Smartly Tips to Reduce Bias During the Hiring Process

Here are a few tips to help you better evaluate candidates and improve your hiring practices.

Harvard Business Review cites that “fair hiring methods increase the level of productivity and innovation at your organization, and can even improve employee retention rates.” At Smartly, we believe that all candidates deserve a fair chance at being considered for roles they’re qualified for. Some common hiring biases include: age, disability, nationality, race, color, religion, and gender. Our hiring engine allows employers to evaluate candidates based on a candidate profile, which is designed to showcase: experience, skillset, and potential. In an effort to reduce unconscious bias, we give employers the ability to browse profiles without pictures or names. Check it out in Smartly Talent (log back in).

Smartly Feature to Reduce Bias
Access this setting in the “Preferences” section of Smartly Talent

Here are a few other ways you can reduce bias in your hiring process:

  • Implement a blind CV policy that omits name, gender, and nationality from candidates’ profiles. This helps ensure that a candidate is judged on their merits and achievements.
  • Establish a uniform vetting and interview process. Standardize questions, by using a uniform script. This helps ensure that candidates of all background are asked the same screening questions.
  • When asking personality and behavioral questions, be sure to ask questions that are gender neutral and test temperament required to excel in the role and a team setting.
  • Also, having multiple interviewers at each stage ensures a diversity of perspectives when it comes time to evaluate a candidate post-interview.

We hope these tips help you better evaluate our candidates and improve your hiring practices! Head back to Smartly to browse our candidates!

And, while we are in beta, your first hire is free!

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How to Effectively Reach Out to Candidates

Here’s how to get the most out of your initial interaction with desired candidates for open roles at your company.

Finding a high caliber candidate in a pool of 1000s of resumes can be incredibly hard. Even when you find that one candidate you think is “perfect” from a big pool, you never know if their aptitude, skills and work ethic matches the attributes you see on their resume. To counter this problem, the brain trust behind Smartly built an education platform and hiring engine that work hand-in-hand to attract students from top schools and with great experience. Moreover, the candidates in Smartly are learning while working full time; they’re motivated individuals with the work ethic and drive to be constantly improving. It took years of content development and fine-tuning to ensure that Smartly’s learning programs and hiring engine are optimized to allow you to source, connect, and hire only the best candidates.

At Smartly Talent, we know that sourcing candidates is only the first move in the chess game that is a recruiting process. After matching with potential candidates, it’s important to swiftly reach out to move from match to qualified connection by piquing their interest in the role that you’re trying to fill. The initial contact you make with them often sets the tone for the rest of the recruiting process. To make things a little easier for you, we came up with a few tips on how to craft the best message(s) to reach out to our candidates. Here’s how to get the most out of your initial interaction:

1. Share briefly what makes you interested in the candidate’s skillset and identify any commonalities you may have with them or they might have with the company. Begin by asking for a conversation rather than giving a long spiel about the company and the role you’re trying to fill.

  • If their hobbies or interests align with something that you’re into, this would be a great way to open and build a connection.
  • Also, express what about their experience interested you.

2. State what position(s) you are recruiting for (i.e. title, team, and location).

  • You may also choose to go into some detail about the role, company structure, and perks to get the candidate excited about speaking with you further.

3. End with a time-specific call to action. Suggest a time and date (or two) to speak more about the role you’re trying to fill.

  • This could be a link to your calendar so they can pick a time and slot to speak.
  • You could ask for a phone call or a video meeting if there is mutual interest as well.

Here’s an example:

Hi Sally,

We are hiring for data scientist in our San Francisco office. Your experience at Company A suggests you might be a good fit. I also noticed you studied at University B; many folks in our office went there and I am happy to connect you with an alum.

Would you be interested in connecting about the data scientist role? I am free on Wednesday from 9-11am.

Best,

Jason

It’s important to remember that the candidates are often busy in their day-to-day. It’s best to give them a couple of days to respond to your message.

We hope these tips help you better connect with our candidates! So sign-up or head back to Smartly to browse our candidates today!

And, while we are in beta, your first hire is free!

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Smartly Talent has High Response Rates!

Smartly Talent makes finding talented candidates easy by increasing the chances you’ll hear back from those you reach out to.

At Smartly Talent, we know how hard it is to build a team of all-stars. Casting a wide net by posting on job board sites and hoping to find the right candidate(s) can be time-consuming and frustrating.

Our platform is an intuitive end-to-end solution that seamlessly connects employers with talented Smartly candidates. Not only are our candidates vetted, coming from a variety of top schools and top companies, but they’re also responsive.

After going through our employer-candidate connection data, we found that 89% of employers received responses when they wrote to candidates through Smartly. That means, if you send messages to 10 candidates through Smartly Talent, you’ll likely hear back from eight to nine of them!

