Experiences with Discrimination

In full transparency, if I were asked this question 3 years ago, fresh out of college I would’ve had a different answer. One reason being that right after receiving a bachelor’s degree, young adults will often begin feeling the stress and anxiety of truly fending for themselves and may be more willing to cut corners on their morals or beliefs for the sake of steady income. Another reason is that I wouldn’t have known then what I know now. What I mean is, I now have 2.5 years under my belt at the company I currently work for. I have gotten a taste of what the corporate world of the FinTech industry is really like. I have become aware of the conditions I work well under, and the conditions that I do not. 2020 mostly speaks for itself but my eyes were opened in a massive way through the BLM movement. This movement made me look at my own company as well as those around me. We have implemented numerous inclusivity meetings, consistent conversations, and even created an additional “checkmark” for customers who meet the criteria below.

DEI/ESGReceives a check if the Sponsor is diverse by gender or race and, or the project has an ESG component.

All this to be said, I would now most definitely be swayed by an article like this. Company executives and board members have the ability and power to change what goes on within their organization. It is absolutely unacceptable to allow discriminatory behavior in the workplace and I would most definitely not apply to a company that allows it.

Job Experience

My experience applying for the organization I currently work for was fairly smooth. After graduating from Oregon State University, I was participating in MECOP, a program that sets students up with two 6-month-long internships in their field of study. My second 6-month internship was coming to an end and I needed to find a full-time job as soon as possible. The HR manager at the company I was interning for had just taken a consulting job at a company I had never heard of, and an industry I had no experience in. I decided to reach out to her and see if there were any opportunities at this company that she thought I would be a good fit for. Within a few days, I had an interview with the company and I immediately loved the office culture. I remember walking in and being greeted by friendly dogs (yes, many employees brought their dogs into the office every day) and noticing that there were no cubicles or 1-person offices. The people in the office produced an atmosphere of fast-paced, vibrant, intelligent, and passionate employees.

Going into the hiring process I knew this was a young startup but after doing a little research it seemed as though an abundance of people believed in its bright future. I went through 4 or 5 different interviews, each with only one or two people in the room with me. I remember thinking to myself that the structure of the interviews was somewhat chaotic. Since taking this exact course as an undergrad, I remember Jay teaching us about effective interviews and he would definitely not like how this organization interviews! It was very unstructured; everyone was asking me different questions, some seeming very random. Having more of a conversation than an interview didn’t deter me because I wanted the job, and I could tell that culture fit was very important to this company. However, working for this organization for over two years now, I believe I can take what I already know about interviewing and selection, apply it to how we currently hold interviews and find that we are not doing as well as we could be.

The Case for Recruitment and Selection

Specifically, in smaller companies or startups, organizations are focused on building the product or service rather than scaling the organization’s workforce thoughtfully. At least from my own insight into hiring, I’ve heard our executives discuss over and over the capital we are pouring into our product 2020-2021. In 2019 when I first joined the company I currently work for, I was the 74th employee. The goal for 2020 was to hire ~50 more employees and even more in 2021 but we currently only have just over 100 employees. I believe this is in part due to COVID-19 and in part due to the attrition of employees who did not fit their role. These people were either unhappy and left or let go because they were not fulfilling the duties and requirements expected of them. Often times companies will not pour resources into hiring but instead into the production, engineering, and marketing of the product or service they provide because they are trying to ‘get the word out’. With this business model, they are thrown out of balance. For example, the problems the organization will face on the back end such as employee happiness and longevity, as well as quality customer service and experience.

  • Weaknesses of an organization’s decision to not prioritize recruitment
    • Your success as a manager is simply the result of how good you are at hiring the people around you” (Joe Mansueto).
    • A successful and sustainable business model starts at who, not what. In order to produce something great, you need to put time and effort into finding the talent behind it.
  • Strengths of an organization’s decision to not prioritize recruitment
    • The competition for jobs right now is extremely competitive i.e., people losing their jobs due to COVID-19. There is an abundance of strong, capable, and even overqualified candidates applying for jobs. More and more organizations are offering fully remote positions, expanding the applicant pool from one state to nationwide. Hiring someone who is overqualified and just NEEDS a job as soon as possible will not last, lead to a higher employee turnover rate. It is also taking longer and costing more to find these people. Companies may be better off using their budget to improve processes and invest in the people that are already there.