Though I have been recruiting and delivering talent solutions for the tech sector for some time now, the core questions I hear from clients are remarkably consistent. One of the first questions I usually hear is “How can you help a business attract and hire diverse candidates?” Four years ago, after getting that question hundreds of times and hearing from so many diverse job seekers about career challenges, I decided to take serious action.
In 2013, two fellow executives and I founded ARA, a mentoring and networking association dedicated to increasing the mentorship, development and advancement opportunities for women in technology. McCann Partners, my technology recruiting firm, was seeing rapidly increasing demand for diverse talent and we were all eager to help talented women professionals tap into the powerful career opportunities the tech sector offers. In just four years, ARA has grown to locations nationwide and has more than four thousand members. I am proud of the work we do at ARA because I see it changes lives for the talented technologists we mentor and the business teams they support.
Engaging Diverse Talent Now
How can businesses make a similar impact on the IT challenge and hire the talent they need? While it is inspiring and important to see large technology companies commit funding to initiatives like Code.org, I have some near-term concerns. Those investments in building a more diverse tech workforce that focus on early education won’t pay off for 10-20 years. What can businesses seeking to engage diverse talent right now do?
One option that I was recently introduced to is ROIKOI, the diversity recruiting software. I first encountered ROIKOI while at i.c.stars where I learned how the technology gives businesses the resources to recruit from a pool of diverse talent. How does it work? ROIKOI builds a pool of diverse talent designed specifically for a business by leveraging the contacts and networks of the talented people who are already inside company. Rather than buying access to a shared database, the company’s internal network is the foundation of this crucial and diverse database. Even from employees sets that are fairly homogenous, ROIKOI is able to build an ethnically and gender diverse candidate database.
A Conversation with Houston Perry of ROIKOI
To help explain exactly how ROIKOI is changing the face of diversity recruiting, I invited ROIKOI’s head of Client Services, Houston Perry, to talk about the technology and how it could be changing recruitment as we know it.
Megan: What are some of the challenges that you are currently helping clients with?
Houston: Clients usually come to us wanting to solve a couple of problems. First, they are passionate about hiring diverse talent, but don’t have a clear way to build a diverse pipeline of talent that is significant enough to match to their hiring needs. Second, they come to us to find an efficient way to prioritize which candidates they reach out to first in order to increase their hiring efficiency. One way we do that is helping businesses better identify and target the right passive candidates. For example, our technology has allowed clients like Expedia/HomeAway to improve their passive talent hiring ratio from 1 hire for every 200 passive candidates to hire 1 for every 25 passive candidates. That improvement alone saves clients around $4,000 per hire.
Megan: What does the deployment of the technology entail?
Houston: Typically, a customer picks an area of focus to initially deploy our technology. Frequently that’s an engineering team, a place where it has historically been a challenge to hire women and underrepresented minorities. To deploy the technology, we organize activation groups, which require just a few minutes of your existing employees’ time. Once ROIKOI has built a database of talent, the recruiting team is able to search it, reach out to candidates that map to open positions, and then import the candidates directly into their existing ATS.
Megan: How long does it take for a customer to see results with ROIKOI?
Houston: Customers can see results in the first few days. I had a recent client that collected over 3,300 candidates in the first five days after they launched our platform.
Megan: What’s one of the most impressive stories you’ve heard from a customer?
Houston: One of our new customers was in a bind and decided to deploy right before a major holiday when many of their employees were out on vacation. Even during the holiday they received more candidates in the first day of deploying ROIKOI than they had gotten in entire the prior year from their previous program. Right after the holiday they reached out to a few candidates, got a 50 percent response rate and extended two offers that were accepted. All of that occurred in less than three weeks from our initial launch.
Thanks to Houston for joining me and helping to answer my questions. If you have any of your own questions about ROIKOI or ARA, please visit us online: