Molson Coors adopts pioneering approach to accelerate DEI mission

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Molson Coors’ results:


female representation at interview stage


increase in applications


candidate satisfaction

Meet Molson Coors:

For more than two centuries Molson Coors has been brewing beverages that unite people for all of life’s moments. From Coors Light, Miller Lite, Molson Canadian, Carling and Staropramen to Coors Banquet, Blue Moon Belgian White, Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, Vizzy, Creemore Springs and more, Molson Coors produces some of the most beloved and iconic beer brands ever made. While the company’s history is rooted in beer, Molson Coors offers a modern portfolio that expands beyond the beer aisle with energy drinks, ready-to-drink coffee and more.


Golden, Colorado


Food and Beverage Services

The goal: putting people first

As Head of Talent Acquisition at Molson Coors, Joe Sidley had overseen multiple initiatives to make hiring more inclusive. Bias workshops, gender decoding, blind CVs – they’d done it all and already moved the dial on inclusion.  

Molson Coors’s foundational value is ‘putting people first’. But, to truly live up to that value, Joe wanted to do more. He wanted to trial something truly innovative and push the boundaries of what an inclusive and equitable hiring process could look like across the UK and Ireland. 

Joe Sidley - TA Disruptors

 “Everything other organisations do with DEI, we’d done. This had a positive impact. But as we entered a new era of recruitment, we wanted to do something new and pioneering to break new ground with our inclusive hiring journey.
Joe Sidley, Head of Talent Acquisition EMEA & APAC at Molson Coors

Learning your stripes

Joe knew that hiring managers were engaged and motivated by the company’s journey to become more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. But he also knew their mindset – they thought that the best candidate was someone who had worked in the industry.

Joe had seen the data that proved that CV-based hiring often held candidates from under-represented groups back (even with some information removed). So he began to wonder whether a new approach – scrapping the CV, hiring for potential, and selecting based on core strengths and transferable skills instead of experience – might enable even more progress on Molson Coors’ DEI journey. It turned out to be the radical approach he’d been after.

The subtle art of changing minds

Joe says that  –– like almost every organisation –– CVs had become a “crutch and a comfort blanket” at Molson Coors, simply because they were what people were used to. So, before he could implement a skills-based hiring approach, he’d need to change perceptions. He decided to build his argument around quality. 

He chose to replace the CV with sifting using Arctic Shores Task-based psychometric assessment, which would help him uncover more insight about a person’s natural strengths (their skill-enablers) than a CV ever could.

"Hiring managers are busy people, with lean teams and big targets. They want the best people coming through the door."
Joe Sidley, Head of Talent Acquisition EMEA & APAC at Molson Coors

By reaching a more diverse talent pool and gaining a more detailed, accurate insight into things like a person’s thinking style and potential to acquire skills, hiring managers would be able to uncover better talent. 

Joe began rolling this simple message out in a series of sessions, led by Arctic Shores’ Business Psychologists. He also began circulating supporting materials, like the Arctic Shores Playbook for CV-less hiring (now the playbook for skills-based hiring).

Once he’d convinced senior leaders, he was ready to begin.

 “Scrapping CVs helps remove unconscious bias from the process because our recruiters can’t be swayed by an impressive sounding degree or a candidate that went to a good school… we have a huge demand for new talent, and we simply can’t afford to miss out on great people because they were put off by an application process that makes them feel unqualified.”
Joe Sidley, Head of Talent Acquisition EMEA & APAC at Molson Coors

Joe’s pilot principles

“Be precise. Be focused. Invest the time in it. 
You’ll get the data to bring it out on a wider scale.”
Joe Sidley, Head of Talent Acquisition EMEA & APAC at Molson Coors

To turn sceptics into supporters, Joe approached his skills-based hiring pilot with five key principles in mind: 

  1. Know your why, and shout about it 

    By aligning the pilot with Molson Coors’ pre-existing mission to ‘put people first’ and hire inclusively when promoting the initiative internally, embracing skills-based hiring felt like less of a psychological leap for many hiring managers (especially as this tactic was already commonplace in Early Careers). Joe harnessed existing belief in diversity, while also appealing to the need for quality.

