Inclusive hiring at Contentful: Building success together

Inclusive hiring is central to the Contentful success story, reflecting our commitment to fostering diversity and creating a welcoming workplace for all.
August 18, 2023


Inclusive hiring lies at the very heart of the Contentful success story, reflecting our commitment to fostering diversity and creating a welcoming workplace for all.

At Contentful, inclusive hiring is about creating a workplace culture that celebrates the individuality of each team member, fostering a work environment where everyone feels welcome, valued, and appreciated. 

In this post, we’ll discuss the concept of inclusive hiring and how we’re putting it into practice. But first, I’d like to share my personal experience of interviewing for a role at Contentful.

An empowering interview experience

As I look back on my two-year journey with Contentful, I am humbled by the transformative experience that unfolded when I joined this company.

When I began the Contentful interview process, I was met with an unexpected warmth from the hiring team. They recognized that I was more than just a list of skills and qualifications on paper; it wasn’t enough that I met the criteria for the job description, the team genuinely sought to understand me as a person.

Interviews delved into my aspirations, my values, and what I sought in my next professional adventure. This compassionate approach made me feel seen, heard, and ultimately led to an inclusive and empowering interview experience.

Throughout the entire process, I discovered firsthand the inclusive culture that Contentful nurtures. Instead of feeling like a candidate being assessed, I engaged in open and meaningful dialogues — with the hiring manager and others — that encouraged me to bring my authentic self to the table.

My unique perspectives were not only appreciated but actively sought after as valuable contributions to the organization's growth.

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Inclusive hiring practices and initiatives at Contentful

More recently, the Talent Acquisition team organized a company coffee talk centered around inclusive hiring, further reinforcing our collective commitment to building diverse teams and an inclusive workforce. 

We’ve also created an Inclusive Hiring Guide. This is a comprehensive internal resource that equips us with practical strategies to recognize the distinctive qualities of candidates and consider their personal preferences during the recruitment process. 

Moreover, it embodies several of our core values, including the spirit of #GrowthMindset and the ethos of #StriveTogether. In practice, our inclusive hiring process is built around five pillars:

  1. Diversity Sourcing:  We actively source candidates with different backgrounds and experiences to create a diverse talent pool.

  2. Inclusive Talent Attraction: We prioritize professional development and provide career growth opportunities to attract a wide range of talents.

  3. Thoughtful Interviews: Our interview process explores candidates' experiences and passions to assess their fit beyond technical skills and competency.

  4. Unbiased Evaluation: We prioritize conducting fair and unbiased candidate evaluations. Our standardized scorecards focus solely on qualifications and the potential to contribute to our team. We emphasize evaluating candidates based on their unique strengths and experiences.

  5. Inclusive Candidate Experience: From application to hiring decision, we ensure a welcoming and respectful environment for all candidates.

By making these practices habitual to the organization, we aim to build a workforce that reflects diverse perspectives, values individuality, and fosters a culture of inclusion.

Users, team, face to face.

Reimagining the interview process

At Contentful, we recognize that it is not enough to simply hire based on skill sets. Core Value alignment plays a pivotal role in fostering a sense of belonging among our employees. When our team members feel valued and appreciated for who they are, they can bring their best selves to work, contributing their unique strengths to our collective mission.

"Inclusive hiring can be traced to the types of questions we ask in an interview,” Andreea Tilvan, Sr. Recruiter at Contentful, explains. 

“By giving candidates space to showcase their past strengths and transferable skills, we can identify how they bring new perspectives and collaboration to the team. It's about recognizing growth mindset and unique contributions, not just matching past experiences with existing team members."

Incorporating insights like these from Andreea and others, our inclusive hiring practices focus on asking meaningful interview questions that allow candidates to showcase their strengths and transferable skills. We seek to understand how each individual can contribute unique perspectives and collaboration to our team, rather than solely aligning with past experiences of existing members.

Diversity is at the core of our innovation strategy, as Andreea says. By embracing candidates with diverse life experiences, we ignite fresh conversations and welcome new ideas. Inclusive hiring involves collaborative efforts to address unconscious bias and prioritize objective criteria, ensuring we attract impactful team members who can thrive in our welcoming environment. 

Our commitment to inclusive hiring has not gone unnoticed. Our team members  showcase their diverse voices within Contentful and passionately share their experiences and the profound impact of our inclusive culture. It is a chorus of voices, highlighting the positive transformation that occurs when an organization genuinely embraces inclusive recruitment.

We're hiring!

Looking beyond the job description

So, why should you care about inclusive hiring? Because it empowers candidates to bring their whole selves to the table, fostering an environment where unique perspectives and collaboration thrive. It leads to innovation, too, as diverse teams spark new conversations and bring forth fresh ideas. 

Inclusive hiring cultivates a sense of belonging among team members, contributing to a positive and harmonious workplace culture. By prioritizing inclusivity, Contentful ensures more informed decision-making processes and raises our talent, enhances the employer brand, and drives the company's growth.

As we continue to march forward, we do so with a firm resolve to celebrate diversity, empower individuals, and ignite innovation. The journey of inclusive hiring at Contentful is not an isolated endeavor but a shared aspiration for an inclusive future where every team member can thrive and contribute their very best.

We're hiring!

Bright people making a big impact.

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