It’s great to see the recent changes to Automattic’s long-term hiring processes based upon a user research study into how their approach to tech hiring resonates with women and non-binary folks:
In May, Automattic’s engineering hiring team launched a user research study to better understand how our approach to tech hiring resonates with women and non-binary folks who may experience similar gender discrimination in the workplace and are experienced developers.
What changes did we make?
- Existing work and life commitments mean that it is important to know the details of the hiring process at the outset: we have published a public page that clearly outlines our hiring process so that people have a concrete understanding of the expectations.
- We removed all the little games from our job posting page. We were trying to test people’s attention to the job posting and filter out unmotivated candidates; it turned out we were also putting people off who we want to apply.
- We removed all the language that emphasized that hiring is a competitive process -for instance, removing language about application volume.
Whilst I don’t fit into their target audience for this study, if these changes had been implemented earlier I would have personally benefited from these, instead of being disheartened about waiting for 4 years for a response to a job application that never came (I did eventually work up the courage to apply again at which time I was successful).
This example shows that making your recruitment processes more clear and accessible makes it better for everyone, not just those who experience discrimination – much like web accessibility benefits everyone, regardless of ability.