Now more than ever, diversity is critical to the hiring process — especially for businesses aiming to represent the depth of talent and human experience across today’s workforce. But equitable hiring, especially in the homogenous tech industry, takes work — work that Ginny Clarke, the former head of Diversity Hiring Leadership at Google, has committed to streamlining. Hear how she transformed the search giant’s senior leadership hiring process from the inside out and created data-driven systems to ensure inclusivity and performance ability to hand in hand.
[1:16] When Ginny joined Google in 2016, the world was starting to ask questions about big tech’s homogenous makeup. As the former head of Diversity Hiring Leadership at Google, she was ready to debunk the myth of underrepresented talent.
[1:45] Ginny is the author of Career Mapping and also the host of the Fifth Dimensional Leadership podcast. After leaving Google in 2020, she now has a leadership consultation business in which she instructs and advises leaders on best practices and how to make bold changes.
[3:29] As soon as Ginny joined Google, she knew she had her work cut out for her to streamline the process of searching for leadership. There were over 850 spreadsheets that called for a deeper and more rigorous organizational system, and also she needed to utilize data to better develop Google’s applicant tracking system.
[5:21] Before Ginny took total action, she took a step back to observe. As she watched the younger leaders in their 30’s, she knew they could benefit from coordination and structure to ground them from their swirl behavior. According to Ginny, the young folks appreciated the rigor and the wisdom.
[6:41] Ginny and Jo discuss competency-based assessment rather than hiring based on pedigree and experience. Ginny flushed out Google's four attributes (one including “Googleyness”), and instead implemented a library of 60 competency measures that hiring managers could work with. Instead of basing a hiring decision on who the candidate knows or what school they went to, it started to be more based on their abilities.
[8:53] How can we use data to inform how we approach inclusive hiring? To access our potential hires in a way that actually yields the most competent people for the job. This may not always be someone who graduated from an Ivy League school.
[10:24] Ginny discusses how STEM is one way to pull in more underrepresented candidates, but we need to separate hiring and retention from philanthropy.
[12:15] A great leader is able to take stock of prospective employees and discern who is good, better, and best. They are self-aware and able to hire candidates that also help fill in any of their weak points.
[14:11] Ginny believes there is a spiritual component of how leaders can take stock of themselves. Self-awareness is lacking sorely and that is one of the core elements of seeing the genius of someone that doesn’t look like them.
[17:23] Ginny and Jo discuss the future of companies committing to hiring practices that truly walk the walk when it comes to diversity and inclusion. The new era that COVID has brought in may have made this the perfect time, and it is proven that companies that have diverse teams are more effective and they financially perform better.
[20:21] While leadership can be in the conversation that moves these hiring practices along, more junior people have to build both strong networks and resilience.
[20:45] Ginny feels the metaphor of needing to go inside for COVID represents our need to look inside ourselves and really make the changes necessary to grow.
Continue on your journey: