MJBizMag May-June 2022 - 38

SALARY AND HIRING ISSUE
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making a successful transition into a
C-suite or director position. But we
did, because ... they knew how to work
with legacy markets and help them
move forward into legal ones. They
understood the barriers for entry, so
they could help us figure out how not to
have those barriers, " De La Rosa said.
" A regular hiring company would ask,
'Where did you go to school? What's
your degree in, etc.' Those are great,
but many qualified women and people
of color don't have those things. "
Be Intriguing and Proactive
If data shows that a company is not
getting diverse applicants, then the
leadership needs to figure out why,
Bowman of Performance ReNEW
said. Is the company not reaching
out to diverse organizations? Is there
something about the company's
reputation or its website that is
repelling candidates of color?
" You've got to do some digging. Once
you get those numbers to see what your
applicant demographics look like, then
determine from there, 'Well, what's
our issue?' If you increase the number
of diverse people who are applying,
that (hiring) number will get higher, "
Bowman said.
Things that could turn off candidates
of color and dissuade them from
applying for jobs at your company
include a website that doesn't have
people of color in the photos, leaders
who all went to the same school or type
of school and a failure to speak out on
important issues.
Companies can also bolster their
credibility by donating to philanthropic
causes related to diversity, equity and
inclusion.
While these measures can boost
the diversity of an applicant pool,
companies can't just expect that a
certain portion of resumes will be
from candidates of color. Rather, it's
incumbent on companies to go out
into the community-particularly
communities of color-and to entities
38 May-June 2022 | MJBizMagazine
that could be sources to
recruit qualified BIPOC
candidates. These entities
can include professional
groups such as the Minority
Cannabis Business
Association, local chambers
of commerce as well as
Historically Black Colleges
other's biases, Bowman
said.
For example, the phrase,
and Universities (HBCUs).
" Those career offices (at
Lanett Austin
HBCUs) know what their alumni are
doing, who's looking for work, what kind
of work, who can move, etc. They have a
lot of information, " Bowman said.
For example, Curaleaf has partnerships
with Alcorn State in Mississippi-an
HBCU and Austin's alma
mater-as well as Southern University
in Louisiana, both of which facilitate
internships with the cannabis multistate
operator.
Interviews and Accountability
In addition to being intentional
about where and how you seek talent,
there are tools and strategies that can
reduce bias in the resume review and
interview process.
One such tool is a " blind resume, " or
a resume without any information that
could give away an applicant's gender,
race or ethnicity. So there are no names,
addresses or professional associations,
for example, Bowman said.
Currently, the most common way to
achieve a " blind resume " is manually,
Bowman said, adding that recruiters
can remove the identifying information
from resumes or job applications before
passing them on to the hiring manager.
It's also possible to find reasonably
priced software plug-ins that remove
identifying information and are
compatible with most applicant
tracking systems (the software on
websites or job boards that receive
resumes), Bowman said.
It's also critical to eliminate bias
during the interview stage. One
way to do that is to have diverse
interviewers who can check each
" I don't think this person
is a good culture fit, " is
often code for, " Something
about this person makes me
uncomfortable. "
" That's really your bias
checking in. So, it's good to
have other people who can
be alert to that and check that bias, to
really dig deeper in determining, 'Is it
your bias, or is this person really not a
value-add?' " Bowman explained.
It's also important to keep questions
job-related. This is not just to
eliminate inappropriate questions
but also queries that could reveal
something that the interviewer and
interviewee have in common-they
went to the same school or pursue the
same leisure activities-and skew an
interviewer's judgment in favor of a
candidate who might not be as qualified
as others.
" Let's say we went to the same
college, so we start talking about our
experiences at that college. And you
(the interviewer) walk out with that
good feeling like, 'I've made this good
connection,' but you really haven't
asked questions that are job-related, "
Bowman explained. " Ensuring that
there are standard job questions that
everyone is asking is important. "
After the interview, it's wise to
have a second group of people look
at the feedback from interviewers to
ensure there is no bias-whether it's
unfavorable or favorable-toward the
candidate.
" It may take a while at first. ... But
once you start to build that diversity
within the organization, it will start to
happen organically, " Bowman said.
Omar Sacirbey is a reporter
for MJBizMagazine. You
can reach him at omar.
sacirbey@mjbizdaily.com.
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MJBizMag May-June 2022

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