Hoya Helps Advance Workplace Diversity Through Recruitment Strategies
Before Arthur Woods (B’10) left the Hilltop, he already was leaving his mark on the entrepreneurial world. Woods along with one of his classmates, Neil Shah (B’10), co-founded Social Impact360, a mentoring organization for young entrepreneurs formerly known as Compass Partners.
“When Neil and I were getting Compass off the ground, we had started the company and thought we could create mechanisms to get companies launched at Georgetown,” said Woods. “We had a chance to get a fellowship incubated at Georgetown that then invested in freshmen inventing and launching their own socially-conscious companies.”
From there Woods went to work for Google but found himself invigorated while moonlighting for YouTube. He was helping to launch their education division.
“What started as this nights and weekends project actually became a full-time job,” said Woods. “Georgetown taught me to treat work like you do your college experience and you will get the most out of it. I had to constantly look at ways to navigate my time there to make the impact I wanted to make on the world. When I treated Google similarly to a college experience, I found myself finding much greater alignment with what I wanted to do, which was impact.”
With this mindset, Woods went on to co-found a handful of companies within the realm of technology. He was inspired by creating things from the ground-up that solved a particular problem. Problem-solving created a domino effect impacting people and creating societal value. Woods’ most recent passion project is Mathison, a technology platform that aids human resources departments in hopes of reducing hiring biases and kickstarts diversity hiring across individual organizations.
“We know that the demand for building greater representation in the workforce only feels like it’s becoming more and more urgent every year,” said Woods. “A couple of years ago as I was thinking about my next chapter and was mapping out what effective diversity and recruitment really could look like and that’s how we came to Mathison.”
With this in mind, Woods’ next step was bringing this idea to fruition. He first determined the key abilities he could equip organizations with to hire diverse candidates. Secondly, he needed a way to fundamentally reach new communities to avoid recruiting from the same concentric circles.
“We built mechanisms to help organizations cast a significantly wider net with regard to the way they source candidates by going to hundreds of different underrepresented job seeking communities to give them the ability to fundamentally change the way they go about recruiting.”
While spearheading this research, Woods was approached by one of his clients, a publisher, who suggested that he write a book.
“There’s not a lot of books on diversity hiring, if you can believe it, despite how many people are talking about it,” Woods said. “The idea was what if we wrote this book and this could be something you bring to Mathison and it could be a way of building awareness and action around this work.”
Woods and his team made a collective sprint effort getting the book, Hiring For Diversity, written in five months. It focuses on strategies and how-to’s to increase diversity hiring across the gamut. The book includes interviews with hiring professionals across industries, as well as in-depth research on more than 13 underrepresented factions.
“What people are struggling with is implementing high-level change,” said Woods. “Not just for being the head of recruitment or the head of talent, but being the front-line manager of a team who actually makes hiring decisions everyday.”
Woods has seen unmatched success since he left Washington, D.C., but the lessons he learned while wearing the Blue and Grey are not far from his mind.
“There was so much about my time at Georgetown that laid the groundwork for the work that I’m doing,” said Woods. “There was this huge piece around the idea of cura personalis, and the Jesuit values were very influential in terms of how I see the world. Georgetown gave me a sandbox to grow my ideas and a supportive community that embraced things I created, and it gave me this confidence in being an entrepreneur very early.”
Coming from a small town in Northern California, the people and experiences Woods was exposed to at Georgetown truly helped form his current perspective.
“One major lesson I’ve found we need to have is a global perspective that is really rooted in cultural competency for all that we do to make the most well-rounded and inclusive decisions,” said Woods. “Through Georgetown I went to Qatar and Chile. I interacted with so many different cultures and every one of those interactions taught me there’s always a new lens in which you can look at the world. That was really rooted in me during my time at Georgetown.”