We have very few girls in our team and we want to hire more.
In order to hire people, we can do two things:
– Search for people (search on linkedin, twitter, angellist, etc.)
– Wait for people (put up job offers, and wait for candidates)
For the first one, we can search specifically for girls and just filter guys. We’ve done that lately.
For the second one, I feel it is wrong to write “Apply only if you are a girl”.
The thing is that we get much fewer female applicants, which is no wonder. I searched on my LinkedIn “Data Scientist”, and I got 10 girls on my first 100 search results, many of whom where totally inaccessible to us from a seniority or location point of view (all 10 of them were in SF, possibly Stanford grads, and we are not). The same happens at meetups. We go to startup meetups, we meet coders or data scientists looking for jobs, speak with them and invite them to an interview. And they are often guys, because more of them happen to go to those meetups.
The main challenge comes when we actually do get a female candidate. We don’t discard a single one on resume. We see all of them. We discard about 80% of guys on resume. But even so, we get to see 4 guys to 1 girl or so. In the interviews, we help the girls shine, because we actually want to hire them, but then, one of the other 4 guys shows just an amazing performance, for whatever reason, truly impressive, like he has done many more things than the girl (and than the other candidates), can show more amazing code, personal projects, etc. And we think: “If the girl was a guy, she would not be on the race with this guy, just like the other male candidates are totally discarded now”. Should we let this amazing coding guy go? It’s not easy to find amazing coders either, you know? And so far we have gone with the PERSON we thought was best suited to give more to the team, regardless of the sex. We believe in equality of opportunities, but equality of opportunities also means that the best interview, the most proof of past track record and best performance during our tests should be rewarded, regardless of the name of the applicants.
I would be surprised if this was not the case with many other startups. Thoughts? Best practices?