SmartRecruiters’ Quarterly DEIB Update

A note from SmartRecruiters’ Chief Diversity Officer (CDO), Rocki Howard:

The first quarter of 2021 is underway, and I’m excited to be speaking to our community today about SmartRecruiters’ diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) initiatives. 

In my first few months as CDO, I’ve spent time collaborating internally with the C-suite, our organizational leaders, and several members of our team. I have also had the pleasure of working externally with several of our customers, partners, advocates, diversity leaders, and practitioners. I must admit, I have learned a lot and want to send a sincere thank you to all who have given me the gift of their time. 

We continue to reflect on how we can drive meaningful diversity change in the recruiting industry. As an industry leader, we embrace the principles of continuous improvement and iteration and recognize that DEIB is not a destination that can be achieved exclusively via a checklist or project plan. Diversity has to be built on an authentic foundation of equity, inclusion and belonging.  It takes time and commitment to move past our good intentions to real impact.

One outcome of my learnings is the changing of the name of our ‘anti-racism’ plan to our DEIB plan. While this doesn’t change our focus on racism, it does acknowledge the importance of all dimensions of diversity in the workplace.

We believe in transparency and accountability, as such, I am sharing  our progress over the previous quarter and some insight into what’s to come. You will notice, it’s not perfect, but I can say, we are proud of our progress. 

In closing, I’d like to leave you with this quote by Pat Wadors. 

“When we listen and celebrate what is both common and different, we become a wiser, more inclusive, and better organization.” 


DEIB Highlights for Q4 2020

1. DEIB Leadership Training: During Q4/Q1,  the entire global leadership team is participating in a 10-hour course based on the Jennifer Brown book, How to Be an Inclusive Leader. 

2. Diversity Hiring Toolkit Launch: In line with our commitment to becoming a DEIB force in the recruiting market, we released a comprehensive and free Diversity Hiring Toolkit. SmartRecruiters’ intention is to leverage our resources to support any company that wants to truly increase the diversity makeup of its workforce.

This toolkit includes:

    • Four pillars and 12 standards of DEIB Hiring: We defined four pillars including brand diversity equity and organizational support, each with accompanying standards, to provide diversity hiring guidance for TA teams, ourselves included.
    • Diversity Hiring Maturity Model: We created a four-level Diversity Hiring Maturity Model for TA teams to better evaluate their diversity hiring efforts in key areas.
    • Diversity Hiring Assessment: This questionnaire helps organizations quickly understand where they fall on the Diversity Hiring Maturity model and provides tailored advice based on their answers.

3. We took our own Diversity Hiring Assessment ranking at level two (of four) entitled ‘Invested.’  This level of the Diversity Maturity Model shows that we have clear objectives which we have made initial steps to achieve. We will continue to report back on the company’s internal progress.

4. Joined the ScaleUp Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Pledge: Our CEO, Jerome Ternynck, signed as one of the founding members of the ScaleUp Pledge in partnership with our investors at Insight Partners. This pledge is an important step for accountability between business and venture capital on DEI efforts and setting standards around Diversity reporting, recruiting, and retention and development. 

5. Partnership with  Voices of Diversity Podcast: To honor and celebrate Black History Month in February in the US, Canada and Germany, I interviewed a few of SmartRecruiters’ Black leaders to talk about their experiences in the workplace. These episodes are part of the Voices of Diversity Podcast, a show that showcases the underrepresented and gives a voice to their experiences in corporate America. We invite you to listen to these inspirational episodes here as we humanize diversity, one story at a time. 

6. Investing in a  Head of Hiring Success so we are the gold standard of Diversity internal hiring practices:  SmartRecruiters is driving internal improvements to develop on the Diversity Maturity Model, and to reach our goals, we need great people. That’s why we began our search for a Head of Hiring Success. Please check out the job ad linked above if you are interested.

7. 27% of diverse hires in Q4: DEIB is not just about checking boxes or getting certain demographics hired, it’s a long-term commitment to fairness and belonging. We are proud to share that we had 27% diverse hires last quarter, just shy of our 30% goal. We will continue to report on this and hold ourselves accountable to track inclusivity measures and retention as well.

What we’re focusing on next quarter:

    • Expanding the resources we provide to support the organizations who are leveraging the Diversity Hiring Toolkit
    • Improving SmartRecruiters’ Diversity Hiring Maturity
    • Launching our first ERG
    • Conducting focus groups with our culturally diverse leaders
    • Conducting our first diversity focused employee survey
    • Continuing our diversity training journey
    • Celebrating International Women’s Day

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 or

Media Contact

Let's Connect