Diversity and Inclusion is one topic I am incredibly passionate about. According to Lever.co, 50% of recruiters surveyed indicated they will make Diversity a priority in their 2021 recruiting strategy. I’ve had the opportunity to speak on several panels and key notes recently and one question most often asked is, “How do I get started?” Here is how I would create an effective diversity recruiting strategy.
Minute 3:18 – Why Diversity should be part of every business Strategy
To be clear, the diversity recruiting focus should not be a “check the box” activity. When done correctly, businesses gain a competitive edge with a more diverse employee base. A 2015 report from McKinsey & Company as well as the Peterson Institute for International Economics, provided hard data to support the notion. In 2018, McKinsey & Company published another study stating companies in the top 25th percentile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 15% more likely to experience above-average profits. The numbers don’t lie.
Companies delivering any product or service benefit most when those on the project team reflect the customer base they hope to acquire. If you or your firm is only giving minimum effort to your DEI strategy, you will soon find yourself without the competitive edge needed to survive.
Minute 6:28-First steps to create a strategy
I am a self-proclaimed data nerd so of course my answer will be: START WITH THE DATA. I’ve been asked over the last couple of years to help companies as they build out their diversity strategy. I am not exaggerating when I say that the first two hours on the project, I find myself beating my head against a wall. While excitement and engagement are necessary for such a task, sometimes groups tend to focus so much on grand ideas that are no where close to the actual targets they need to focus on. If you start with the data to help you identify the attainable gaps in your organization, you’ll be able to spend your time on initiatives that will actually impact your organization.
Begin by looking at your client base or your prospective client base to understand its demographic. Do you have a large population of women? Maybe you have an untapped market within the military veteran community? Whatever the gaps are in your client acquisition strategy, start there with your diversity plan. You should be able to have your employee base reflect your client base as closely as possible to achieve success. Not only is this an easy step to complete but also one that will have the most immediate impact to your profit margins if your diversity plan is successful.
Once you have identified your diversity gaps, pick one or at most two that you want to attract. Focus your efforts on the top of the candidate funnel. I would encourage you to take a Design Thinking approach to developing a persona for your target group first. Where are these candidates most likely to be? What messages or content would most likely attract this talent group? How can you work with local or national community groups to get more candidates in the process? These are great questions to include in your persona activity to develop a successful strategy.
Minute 15 -How do you measure results?
ROI. ROI. ROI. Measuring a diversity strategy’s success is no different than any other TA strategy. Your client is a business minded professional so speak their language! If you are attending career fairs, measure all of the expenses including the hourly rate of the recruiter, travel costs, career fair fees, etc and compare that to the number of hires made during that event. I’ve used this simple formula to determine which diversity activities I chose to participate as an organization when budgets were tight.
If you want to take it one step further, determine the first year ROI of the opening filled by your diverse candidate. I would use that as your base, divided by the expenses spent to attract that talent to determine true value of the efforts. This simple equation will allow you to make smarter, more strategic decisions to enhance your diversity recruiting efforts.
If you want all of my advice, click on the pic below to listen to “Filling the Gaps in Diversity Recruiting”.
|If you’d like a free handbook, check out the Lever.co Diversity & Inclusion Handbook. It features experiences from D&I leaders at Lyft, Shopify, Affirm, and Yelp. It contains 40+ tips for making concrete progress, including how to: Establish fair compensation practices|
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I joined the HR industry in 2004 after working as a sales leader in the Financial Services Industry for eight years. After spending his first couple of years in HR trying to fit in, I found my voice. Now I leverage all of the things I once hated about HR to become a consultant and invaluable partner to the businesses I support. I contribute to the HRGazzette and to DataDrivenInvestor on Medium. WARNING: my writing style is raw and in your face, not what you would expect from an HR executive.
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