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Progressive Hiring Pledge

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Progressive organizations, campaigns, firms, and other employers in the progressive political space have a responsibility to implement hiring practices that align with their values. But despite public commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion, many organizations within the space continue to run hiring processes that reinforce inequities. It’s time to change that. 

We invite you to sign this pledge and commit to working towards putting your organizational values into action in your hiring processes.

We all know that poor hiring processes can mean that we fail to recruit the best talent, which negatively impacts our organizations, the progressive ecosystem as a whole, and ultimately our ability to win on critical issues. While limited time, money, institutional memory, departmental constraints, and know-how are very real constraints, employers in the progressive ecosystem can do better. 

Progressive Pipeline and Arena have teamed up to propose ten clear and actionable steps hiring managers, and others involved in managing the hiring process, can implement to live their values throughout the hiring process. These steps are based on our deep experience, having collectively supported the hiring processes of thousands of progressive organizations through our training programs, fellowships, and thought leadership. We understand what is aspirational and what can be implemented today. 

Let’s raise the bar, hold ourselves accountable, and collectively show top talent that progressive organizations are doing the necessary work to live up to our values.

Sign the pledge >>>

Each organization that signs onto this collective agreement/compact will aim to:

Implement a standardized hiring process. 

Every candidate, regardless of personal network or connections, should navigate the same hiring process, including, but not limited to, an equal number of interview rounds, an equitable skills test, and similar interview questions. The hiring process should have some form of a written roadmap, be it an internal document, a spreadsheet, or something else that is closely adhered to throughout the hiring cycle. Within that roadmap, the organization should predetermine how many rounds of interviews will be conducted, what questions will be asked, and what skills tests will be administered.

Check out our interview and applicant tracker to structure your hiring process >>

Post all open positions publicly. 

All roles that are open to external candidates should be posted on free public jobs boards (for example, Arena Careers) to source a diverse pool of applicants. If knowledge of an internal opening would give your competitors an advantage, consider a general job posting that does not identify your organization.

Check out this list of public jobs boards >>

Create comprehensive job descriptions. 

Thoughtful job descriptions yield thoughtful applicants. The job description should include an organization summary, role summary, list of responsibilities, clear qualifications and requirements, and benefits. That job description should guide the development of the hiring process.

Check out this guide to job descriptions >>

Share accurate compensation information (i.e., salary ranges) on all job postings.

All roles should have compensation information, such as salary ranges. Posting this information helps ensure that bias does not impact the ultimate salary for a role and protects both the employer and applicant’s time by filtering out applicants who are looking for roles outside of that salary range. Salaries should be reviewed before the hiring process begins to ensure pay equity across the organization. In addition, a growing number of state and local laws require the disclosure of salary ranges on job posts and some also require employers to include a summary of benefits. You should consult with legal counsel if you have questions.

Remove or redefine education requirements. 

In our view, the vast majority of roles in the progressive ecosystem do not require a high school, undergraduate, or graduate degree. Often, education requirements make employment in the progressive ecosystem unattainable for a wide range of job seekers. Unless academic credentials or certifications are absolutely necessary to hold the position and execute the job responsibilities (e.g., for legal roles), eliminate them from your job requirements or explicitly list them as “nice-to-have.”

Put diversity front and center in the recruitment strategy. 

Progressive organizations should be doing intentional outreach to prospective candidates from underrepresented communities. That includes both posting roles publicly to jobs boards that target underrepresented communities and doing intentional, 1:1 outreach to candidates from diverse backgrounds.

Progressive Pipeline and Arena have a track record of excelling in this, and we’d love to help you strengthen your recruitment strategy – let’s connect! >>

Offer accommodations for people with disabilities. 

Every hiring process should have an easy and transparent way for people with disabilities to request accommodations throughout the hiring process. It’s important to recognize that societal norms often exclude and stigmatize folks with visible and invisible disabilities. As you email applicants to administer hiring tasks and schedule interviews, include an explicit invitation to request accommodations. See below for sample language:

Check out this ‘Disability in the Workplace’ report from Meso Solutions >>

Ask about Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice (DEIJ) within the hiring process. 

In the screening, first round, second round, and/or other phase of the hiring process, organizations should ask at least one question to measure DEIJ/Cultural Competency. Ensuring that new team members have a positive impact on existing organizational culture is important. While the scope of DEIJ/cultural competency questions can be broad, consider what’s important within the context of the role being hired for. For example, candidates’ motivation for centering DEIJ, experience having done so, reflections on experiences where they could’ve done more, knowledge of successful/innovative practices, perspective on common misunderstandings of DEIJ principles, etc.

Check out this ‘3 Ways to Test for Racial Equity & Inclusion Competency’ resource from The Management Center and reach out to Michael + Danny at Progressive Pipeline to learn more >>

Communicate with each applicant. 

Hiring processes end with one candidate getting hired, but many other candidates having a lasting impression of the organization. Mindful communication with applicants can leave them feeling good about the organization and also open to potential future roles. To that end, organizations should explain the hiring process to all candidates and commit to never ghosting candidates, even those who don’t make it to the first interview round.  They should send rejection notices to each candidate, regardless of how far they progress through their hiring process. For applicants that make it to the end of a longer hiring process, a call can be appropriate.

Check out this rejection/release email template >>

This Applicant Tracker can help you manage candidate communications >>

Create a deliberate onboarding plan for each new team member. 

A substantive onboarding plan sets the tone for each new hire so it should be crafted with the same care and attention as the rest of the hiring process. The length and scope of an onboarding plan may vary, but it should include clear, achievable goals with time-based check-ins at the 1-day, 1-week, and 30/60/90-day benchmarks. Additionally, effective onboarding plans could include an introduction to team culture expectations, performance indicators, communication norms, and any other guidelines that can help the team member settle into their new role. Regardless of what the final onboarding plan includes, it should span longer than the new employee’s first day and it should be completely drafted prior to their start date. 

Check out this Onboarding Checklist from The Management Center >>

Next Steps

By signing this pledge, your organization agrees to work towards implementing these recommendations in your hiring process. 

Collectively, we can make the progressive ecosystem better for jobseekers and employers and ultimately strengthen our movement to deliver the victories we are fighting for. 

Feel free to reach out to Danny Perez (danny@progressivepipeline.org) with any questions or suggestions. Thanks for your support and work to make our community more equitable and inclusive. 

Invest in the next generation of progressive changemakers.