Employment has been a hot topic in news cycles lately. With a jobless rate in Arizona that plunged to 3.3% in March, employers are trying all sorts of ways to draw the best candidates for openings that have arisen. And applicants seem to have their pick of jobs they feel are the best match for their skill sets.
It turns out the situation presents an opportunity to level the playing field when it comes to both sides of the hiring equation.
The Arizona Technology Council and FairHire have rolled out methodologies to help remove bias from the end-to-end recruitment process in Arizona’s tech industry. We believe this ultimately will facilitate equal opportunities for diverse job seekers by tech employers adopting inclusive hiring practices.
We call this initiative InclusionAZ.
Our vision is to create a regional framework that allows organizations to tap into the power of workforce diversity. The impact of this framework on a regional scale will broaden the opportunities for innovation and creativity, boosting both institutional financial performances and statewide GDP.
Launched in late 2021, InclusionAZ is enhancing the vibrancy of our members — Arizona’s technology ecosystem — by imploring employers to provide fair hiring opportunities that attract diverse talent from across Arizona and beyond.
To help employers mobilize and attract a diverse talent pool, the council and FairHire have turned to the University of Bocconi Research Center (ICRIOS) in Milan, Italy, which manages scientific protocols to ensure best hiring practices are adopted.
Attracting a high-quality talent pool
The framework is designed to attract a high-quality, diverse talent pool and support member organizations’ ability to recruit without bias — a combined effect we believe will bring economic vibrancy to the ecosystem.
FairHire is the next generation applicant tracking system known for its ability to tackle bias in the end-to end-hiring process, giving confidence to candidates and credibility to employers. Its “blind hiring platform” leverages scientific hiring protocols developed by ICRIOS.
Each job post that follows this protocol receives a FairHire certification to provide a stamp of confidence to the job applicants. This helps tech employers hire qualified and diverse tech talent without bias, ensuring the state’s technology ecosystem is shaped by the full breadth of residents that call Arizona home.
An in-depth study of the data points and behavioral patterns will be shared individually with member organizations.
In addition, experts from ICRIOS will set up the scientific protocol and analyze the data periodically to identify barriers from achieving goals. An academic publication on the impact of the framework is planned for the first quarter of 2023.
Inclusion is more than just a buzzword of the day. It’s a smart way to do business.
Steve Zylstra is president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council.
Register for the Council’s upcoming Phoenix and Tucson tech events and Optics Valley optics + photonics events.