Humans of HR

Bill Boorman advises on creating a framework for an inclusive environment (Auckland's HR Tech Fest)

August 18, 2018 David Guazzarotto & Jared Cameron
Humans of HR
Bill Boorman advises on creating a framework for an inclusive environment (Auckland's HR Tech Fest)
Chapters
Humans of HR
Bill Boorman advises on creating a framework for an inclusive environment (Auckland's HR Tech Fest)
Aug 18, 2018
David Guazzarotto & Jared Cameron

Bill Boorman shares with Talking People & Tech about HR teams can be the custodians of diversity and inclusion. Bill notes that recruitment is a space that, depending on the firm and job type, has specific challenges and goals in creating its culture. He addresses how to do away with old generalizations and how to build a new framework aimed at creating an inclusive environment. 

Show Notes Transcript

Bill Boorman shares with Talking People & Tech about HR teams can be the custodians of diversity and inclusion. Bill notes that recruitment is a space that, depending on the firm and job type, has specific challenges and goals in creating its culture. He addresses how to do away with old generalizations and how to build a new framework aimed at creating an inclusive environment. 

David:

I'm David Guazzaratto

Jared:

and I'm Jared Cameron and we are talking people and tech.

David:

Welcome to the talking and people technology podcast, we're here at the HR Tech Fest in Auckland, New Zealand and we're privileged to have Bill Boorman with us. Welcome bill.

Bill:

Yeah. Thank you for having me.

David:

And welcome Bill's audience.

Bill:

And, my mum.

David:

Fantastic. Awesome. To get a moment or two of your time, um, obviously, uh, we've, we've been knocking around the space for a number of years bump into each other and all sorts of parts of the world. Um, so I guess, um, let's, let's just start by just giving me the journey you've been on from like, yes, I knew you as you were sort of coming out of recruiting into analyst world.

Bill:

And um, so I'd probably, I'm not really an analyst.

David:

No, it's the wrong word, isn't it?

Bill:

Yeah. I, you know, I average say, oh, you're Josh Bersin, but lots of people claim the title, but I'd Say I am. So I'm a recovery recruiter, so everything. I look at it from a recruiting talent acquisition and I also had a good stint in HR, so I understand kind of the HR space in all the areas that overlap and I describe myself as doing stuff I get paid for, which overlaps with that can be different stuff. So I always worked with one or two companies a year on their strategy. The technology they buy. I also work with about eight startups at the moment on product, I'm a VC funds, um, where they should be putting their money or bringing in different startups from around the world fund to have a look at usually in regions where they might not have a presence and maybe want to invest a bit of money, which is part of, part of what I always like being out here three or four times a year.

:

Yeah.

Bill:

And I write a lot and speak at a lot of events and I run True Recruiting Uncovered. So all those kind of, it's wild kind of the- the modern, um, I'm one of the winners of the gig economy, if you like. I think the majority of people are losing for the majority of people it means less money with no benefits. But you've managed to make it work for yourself. Yeah, well I'm one of those people for whom it, it suits and that also I'm unemployable so you know, no one would give me a job so I have to make your job. I wouldn't employ me.

Jared:

You've been down in NZ now for a couple of days?

Bill:

Yeah. I've been here a couple of days this time, I try and get out to add to Auckland in particular two or three times a year, sometimes more. I bring developer teams here to build product, which I like doing on Wiki Island. So really...

Jared:

What a place to do it.

Bill:

I mean it's a creative place. They keep us with wine and food all day, nice beaches and the Wifi is excellent. So there's, there's a few products around the space that have been built there and are inspired by the lay lines of the island

Jared:

You've got to wine hickey incubated going on. Yeah. Great idea. Fantastic idea.

David:

Yeah. It's certainly a great place for innovation here in New Zealand.

Bill:

It always surprises people because I get asked around the world quite a lot like where's the innovation and where's the staff, and I tend to think that New Zealand is probably about four years ahead of most other places, certainly four years ahead of the US.

David:

Why do you think that is?

