As our company grows, we are focused on building a strong talent management foundation in place that will help us create talent pipelines for our current and future needs, foster a culture where talent thrives and drive performance through operational excellence and scale, while continuing to maintain our culture and values. Through this transformation, we wish to continue to be viewed as an employer of choice where people come to grow their careers. To that end, we are investing in initiatives, platforms and vendors to support talent attraction, talent management and diversity, inclusion and belonging (DIB). Everything we do is to develop the best talent possible and facilitate an award-winning culture that cultivates pride.
We are continuously updating our talent acquisition process to support the attraction, application and hiring of a diverse pool of candidates. Key developments in 2020 included our new Pathways Program, the creation of a global New-to-Career Partnership Program, the launch of a marketing organization that helps us target historically underrepresented and more diverse talent pools, and the embedding of inclusion into more elements of our hiring process.
In 2020, we created new pathways to hire amazing talent, improve equity and accelerate the hiring of diverse talent. We are learning that diverse talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not. Equinix is committed to connecting more people with opportunities to find meaningful and rewarding work.
Pathways are pipelines that aim to bridge the gap between hard-to-find or underrepresented talent pools. Given that the shortage of critical talent in key areas such as building design and field operations is increasing, we are targeting the following talent pools to help maintain a robust talent pipeline for Equinix:
Our new Pathways Program opens the door to a whole new segment of talent for Equinix that did not exist before. Through the program, we are breaking down traditional recruitment practices and looking for key skillsets such as attitude and aptitude. After just one year of operating the program, we saw great results and are targeting 10% of all new hires through this initiative.
Equinix ran a global pilot in all three regions in 2020 to assess whether a strategy of adjacent industry hiring would be successful. Through our Career Transition Program (CTP), we have expanded our candidate sources beyond the typical high-tech industries, approaching and providing opportunities to candidates with transferable skillsets from adjacent industries like aviation, manufacturing, hospitality and more. The program enables candidates to join Equinix and make a successful career pivot. Through this program, we achieved a 30% increase in female hiring. After just one year of operating the program, we saw great results and we are targeting 10% of all new hires through this initiative.
This year we formed new partnerships with Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), Grace Hopper and Code 24, and entered into multi-year commitments to roll out a Global Internship Program. We are targeting 20% of new hires to come through this pathway. This is a strategic channel for us to hire and nurture a diverse pool of talent at scale.
To encourage more female engineers to join the industry, Equinix signed a three-year agreement in 2021 to become a sustainability partner of University Technology Sydney’s (UTS) Lucy Mentoring Program, which aims to connect women, including cis- and trans-women, studying engineering or technology at UTS to industry professionals for one-on-one mentoring.
To extend our outreach, we created proactive marketing campaigns that targeted diverse talent pools through partnerships with nine organizations representing historically underrepresented groups. Working with targeted branding organizations such as FairyGodBoss and Power to Fly, and recruitment partners like Mom Project, and Women of Color, allowed us to engage a diverse pool of talent. We elevated our presence on these platforms through a series of press releases, social media content and employee stories, which further elevated our visibility as a workplace that values diversity and is committed to taking actions to be an inclusive employer.
In addition to forging new pathways to recruit talent, we want candidates to have a positive, inclusive experience throughout the hiring process.
Training our hiring teams about bias mitigation throughout the talent decision processes was a focus in 2020. We used diverse interview panels and introduced a rubric process to facilitate more consistent assessment of candidates. Improvements in all phases of the hiring process facilitates a more equitable process for candidates. We launched an Unconscious Bias Training for all people managers and interview panelists across APAC, with the main objective to reduce potential bias in the recruitment process. We focused on the three key areas where bias has the most potential to arise – resume review, interviews and candidate selection — and hosted an interactive session for managers to discuss the five main biases that can occur in the decision-making process. This program was so successful it was expanded into a global program, to be offered to all people managers across Equinix.
Equinix is proud to actively recruit and hire military veterans into all areas of our business. Corporate support and sponsorship of various organizations that assist veterans on their journey back to civilian life include: Mission Continues, American Corporate Partners, Headstrong Project and Boulder Crest. Our efforts have provided valuable relationships in our talent acquisition process. Through these sponsorships, Equinix engages in outreach to the military veteran community. In 2020, we maintained our Military Friendly Employer silver rating and were a DoD partner in the Military Spouse Employment program. Our military landing page is an important part of our digital recruitment, with verbiage we hope resonates with veterans and their unique needs. In 2020, we have 250+ employees worldwide that were identified as veterans.
In the United Kingdom, Equinix has been awarded a prestigious Gold Award in the Armed Forces Employer Recognition Scheme.
This is the highest level of recognition for organizations that proactively support and advocate for the armed forces and defense communities throughout recruitment and selection.
