My company doubled in size in 2021. Here’s what I learned about diversity in hiring.

By Jeremy Duvall for CIO Online

This story originally appeared on CIO.com on March 14th, 2022.

I spent a sizable fraction of my time in 2021 reviewing about 10,000 applicants for software engineering positions at my company, 7Factor, in order to eventually hire about 30. I came to this process with a reaffirmed commitment to hiring, retaining, and giving growth opportunities to engineers from diverse backgrounds — a principle codified as one of the seven core values embedded in 7Factor’s name. Along the way, I had to confront and attempt to solve for some of the most persistent systemic impediments to greater diversity in software engineering.

This is not a “Great Resignation” story. Very few engineers left my company last year. Very few ever do. Talented technologists who care about developing their craft and creating quality solutions for our clients tend to stay with us long-term, appreciating our commitment to continuous improvement, personal growth, and mutual support.

The new hires were mostly to cover our rapid expansion. Last year was, in many ways, a very good year for my company. Demand surged for our high-performing teams of software engineers, with new and existing customers coming to us with projects that would more than double our gross revenue.

There was only one problem: I didn’t have nearly enough engineers to staff all these opportunities. I know this is the right kind of problem to have, but it was a problem just the same.

This is very much a “Global Talent Shortage” story.