Diversity isn’t just a fad word – it’s the future of business. As of 2016, the new Hire Train Deploy (HTD) recruitment model is helping companies diversify their labor force. But what is it? And how does it solve demand and diversity issues in tech?
What Is the “Hire-Train-Deploy” Model?
The Hire-Train-Deploy Model (HTD) is a forward-thinking workforce strategy that redefines how companies acquire and nurture talent. In this innovative approach, HTD vendors identify individuals with the right attitude, aptitude, and potential to excel in a specific job. These individuals are then trained by the vendors to meet the specific technology needs of clients or to specialize in high-demand market areas. Upon completion of their training, these consultants are deployed to client sites, where they take jobs, usually on a contract basis.
This model not only addresses the immediate skill requirements for the employers but also offers them the flexibility to transition these new contract employees into permanent employees. The result is a seamless integration into the organization.
Why Is There Still a Lack of Diversity in Tech?
Despite years of investment in diversity programs and outreach, the tech industry continues to grapple with a glaring diversity gap. In fact, rather than narrowing, this gap is widening. But why does this enduring issue persist, and what factors contribute to its expansion?
Growing Pay Gap
One of the major hurdles hindering diversity in tech is the pay gap. Tech jobs are renowned for their high salaries, yet salaries aren’t distributed evenly. A 2021 Pew Research report revealed that STEM jobs boast an average salary of $77,400. However, underrepresented groups receive significantly less. Hispanic and Black men earn $73,000 and $69,200 on average, respectively. White women and Hispanic/Black women earn $66,200 and $57,000, respectively. In stark contrast, white men and Asian men make an average of $90,600 and $103,300, respectively.
The racial, ethnic, and gender pay gap has not only persisted but worsened over time. Between 2016 and 2019, Hispanic STEM workers saw their pay drop from 85% of white salary to 83%. Black STEM workers experienced a decrease from 81% to 78%.
Lack of Diversity in Tech Programs
Some of the tech industry's diversity problems can be traced to educational institutions. From grade school to college, tech programs disproportionately educate white, Asian, and male students. The percentage of women and Black students earning computer science degrees has steadily decreased. In 2008, Black students comprised about 11% of computer science bachelor's degree earners, dropping to under 9% by 2018. Similarly, women accounted for 27% of computer science majors in 1998, dwindling to just 20% in 2018.
Securing a tech job is one thing, but sticking with it is another. A startling statistic reveals that half of women in tech will leave the industry by age 35. A 2020 survey underscores the problem, with only 21% of women agreeing that tech is a welcoming environment for them, plummeting to a mere 8% for women of color.
Several factors contribute to this departure, including a non-inclusive culture. Poor company culture tops the list of reasons why women leave tech, closely followed by job dissatisfaction and a lack of diversity.
The “Pipeline Problem”
Some tech and HR leaders have pointed to a “pipeline problem" to explain why not all diversity initiatives seem to work. They argue that disparities in education, limited opportunities, and systemic failures have resulted in an overwhelming number of STEM and computer engineering graduates being young, white, and male. This implies a need for more qualified, diverse talent available for hiring. The solution lies in more innovative recruitment practices and workplace cultures to attract and retain diverse talent. That’s where HTD comes in.
Why Is Diversity So Important?
Focusing on hiring a diverse range of talent that includes all races, ethnicities, genders, abilities, and backgrounds is beneficial, not just for job applicants and employees but for the companies that hire them.
Understanding Customer Needs
When companies embrace diversity, they gain a unique advantage: a deeper understanding of their customers. Today's consumers have diverse needs and preferences and expect products and services that cater to this diversity. Simultaneously, employees seek workplaces that acknowledge their individual needs and value the diverse perspectives, skills, and experiences they bring to the organization.
Tapping into the World's Diversity
It's essential that the tech industry mirrors the diversity represented in the world at large. Failure to do so hampers a company’s ability to tap into the full range of human experience. Notably, there are instances where companies have developed products without the input of women or people of color, a detrimental approach. Women alone wield significant economic influence, controlling around $20 trillion in consumer spending. However, many feel underserved, presenting a remarkable opportunity for companies that prioritize diversity in tech.
More women in tech will invariably result in better products for women, just as increased representation from people of color leads to products tailored to their communities' needs.
Diverse Workforce, Diverse Ideas
Diversity in your workforce translates to diverse opinions, backgrounds, and perspectives. With a team comprising individuals from varied backgrounds, creativity flourishes, and skill sets broaden – this is what “thinking outside the box” means.
Expanding the Talent Pool
A business advantage of prioritizing diversity in tech is a broader talent pool from which to find qualified employees. Focusing recruitment efforts on young, white, and male talent risks missing out on individuals who could bring fresh ideas, innovation, and growth.
Engagement and Retention
Companies that champion diversity in tech enjoy more engaged employees and reduced turnover rates. The link between diversity and innovation is central to this phenomenon.
Multiple voices with diverse experiences generate fresh ideas about products and practices. Among companies with annual revenues exceeding $10 billion, 56% strongly agree that diversity fuels innovation.
A Global Talent Strategy
In the global talent landscape, diversity and inclusion policies are evolving into powerful recruiting and retention tools. They expand the talent pool from which your company can recruit while establishing an employment brand known for inclusivity. Prioritizing diversity is a strategic advantage that positions your company to thrive in a diverse and dynamic world.
How Hire Train Deploy Can Help Address Diversity Issues
The HTD approach to hiring represents a shift from reactive to proactive talent acquisition, fostering a more inclusive and diverse team.
Breaking the Mold
Presently, many organizations grapple with the limitations of traditional hiring practices. A significant number of businesses admit to facing challenges in recruiting diverse entry-level employees, with a substantial 60% leaning toward hiring exclusively from top universities. This reliance on a limited talent pool perpetuates the status quo, hindering efforts to build diverse teams.
Inclusive by Design
By contrast, the HTD model opens doors to individuals from all backgrounds and educational levels. Because candidates are trained in exactly the systems and processes they’ll need for a particular job, anyone can do it. There’s no college degree or previous experience necessary.
Get Started with HTD Talent
HTD Talent is a minority-owned business, and we’re dedicated to creating even more opportunities for diverse talent throughout the tech industry. We’re focused on closing the gap between the skills of those entering the workforce and what employers are looking for, driving transformation and empowering progress.
Our intensive training program is here to help you meet your needs for talented software developers who are ready to hit the ground running. Reach out to partner with us today.