When veteran human resources specialist Matthew Woods helps inclusive companies increase their workforce diversity, he does so with an assist from a feature exclusive to the Magnet platform: self declaration.
Toronto-based Woods spent more than four years working for Allegis Global Solutions, a leading provider of talent solutions with significant experience helping clients source, attract, and engage diverse talent.
At Allegis, Woods routinely relied on Magnet’s self declaration tool to source job seekers from two employment equity groups, Indigenous people and persons with disabilities. He did so in search of candidates to fill roles with a global financial services firm, an industry leader with 900 offices in more than 50 countries.
Like many employers in the financial sector, and elsewhere, the client often struggled to attract and identify diverse candidates.
“Magnet has been a great sourcing avenue for my client, and for both of those communities,” Woods said. “You’re not just throwing a posting out there and hoping that you bring people forward. The people who respond through Magnet, you know 100 per cent that they represent the community you’re looking to hire from.
“In that sense, Magnet is truly one of a kind. There’s nothing like it.”
Magnet’s self declaration feature is intended to support diversity and bias-free recruitment. Job seekers can privately identify as belonging to one of several employment equity groups: newcomers to Canada, persons with a disability, women, LGBTQ2S+, Indigenous, and visible minorities.
When employers share an opportunity through Magnet, they can choose to send their posting to job seekers who meet the appropriate requirements and have self-declared as a diverse candidate.
“Other employment platforms out there will ask you to self-declare, but only for data management purposes,” Magnet project manager Viviana Zea explained. “They want to see how many people they have in different groups, how many women, how many members of LGBTQ2S+ communities, how many indigenous people and so on. But there’s no other purpose for gathering that information.
“Magnet’s self declaration feature is actually doing something for job seekers, helping you find opportunities based on how you self-declare.”
When a job seeker chooses to self-declare, the information remains hidden. Employers will only know a job seeker has self-declared when that person applies for a position targeted to members of a specific group. A self declaration can never be used to screen someone out of an opportunity.
“Some job seekers have concerns about self declaration because they have a personal history of being excluded from opportunities, or they’ve heard stories of exclusion,” Magnet project coordinator Elizabeth Mohler said. “Whenever we tell our users about self declaration, we make sure they understand it’s private and secure. This isn’t something that’s searchable. There’s no database that people can see.”
In June 2021, Woods left Allegis to start a new position as Senior Talent Acquisition Partner at GE Healthcare. His employer may have changed, but Woods’ methods haven’t: he’s still using Magnet to find candidates who have self-declared.
“I just set up a new Magnet account for some forthcoming vacancies.”
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