We make finding talented candidates easy and have systems in place so that you hear back from those you reach out to.

Connect with Candidates for your openings today! While we are in beta, your first hire is free. So sign up or head back to Smartly to browse our candidates today!

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How Smartly Talent Works for Candidates

While Smartly is known for pioneering one-of-a-kind, online MBA & Executive MBA education programs, we also take pride in our budding career network, Smartly Talent. Smartly Talent is designed as an employer first career network, which means that employers browse our candidate profiles and reach out if and when they think there is a fit for their openings. This is our way of closing the loop in the hiring process—we teach you the skills necessary to advance your career, then we help you get hired.

  • Joining Smartly Talent: If you are accepted into the Business Certificate, MBA, and EMBA programs, you are automatically eligible to join our career network, Smartly Talent. Just make sure that you have set your profile to “Active” in the Careers Preferences tab. If you aren’t a Smartly student, you can still apply to join Smartly Talent by applying here. You can find some tips for how to make your profile stand out to employers here.
  • You are liked!: If an employer has expressed interest in your profile, you receive an email prompting them to respond to the employer – you can either like or pass on the employer.
  • It’s a match!: If you like the employer back, the employer receives an email alerting them of the good news!
  • Connect with the Employer: We now have a match and anyone can kick off the conversation to see if it will be a good fit. We recommend starting the conversation as soon as possible! A polite “Hello, nice to meet you! I’m curious to learn more about your open roles” or something similar should jump-start the conversation.
  • Receive Interview Requests: Employers can schedule interview requests with students over Smartly Talent’s messaging platform.
  • Keep in Touch: We realize that everyone’s busy, but if you haven’t heard from an employer in more than a week, we recommend sending another message to check-in!
  • Get Hired! Let us know anytime if we can help you in your career journey.

Occasionally, we will share an Employer Spotlight email to support you and our companies by sharing a few of our employers with you, our students, and then proactively suggest viable candidates to those employers.

Questions? Feel free to email Smartly Career Services at hiring@smart.ly!

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Smartly MBA Student Spotlight: Hafeez Dhalla

This week, we chatted with biotech expert Hafeez Dhalla, who is in currently in our Fall 2016 class and about to graduate. We learned more about his MBA experience and what’s in store for him post-Smartly. Browse, connect, and hire candidates like Hafeez on the Smartly Talent Network.

Tell us about yourself.
In 2012, I finished a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at Duke, where I researched an imaging technology that provides ophthalmology surgeons with a cross-sectional view of the tissues they are manipulating – a different vantage point than they can achieve from the top-down view through a microscope. After graduating, I initially followed an academic path as a postdoctoral fellow at MIT.  I then had an opportunity to join my Ph.D. advisor’s startup, Bioptigen, which was trying to commercialize a technology similar to the intraoperative imaging technology I worked on in graduate school. At Bioptigen, I saw this product from the research phase, through product development and ultimately into commercialization. Bioptigen was then acquired by Leica Microsystems, and I moved from an engineering role to a commercial one. Now, as a product manager, I work directly with surgeons in an upstream marketing capacity, gathering feedback and defining requirements to improve the product. I am also still the resident technology expert, and so I still perform a fair amount of technical work as well. I had wanted to do an MBA to support my new commercial role, but it was difficult to find the time or the funding to do it. That’s when I found Smartly. It seemed like a natural fit – the classes were the right size and could fit it into my schedule whenever I had time. It gives me the knowledge I need for my new commercial role without the rigid structure of a traditional MBA.

How has the Smartly curriculum helped you?
I use it all the time. For example, the digital marketing course has been really useful of late. We’ve been looking at digital marketing campaigns for one of the products that we’re launching. While I’m not directly involved in the downstream marketing work, I do work closely with the marketing team and help to develop content for their campaigns. Knowing what they’re talking about (for example, when they discuss inbound and outbound marketing) has been invaluable. A lot of the content that I develop is tailored to inbound marketing, but they’ll create outbound campaigns to draw people into the technical pieces that I create.

What have you enjoyed about the MBA so far?
How bite-sized the classes are. I’m pretty busy. I have a young kid and another on the way. I have a full-time job and some investment activities on the side, so my days are pretty full. When I was thinking about doing a weekend or executive MBA, I wasn’t sure how I could squeeze it in. This has been great.

What are you hoping to get out of Smartly Talent?
I took on this MBA to help me with my current career path. Of course, if I were able to find something that would be a good fit for my experience and skills, I would be interested in learning more.

