Search Influence is committed to growing the diversity of our team, fostering an inclusive working environment, and helping eliminate barriers of entry into our field. We want the company’s infrastructure—from our vendors, to our interns, to our contractors—to reflect the community and world in which we live and work.
This section of our website provides us the opportunity to demonstrate the concrete ways we move towards this goal.
Recruiting, Hiring, and Talent Development
On an ongoing basis, Search Influence’s Executive team evaluates and updates the company’s recruiting and hiring process to reach a diverse candidate pool and ensure that any individual who qualifies for an open position has an equal opportunity for hiring.
In order to raise awareness of open positions with wider audiences, Search Influence identified and began posting to Diversity Employed and Generation USA.
Diversity Employed seeks to connect candidates from diverse backgrounds with employers and professional development opportunities. Generation USA has a digital marketing program in partnership with New Orleans’ Delgado Community College that helps students receive certifications for programs including Google Analytics and Facebook Blueprint. Upon completion of this program, students can qualify for entry-level careers in digital marketing.
Reducing the Gender Wage Gap
The company bases pay on the position’s value in the industry, location, and company.
In previous updates to the company’s hiring practices, Search Influence removed salary history questions from its application process because these questions can contribute to a gender pay gap.
Our COO received the Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace Certificate from the University of South Florida. This seven-week certification provides business and community leaders with essential practices and tools designed to increase employee diversity and to create a business model that embraces equity and inclusion.
Changes to the hiring process as a result of these learnings:
- Job descriptions now undergo a gender bias check prior to posting
- The interview process now includes a panel interview. Panel interviews reduce biases and increase the likelihood that Search Influence hires individuals who act collaboratively within the company in general and across departments.
YouthForce NOLA Partnership
Search Influence has a long-standing partnership with YouthForce NOLA that dates back to the internship program’s inception in 2015. YouthForce NOLA is a nonprofit organization that prepares New Orleans public school students for successful pursuit of high-wage, high-demand career pathways and facilitates systems change to accelerate and sustain progress.
In Spring 2021, Search Influence welcomed a cohort of six interns.
Since 2015, Search Influence has hosted 17 interns, with two continuing to work at the agency after completing their internships. We pair each YouthForce NOLA intern with a mentor to guide them throughout their experience. The mentor coordinates training with agency subject matter experts and offers feedback as interns progress through the program. One of our early YouthForce interns, who continued to work with us part-time after the program, went on to a full scholarship at Tulane University.
About the IDEA Committee
In response to the June 2020 protests against racial injustice, Search Influence team members volunteered to form a committee to support the company’s education around inherent bias and diversity practices. The group named themselves the IDEA Committee (Inclusivity, Diversity, and Equity Awareness) and now meets quarterly. IDEA is open to all employees at Search Influence.
IDEA Mission Statement
Search Influence is a professional organization composed of a diverse group of individuals, including those from different races, ethnicities, nationalities, socioeconomic statuses, religious backgrounds, genders, gender identities and expressions, and sexual orientations.
The IDEA Committee seeks to facilitate our agency’s ongoing efforts to promote inclusion, diversity, equity, and awareness within and beyond our organization, with a focus on the economic development of local professional and youth minorities.
Commitments, Outcomes and Accomplishments
In 2021, the IDEA Committee coordinated and delivered 7 DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) presentations to the company to further Search Influence’s collective education and awareness. Presentations:
- Civil Discourse
- Inclusive Hiring
- Words/Phrases w/Charged History
- History of Pride/Gender Identities
- ADA Compliance & Architecture
- Neurodiversity and other Invisible Differences/National Disability Month
Updates to Company Graphic Resources and Practices
IDEA identified a stock photography resource for photos of Black and Brown people. In order to elevate this opportunity to diversify our photo libraries, we shared this resource in a company meeting and added it to our stock photography documentation.
Gender Pronoun in Company Signatures
IDEA highlighted the opportunity for Search Influence team members to include their preferred pronouns in their email signature. In addition to providing a step-by-step guide as to how to implement these changes, one of our committee members presented to the company about gender expression and the value of pronoun identification as a way to acknowledge someone’s identity.