A greater spotlight on social injustice in the past year has motivated businesses to examine and address internal biases they may not have realized existed. As businesses look to develop and evolve their diversity and inclusion (D&I) programs, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.
Michael Pilnick, executive vice president of global human resources at First Advantage, a global leader in background check and drug screening solutions with more than 4,000 employees, shares how his organization is addressing opportunity areas in its D&I programs and tackling biases head on. You can find his insights below.
How would you describe First Advantage’s company values?
We pride ourselves on transparency, collaboration, and having an outside-in view, which means we put customers first. We are a lean organization, but we do a lot given our size. We value diversity and inclusion and continuously evolve our programs to best represent our culture, core values, and customers.
In the early years, we were essentially a number of small businesses that operated more like a holding company—and each business was responsible for its own culture. Over time, we’ve transitioned into one comprehensive products and services organization operating under a single vision and culture. Our employees are now spread across 14 countries and represent more than 50 spoken languages. In many ways, we're the epitome of global diversity.
Now, we're making strategic moves toward better understanding and supporting diversity, equality, and inclusion throughout the organization. Diversity and inclusion can mean different things in different regions around the world, so it’s important to tailor our programs by region. We kicked off our efforts in the U.S., Canada, and the UK, and we’ve already begun work to bring in India, Australia, and New Zealand. Next, we'll expand to Asia and other parts of the world. I’m excited to see how much we’re able to accomplish in the coming year.
Where do you see opportunity areas between your company’s D&I intentions and the current practices in place?
While we’re a very diverse organization, we’ve identified opportunity areas to grow our inclusivity efforts and better ensure equal opportunities for all.
One area where we’re already making significant progress is in recruiting. Other companies have said that hiring diverse technology talent can be challenging, but 64% of our technology recruits in the last year have been diverse candidates. We’ve been able to onboard employees from a variety of backgrounds, which will only increase the strength of our technology organization.
We’re also working hard on improving cultural inclusivity. Measuring inclusion is not easy, but we've gathered both qualitative and quantitative data to help us better understand our opportunity areas, which will better inform our actions as we move forward. Our next step is to remove unconscious bias from the recruiting process. We've been using a number of benchmarking tools and talking to teams like those at Workday to understand what they've done and how they're institutionalizing diversity and inclusion.