What are you hoping to do after you graduate?
The knowledge base provided by Smartly has been valuable and will continue to be valuable in this new career path that I’m on. Looking towards the future, I’m not sure if I want to stay on the commercial side or move back to the technical side. I like what I’m doing right now where I’m straddling both. I would love to have a career that maintains roles in both product development and product management.

Which industries are most appealing to you?
Medical technology and medical devices. I’m also interested in renewable energy and global health. Anything that addresses large overarching problems in the world.

What is your long-term career goal?
I’m hopeful that I can make an impact on the world and make it a better place through the development and commercialization of technologies in these spaces.  I think I can best do that through a product development or product management role, especially one in which I can leverage my technical skills.

What makes you a great job candidate?
I am pretty persistent, and when I get into something, I’m very dedicated to it. I’ve been working on this same technology for over a decade, trying to develop a product I believe in and bring it to market. That experience has been valuable in that I’ve been able to take something through multiple phases: from conception in the research lab to product development in a startup to global commercialization in a multinational corporation. I’ve learned a great deal through these experiences; from the rigors of academic research, to addressing more practical concerns in product development, to now navigating commercial challenges in product management and new product introduction.

Are you looking to hire MBA candidates like Hafeez? See them all by signing up here.

To our pioneer class: Congratulations on your graduation, MBAs!

After comprehensive academic study, extensive case study discussions, and rigorous exams—they’ve done it.

After comprehensive academic study, extensive discourse in our case study discussions, and the completion of rigorous exams, they’ve done it—graduated from a new elite MBA program that’s the only mobile-first degree system.

Smartly’s MBA is aligned with curricula taught at the world’s most prestigious business schools, and our students are selected through an admission process modeled on those of top institutions. Graduates will enjoy the gains from their studies over a lifetime. Indeed, many already point to real world gains from the program.

We congratulate our pioneers on their accomplishment and wish them the very best in their endeavors! But enough of us and our excitement, let’s hear from our students themselves:

Smartly makes it easy for you to demystify the business world. It presents concepts and knowledge in ways that are applicable to any field and can help you have a greater understanding of the world around you. There is no reason not to use Smartly to better yourself. I can’t believe I went to two universities for undergraduate and graduate school, and never learned what Smartly offered.Erin Pellegrino (Cornell University ‘14, Harvard University ‘16, Smartly Summer ‘16)

Smartly’s flipped classroom model was accessible to me everywhere I went, even if I only had 10 minutes. The format engaged me more than most classes I’ve taken in person. I’ve had the chance to get to know amazing classmates, and I feel better equipped to tackle real-world problems with the knowledge I’ve gained.Sachin Doshi (Duke University ‘14, Smartly Summer ‘16)

Finding out about Smartly and deciding to apply is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I had taken the GMAT, done really well on it, and been considering applying to MBA programs but was wary of the time commitment and the student debt involved. And because I’d started and failed with multiple startups in the past and trying once again with another startup as a stubborn entrepreneur, a traditional MBA was simply too difficult of a choice. Thanks to Smartly, on top of having a degree, I now understand many of the business mistakes I had made in the past, how to assess my own strengths, and can see where I can improve my chances for success as an entrepreneur. If only Smartly had existed before I’d started my other companies… but then perhaps I wouldn’t appreciate it as much.Raphael Mun (Carnegie Mellon ‘08, Smartly Summer ‘16)

This MBA will put you at the forefront of business innovation because that’s exactly what it will be to employers.Chance Carpenter (Stanford University ‘15, Smartly Summer ‘16)

The Smartly program is an excellent tool for learning the skills needed to excel in business without attending a traditional university. After just a few courses, I already felt more confident at work and had a better understanding of company operations and business development. I would highly recommend Smartly to anyone looking to improve their skills in finance, accounting, marketing and management.Jennifer Argote (Dartmouth ‘10, Smartly Summer ‘16)

As a single mother of a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old, working a full-time job and a part-time job on the side, this program has made the impossible possible for me. I don’t currently have the time or the money to go back to school, but Smartly’s flexibility has allowed me to achieve this great accomplishment without having to compromise my employment or sacrifice time with my family.Aleisha Matlock (Northwestern ‘15, Smartly Summer ‘16)

I loved Smartly! As an undergraduate engineering major with very little business knowledge, I found the coursework to be straightforward and do a great job of teaching application of the concepts. I have already found myself applying my knowledge every day in my current job!Katie Ernst (Duke University ‘15, Smartly Summer ‘16)

Smartly is the future of education; fast, effective and mobile. If a traditional MBA doesn’t fit your lifestyle, give Smartly a look.Ian Lee (University of North Carolina ‘12, Smartly Summer ‘16, Carnegie Mellon University ‘17)

