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Supporting Greater Diversity Hiring in a Post-Geographic World

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Supporting Greater Diversity Hiring in a Post-Geographic World


As the world grows increasingly digital during this pandemic, businesses need more tech talent than ever to support accelerated digital transformations, remote workers, and other tech investments. Leaders were already struggling to identify and recruit talent with the processes and resources they had before COVID-19, but as demand grows, the tech skills gap is stretching even wider.

Companies’ inability to recruit the necessary talent can be traced back to a few different deficiencies.

One key problem area is simple misalignment: HR departments lack a real understanding of the skills a hiring manager is looking for. This is especially true in the tech space, where HR managers usually don’t have the technical knowledge or experience to source and identify the candidates with exactly the right skills.

Lack of essential knowledge of the technical requirements of an applicant often leads to misrepresentative job descriptions that don’t accurately outline the qualifications vital to success.

On top of that, many HR departments may have limited access to the tools and resources necessary to attract the right kind of candidates.

With internal recruitment teams often working to fill an overwhelming number of openings, they can find themselves reacting rather than creating or executing a proactive recruitment strategy. This can lead to a weak or poorly managed digital presence, such as unanswered negative Glassdoor reviews that steer people away from the company.

An Expanding Recruitment Sphere

Here’s the good news: As the pandemic has increased the demand for tech talent, the almost overnight transition to remote work for many companies has created conditions that allow for the expansion to more inclusive talent pipelines. Essentially, proximity to the office is no longer a factor in employment decisions.

Sourcing talent from anywhere is now a viable option for many tech leaders, and taking advantage of it to expand your company’s recruitment sphere can lead to a more diverse tech workforce.

For example, consider the price of rent in many metro areas. If your office is in one of these neighborhoods, you’re no longer limited to only the employees who can afford to live nearby or commute from elsewhere. As a result, your talent pool will be much bigger and full of candidates with varying backgrounds and experiences.

I should offer one caveat: When unemployment rates are high, as they currently are due to COVID-related layoffs, openings are flooded with applicants. Tech leaders may be eager to fill roles as quickly as possible, but it’s important to carefully vet candidates to ensure that they’re applying for the right reasons. You want to be sure that your next hire is fully committed to your organization’s mission rather than settling for the opportunity.

Remote work opens up more possibilities for recruiting diverse candidates, but they won’t just come to you.

You must actively strive to build a more diverse workforce. Doing so will help you not only recruit more talent by showing your intentionality around inclusivity, but also build diversity of thought for a stronger company overall.

The benefits of geographic diversity lie in gaining access to highly sophisticated, specialized, and tacit knowledge from various sources. Diversity of backgrounds extends the scope of accessible understanding and provides a company with access to new networks of wisdom, resources, and experiences. This can spur innovation substantially.

Put simply, sourcing candidates from different regions, locations, and ethnic groups will foster innovation.

It can strengthen creative thought, even collectively, as each person’s needs and perspectives can provide a different view of your products or services.

The Innovation in Diversity

The question, then, is: What recruitment strategies should tech leaders be using to close their talent gaps while building a more diverse workforce? The following are often the best places to focus your efforts.

1. Broaden your talent sourcing initiatives.

Job postings, referrals, and even recruiters can only do so much to diversify your talent pipeline geographically. Tech leaders can step up their efforts by connecting with colleges, universities, and alternative staffing partners to broaden the talent pool.

Establish meaningful inroads with community groups as well. Chambers of commerce, Black Data Processing AssociatesWomen in Technology, and Out in Tech are just a few organizations that can help pair your company with qualified tech professionals from diverse walks of life.

2. Establish a representative social media presence.

When candidates see your job listings, they’re likely to research your company. And considering that more than 3.6 billion people are using social media worldwide, you can bet that they’ll look up your online profiles. Your company’s presence on social media should represent your workforce and culture in a way that will intrigue and inspire any potential applicants.

You can also expand your company’s reach exponentially on social media by getting hiring managers actively involved in sharing content. According to LinkedIn research, a company’s employees have 10 times more connections than the company has followers. Even when sharing the same content, employee shares experience click-through rates twice as high as those of the company.

Besides, these types of shares add greater credibility to your company as an employer. It shows how much employees value the organization and stand behind the work you all do together, which can help attract new employees. Leverage these networks to expand your reach and grab the attention of more diverse applicants.

3. Write better job descriptions.

Instead of focusing job descriptions on qualifications and skill requirements alone, focus on creating opportunities for candidates to sell why they would be a good fit or could grow into the position. Someone might not have five years of experience in a similar role, for example, but could demonstrate the ability to learn and adapt quickly, which is equally valuable in many cases.

What’s more, focus on the language you use in job descriptions. Binary-tinged buzzwords like a ninja, rock star, champion, etc., can discourage inclusively minded applicants. For example, one study found that 44% of women surveyed would be discouraged from applying for a role with the word “aggressive” included in the job description.

4. Create opportunities for remote working.

If you’re not one of the many companies that have gone remote in response to COVID-19, it’s time to consider offering greater workplace flexibility. When it comes to career decisions, flexibility is one of the top three factors for 40% of job seekers. And remote or flexible work options can help diversify your talent pipeline, as you can draw from a nationwide candidate pool.

Beyond that, sourcing talent from other areas of the country or world has the potential to expand the market for your product. You can gather input from more diverse voices, allowing you to tailor product features to meet the needs of a wider audience.

Opening roles to other markets naturally increases a candidate pool, but it won’t automatically diversify applicants.

That responsibility rests on your diversity recruitment strategy. Look for candidates in different locations, connect with more diverse organizations, and make your job descriptions more attractive to a wider audience. It’s an excellent start to building a more diverse workforce.

Image Credit: ashish sangai; unsplash

Crystal Crump

Managing Director of Company Relations at LaunchCode

Crystal Crump is the Managing Director of Company Relations at LaunchCode. She helps individuals gain access to tech careers by partnering with business leaders to achieve recruitment and workforce development initiatives.

Politics

Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending

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Google eyed for $2 billion Anthropic deal after major Amazon play


London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.

According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.

The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:

“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”

The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:

“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”

The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.

The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.

Featured Image Credit: Photo from Kennek.io; Thank you!

Radek Zielinski

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs

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Deanna Ritchie


As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.

Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI

In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.

According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.

One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.

To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.

Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations

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Deanna Ritchie


As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.

Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation

To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.

The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.

Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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