Strategies for Inclusively and Equitably Attracting Diverse TalentPart IIIb: Recruitment Process Changes

This is the fourth of five posts in a series of blog posts that explore Third Sector’s progress in evaluating and redesigning our recruitment practices with a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens.

Alongside gathering Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) baseline data that now informs our understanding of the composition of our candidate pipeline, we recognize the importance of ensuring each step of our interview process is equitable. Each summer, Third Sector hires two “Summer Managers” to join our team for a 10-week internship assisting with client engagements and special initiatives that drive the firm’s growth, that can result in an offer for a full-time position. This year, we leveraged the Summer Manager recruitment process to pilot changes to attract a more diverse applicant pool and to create a more equitable interview process that more fully recognizes and values a broader range of applicant experiences and skillsets. Small teams that spanned over half of Third Sector’s employees, across all levels and offices, worked to revamp the entire interview process. These three blog posts outline the key changes made to the Summer Manager interview process:

  • Rewriting the job description to align with the core competencies required for the Summer Manager role and to outline the recruitment process upfront
  • Re-evaluating the Summer Manager compensation package
  • Restructuring the thirty- and sixty-minute interviews to align with the chosen core competencies

Summer Manager Compensation 

Our team hypothesized that Third Sector offered a lower than market compensation package for summer internship opportunities, and that the compensation may have limited the diversity of our applicant pool and number of accepted offers in past Summer Manager searches. In order to test this hypothesis, a series of interviews with former Summer Managers and in-depth online research of peer organizations was conducted. We recognize that we interviewed only those who successfully found the job posting, navigated the interview process, and joined the Third Sector team for ten weeks as a Summer Manager which creates a biased set of data points; however, valuable insights were gathered and synthesized with that bias in mind.

As a result of the above process, several recommendations and changes were made regarding compensation of the Summer Manager program. The analyses revealed that Third Sector’s Summer Manager stipend is in fact generally aligned with, and at times above, the market compared to other social impact organizations. Furthermore, we also found the stipend amount to be competitive with other smaller and mid-size private sector companies. Given these results, we did not recommend an increase in the stipend amount, but instead suggested that the compensation amount be published in the job posting itself. The rationale was that increased transparency and information will encourage a broader set of applicants to apply and may attract those who may have been discouraged from doing so otherwise given the uncertainty around salary. The team came to the conclusion that any additional funding available would be better spent creating partnerships and conducting outreach with organizations working with traditionally underrepresented groups.

Finally, the team also recommended that the firm increase support to Summer Managers by (A) front-loading the stipend disbursement to address the moving and upfront costs associated with starting a new job, possibly in a new city, and (B) creating a mentorship/buddy system to better support the transition process and onboarding experience.

Learn more about how we restructured our phone interview process here.