If you were to hold a mirror up to your current staff, would it be an accurate reflection of the community you’re rooted in?
If it’s not an exact match — you’re not alone. In fact, 86% of respondents to Hireology’s latest survey revealed that they hadn’t tried to improve their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the past year at all. In this society (and economy), DEI efforts have never been more important to businesses, as these are the keys to creating a welcoming environment for not only your current and future staff, but the community around you at large.
DEI may seem like an intimidating concept at face value, but it really is quite simple: doing the right thing for your employees by creating a safe space for them to truly be themselves. All you have to do is create a way to tap into your employees’ interests and give them the opportunity to pursue those passions in a meaningful way while knowing that they’re supported by your business.
Don’t believe us?
Just take a look at what Nicole Stull, Customer Success Manager at Hireology, has to say about being a part of our own DEI Council, our solution to supporting and welcoming all of our employees regardless of their backgrounds, sexual orientations, race, or otherwise. If you missed our last piece on all the good that Hireology’s DEI Council has done in 2022, you can catch up here.
Behind the curtains at DEI
Hireology: DEI means a little something different to everyone. What does it mean to you?
Nicole Stull: Besides giving you the literal definition of DEI, [the DEI Council here] creates more of a level of integrated culture amongst the entire company by bringing teams together that maybe don’t interact as much and people from different backgrounds, period. Everyone is included in one group where they can feel safe to chat about topics that could be sensitive in nature. It’s really about creating a safe place for people of all cultures to be included.
H: Why did you choose to get involved with Hireology’s DEI Council?
NS: I’m super passionate about creating that safe space for people. As someone who is in the performing scene in Chicago, I’ve often felt that there were very few safe spaces for performers to go and feel included because we might have dialogue that might not be accepted by everyone. I wanted to be a part of that safe space, for myself and others.
H: Which, if any, of the DEI campaigns have you been involved in?
NS: Most recently, I was a part of the lunch packing effort for The Night Ministry. I helped make sandwiches for that and made sure that the sack lunches were delivered appropriately as well. I was a part of collaborating literally with everyone in the office that day and making sure we completed the activity in the allotted time we had and that the organization got everything we made for them. I also participated in the beach clean up, which was awesome! We went to beaches on the southside to clean things up. Since we were assigned groups, I got the chance to connect with people I normally wouldn’t. Part of the activity was to tally up how many things we found in each category, which was really eye-opening.
H: What’s your favorite part of being a member of Hireology’s DEI Council?
NS: My favorite part is getting to collaborate with Hireology’s Cultural Ambassadors, another group I’m a part of. When these two groups do events together, they get done in a really thoughtful and productive way since everyone on both teams are super collaborative and willing to raise their hands when things need to get done. Other than that, I really enjoy the biweekly meetings where we discuss fun topics.
H: Why is the DEI Council so important here at Hireology?
NS: The DEI Council is so important here because it creates a safe space for people to be involved at the company at a different level than just their jobs. We have our to-dos and daily tasks as employees, but it’s awesome to be included in a group where you can give back to the community. By collaborating with other groups here like Prideology, we can create that important level of inclusion. A lot of companies don’t think about when hiring, if someone is not comfortable — they won’t work for you. Hireology does a great job of making people feel comfortable and welcome. The DEI Council does a really good job at trying to make sure everyone feels as comfortable as possible, whereas a lot of companies just want people in a seat.
H: Have you ever been on a DEI Council before?
NS: At the company I previously worked at, there was no DEI, no culture ambassador — not even HR. It was on team members to collaborate together and pitch in money to do things; if we wanted to do anything like getting a card for a coworker’s life event, it was paid for out of our own pockets. The culture was really toxic. It’s a black and white difference between that and Hireology, for sure.
H: What does the DEI Council do for the company as a whole?
NS: The volunteer events we do are awesome! The DEI Council encourages me to remind other people to remember to give back to our community. At Hireology, we get paid off time to volunteer, which makes a big difference. For companies that don’t currently have this policy, it’s important to note that the one day where your employees “aren’t being productive” can make a big difference. It’s good to give back even if it is during the workday.
H: What’s been your favorite presentation or event so far?
NS: My favorite presentation/event was the mental health panel! I participated in this as a panelist; we mainly talked about what therapy is and how it can be instrumental to everybody, no matter what age you are, who you are, or where you are. It was very, very cool to see a ton of people from the company stand up and talk about their journey with therapy. It was really awesome to hear about everybody’s different experiences with therapy and how it has helped them in their life. The panel had guiding questions prepared to help lead the conversation; overall, it gave people a ton of information. Some people were like, “I didn’t realize there’s so many different layers to therapy!” That was one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done in my three years at Hireology — and in my career. It was really moving and ultimately, encouraged a few people to seek out therapy for themselves. That was an amazing thing we got to do, as a company, a DEI Council member, and as a human.
H: What DEI Council plans for the next year are you most excited about?
NS: We just had our planning session, so I am most excited for more panels, lunch and learns, and just continuing collaboration with Prideology and Cultural Ambassadors. I especially enjoy when these teams come together as one entity, as you’ve probably already guessed. The planning sessions themselves are so much fun; we just ask, “What do we want to do?” and narrow down the 12,000 ideas we come up with!
H: Can you describe the vibe of the DEI Council?
NS: The vibe of DEI Council is fun, integrated, collaborative, very inclusive, and exciting. We have so many different people from different aspects of life on our team and that’s even opened my eyes when people talk about past experiences or things done in their lives. The different levels of everything everyone brings to the table really elevates these meetings to something I’ve always wanted to find, but never thought I would be able to actualize — especially at a company!
DEI and you
At Hireology, we’re strong proponents of practicing what we preach but that’s easy to do when we know that these changes work. One of the great aspects about working at Hireology is knowing that you’ll be respected for your differences, no matter what they are. We know that these differences only strengthen our business and ultimately help us better serve our customers. Can you say that about your company?
Keep your eye out for following DEI Council member highlights! The more inspiration we can provide to you, the better you can build an inclusive and welcoming work environment — and the better you can hire and retain local talent!