The summer of 2020 found many businesses reexamining the state of diversity, inclusion, and belonging in their organizations. And while many public statements were made about new initiatives and policies, a year later it’s time to see which organizations actually followed through and supported their words with concrete action.
For Spotify, that meant tracking and publishing important demographic data so that there was visibility, both internally and externally, of how they’re doing. As Jordan Deane, a Social Media & Digital Storytelling Specialist in Employer Branding at Spotify, says, “We’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how we’re showing up not only for our listeners and creators, from a platform perspective, but also for our employees.”
Spotify shows their work by publishing their numbers directly to their recruitment page in the D&I section, so a potential hire can see in writing that they truly live their values. You can even look back at what their numbers were like in 2019 to see how much progress they’ve made in a short time.
Spotify is currently going through a stage of hyper-growth. As the most popular audio streaming service in the world, coming off a year where more people than ever found themselves listening to audio content, they’ve doubled their staff in the last two years with even more room for growth. According to Jordan, they currently have almost 7,000 permanent employees in offices in 73 countries around the world.
Even more surprising, Spotify receives as many as 60,000 applications per month. This puts their Empower Branding team in a position where they need to measure success differently than simply how many job applications they get or even how many hires they make. “It’s not about finding more people, it’s about finding the right people,” Jordan says, “people who are not only great at what they do but who also align with our core values.”
Instead of relying on sheer numbers, Jordan and her team measure their success in terms of engagement—whether or not a viewer clicks through on the CTA, or if it gets shared more broadly. “It’s about inspiring our community,” she says, “building them up, and striking up conversations.” Diversity, inclusion, and belonging are some of those core values, and so the content she creates reflects that.
An important thing to realize about successful D&I in the workplace is that it can never be evaluated in isolation. Instead, it needs to be a core value that infuses and informs everything that you do. In Jordan’s work at Spotify, for example, it’s about making sure that the stories they tell highlight the diverse group of people who are a part of their team.
Individual episodes of their HR-focused SpotOn! Podcast or their employer brand-focused Life at Spotify Podcast may not explicitly be about D&I, but the variety of voices you hear from and perspectives they incorporate show that inclusion and diversity are very much core to their values.
Spotify’s Employer Branding team plans for cultural moments like Black History Month and International Women’s Day, but they always want to make sure that the story goes deeper than just acknowledgment. “We work with our content team and our employee resource groups to gain an understanding of how they’re celebrating this and how we can honor these moments in a really authentic way,” Jordan says.
Again, it’s about focusing on telling the real stories of the people who make up “The Band” at Spotify. As Jordan says, it’s about showing your values and instead of merely telling. Don’t toot your own horn and instead, let your actions speak for themselves.
For Jordan, the chance to highlight a diverse group of Spotifiers working to make a difference is incredibly rewarding. “Every day, I get to talk to people from all over the world who are way smarter than me,” she says. “I get to learn from them and hear about their experiences and their lives and help them tell their stories.”
To follow Jordan Deane’s work in employer branding at Spotify, visit Jobs at Spotify. If you’re in search of help refining your employer value proposition and identifying the values and culture you want to create in your company, let’s talk.
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