Bill:

There's a whole lot of reasons as to why it is. One is this has been the test ground for everyone. It's the test ground for Facebook's population, population size, so you could get a whole country, lots of early adopters and attracting people. I think as a historical one around HR recruiting where you've always had to punch above your weight in terms of attracting people or hiring people, retaining them. Well, we talk about retention...because the population is quite small. You have to get the most out of people. You've got lots of things like engagement, performance management. You see a lot of that there. And I know lots of companies like Manpower test all their technology here. A lot of the banks do it here. Just for general technology and stuff is where we've seen a lot of innovation, but this is the first place I saw Facebook stream was the first place I saw anyone using Slack for recruiting Trello, for recruiting. You also got a lot of innovative companies like zero and stuff like that and the other bit I think lots of people have missed out on and I can think of lots of people working in either a HR or the technology space, um, who came out the film industry with the Lord of The Rings thing and I think that was a big factor and particularly, I know a lot of people who did that who worked with props, prop makers and they're seeing that industry going to 3D printing. And they've have kind of gone, I've been in for 10 years. I don't really want to move so I'm going to have to go and get a normal job and where can I get a job with no experience or track record? Well, in recruiting.

David:

It's interesting, it's an interesting thought bubble because you got that creativity and technical know-how that came out of that whole year of the films being produced, and to see that being applied. Obviously, because you know, once the industry dried up a bit, I'm having to apply those skills in other contexts like developing credit HR software.

Bill:

Yeah, or great software. That's why you got zero and other companies like that coming out of here. So and early adopters. This is why I see things here or being tried here before I seen them elsewhere.

:

So it's a good little good place to do it. And you've got a fantastic enough of a population. Good. Yeah. Conversely I'd say Australia is quite conservative and behind the curve in that respect, so I think lots of people coming from outside, unless they've been here will think of New Zealand is like a suburb of Australia. It's East Bondi. That's what it is, another state, and I'm not saying that with any disrespect to the Australians or Australian audience, but the battle that I get in Australia is usually one around corporate compliance control. How could we do this in our organizations with all these rules, so the challenges are very, very different and kind of institutionalized challenges. Whereas here, it's much more early adopter, much more appetite of risk, much more is what we're doing.

Jared:

There's a term in New Zealand, the number eight wire, I don't know if you've if you've heard this term before.

Bill:

No, what's the number eight wire?

Jared:

So, the number eight wire is the wire that's used on fencing. So, the whole concept around the number eight wire mentality is we'll just have a go at it, just have a crack at it and see what you can do. You just have a go and see if you can do it yourself. Absolutely. And that's a real cultural thing.

Bill:

Yeah. I mean I, I went for a day with ANZ to their innovation lab here where they hire, they have 200 people in an old warehouse and I was working on a team figuring out ATMs and one of the first question somebody says, is he, yeah, well we won't have any cash, so do we need ninety? Well, should we just go down to Doolans, and so we just got that project over. But 30 seconds we don't need it and I'm going to need ATMs anymore. Thank you, the end.

Jared:

I know it's true though, right? I mean, yeah, there were. We had pretty early adoption here around card payments for a long time if boss, but

Bill:

It was the first Facebook bank, first complete bank and Facebook, the first fully automated branch of a bank without people, which has kind of become a global model. So it's not just recruiting and HR. There's lots of things that you see here that you go just walking about where you go that's kind of interesting or that's cool. That's different.

David:

Cool. Well look, we were given the Kiwis at conversation. Let's change track a little bit.

Bill:

Yes I am here for the New Zealand tourist ball. Come quickly.

David:

Absolutely. I mean go to Danny Doolans, the best pub in the world according to Bill Boorman.

Bill:

It is the best pub in the world and I've researched it, but I will keep checking others.

David:

As someone who who built an events business basically about, you know, running events in pubs, you can give a very well credentialed to make those sort of welcomed assessments.

Bill:

I think the other important thing to say is intentionally I have an event. I run an events business. We made zero money out of it, say

David:

When I say a business, I mean a community service.

Bill:

But the true stuff is really about the research bit, so it connects me with about 2000 people a year who worked in and around recruiting, which is just where all... Think, where you build any community and this is what I advise to anyone. You make a decision with purpose at the start of it is to I want to make money from this community or because of this community. If you want to make money from this community, you have to do like these clients do. Running this event and other events where this isn't a negative way, but you have to be focused on building a community of people who are customers who are very talented.

David:

And very deliberate, tangible value at the events themselves.

Bill:

Very tangible, deliberate stuff. Whereas I, I have always followed and that included when I had one of the first podcasts before, it's called a podcast which was broadcast on the Internet. Where I had a blog, all this kind of stuff. It was really about if you could build a community, you will make money because of it rather than from that

David:

It's about intent. Right?