“When I first left the military, I felt very uneasy with the lack of structure in civilian life, so it took a while to get acclimated to that. I went to school and had a retail job for a few years before joining the Opportunity Development Team at Equinix. At the time, I didn’t know about all the resources and support for veterans, but I still felt like Equinix has always been very supportive. Everything about the Magic of Equinix culture has been true for me – I’ve always felt like I can reach out to anyone at any level for help, and they will find time for me and make sure I’m taken care of.”
– Elein Zemede, Opportunity Development Representative
We are humbled by several accolades Equinix has recently received in recognition of our DIB efforts. Equinix ranked #1 on FairyGodBoss: “Best Company Where CEOs Support Gender Diversity in 2020” and Top 10 “Best Technology Company for Women”. We are recognized by Glassdoor as a Best Place to Work among U.S. companies with more than 1,000 employees and won the AmChamHK’s “Best Company for Women in Hong Kong” Award. We are extremely proud to be named to Fortune World’s Most Admired Companies list for the first time.
The “Discover Equinix” onboarding program quickly enables new members to positively contribute and feel like they are part of the team. The program uses a collection of fun and engaging activities that suit various learning styles, including multimedia resources, opportunities to network and build employee relationships, and self-learning and personal-reflection experiences. The program integrates with local onboarding programs to provide new employees with a seamless journey into local and global teams.
To help employees explore different career pathways at Equinix, we invested in tools to increase the consistency, clarity and visibility of various career options available across the company. The Equinix Global Career Framework creates consistency in job levels for Equinix jobs around the world. Career Pathways Guides provide a transparent view of all jobs at Equinix that employees can use to further explore potential career moves and identify the areas of growth and learning needed for their next step. Each job family has a Career Pathways Visual that identifies other job families that can be pursued across the company that require similar skillsets, further experience and the development of new skills. With these tools, employees are empowered to continue advancing their career.
Grow, Perform, Succeed (GPS) is our global approach to performance at Equinix. From Quarterly Conversations to year-end assessment and rewards, GPS is a cornerstone of how we align our work and our people in service to our business strategy, and it’s our way to support our employees’ personal and professional growth. The first step of the GPS process, the Q1 Quarterly Conversation, occurs between January and March. This is when employees and managers discuss priorities and begin to set goals and development actions which can become the foundation for what employees discuss during the rest of their Quarterly Conversations throughout the year.
During subsequent Quarterly Conversations, employees review goals and development actions and make revisions if priorities or business needs have changed. These conversations also provide a crucial opportunity to share feedback and reflect together on progress and achievements.
During the Q4 Quarterly Conversations, managers and employees reflect together on the full year and provide future-focused feedback that can be used to start planning for the following year.
In Q1, managers recognize the performance of their employees by planning merit increases to salary, bonus and stock awards, in line with their level of impact and demonstration of our values.
Our Talent Review Process also takes stock of our leaders to see how they are performing and gives leadership an opportunity to discuss and align on development needs across the business. Human Resources in partnership with the executives holds reviews twice a year, to help shift mindsets and thinking around how to address and assess our talent priorities.
In addition to these opportunities for feedback, Equinix brokers coaching services for leaders to accelerate their impact. Leaders work with certified coaches to define and work on highly personalized development plans through a structured process of discovery, reflection, learning and growth.
Soliciting ongoing feedback from employees is critical to our talent attraction and development strategy. In 2020, we redesigned our Voice of the Employee Program and shifted from annual surveys to shorter, more frequent Pulse Surveys to help us identify themes and potential challenges in a timelier way. Each quarter we invite employees to share their perspectives with us on different topics, rotating between the organization, people and culture. These quarterly surveys have allowed us, for example, to understand how employees are coping with COVID-19 and helped us to be more responsive to their needs. In 2020, we maintained an employee engagement score of 85% with a slight decline in participation rate which we attribute to the increased frequency of the survey.
For example, in the summer, we learned through a Pulse Survey that many employees were struggling with work-life balance and, in response, we put several well-being initiatives in place to help employees cope with stress. Examples include creating a dedicated well-being site, hosting daily well-being breaks and advocating for shorter meetings and a “No-Meeting Wednesday” practice. We also focused on equipping line managers with resources and support to help their team members cope in these turbulent times.
The new platform we use to manage our quarterly Pulse Surveys enables advanced analytics and reporting. Every manager with more than five respondents receives an updated dashboard highlighting survey results. Depending on the response, the Pulse dashboard may suggest recommended learnings for managers to respond to the feedback, for example how to drive greater engagement in their team, or how to identify signs of stress and burnout.
Collecting the voice of our employees more frequently provides managers actionable and timely data and enables us to react and respond quickly, if needed. The outcomes of Pulse reports are integrated with other surveys, such as onboarding and exit surveys, and are regularly shared with executive team members and members of the HR analytics team. The DIB Council also uses all of the survey results to monitor DIB trends.