:09 – 00:44:56:02 

Dr. Sheri Feinzig 

I think telling stories is really impactful. And going back to the candidate experience, if we can collect meaningful information on candidate experience. So I’m not talking like an NPS score, but really well-crafted questions, including open-ended questions. So in a candidate experience survey that you can analyze systematically but get that rich contextual information and being able to quote candidates about the experience they had and identify them by the different groups so that you can really bring it to life for our leaders, for our HR 

 

00:44:56:02 – 00:45:07:26 

Dr. Sheri Feinzig 

leaders to understand what the current situation really is and what needs to be addressed and improved. I think stories can be a really powerful motivator for action. 

 

00:45:09:10 – 00:45:38:09 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts 

I think that’s such a good point, Sheri. So, you know, we’re all I/O psychologist here and so we love lots of data and big sample sizes. And it always strikes me that when you go and you talk to leaders and boy, they love an n of one. They love an n of one story. And what’s really helpful is if you can get the data and you can put the two together and you can see the themes that still come from your and of 100 or 1000 or whatever it is, get the themes. 

 

00:45:38:16 – 00:45:58:03 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts 

And then you put at the top of it a quote, just one quote from one person that really summarizes that theme. That’s the story. That’s much easier for a person to glom onto, to understand, to think about how they want to action they go to because they hear this quote from this one person. I mean, I don’t know if it’s a human tendency. 

 

00:45:58:03 – 00:46:12:08 

Dr. Christina Norris-Watts 

I’d love to study it someday, about why we love this n of one stories, but there is really something to them. So don’t try to fight that, capitalize on it, you know, do data analysis, but still use those quotes. Use those n of one stories. 

 

00:46:12:08 – 00:46:39:09 

Dr. Charles Handler 

Yeah I couldn’t agree more with that. I mean, when we do our work interviewing people, we do a lot of different types for different reasons. We always put quotes in there on top of the data and you can see visibly the happiness of the people that you’re feeding this to on the other side, on the client side, seeing that, you know, the stories being told from individuals. 

 

00:46:39:09 – 00:47:00:23 

Dr. Charles Handler 

So I feel like that’s, I want to reinforce how important that is. And the other thing I’ll say, which is kind of already been said, but, you know, you got to audit yourself. I mean, you’ve got to stop and say, especially coming in from the outside, as I have for many, many years, the first thing we do is say, all right, we’ve got to see what’s going on here. 

 

00:47:00:23 – 00:47:24:12 

Dr. Charles Handler 

So we will apply for the job as a candidate. That’s a very important thing. But it’s also interviews, looking at data, looking at background materials, if you’re internal as an HR professional, which is essentially what this question is about, you still need to audit what’s going on and you still really, really need to understand in a discovery phase, what’s the current state here? 

 

00:47:24:12 – 00:47:47:09 

Dr. Charles Handler 

You might have a lot of anecdotes about that. You may even have a little bit of data about that. But until you take a comprehensive view and look at every system and every, you know, area that’s contributing to the hiring process and even beyond, you don’t really know what you’re starting with. So I think that’s a very important, important piece of the equation. 

 

00:47:48:07 – 00:48:12:03 

Dave Mayers 

Mm-hmm. Absolutely. And so, I mean, I had one more question, but it seems like that was already kind of taken care of. And that’s experiencer like applicant experience surveys. So how can they be leveraged? I mean, I think what I got from this conversation so far is that’s where we get our anecdotes, that’s where we get that rich understanding of what applicants are experiencing. 

 

00:48:12:03 – 00:48:34:02 

Dave Mayers 

And we can use that along with our data to really kind of drive the message home that either things are going well or maybe perhaps things need to change. So awesome. Well, maybe I’ll open it up a little bit if anyone has any last comments before I change it over to the next phase, which I’ll see if we have any questions from the audience. 

 

00:48:34:23 – 00:48:35:26 

Dave Mayers 

 

 

00:48:36:08 – 00:49:10:00 

Dr. Charles Handler 

Right, one comment that I’ll quickly make that could be a whole ‘nother series of webinars, even, very important to understand that just because you’re receiving candidates in your hiring funnel, you’ve got to understand that bias can already have been happening even in who sees job ads. I mean, this was very eye-opening for me. But there’s algorithms that that, you know, dictate what person, based on their history of browsing and all those other good things, actually even see a job advertisement. 

 

00:49:10:00 – 00:49:36:26 

Dr. Charles Handler 

Think about that. We’ve got a whole situation where people who are qualified or interested may never even know the job exists because they’re not getting that pushed in front of them. And even from their next step down the funnel, when you’ve got these high-volume situations where you’ve got things that recruiters will say, more people like this, more people like this, less people like this, or, you know, those decisioning systems learn from what they’re being fed. 

 

00:49:36:26 – 00:49:58:17 

Dr. Charles Handler 

So if people are feeding those systems based on biases or whatever, then you know what? What comes below that is only going to be the result of bias. So a lot of times assessments get thrown under the bus for being the source of bias or whatever. But quite honestly, it’s pervasive through the entire process and it compounds upon itself. 

 

00:49:58:17 – 00:50:16:24 

Dr. Charles Handler 

So one of the things you really have to do is start looking, you know, even more broadly than the formal hiring process and just make sure that the things you’re doing, even feeding that process, even in an automated way, a lot of times try to control that as much as you can. 

 

00:50:17:03 – 00:50:38:05 

Dr. Sheri Feinzig 

So yeah, I think yeah, I completely agree with that, Charles. And just I’ll just add, to address some of those issues of are you reaching the right audiences to begin with? I fully agree. Don’t rely on algorithms to make those decisions for you. And yes, that is a whole other conversation that we could have in an entire webinar plus. 

 

00:50:39:00 – 00:51:05:08 

Dr. Sheri Feinzig 

But to get to those different audiences, there are strategies that the audience can think about using. For example, there are specialized recruiting firms that you can partner with to go after specific populations who have expertise in going after those specific populations. And then there are organizations, actions, professional organizations, and otherwise that you can partner with as a pipeline to get to those candidates. 

 

00:51:05:15 – 00:51:33:22 

Dr. Sheri Feinzig 

So Neurodiversity At Work, for example, we were talking about the neurodiverse populations before, Women Who Code, the plexus society for MBAs and they’re — probably getting the name not exactly right but — and NSBE, National Black Engineering Society. So there are organizations out there that have these trained populations with the skills you need that are just ready to be tapped into. 

 

00:51:33:22 – 00:51:44:26 

Dr. Sheri Feinzig 

So don’t rely on the algorithms for these things. Use your people to people resources and make those connections and build those networks and relationships. 

 

00:51:45:17 – 00:52:10:08 

Dave Mayers 

Yeah, I agree. And I think it seems like some of our audience members actually feel similar and are trying to struggle with this as well. So, you know, I had this one question come in and let me stop the recording as I promised. And with that, I’d just like to thank everyone for coming today to participate. Thank you very much for my panelists. 

 

00:52:10:08 – 00:52:30:06 

Dave Mayers 

Thank you very much for being here. I really appreciated the conversation. I personally learned a lot. I hope everyone here did and I very much looking forward to the next time I get to bring you on and talk about maybe something different next time. So who knows? But anyway, thank you so much for coming, and if you’d like to stick around, ask questions, feel free to do so. 

 

00:52:30:06 – 00:52:36:02 

Dave Mayers 

But we’re going to end the webinar now. So once again, cheerio. Take care. Enjoy the rest of your day. 

 

00:52:37:00 – 00:52:37:15 

Dr. Charles Handler 

Thank you.