Bill:

Yeah. And all the information that you get and all the knowledge that you get and all that kind of stuff is what subsequently goes on.

David:

Yeah. Cool. I'm keen to explore, um, you, you were up on stage yesterday. Yeah. Um riffing on a topic that I haven't. I haven't seen you.

Bill:

I've never done it before. It's the first time I've taught it. I've been really passionate about the topic and really interested for lots of reasons that I've done a lot of work on it, but I haven't before- and really, it was opportunity in that one of the speakers could make it. Simon said to me, do you want to bring. And I'm thinking, what can I bring that's different I haven't done before. That's, but it's very New Zealand test audience. Try it out and see what happens.

David:

So yesterday. Good. Yeah. Yeah. So, um, the topic for everyone listening in was around diversity and inclusion. Obviously a very hot topic in, in and around people, people in organizations, even in the broader community, right? With lots of movements going on that are triggered from, you know, things that are going on around the place that the planet. So just give us, give us, I guess the where you're coming from with your views on diversity and inclusion.

Bill:

There's a number of things, so I think, what I wanted to share. There was a few things. So first of all, you've got to make the case and say I'm white, heterosexual, two kids, two dogs. Yeah. Middle Class, I guess you know, I'm...

David:

Not the typical speaker you get on this. Right?

Bill:

So that's the first thing to say, right. You know, it is kind of like, well what do you know about that? And the other thing is a lot of what I was talking about as having learned, they were the wrong things to do, are things that I've done an applicator written about and talked about. So I'm also coming at it from having spent time last 18 months talking to the people on the receiving end of diversity and inclusion efforts. It's enabled me to build a picture to say lots of things we're doing with great intention. I'd compare it to what we do with Dni is a good comparison would be pride and when you talk about pride, it's called to become a commercial thing in a way because than the cause and you look at companies in their game, what you call a pink washing, hanging rainbows, rainbow color, the Coffee Cup. So it's kind of stuff, but when you get under the surface everyone, okay, what are you actually doing about this? What are you actually doing about other things or is it getting onto the bandwagon?

David:

Yeah is there authenticity to what you're driving there?

Speaker 1:

And that's kind of where I get to from Dni which is people say we want to look at diversity. First question is why? Is it because it's legal? Is it because it's quota? Is it because it's trendy feel you need to do that or is this actually the ones that you are? And I think the bit because of where lots of organizations have come at it from is diversity without inclusion. So, lots of trying to push people into an organization before the organization is ready for that. Whereas, I think if you have inclusion and inclusive workplace where people can bring their best self right, and what I was really appealing for that lots of people responded to it is this feeling that people should be successful or unsuccessful conversely at work because of them, because of their performance, so you know, and if somebody is gay or colored or old, it's not a guarantee that are going to be successful, but the reason we should judge them for not being successful or being successful should be based on their performance and not how we've labeled them. So I'm very passionate about that and very passionate from an HR point of view, I think, going to a lot of conferences, seeing a lot of people. One of the things I see is we're constantly talking about seat at the table, needs of the business, be focused on the business, initiatives for the business and we actually became human capital. People became move from being a resource to me and we lost the human. I remember my son a 15 being a congressman and he went, human capital, talent acquisition. That sounds cynical. It sounds like a really scary thing the way we're talking about stuff. I'm not sure I want to be capital I'm not sure I want to be acquired, so that's what I want. So I think that whole thing of remembering that it's people and that feeling we should have is... in HR, we're the custodians of that and you know, there's less unions, there's less technology is generally been used against people rather than for people, which is what I'm talking about this afternoon. I'm, I'm really on a mission about is you know, we figure out how do we use technology to cut cost, to do different stuff rather than the motive is very rarely when you sit in the meeting, someone goes, yeah, we're going to automate your stuff in order to do it better.

Jared:

Yeah, yeah, it's normal.

Bill:

Generally it's we're going to do in order to do it cheaper.

David:

Yeah, we see a lot of business cases we get involved in opening with our clients and it is very hard to frame a business case that doesn't have some form of reducing.

