As we discussed in our last blog post about Diversity & Inclusion at Amplitude, for the first half of 2017 the D&I team decided to focus on 4 core areas: measure the impact of projects by setting quantitative goals for success; recruit from a diverse candidate pool; enable employees through improved processes around hiring, promotion, etc.; and cultivate a more inclusive culture through both internal and external events.
During the past few months, we started to find our groove with some of the internal initiatives we’ve been working on for over a year, many of which are focused on the inclusive environment we want to build at Amplitude. We built ‘pods’ responsible for planning and coordinating inclusion events, external volunteering opportunities, and company-wide D&I training sessions.
However, our team had not dedicated much of our energy specifically to diversifying the pool of candidates at Amplitude, despite our goals to do so going into 2017. A lot of our initial progress in hiring diverse employees was due to leadership evangelism, referrals, and individual advocacy as opposed to systematic changes. A great start—but not scalable or sustainable given what we want to accomplish.
What could the D&I Team do to build on top of the progress we had been making? At the time, our recruiting resources were stretched pretty thin, so individual hiring managers had a lot of ownership over doing sourcing and running the recruiting cycle.
So, we asked how we could help! The overwhelming response was simple: they needed support sourcing candidates and executing on more standardized recruiting and interview processes. It dawned upon us that we had about 20% of our company at the time on our D&I Team, and that their efforts could be repurposed to help our hiring managers.
We chose to keep our existing internal initiatives that we had built into successful repeatable processes and to take on the new challenge of empowering our hiring managers. Here’s what we did over the last quarter to better support our hiring manager team across the company:
- Establish a cross-functional team that included members from recruiting, leadership, and D&I to develop training content for hiring managers.
- Pair D&I Team members with hiring managers and outline a ‘scorecard’ for tasks they need to complete to improve accountability and to distribute the work.
- Schedule 2 training sessions for hiring managers focused on (1) Sourcing Best Practices and (2) Interview Best Practices.
- Solicit feedback from hiring managers on how to improve the sessions.
The D&I Team’s collective efforts since January, including this project, have helped to drive our recruiting progress forward. Although there’s still a lot of work to be done, we’re happy to announce that 50% of our new hires so far in 2017 have been women.
When I reflect on this specific project (and it’s far from over!), it is the perfect example of executing on Amplitude’s core values & operating principles. We collaboratively identified a gap (growth mindset), and moved towards the first version of a solution quickly (velocity). During this process we actively solicited feedback from the hiring managers (humility) and got individuals involved so that the work and accountability was distributed (ownership).
Ultimately, our efforts laid a solid foundation for our recruiting team to take over and advance our progress. If you’re a small company trying to build D&I-focused recruiting strategy into your DNA, then this is a great place to start. It was a productive initiative for the D&I Team to catalyze and ultimately transition to the recruiting team so that we can continue to spend our time focused on ensuring Amplitude is a place where people of any background can thrive.
As we shift the D&I team toward a greater focus on improving inclusion, we will continue to consult for our recruiting team to help them achieve their diversity objectives. Our hope is that through our collaborative efforts, we’ve invested appropriately to make sure new Ampliteers are set up for success when they come through our doors.
If you’re curious about what we used to develop our hiring manager training content, here are some of the most valuable resources we used as well as a sample of our slides:
Training Session Slides:
Cover photo by Kelli Tungay on Unsplash