Happy Pride, y’all! The last year, in particular, has required that companies and their people ...
Artisan is a creative staffing agency with a diverse pool of digital, marketing, and creative talent. We have a unique approach to making the right connections – and we’ve honed, mastered, and put it to work over the past 30 plus years. From small agencies to major corporations, our boutique staffing agency is in the business of connecting people.
We believe in the power of diverse, inclusive, and equitable organizations. Time and time again, studies have found that businesses with diverse teams (including members from across the LGBTQ+, BIPOC, age, gender, and ability spectrums) have broader perspectives, are more innovative, attract better talent, make better decisions, increase profits, and enrich company culture. Helping our clients produce better projects is at the core of what we do and we recognize that diversity in teams does just that.
Over the past year, we have made Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) one of our core pillars internally and developed a plan to proactively source diverse slates of candidates, expand our recruiters’ networks, and share our best practice findings with our clients.
Staffing Industry Impact
Why the staffing industry is well-positioned to support building diverse teams
Diversity allows companies to tap into a wide range of views, backgrounds, and experiences, inspiring new ideas and innovation. The diversity of our network is the most important part of our sourcing strategy for our clients, and an essential part staffing agencies play in helping build diverse teams. Not only do we have access to an extensive range of candidates, but we are tapped into the evolving landscape of DEI best practices.
While we’ve made some strides in society and many people assume that discrimination, especially in the workplace, has declined in recent years, the data shows that at least when it comes to hiring, this assumption doesn’t match reality.
Making a conscious effort to provide our clients with a diverse slate of candidates can help rectify this. We work objectively with clients to develop a deep understanding of their business and identify and solve recruiting pain points, taking a deep dive into their needs to not only understand their businesses but their teams. We can discuss any challenges they have had with hiring in the past and their goals for the future to come up with tailored solutions to build the best teams for their organization.
Set our own organizational goals
Diversity is one of our company pillars and we have set our standards high with our DEI effort. Although we work across the United States, our goal is to make our candidate submissions resemble the demographic diversity of the most diverse city in the country, New York City.
First, we evaluated our current demographics:
Second, we set our future benchmarks:
Sharing our diversity statistics and goals publicly helps us maintain our accountability and shares our values with our clients and candidates. This allows us to reach a wider range of candidates who share those values as well and are looking for organizations who center DEI as a core component of their culture.
Focus On Our Outbound Model
Our outbound recruiting model is a core component of our DEI efforts. From Gitlab to Gusto, an outbound approach has been shown to work well for recruiting a diverse slate of candidates.
A proactive, outbound approach to recruiting focuses the full efforts of our recruiters on attracting talent that might never have applied to our openings. This process allows us to source the most talented candidates for open roles, dedicate a greater focus during the interview process on whether candidates align with our clients’ needs and values, and enables an even more intentional focus on attracting talent from underrepresented backgrounds.
It’s a radical change to switch to an outbound recruiting model, but we’re committed to focusing our efforts, expanding our networks, and proactively connecting with the most qualified and diverse slates of candidates possible.
Diversify Our Own Networks
Our outbound model only works if our networks are diverse, so a main focus of our strategy is continuing to diversify the networks of our recruiters and leadership. In our digital and increasingly remote world, we’re focusing on social media, building strong bonds with communities, and working with thought leaders in the DEI space. This diversification process is multi-tiered and includes efforts across recruitment, marketing, and other outreach.
Our focus on LinkedIn concerns search methodology to diversify our talent pools, learning from DEI consultants and thought leaders, and ensuring that our messaging regarding our commitment to DEI is clear. While a full commitment to diversity will be seen in candidates’ experiences with us rather than simply through our branding, ensuring that candidates are confident in our commitment is important.
Our aim on Twitter is to be part of DEI and industry conversations and connect with individuals and communities to expand our networks and amplify opportunities to a wider audience. Twitter is also a helpful platform to disseminate job postings to communities across the country.
Within this process, we've worked with two specialists to develop and edit this plan in accordance with both EEOC laws and our larger goals. However, we also plan to do company-wide trainings on topics like hiring for diversity and building inclusive organizations.
There is a Slack for nearly every interest and industry. Because many Slack communities are free, the barrier to entry is low and the demographic range is wide. Engaging with communities like Out in Tech, Ladies Get Paid, and Latinx Who Design connects us with potential candidates who are tapped into their industries and interested in expanding their networks.
Present our partners with a diverse slate of submissions
Presenting our clients with a diverse slate of submissions is the best way for us to help them reach their diversity goals and build diverse, equitable, and inclusive organizations.
Many people are biased—consciously or unconsciously—to preserve the status quo and tend to therefore surround themselves with people who look, think, and act like them. The good news is, we can actually use bias in favor of the status quo to change the status quo by making a conscious effort to diversify our slates of candidates.
Finding a diverse slate of candidates is one of the most important steps in hiring to build a diverse team.
We’ve done the work to expand our networks and find the best talent in our industries, and providing a diverse slate of submissions to our clients allows them to focus on which candidate would be the strongest addition to their team with the knowledge that they are choosing from the best candidates available. Ensuring our slate of candidates is diverse also allows our clients the bandwidth to do what is most important—ensuring that their cultures are equitable and inclusive.
What we do not control
As a staffing firm, we ultimately do not make hiring decisions— that’s up to the hiring manager. We can offer the strongest slate of candidates possible and we can also provide guidance. Studies have shown that many employees do not feel fully included at work and want their organizations to do more to advance inclusion and diversity—and we can help.
Part of our value add is our close partnership with our hiring managers. We believe it’s up to all of us to work together to create diverse, inclusive, and equitable organizations. That’s why we pride ourselves on our ability to provide thought leadership and best practices to our hiring managers so they find the best candidates while growing and scaling great cultures.
Here are some resources about the current state of the workforce for underrepresented groups, retention, and creating equitable cultures:
Hiring a more diverse team: tips for self-evaluation, overcoming bias in your recruiting process, & creating a transparent process.
How to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace: tips for building a culture that goes beyond tolerance to include celebrating and thriving off of individual differences.
How to support disability in your diversity and inclusion efforts: tips for how important it is to include people with disabilities in your DEI focus
The Center: Our partner in the LGBTQ+ space
Diversity wins: Why inclusion matters from McKinsey
Women in the Workplace 2020 from McKinsey
Toward a Racially Just Workplace from Harvard Business Review (HBR)
We’re proud of the work we’ve done so far, but our DEI efforts are just beginning.
Conduct our own internal audit and training / Our future plans
We’re proud of the work we’ve done so far, but our DEI efforts are just beginning.
- We audited our website to make it more welcoming and for ADA standards
- We rolled out internal unconscious bias training
- We put mechanisms in place to help us measure progress.
We’re growing, we acknowledge we’re not perfect, but we’re looking to move in that direction. As we mature in this effort, we will continue to edit and update this page. Please keep an eye out for information about our future:
- DEI Survey
- Webinars & Events
- Resume & Portfolio Reviews