Bill:

There'll be an element of it. I accept that, but it's that what drives and motivates us. And so what I am really appealing for in society and in general is, let's give people every opportunity to be of their best self and, you know, I know warm people to think of people in organizations going to work, feeling like I don't belong here, I don't want to be here, or the system is stacked against me in some way and particularly when you look at it and go and not being paranoid actually genuinely are paid less money because you're a woman, you really, you really won't get an award because there isn't an opportunity for you and everyone thinks you're going to have a baby soon. Or I've got kind of a secret thing about. So one of my good friends on the speaking circuit, I do a lot with, um, is a, uh, a transfer with Joe Lockwood, Joe talks about and I love her outlook on it. She's basically saying I'm, I'm the same person I just had to rebrand. I've just changed the color. Which is a really good way to look at it. However, when you look at her background, a lot of it has really been erased because her name's different, looks different. So the background has been erased. Plus complications that people, you know, I, I read a statistic which I believe, which is 60 percent of people don't talk to disabled people because they're frightened of saying the wrong thing, not because they've got an issue with

David:

It's the awkwardness. Right?

Bill:

It's all, I am not going to have that conversation because. Right. And then imagine that for the Trans community or even, um, you know, if anything which makes you physically different, if you have a turban, I really feel for people at that moment for the Muslim community, they have to wear headscarves, you know, you can feel people always look inside and they're going to blow us up and they're going to do something like that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah there's no good reason for it, but that's the reality isn't it.

Bill:

There's no reason for it. There's no logic to it. There's an agenda on it, at the moment in the world around that right, so. And, so if I'm a custodian of that workplace, I just don't want it. And I genuinely believe most people are inherently good. Yeah. Most people will want to do the best they can to make other people comfortable at work. And they just don't necessarily have a point of reference, or know what to do. Yeah and our mission needs to be to educate, to help people think, to help people go, to say like, you know, most people would say I really don't want to make people unhappy. I think it's reasonable that people get fair opportunity I think it's reasonable that people get fair fight. So we have to look at it and say what are the things we're doing that is stopping that? And there's a whole bunch of stuff that we've done with good intentions, which is what I was talking about. Things like, you know, um, people are still talking about it at conferences, recruiting for culture, fit culture fit tends to be hiring the same people.

Jared:

Yeah, well they talked about it yesterday, I think it was Spotify said that they are trying to reduce their referrals because they have 25 percent of their hires were coming from referral and they said that the problem with that is people refer people they know and people they know are like them.

Bill:

I would say the problem there isn't referrals. The problem is their system. Well, one thing I can almost guarantee you is that's what happens when you use referrals as recommendations because when you ask people to recommend someone, but generally it's only four or five people, they would recommend their working career that they know well and they will tend to be their friends and they will tend to be like them. Whereas when you use social networks or data to say it's. So I look on referrals as having three different levels of the work in this area. So you have a recommendation which is I know this person, I endorsed their application, therefore they should be interviewed and they're probably going to be successful. The second level is a, what I call a referral, a genuine referral, which is I know or know of this person. Not well enough to endorse to them, but enough to say we should probably have a look at them based on this job. Or they do a similar job, and the third one is a social referral, which is the rebar social network. I'm connected to them. You know, I, I've, um, if I gave you an example, you know, if somebody asked me about David and whether they should work with David or employee David data where I could say, well, I kind of know his work. I can tell you what I say is okay, we connected, he's connected with the people that I know are good. Um, can I recommend him? Actually, we've never worked together so I can't endorse him. What I can tell you is everything I see around him looks good. So I think that's where organizations have to do is look on referral as pipeline not recommendations. So I think Spotify, classic example, they're trying to solve the wrong problem, try to solve the wrong problem with that and that, that's not pick it on Spotify as say that's really normal that we, we try and solve problems in culture fit all the time, you know. Um, I've worked with Google to know people in Google and they will say to you, um, the people like googlieness this is a reason when you say, well, what is the organization's googlieness? If you ever watched the film, the Intern, it's kind of like a documentary, so there is googlieness. So there is, is facebook calls them bookers, uh he's a booker.

David:

Well, prior to, Alight, prior to our rebrand we were Future Knowledge, fk, so employees were fkers.

