How Clarity Recruiting Supercharged D&I Education by Starting Small
Learning about D&I can feel never-ending. It’s a huge topic that encompasses multiple facets, levels, personalities, identities, and terms. There’s so much that it can feel impossible to get started. The first step companies often take is to make D&I a company value or corporate priority - a great step, but one lost without action.
Clarity Recruiting realized that D&I needed action in order to genuinely be a corporate value, so they looked at how they could embed D&I into their current ways of work. No new practices. No fancy seminars or conferences. Just getting started.
And it worked.
Clarity about diversity
When Clarity began their D&I education journey, it was focused on career advancement. This made sense not only for Clarity’s employees, but also its mandate. Since Clarity is a staffing and recruiting agency, their whole business model is centered around helping people advance their careers by finding the right jobs for them. In turn, they help their client companies develop and grow by sourcing and placing the best talent for their open roles.
The company primarily operates in New York City and Atlanta, two of the most diverse cities in the United States. With the diversity of people that occurs naturally in these two cities, the Clarity team observed the power of diversity and how central it can be to scaling a business.
“It is well-known that diverse and inclusive environments not only make people feel more comfortable bringing their authentic selves to work, which drives productivity, but it also improves the bottom line,” said Serena Bartolucci, Director of Communications at Clarity. “Especially in New York [City] and Atlanta, our core markets.”
Given the diversity of the cities Clarity operates in, it’s no surprise that their core values also reflect diversity and inclusion.
“One of our core values is humanity,” said Bartolucci. “We believe people of all kinds deserve access to tools and resources to advance their careers.”
After articulating new values and undergoing a rebrand recently, the next step for Clarity was to take action. Having a value of humanity is great, but it’s useless without action. Since the organization connected humanity to ensuring people are empowered with the right tools to advance their career, it became a question of how to embed D&I learning into the career advancement programs they already had.
Starting and scaling
The Clarity team chose Clarity U, their professional development series led by internal team experts and occasional outside guests. Employees already go through Clarity U, so Bartolucci, along with a small internal team of D&I advocates, thought it would be a perfect forum for D&I education since it would be delivered in a familiar format.
Clarity first introduced Crescendo at a Clarity U session. Crescendo has continued to provide relevant, high-quality educational material to supplement the D&I Clarity U program, on an ongoing basis. The content is also aiding an employee affinity group that formed to support the D&I subset of Clarity U, which not only includes Bartolucci, Clarity’s head of Communications, but their CEO, Moira Dorst, their Head of People, Colleen Robson, and their L&D Coordinator, Kolt Free.
As Bartolucci said, it’s about sourcing “tools we can use to foster inclusion and empathy - inside our walls and out”.
Since Crescendo is a Slack-based application, it already fit into the way that Clarity worked, making the technology an easy fit into their culture. They’ve even seen tangible changes in employee behaviour from using Crescendo.
“We live on Slack, so [Crescendo] makes it easy to consistently be introduced to new ideas at times that work for us,” said Bartolucci. “We’re seeing peoples’ comfort levels rise with difficult subject matter and we’ve recently seen a trend of people [taking] conversations offline and [setting] up mini-Crescendo chats in our living room.”
Bartolucci added that chatting “IRL” (in-real-life) is a great way to solve the biggest problem with Slack: tone. Since it’s all written and you can’t tell body language or tone from text, sometimes the tone is impossible to understand. Real life conversations fix that.
“It can also create an even safer space when people choose to interact face-to-face,” said Bartolucci. “That’s how we conduct business with our candidates and clients, after all, so seeing more of this happen in the office helps us do our jobs better.”
To learn more about Clarity's D&I journey, read the full interview here on the Clarity blog, The Watercooler!
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Crescendo is the diversity education app for Slack and we’re on a mission to help companies create more inclusive workplaces. You can learn more here!