  2. Promote skills-based hiring to improve application rates from underrepresented groups   

    Like many organisations with a strong commitment to DEI, Joe and his TA team regularly engage with a number of external partners to promote their roles to under-represented groups and encourage candidates from those communities to apply. And the removal of ‘experience’ as a requirement for certain roles was transformational for those partners and their communities. It provided Molson Coors with a real opportunity.

    By signposting to candidates that they would evaluate candidates based on their unique strengths and abilities, rather than on their CV or past experience, Molson Coors saw a 100% increase in application volumes and 75% of shortlisted applicants at the interview stage were female (vs the 30% Molson Coors saw at this stage previously). This made the impact of both the whole approach and these partnerships feel much more tangible.

  3. Find the right role and the right leaders

    Joe sought the right senior sponsors to help him quickly convert doubters into believers. He targeted those with big, burning challenges, as well as those who’d demonstrated a real commitment to promoting inclusivity at Molson Coors.

    “It can be quite offputting when you see some roles that ask for a lot of experience or qualifications. It’s frustrating too when you know you’d be great at a job but are not able to tick certain boxes on the application. Hiring for potential hiring makes a real difference and I hope it will give others like me the confidence to apply for a role at Molson Coors.”

     Hannah Butler –– a Molson Coors hire who made the transition from
    a Customer Technical Services role to a Talent Acquisition role

  4. Involve your L&D function

    When you hire for potential, you also need to ensure your hires will be supported to learn and grow once they arrive. To decrease time to impact, Joe involved his L&D team from the beginning.

  5. Educate everyone

    Education was vital to growing internal support – but Joe didn’t confine that education to hiring managers. He felt that “TA teams and HR functions have also been conditioned” to rely on the CV – so he ensured the whole function also understood the key principles and benefits of skills-based hiring.

  6. Start small

    Joe started off deploying this new approach with just one role to ensure he could get the Molson Coors process right before rolling it out more widely. To really prove his commitment and faith in the process, he chose to trial the new skills-based hiring process in his team first. Due to the success of the trial, Joe made two new hires and restructured his team to facilitate this.

    This had the added benefit of helping the business and the TA team deeply understand what best practices needed to look like and iron out any kinks themselves. 

    What’s more, now Joe was armed with great hires and great data to prove the effectiveness of the process and help the doubters see that this bold change would make a positive difference. Just in time to initiate a wider rollout.

The results:

“We probably could’ve hired half the people we saw.
The results themselves were incredible” 
Joe Sidley, Head of Talent Acquisition EMEA & APAC at Molson Coors

A broad, diverse talent pool

Joe received 100% more applications with the skills-based approach. At the interview stage, 75% of the candidates were female. This was ‘unheard of’ in the beverage industry, Joe says. It ultimately supported his goal of hiring more inclusively, and ‘putting people first’.

A high-quality hire

Performance data shows that Molson Coors made an excellent hire – even though the candidate had no sales experience. With great onboarding and brilliant support and training from L&D and the immediate team, they’re exceeding targets, settling well within the team, and adhering to Molson Coors’s values.

This success is quickly opening others’ eyes to the benefits of hiring for potential. Hiring managers are now volunteering to be involved in future phases.

An engaging, rewarding experience

Joe’s candidates tend to be Molson Coors customers. So the process had to excite and engage them. Ultimately, 80% of candidates reported that they were satisfied with the process.

What’s next?

The pilot’s success has spurred Joe to extend the approach to new job roles. In 2023, Molson Coors announced to the press that candidates applying for certain roles within the HR division, on-trade sales and technical services teams will no longer be required to submit a CV.

Skills-based, CV-less hiring is also now active for a technical role at the company’s state-of-the-art brewery in Burton-on-Trent. This is more than a facility. It’s a community – where generations of families work side by side, and many of the Technicians have been there for many years. Joe is now excited to extend the success of this initiative to this mammoth site, and open doors to new talent from under-represented groups.

“CVs simply aren’t necessary for all job roles. They encourage recruiters to focus on details, like the school or university someone went to, that doesn’t really speak to the person’s true potential. This increases the chances of unconscious bias creeping into the selection process and disadvantages those who didn’t get the opportunity to attend a great school or access internships and work experience.

“We believe in finding people who are the right fit for our business and demonstrate the raw talent, drive and inclusive values that we look for. It’s then up to us to provide them with the training and support they need to reach their full potential.”
Liz Spooner, Talent & Leadership Director for Western Europe

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