Bill:

So you get lots of people rejected. Say it's for this reason generally means as you build homogenous teams and what you're missing, which damages business significantly is diversity of thought, you have diversity. You want people to come in and go, you want people who you have the right environment... but you want people, you want to have a team where two or three people are going to have opinions about how they do things, right? And then the process is how do we distill the best ideas and take pieces of how do we get these three people who think so different to work together collectively to the same aim. And I think all of our stuff, right? Culture fit and then we get to age. You know, I talked about it. People don't retire, they die because I can't afford to. It's already more. Right? So we've got lots of people now are looking at not going to university either financially or because of the value of it. So we've got a workforce of 17 to 70 with the perception, and I hear it all the time. Oh, we hired some millennials because they're technical. Anyone over the age of 30, he doesn't know how a computer works and yet you talk to young people. I had a friend of mine working for a startup in New York, quite a big one, a big one. They have about 500 employees. I used to refer to him as the old man in the company, he's 32. I'm 20 years old and they refer to him as the old man. And I called and that's why yesterday I said, right, I'm one of the slides I put up a women are um, women expect everything for nothing, they're looking for promotion straightaway, they knew that it was going well, you can't say that about women. I go, but you can say about millennials and it's okay. But it's this generalization. So, I think we have to do work on how do we do away with generalizations and how do we have diversity of teams, diversity, inclusion, inclusion. The other thing is lots of initiatives like, you know, I met with some people who talked about having a gay club at work with which the organization solved to try to be the right thing, but it's an engineeer saying, look, I tell you want to be known as the gay engineer. I don't mind being known as the engineer who is gay. I don't want to be the black engineer or the women in engineering. Right. It is really. When we give out women in engineering awards, I'm all for us having a framework that enables people to be included around particular issues they have. So I'm all for mentorship and training and kind of individual stuff that that takes into account who you are and what you might need in your particular case. Systems of work that allow for work. Like I mean, you know, one of, one of the biggest cases when I was doing the research that came up in terms of how people were viewed over pregnancy was a guy who wanted paternity, four months paternity. Like what kind of bloke are you? And he's like, yeah, I want to spend time with my kids, like why wouldn't you? But you were the one who had the baby, like what do you need time off for? So I think we have this whole thing of we've got to challenge, what we believe and think and take long, hard looks at our organization and say, what do we really think? And especially when we're using data now for our staff, is that data diverse or was it based on historical unconscious bias?

David:

Just kind of reinforcing it by this is this whole notion of algorithmic. What was that little bit.

Bill:

That's what I'm talking about today. I've always been algorithm

David:

Algorithmic. I can't say it because because of Doolan's last night, I can't. Algorithmic violence was the word that Aubrey from Atalassian, who you should meet. You should meet her. She's awesome on this. She's awesome. Full Stop. That she's awesome around this stuff. They talk about diversity and belonging rather. Diversity inclusion.

Bill:

Exactly. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

But yeah, she's talking about this algorithmic violence and that is, um, it's almost, there's this maliciousness to the algorithms.

Bill:

Well, yeah, it's also hidden. It's insidious. The chart says x higher than this one or promote this one or moves on and you're going, yeah, but that data was based on. Then it was look at the database or you know, if 80 percent of your engineers are male, probably 80 percent of your high performers are going to be male. If you think of a high performer data, Robert, and you base your decisions on that, which lots of people do in the whole hypo thing. I challenge anyway because I get people in organization. They're going, yeah, we've got all these initiatives, we do all this stuff for a high performance and you're kind of like, so how is the 90 percent ever going to get it?

David:

This is interesting. I think this is a real interesting piece on it because, um, every, your kids, we've all got kids, right? And I think you see that when you, when you come at it from a parental perspective, you said that every human being has potential, right? Yeah. Has high potential. Like they could be whatever they want to be. It's the conditioning. The environments will lead to constrain them. So why do we, why don't we have this premise that there's. We have to carve off this niche at the top of the pile that have higher potentials and the retention. These are all of our payroll happens. Every aspect. It happens in schools, you know, gifted programs.

Bill:

And it's also driving people down a certain route for outcomes in education. So in education where I see a back on another soapbox, but the big drive and how things are measured around STEM subjects, how you are successful in academia is short term memory recall. So I can read a book, regurgitate that book and then answer a question, but I'm going, yeah, I really don't need a short term memory not at least because I drink enough, but I don't need a short term memory because I have Google, one of these. What I need is when Google gives me five answers. I need the thought to compare answers and the ability to go and say what of this is true, the critical thinking, critical thinking, right? Um, and what's going to be useful when the future in terms of careers is going to be creativity, music, creative thinking, and actually creativity is being driven out. You know, teachers are being put in a position where they can't allow that because they're having to deliver a fixed curriculum, a fixed subject in order to pass an exam. Ken Robinson's been beating that drum for a while, so I'm very, very passionate about facts of right, yeah, this stuff isn't for a purpose.

