Giving back at Google
I’ve been at Google for five years, and currently work in strategy and operations in London. Last year, I learned about the Google.org Fellowship, where Googlers could spend up to 6 months working full-time, pro bono for a nonprofit. When I saw that Generation — an organization with the mission to prepare and place people into life-changing careers — was one of the nonprofits looking for Fellows, I knew I wanted to participate.
Generation focuses on providing training and support to underserved jobseekers from diverse and low-income backgrounds. They’ve found that with the right skills, non-traditional candidates can be a boon for employers — in fact 84% of employers say that graduates from Generation programs outperform their peers.
However, innate biases still exist in recruitment that overlook talented and qualified people from nontraditional backgrounds. In France, for example, the first filters recruiters apply when looking for job candidates is often where someone went to school and their degree. Working with Generation, we wanted to figure out how to surface alternative applicants in order to give them a chance to be seen and considered.
Three other Fellows and I worked with the Generation team to design a “reverse job board” that advertised the candidate rather than the job. This would help ensure each jobseeker was seen as a top-notch candidate, rather than an alternative choice. We then conducted employer research for feedback. The Generation team springboarded off that work to build the portal, which launched as a pilot in Spain in March 2021. As the tool becomes more sophisticated and more jobseeker profiles are added, Generation plans to launch it globally.