Some diversity and inclusion best practices in hiring

After 3 years leading Diversity and Inclusion at Mozilla I’m looking for my next job: Director or Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at a tech company that’s hungry to make systemic change. At Mozilla one of my key partnerships was with our Talent Acquisition team to debias our hiring process and improve the candidate experience. Now I’m on the candidate side looking for jobs. Here’s some of my observations.

I saw a Diversity Equity and Inclusion Lead position that required 15-20 years experience. Honestly, that’s ridiculous, and even a stretch for a Chief Diversity Officer. I appreciated this added commentary from Aubrey Blanche:


There was a job posting with 20 bullet points. When a job post has that many requirements it demonstrates to me that the company is unclear what their priorities are for the role. Be clear about what the mandatory requirements are and what additional things might be nice to have. We know that men are far more likely to apply for a job where they have some of the qualifications and that women are far more likely to self select out, unless they have 100% of the qualifications. See: Why Women Don’t Apply for Jobs Unless They’re 100% Qualified by Tara Sophia More in Harvard Business Review.

I’ve also seen some thoughtful ads with 5-8 bullet points about the key requirements and an explicit call out to invite people with non-traditional backgrounds to apply and to tell the company how their experience could map to what they’re looking for. Here’s the language we used in some job postings at Mozilla:

You should apply even if you don’t feel that your credentials are a 100% match with the position description. We are looking for relevant skills and experience, not a checklist that exactly matches the position itself.”

I also like the friendly language that Collective, a DEI consultancy, uses:

Not-so-fun fact: Research shows that while men apply to jobs when they meet an average of 60% of the criteria, women and other marginalized folks tend to only apply when they check every box. Think you have what it takes, but not sure you check every box? Reach out to us anyways. We’d love to talk and determine together whether you could be a great fit!

Speaking of non-traditional backgrounds, the DEI leaders i admire come from a variety of backgrounds: business, academic/research, consulting, most do not have traditional HR backgrounds. So if you’re scoping to only look for HR professionals, you’re missing out on some great talent.

Textio is a great tool for ensuring the language in your job postings is balanced. Don’t we all want leaders who are strategic and results oriented who also have great communication skills and empathy?

I read a great job post from Sprout Social that included some milestones for the new person in this role for the 3mo, 6mo and 1 year mark. I liked this approach a lot. As a job searcher it gives me a clear idea of their priorities and helps me imagine myself in that job. Michelle Y. Bess was the Director of DEI and I know this is her good work.

I wish more job postings included salary ranges. I get that it’s complicated, especially for global companies where comp varies by geography, but if you’re looking for a Director yet the salary is $85k a year, there’s something off.

I’m excited to see more DEI jobs in academic institutions and the education requirement is nonsense. i don’t have an MBA but i’ve got 3 years in the tech industry where i used various research and data to drive measurable change. I don’t need an MBA.

Like most people on the job market, I’m also assessing if I want to work at a company when I read the job posting and look at the careers site. I’m analyzing what you say about your culture by the words and images you use. Who is represented? Who is not represented? As a DEI leader I’m also looking to see if your company is transparent about diversity metrics and where you’ve been able to make progress and where you haven’t.

As a 43 year old queer woman, I’m interested in the company culture–I want to work somewhere where i can continue to learn and grow and where they’re are great extended benefits. A ping pong table and beer on Fridays are not high on my priority list.

I appreciate it when companies outline what their application process is going to look like. It demonstrates empathy and respect and helps me as a candidate understand what the process is going to be like because each one is slightly different.

These are my observations after actively looking for a job for a couple of weeks. What other things am I missing?

This post was originally a Twitter thread.