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Recognizing Community as Core to Upfront

Dei Workgroup

For a rapidly growing company like Upfront, in order to attract the best talent, it makes sense to be as transparent as possible about what you are looking for in an employee. That is why the company broadcasts its core values right on the career page: Clarity, Competitive Spirit, Continuous Improvement, Service, Transparency, and Grit. Prospective employees are asked to reflect on these values during the interview process and current employees are evaluated for advancement and recognition based in part on how they embody them. Which is why it is no small occasion when the company decides to add a new core value. 

This month, Upfront is happy to publicly announce the addition of Community to its list of core values, formally acknowledging a value that was always ingrained in the company’s DNA. The recommendation was made by the company’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) workgroup, a grassroots collection of employees that meets monthly to discuss and advance initiatives designed to strengthen Upfront’s commitment to being an inclusive, equal-opportunity workplace where people from all different backgrounds have the opportunity to thrive. Employees from all different departments – except, deliberately, senior leadership – lend their skills and abilities to measuring and reporting out on employee experience, raising awareness of under-represented issues such as bullying, and broadening awareness of different culturally important traditions such as Diwali and Juneteenth. Accompanying Community is the following descriptor: We build and foster ecosystems that are inclusive, collaborative, and accepting.

It is in this spirit that, at the DEI workgroup’s urging, the company also took the important step of evaluating the hiring process to remove any hint of potential bias. Job posting language was revised to reflect the capabilities necessary, as opposed to the education and experience required. After an exhaustive search for a candidate resource management system aligned on culture and priorities, Upfront implemented Pinpoint last year to support an equitable hiring process by making the company’s priorities scalable.

Imagine being a hiring manager and preparing for your interviews with Salmon Pumpkin, Pink Peas, and Orchid Carrot.

That is how resumes come across to Human Resources and Hiring Managers. Pinpoint automatically redacts identifiable information such as name, gender, university, and address, turning what was once an inexact, manual blinding process into an efficient, automated, and equitable one. The end result is a hiring process focused entirely on capabilities, one that has already strengthened the company during a period of considerable growth.

Upfront also added a section on its career page inviting, but not requiring, candidates to answer demographic questions such as gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnicity, in order to promote equal opportunities and reinforce equitable hiring practices. These details are collected voluntarily and anonymously and used only for reports to measure company hiring performance.

With headcount doubling at Upfront every year and most of the company still working remotely due to the pandemic’s lingering impact, creating a “community” is especially challenging. That is why the recommendations the DEI workgroup made to improve Upfront’s hiring process were so important. By setting expectations and communicating priorities during the hiring process, Upfront will continue to build out a workforce that fits seamlessly into the company’s inclusive, collaborative, and accepting ecosystem.

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