Smartly was an amazing experience! The platform’s ability to deliver content in bite-sized, case study-based, at-your-own-pace approach really helped me engage with the material and take a lot away from this program. I know I’ll put the skills I learned here to use on the job. All that and a debt burden of $0!Pavel Gurevich (UC Berkeley ‘10, Smartly Summer ‘16)

I loved the Smartly program and recommended it to all my friends. I have never experienced interactive learning the way the Smartly program provides. I was able to understand concepts without reading hundreds of textbook pages. Highly recommended this to anybody who has an interest in learning and wants to take their career to the next level!Lindsey Allard (Dartmouth College ‘14, Smartly Summer ‘16)

Smartly has given me the opportunity to not only work alongside incredibly talented classmates from around the country but also to solidify concepts in a tangible and meaningful way, wherever I am, all via smartphone. Thank you, Smartly!Brooke Gerstein (Cornell University ‘15, Smartly Summer ‘16)

Smartly is the Amazon Prime of MBAs. There’s no reason not to sign up for it. It’s free, the content is highly detailed and memorable, and you get to expand your network with people from top 10 schools. Coming from taking finance courses at Wharton, I found the content of the courses to be of similar caliber.Yash Jain (George Washington University ‘14, University of Pennsylvania ‘16, Smartly Summer ‘16)

Learn more about applying to Smartly’s MBA: https://smart.ly.
Learn more about hiring students from our program: https://smart.ly/hiring.

 

Smartly MBA Student Spotlight: Adrian De Smul

In the last few weeks before Smartly graduates its pioneer MBA class, we wanted to feature some of our outstanding students. Current Smartly student Adrian De Smul, who works at McKinsey and graduated from Princeton, tells us about his decision to join Smartly and plans for the future in the interview below. Browse, connect, and hire candidates like Adrian on the Smartly Talent Network.

Tell us about yourself.
I did my undergrad at Princeton in Mechanical Engineering and did a year abroad at Oxford. I ended up doing a lot of Computer Science. Most of my summers, I found more CS oriented gigs and enjoyed that a lot more so ended up doing a summer internship at McKinsey Digital as a full-stack developer. I joined full-time after I graduated and have been in the digital unit every since. I started off doing some front-end development but ended up switching over to a group that helps clients build agile teams to deliver software more effectively. I’ve learned not only how to deliver software differently but also how to put clients at the center of everything that you do.

What inspired you to do the Smartly MBA?
I thought it was a good change to strengthen my broader range of business skills. Especially, when you look at things like A/B testing and optimization and seeing how to get more statistical rigor in some of these user tests.Being more comfortable reading a balance sheet is not something I have to do very often but it’s nice to have that tool in my toolkit.

What have you enjoyed about Smartly?
The fact that you can do it at your own pace, I love. The fact that it works on your phone – it works everywhere. Each of the lessons is just fun – they never really feel like a chore (with the exception of the Accounting ones, which I’m hiding from). It’s easy and online – that’s what keeps me coming back. I also like the bit of gamification – it’s all broken down into very manageable submodules. You can get through a lesson in a few minutes and feel like it’s just done. You don’t have to get through a huge assignment or anything like that.

How has the Smartly coursework affected your day-to-day?
Right now, I’m working on something related to digital culture. We have a bunch of survey results that came back, and I’m able to look at them with a more critical and statistical eye. we have data based by industry, segmented in all these different ways, and there’s interesting statistical work that you can do when you have that much data. I think being able to look for survey results in a little bit deeper way is something I found interesting. The Marketing courses have also been interesting in the sense that I haven’t really gotten to use it for work yet, but it’s something that is very applicable and is not totally intuitive. The way that you can structure pricing, especially around sales and different marketing opportunities, we kind of skirt around those topics in conversation, but it’s nice to have the vocabulary to be able to talk more authoritatively about the marketing side of things.

What industries most interest you?
Part of the reason I did the Smartly MBA is that I really love EdTech. I wanted to see how Smartly was changing EdTech. That’s definitely one area. I’ve done a lot of work with McKinsey in banking and finance, so I think there’s still some cool ways of getting involved in FinTech that would be a lot of fun and would leverage my skill set really well.

What makes you a great job candidate?
For me, the experience that I’ve had in the past. And the Smartly MBA is yet another different thing that I’ve gotten the opportunity to do. I’ve gotten to work on four continents with a huge variety of teams, clients, and industries. I’ve done work ranging from product ownership to agile coaching to DevOps engineering for an engineering transformation, so it’s been a variety of skill sets, but all-around digital application development and building a great digital team.

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Would you like to find more candidates like Adrian? Sign up for the Smartly Talent Network to browse and connect with top talent for free.