Are you unlocking the power of your DE&I initiatives?
Organizations face some common pitfalls when trying to advance their DE&I strategies. We discuss 5 mistakes that are often made and how to avoid them.
Today, most businesses aspire to have a workforce that mirrors the labor market. They want to hire a mix of employees who reflect all talent groups and to avoid excluding anyone because of a difference. They want these things because not only is diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) the right thing to do, but it’s also smart business. Inclusive hiring practices open your talent pool, make it easier to attract and retain top candidates, strengthen your brand and boost the bottom line.
So why do so many organizations’ recruitment practices fall short? Because they go too fast and don’t make the targeted changes necessary for a lasting transformation. Before you can implement inclusive hiring practices with a sustained impact, you need to have the right strategy, process, technology and people—plus a commitment to diversity and inclusion across your organization.
Let’s take a closer look at four of the most common challenges that organizations face when trying to hire diverse talent — and consider how we can turn these challenges into opportunities.
Organizations often claim that there isn’t enough talent from underrepresented groups in talent pools. But the evidence shows that this just isn’t the case. More women earn college and graduate degrees than men. And, in both the US and Europe, more people of color are attaining higher levels of education than ever before. Instead, the problem seems to lie with organizations and their sourcing strategies.
Here are some ways that you can start building a more diverse talent pipeline:
Some organizations have no problem getting diverse candidates into their recruiting process; but they just can’t keep them in long enough — they drop out before they get an offer. If your organization suffers from disproportionate numbers of underrepresented candidates leaving after they’re interviewed, it’s likely that your interviewers may be exhibiting bias.
Bias may be conscious or unconscious and behavioral or structural. If you haven’t coached your interviewers in inclusive hiring practices or if they aren’t using competency-based interviewing techniques, they may judge candidates based on their preconceived notions, allowing behavioral bias to unknowingly creep into their decisions. Or, if you have company practices that are inherently non-inclusive, you may have structural biases in play.
For example, if you require candidates to have a college degree, consider whether it’s really necessary for the role. If you’re looking to measure a person’s competency, behavioral tests likely are a better measure than their grades or degrees.
Here are some ways that you can improve inclusion at the candidate assessment and selection stages:
Even if your organization follows an inclusive sourcing strategy and assessment process and has diverse candidates moving through the interview stage, many of these candidates may turn your job offers down. Why might this happen?
There could be a number of reasons that candidates don’t want to work for your company. Are you offering them competitive pay and benefits? Will they have — and do they know about — opportunities for development and advancement? Did they meet anyone in your organization who looks like them?
Candidates can readily pick up on whether your organization is committed to diversity and inclusion; it must be an authentic part of your company culture. And you need to make sure you’re not just telling candidates about your initiatives; you also need to make sure they perceive it at every touchpoint with your organization.
Take these steps to make your organization more attractive to underrepresented candidates:
You’ve hired talented diverse candidates, but they don’t stay at your organization long. You can’t stop at ensuring that your sourcing and hiring practices are diverse and inclusive; the rest of your organization must change as well.
Work toward a culture of purpose and “actionable inclusion” that creates positive emotional experiences for employees as well as candidates, which will improve engagement. Although the talent acquisition team’s responsibilities don’t span the entire business, you can still play an important role in championing diversity, equity and inclusion across the rest of your company.
Take these steps to improve your retention of underrepresented employees:
As a talent acquisition leader, you play a critical role in building a more diverse and inclusive workforce. And you know that while change toward more inclusive hiring practices is imperative, quick fixes aren’t enough. You need to embed inclusive hiring processes throughout the organization and make an authentic, long-term commitment to recruitment strategies.
To learn more about how you can become a DE&I leader in your organization, read our guide, “The DE&I hiring champion.” Then use our handy checklist to assess how inclusive your hiring practices are. You can also contact us if you have further questions about implementing DE&I hiring practices in your workplace.