Our plan to become an anti-racist force in the recruiting market

A letter from Jerome Ternynck – Founder & CEO at SmartRecruiters

Over the last three months, I and all the Smartians have reflected a lot on how we could drive meaningful change in the recruiting industry and become a real anti-racist force in the market. Not only for ourselves and our own company, but for our 4,000 customers who are responsible for 25 million candidates and almost 1 million jobs they hire for every year. 

To do that we not only need to build awareness internally and become a role model ourselves as a company, but also help define new standards for diversity hiring and drive innovation to help companies achieve diverse and truly inclusive hiring outcomes. 

Today we are sharing our anti-racist action plan with everyone so that we can be held accountable as an organization to effectively deliver on our commitment. We look forward to reporting back on our progress as our plan and efforts evolve over time. 

This is where our journey starts.


SmartRecruiters understands and recognizes the existence of white privilege and the impact of systemic racism against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. We are determined to use our full power as individuals, as an employer and as a leading provider of recruiting technology to fight racism and improve access to opportunity for BIPOC. 

Our Anti-racism action plan has 4 major pillars: 

  • Awareness: All Smartians are deeply aware of white privilege and are committed to creating change around them. 
  • Role Model: We are an amazing place to work for BIPOC and a role model for diversity and inclusion practices. 
  • Set new standards:   We leverage our position in the market to educate and incentivize all our customers to build diverse and anti-racist hiring practices
  • D&I Innovation: We use our creativity and invest in technology to launch a platform that truly brings more diversity in hiring at scale

Details of the plan below. As a starting point, we are hiring a Chief Diversity Officer, reporting to the CEO. The CDO will drive the implementation of our anti-racist plan as well as act as our evangelist to drive change in the market. 


All Smartians are deeply aware of white privilege and committed to create change around them. 

Educate Smartians: 

All Smartians will be required to educate themselves through inclusion training and pass certification. This will become part of onboarding and ongoing programs. This starts in August with a voluntary 28-day challenge designed to drive deep awareness of the roots of racism and how they present in society today.  

Anti-racist DNA: 

We will make anti-racism an integral part of who we are. We make a public announcement confirming our commitment and include this in our sales materials and promote it as part of our Hiring Success methodology. 


We are an amazing place to work for BIPOC and a role model for diversity and inclusion practices. 

Diverse leadership:

Starting at the top, within 12 months, we will appoint a Black or Person of Color as a Board Member and at least 1 member of the Extended Leadership team (excl our CDO). 

Diverse team: 

We are committed to triple the proportion of our workforce being Black, Indigenous, and People of Color over 2 years. That means roughly 30% of new hires will be BIPOC. 

Diverse hiring:

To achieve this, we will dedicate specific sourcing efforts to reach out to Black communities. Ensure that most shortlists have equal representation of white/non-white candidates. Enforce proper scorecards focussed on must achieves and duly filled in by all interviewers, cards down. Every hiring team member must be certified. Hiring teams must have a minimum of one diverse member and we will hire a Black recruiter to assist in locations where we do not have sufficient diversity today.


We will adapt our onboarding program, design and launch a mentorship program, and facilitate ERGs to ensure that SmartRecruiters is an amazing place to work for all underrepresented groups, starting with our Black Smartians and then extending to other groups. 


We will invest in an apprenticeship program that provides career opportunities and internal growth/development to underrepresented groups.  


We leverage our position in the market to educate and incentivize all our customers to build black friendly anti-racist hiring practices

Best Practices:

We will introduce a playbook with/for our customers that becomes the gold standard in diversity and in particular for anti-racist hiring. This includes having a diverse TA team, dedicating extra sourcing effort, guaranteeing unbiased screening, diversity on the hiring team, ‘must achieve’ scorecards, interviewing cards down, awareness training for all interviewers, etc.


Once a gold standard is established, we will market it heavily to all our users, through users groups, CSM interactions and Diversity Hiring will become a mandatory part of implementation at no cost to our customers. For deeper learning, we will also offer consulting from our Chief Diversity Officer.

Take the Pledge:

Customers who take the anti-racist pledge to adhere to our newly defined standards will have their jobs and logo visible on a newly created job board for diversity friendly jobs. We will seek to give these customers visibility including exploring a “badge” on their job ad to reward those who decide to be a part of the change. 


We use our creativity and invest in technology to launch a platform that truly brings more diversity in hiring at scale

SmartJobs for Diversity:

We will package and launch a job advertising offering that aggregates the best diversity sources in one easy to buy package for customers who want to source more diverse candidates, in particular more BIPOC candidates.


We will assign R&D resources to explore the possibility to create a dedicated diversity module on top of the SmartRecruiters platform to actually help companies drive real diversity hiring outcomes, from sourcing to screening, interviewing and ultimately hiring a more diverse workforce.

About SmartRecruiters

SmartRecruiters enables Hiring Without Boundaries™ by freeing talent acquisition teams from legacy applicant tracking software. SmartRecruiters' next-generation platform serves as the hiring operating system for 4,000 customers like Bosch, LinkedIn, Skechers, and Visa. Companies with business-critical hiring needs turn to SmartRecruiters for best-of-breed functionality, world-class support, and a robust ecosystem of third-party applications and service providers.

For more information visit www.smartrecruiters.com or www.linkedin.com/company/smartrecruiters.

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