Jared:

Wow, talk about covering some ground. I actually think this podcast, we could just put you down with one microphone and let you go.

Bill:

But all of those things connect and all of those things connect to rig the system against most of the people and it's kind of like there isn't some evil genius like I'd like to think let's do it this way in order to help these people would not do this. And that's why, you know, when you talk about diversity or inclusion or opportunity, especially when you're talking to HR people, it's not all evil genius say let's pay women twenty percent less. It just is and I think we were at a time now where, because we getting visibility because we're getting things, this is the time where we have to just go, this is wrong, it's fundamentally wrong. And I think if you ask most people, they would say if two people. So one of the things I believe in now passionately is job should pay what the value is of that job to the business regardless of who does it, right. And if that means someone's getting an extra twenty grand is gonna come along, that's great because we're in a system that just in the UK, because we have to publish payscales now over a certain size, what's become apparent is twenty percent women are paid on average, twenty percent less, right? So we look at it whenever they get a new job, if they get a pay rise, it's still a pay rise, which is fair. So we've got to go to things like, I'm not asking people's current salary. When I first introduced in some states, I thought well that's crazy. Never thought about it. Thought, you know what? If I don't know what you and I pay you, what you're worth, what I'm prepared to pay you for what you're worth, you can make a critical decision on that. Is that right? Is it wrong for me? Can I live with that? But then people say to me, yeah, well you know why we would have paid less. Why is that? They're not as good at negotiating. So in order to be successful, you've got to go and demand stuff. You don't give people what you think they deserve. That's what you want to be as an organization. Then you're going to say to me, how do I get a good employer brand? That's simple answer to that, be a good employer, don't be evil. Generally, companies who have done be evil in their logo aren't great companies.

David:

It's really radical what we're talking here, genuinely in the strictest sense of that because.

Bill:

And it shouldn't be.

David:

We we, the investment that's been made, all of the constructs around organizations and all of the systems and processes, are there a lot of the know we can, we can actually question a lot of the intent of it, but particularly in this area, of Dni, they're there to try and make it better, but actually they're quite often when they see the actual essence of it is we're all human beings. We all have high potential. We all bring something as individuals to the table, no matter what badge we wear

Bill:

And it will also require a bit of a contribution from us in total. Oh for sure. You're going to have to go, yeah, absolutely. We're going to have to go and put in our shift.

David:

But we got to look at society. We're talking about the Muslim. The problem with the perception around Muslims, you know that that is a challenge for those people in certainly Western societies that they shouldn't need to have to wear, so they have to weave through that to achieve their potential more than someone who doesn't have that attribute. Right. And so it's a, it's a broader than just organizations.

Bill:

But I think the thing that's really opened my eyes up out to it is, um, and I can look at the U.S. backed trump or that kind of stuff quite often since there's been a nationalist agenda and it's become people have talked about removing PC or whatever, so people are talking about things that they believe that they wouldn't have presented recently talked about. And what I've been really kind of surprised and shocked about is the number of people that I work with in HR or recruiting, some of whom have pretty senior roles, analysts included, who have quite strong views in terms of being Muslim or being gay trans people, whatever it is. Quite strong religious views. Maybe the impact on that, whatever it is, I'm a people are entitled to their own future as long as it doesn't damage it, restrict to other people. And Yeah, I've known a lot of these people for 10, 15 years and I'm kind of having to question stuff and go...if that is what you think, how does that affect your day to day decision making when you're shortlisting or your and none of you are conscious. When we talk about unconscious bias, none of you are doing this for our conversations that revealing some sort or I'm going, Whoa, I mean, how does that affect your job as a right? So, and I don't want to get too political on that because I can do, I can guarantee you that, but it's opened my eyes and I think that's the other factor that we really have to look at it and HR and organizations is facebook and politics right over the last period of time means everybody's connected and people are aware. I might have worked in an organization and put my white robes on on the weekend, Collenberg crosses and turn up on Monday and nobody knew. As long as I didn't do anything or say anything at work, nobody knew. Now everybody knows. What I'm seeing is people work together. Um, yeah. Glassdoor for racist, people I know who've worked together for. And those people will also have a very sound reason for why they consider themselves not racist, by the way. Whether that's tied up in there like, well I just hate terrorists. Well I am kinda like, yeah, I'm not that fond of them either. I'm not like trying to bring terrorists into the country, I think that is a valid argument. So that kind of stuff is creating a diversity of political thought, right? Because it's visible is creating massive issues in organizations. People who have worked together very happily 15 years now. So I can't. I can't stand by what they believe in, I can't be with them because we have visibility through Facebook and stuff. So I think these challenges are the real ones that HR should be thinking about and trying to figure out how to deal with.

