Over the past few years, the Salesforce industry has struggled with the same issue that has plagued the tech industry as a whole — a lack of diversity. A common explanation for the lack of diversity and inclusivity has been the hiring pipeline — that not enough women, people of color, and people with diverse backgrounds have the skills and knowledge needed for the roles technology companies are trying to fill. But that is a myth. All too often, the “more qualified” traditional white and Asian male candidates that typically fill these roles are equally or sometimes less qualified than the women and BIPOC that are passed over.
There is a growing untapped population of qualified people from diverse backgrounds waiting for a chance to prove that they have what it takes to succeed in the Salesforce Ohana. Many companies are taking steps to address diversity and inclusion in their hiring practices — focusing on removing unconscious bias in job postings and hiring diversity and inclusion officers. However, statistics show that these efforts alone aren’t enough. To make a real difference, companies need to shift their approach to seeking new talent. Looking for talent in diverse talent pools is a great way to start. But, where do you find them?
There are some awesome organizations out there that are committed to diversifying the Salesforce pipeline. The next time you’re looking to hire, these are a great place to start.
Founded by Tiffany Spencer, HBCUforce empowers college and university students of color to get Salesforce Certified and implement programs that provide pathways to success in cloud computing careers. She’s trying to get as many HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) as possible to partner with HBCUforce. HBCUforce is always looking for employers willing to take on graduates as employees or apprentices.
Founded by Gaspar Rodriguez, Refugeeforce invests in the skilled, motivated, and diverse refugee and asylum seekers and status holders who struggle to find employment matching their interests, experience, and ambitions. They are on a mission to create a more diverse, inclusive, and integrated community of technical professionals. They are working towards a world where talent is globally recognized and opportunities are equally accessible, with 3 cohorts a year.
PepUp Tech was founded in 2016 to help underrepresented groups gain access to careers in the tech industry through three core programs: Young Tech Explorers, Salesforce Bootcamp, and Salesforce Virtual Academy. While the tech career ecosystem is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States, it is also the least diverse. By running programs that give bright, motivated, underserved students the skills, mentorship, and confidence needed to begin careers in tech, PepUp Tech has developed a scalable model of workforce development that will benefit thousands of young people and the tech industry as a whole.
Salesforce Talent Alliance
The Salesforce Talent Alliance connects partners to a diverse set of Salesforce candidates, bringing new talent into the ecosystem from around the globe through the Talent Alliance Pledge. The pledge, which Lab5 has recently joined, is a commitment to creating a culture of equality at your company through inclusive hiring practices, devote 20% of annual hiring to new Salesforce professionals with <6 months of experience, and automate interviews for talent coming from Salesforce training programs.
By 2024, Salesforce will create 4.2 million jobs worldwide. Because of the abundance of learning opportunities and massive salary potential as skills grow, Salesforce jobs are well-known for their ability to change people’s lives. Diversifying the Salesforce talent pool can have a huge economic impact on communities that have historically been overlooked and left out of the successes of the tech industry.
The past year has seen massive growth in the number of companies committing to uplift underserved communities. But, without strategic action in core areas of your business, those declarations are unlikely to drive real change. It’s time to move away from old fashion hiring practices that only lead to the same type of candidates. It’s time to put action behind words. In short, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is.