Dave Carvajal’s new book is out today, and it emphasizes the importance of gender equality and diversity and inclusion in hiring. In “Hire Smart from the Start: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Finding, Catching, and Keeping the Best Talent for your Company,” Dave distills lessons gained from 20 years of building out and staffing two Internet startups, including HotJobs.com.
We sat down with Dave to talk about his book, diversity and inclusion, and what “good” company culture really is.
Congrats on the new book! What are you most excited to share with readers when it comes to smart hiring?
Dave Carvajal: Recruiting and building culture is a leadership competency. Like all competencies, you can get better at it. The challenge is that most CEOs and leaders have never been classically trained in recruiting. I want to share the 20 years of insights I’ve gleaned from helping leaders make recruiting and building culture their strategic competitive advantage. With just a few conceptual models and a proven methodology, there is hope for being awesome at talent recruiting and selection. It all starts with creating clarity in your own mind and connecting with your own values. All things of greatness that were ever built, first started with a blueprint. Knowing how to craft a proper blueprint is the key.
I know Room to Read is incredibly near and dear to your heart given the fact you’ll be donating 100% of book sale profits for the cause. Tell me more about the organization and why you’re a huge proponent of their cause.
DC: Room to Read is a non-profit organization for promoting literacy and gender equality in education in the developing world. I first met John Wood, the organization’s founder, several years ago. I was so impressed with the clarity of his vision, the excellence of his organization, and the direct impact that each dollar has in furthering the cause -- his ratings on Charity Navigator are among the highest in recorded history.
Having come from humble beginnings myself and raising twin boys, the work that Room to Read is doing resonates strongly with me. Just consider:
- One out of 7 people on the planet cannot read
- Two-thirds are female
- 250 million children around the world aren’t in school and don’t have access to books or education
World change starts with educated children, which is why I’m committed to partnering with Room to Read.
Literacy and gender equality go hand-in-hand with the concepts of diversity and inclusion. In the HR space, practitioners are making huge efforts and investing big for innovation to increase diversity and inclusion in the workplace. How do your efforts on the literacy and gender equality front impact diversity and inclusion in business hiring? How can companies do better? Where are the big opportunities for business leaders to make a difference?
DC: Fundamentally, the conversation on Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) is a conversation about values, humanity, and the kind of organization a leader wants to build. The business and economic cases for D&I have been well documented in favor of better business performance. A highly-cited McKinsey report showed that ethnically-diverse companies were 35% more likely to outperform less diverse organizations.
Organizations that value diversity prosper largely because they are able to better reflect the client base and decision makers that purchase their products and services. A culture of inclusion allows people to express their unique insights while being valued for their contributions. These all align with a free-market system and an open society that values empowering people. The use of technology can be helpful for holding leaders accountable to any gaps between their intentions and actual behaviors.
In your experience, what is the most important element for business leaders to consider in their hiring strategy?
DC: The clarity and alignment created by making the small investment of time at the kickoff of a search pays dividends later in your ability to move quickly through a process to isolate finalist candidates for a given role.
All teams are not created equal. The power of a properly crafted plan is the foundation of a strong hiring strategy. It starts with a blueprint.
How do you see talent acquisition technology, and HR tech overall, impacting the way entrepreneurs approach hiring?
Every organization is a complex network of sophisticated conversations. The quality of discourse always determines the health of the organization. To the degree that HR tech can measure and report useful information around values, recruitment, promotions, performance and turnover, it can help leadership have a more complete discourse around talent gaps, talent mapping and leadership development towards the achievement of their mission.
Diversity and inclusion is top of mind for entrepreneurs and at all levels of the organization, especially in HR and recruiting. Talent acquisition technology is in an ideal position to create smarter, and more efficient ways to help organizations improve hiring diversity.
Organizations such as Room to Read emphasize the importance of gender equality, and are paving the way for a new workplace future that fully embraces and strives for excellence in diversity and inclusion.
Learn more about Dave’s book Hire Smart from the Start.
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