Jared:

It's funny though, because you're talking about discovering things about people that you've known for a long time and they're in senior roles. Don't we have a duty to assume that the people in our organization are going to probably be unaware that some of the decisions they're making are being influenced by conscious bias, but it's there, right? Like you have to assume that it's going to exist.

Bill:

We're going to automate it... so the example I gave yesterday, which is kinda my favorite one, it is what I am going to talk about in the closing keynote is I've done a lot work with matching software and shortlisting software and that kind of stuff, as I'm sure you have done and anyone has really looked at that over the last last few years and the way in which organizations evaluate matching software is to take thousand CVs or resumes. Take the hundred top jobs, get your ten or twenty top recruiters, get them to make a short list and say, right, these other people that I would put forward. Then put them through the algorithm which is based on your previous higher post and you judge how good that software is by how closely it matches. So what automation and it's not AI, right, that's a myth. There is no AI yet, but there's very good machine learning right now which is what we need. So there's two factors to do with machine learning. One is three things. One, we have to give enough diverse data on which to base decisions, so maybe we need to base that, that data on the organization we want to be rather than the organization we are by challenging, some perception, challenging what good a good outcome would be in what high performances and look at all these things. We need to have enough data for the machine to work from and we need to give it enough time to learn. So this idea, I think with technology we've, because of iPhone because apple stuff, things like that. Yeah, we have a perception that I will take it out of the box and turn it on and it will work. Whereas actually we have to allow the machines to learn and test them and stuff by allowing technology to learn it because kind of what we do at the moment is like sending someone to score for the first day and saying take a degree. You know, everything already take a degree. Maybe will take a degree, take take your exam. I haven't learned anything yet. What is this technology will go, yeah, give us the answer. It's like I haven't done it in first grade or something. I haven't been out, so we were thinking technology is going to be different because we think it's this magic AI rather than machine learning and we misunderstand that, so that's what I'm going to be talking about in the closing keynote and that's all tied in with all of this. We need the diversity of the organization and and so the unconscious bit, I think we have to assume the that we have bias in our process. Not assume that we don't. Now, I'm not challenging the motive for that bias. I'm not saying this is just and I'm just assuming my process is biased.

Jared:

And we have to design in guardrails to to to work with it like we just did the shipments that you. Nobody's going to be truly neutral. You can't expect every person to sit in the center on every topic, so you have to assume that people are going to swing one way or the other.

Bill:

Right, and lots of reservations about interviews for hiring, CVs, all this kind of stuff, lots of good reasons, but we also, which a lot of people talk to me about a particularly for conferences and stuff. They'll go, everyone's talking about the future. I'm actually talking about the now. I've got to get 100 people hired, so you know what the future and right now I've got to use CVs. I do have a job description I've got to use. I've got to interview people.

Jared:

Yep. Well those are the tools we have. Yeah.

Bill:

This is what we have, the budget that we have. So this is what we need to do today and I think what people are looking for is that mix between. Yeah, what's the future gonna look like? What do we need to put in place to get that right? But equally, how can we challenge now? We want a little things that we can start doing, you know, and that's why back to the starting thing, inclusion before diversity and get you inclusion, right? You have a place where people want to work and they can be successful according to how they do their work, not according to what or who they are. Then you will have diversity because then will want to work. They won't have to create an employee. Brian, you will have an employee Brian.

Jared:

Yeah by default.

David:

Well Bill, thank you so much for your time. Great conversation. We want to show you have to split this one two. Awesome, awesome to have a chance to meet with you and connect with your audience as well. Thanks everyone. That was the talking people and tech podcast brought to you by a Alight solutions. Thanks for listening. Subscribe now to catch our next episode.