The recent months remind us that corporate America has work to do to create an equitable work environment for Black employees and professionals. Here at Khoros, there’s more we can do too. I’ve worked with our teams and sought outside advice about how to make Khoros the best place to work and a better representation of the communities, people, and brands we serve.

In a recent all-staff meeting, I shared our immediate, near-term, and long-term steps that Khoros commits to regarding Diversity, Inclusion, and Corporate Responsibility. I’ve bucketed these actions into the following categories:

  • Hiring Practices: Create hiring practices that diversify the candidate pool and remove biases from the selection process.
  • Internal Education & Awareness: Implement educational strategies that create a constantly evolving learning culture. Provide a platform to raise awareness of our employees, cultures, and communities.
  • Community Involvement: Create partnerships with community organizations to help increase our connection to our communities.
  • Company Procurement: Identify and utilize procurement opportunities from female and minority-owned businesses.

Hiring practices

Our goal is to create hiring practices that diversify the candidate pool and remove biases from the selection process. To do this, we’ll immediately:

  • Start all job requisitions with a discussion on the candidate pool diversification plan
  • Use software to screen job descriptions for bias language
  • Limit access to full candidate profiles, reducing the opportunity for resume bias
  • Ensure hiring panels are more diverse and inclusive

With these immediate priorities underway, our near-term goal is to provide hiring manager training on bias and inclusion in the hiring process, enhanced use of recruiting sites representing female and minority groups, establish partnerships with key associations focused on diverse hiring and networking, and continue to expand our university recruiting to target female and minority universities and colleges.

Finally, for our long-term goals, we’ll implement the InternX Program, continue the diversification of the leadership team, enhance social media recruitment branding, and regularly review all policies for biases.

We’ll measure success through a quarterly review of hiring funnel information as it relates to diversity, and we’ll identify areas of focus, review quarterly employee demographic information to track progress, and review internal promotion/movement annually to track progress.

Internal education & awareness

There’s more we can do internally at Khoros, too. Immediately, we’re hiring a Director of Diversity and Inclusion. We’re also continuing with D&I Committee Awareness Topics and establishing cross-functional senior leadership and executive leadership presence on the Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

In the near-term, we’re creating a strategic plan for training around bias, racism, intersectionality microaggression, and allyship and will begin the execution of key topics quarterly to keep the conversation active. We’re also implementing leadership training on all the topics above and holding focus groups on a regular cadence.

Our long-term plans are to establish Affinity Groups, identify seminars, workshops, and conferences that will aid in our awareness initiatives, and to conduct Insights training for all employees to help understand working styles.

We’ll measure by our ability to execute achievable actions and communicate those, how we annually track the progress of these actions. Adjust anything that is not working as it should. And finally, we’ll survey the company on key components to assess how we are doing.

Community Involvement

No person is an island, nor is a company. We believe that we’re here for the betterment of our employees and the community at large. In order to be a good community member, we’re immediately reminding Khoros employees about our current vacation time off (VTO) policy that allows for time off for the volunteer work of your choice. We made Juneteenth a company holiday to provide a day for reflection, education, and volunteering time for social justice — we observed this for the first time as a company a few weeks ago.

We’re pledging a 2% Commitment of our time and resources to focus on deepening and expanding our support of underrepresented communities. As part of that commitment, we’re launching the Khoros Social Responsibility (KSR) Program to offer our software and services to women-owned and minority-owned businesses and nonprofits that do not currently have the capacity to invest in our offerings. This gives all of us at Khoros the opportunity to volunteer skills and services in support of the causes we care about and the chance to make a collective, positive impact on marginalized communities.

In the near-term, we’re identifying nonprofits to partner with that align with Khoros’ values for corporate social responsibility, and we’ll further define employee volunteering that provides company-sponsored opportunities to work with nonprofits.

To measure these efforts, we’ll judge ourselves on our ability to execute achievable actions and communicate those and annually track the progress of these actions while adjusting anything that’s not working.

Company procurement

It matters where and from whom Khoros gets its goods and services. We’ve already begun to review and recognize the current female and minority-owned vendors we partner with. To be proactive in the near-term, we’re adjusting the procurement process to incorporate mechanisms that identify female and minority-owned businesses. Our long-term goal is to implement strategies to increase the number of female and minority-owned businesses we work with. And finally, we’ll measure success by annually reviewing the percentage of female and minority-owned businesses we use to assess the overall percentage of vendors.

To recap our next steps, we’re proud to immediately:

  • Hire a Director of Diversity and Inclusion: if you’re interested in this role, we can’t wait to talk with you.
  • Establish the steering committee and develop an action plan to initiate pilot activities for our community outreach: we believe in making our communities and cities stronger because of Khoros employees sharing their time.
  • Break out near- and long-term initiatives and build out actionable plans for each: we've got work to do and we are excited to get started.
  • Finally, and most importantly, we want to get everyone at Khoros involved: this is not an isolated problem only affecting certain groups. At Khoros, the foundation of our values is connection — when one of us hurts, we all hurt.

Sincerely

         Jack Blaha
         CEO, Khoros

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