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workplace diversity

Workplace diversity: Recruiting new talent with DEI in mind 

The first step in recruiting with DEI in mind is understanding how diverse an organization already is – and then developing recruitment strategies to engage specific groups. Workplace diversity is an expectation, and should be a critical focus for organizations at each stage of the recruitment process as well as throughout the employee or contingent worker lifecycle.

The vast majority of job seekers today pay attention to the state of DEI at the organizations they’re applying to. In fact, Procom’s Re-imagined Recruitment Playbook finds 76% of talent says a company’s workforce diversity is crucial when assessing job offers and potential employers; similarly, GlassDoor’s Diversity and Inclusion Workplace Survey finds more than 3 in 4 employees and job seekers report a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers.

Workplace diversity: Recruiting with DEI in mind requires an organization to rethink its recruitment tactics

To establish and follow through on DEI commitments, organizations must select, track and improve DEI metrics. However, knowing where to start can be challenging.

A successful DEI strategy includes:  

  • Identifying shortcomings in workforce diversity. 
  • Developing a recruiting plan that addresses these gaps.
  • Establishing and tracking metrics to measure progress and inform future DEI efforts. 

Gauging DEI through internal surveys 

One constructive way to establish and monitor DEI is through anonymous and voluntary surveys of current employees. These surveys can provide an overview of an organization’s current state and help evaluate progress as DEI efforts progress. They also engage employees and give them a voice in improving diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Gartner Research recommends focusing internal surveys on seven DEI drivers

  1. Fair treatment: Do workers feel fairly recognized and rewarded? 

  1. Integrating differences: Are differing opinions valued and respected? 

  1. Decision-making equity: Are all ideas and suggestions considered equally? 

  1. Psychological safety: Do workers feel safe and welcome to express their honest feelings? 

  1. Trust: Does the organization communicate openly and truthfully with all its workers? 

  1. Belonging: Do workers feel cared about within the organization? 

  1. Leadership diversity: Is the leadership as diverse as the overall workforce? 

Depending on local regulations, companies may also be able to survey candidates who apply for job postings. This can further help organizations understand if their DEI recruiting plans are effective. 

Integrating DEI into the recruiting process 

Organizations must be conscious that their DEI efforts are reflected throughout the recruiting process. These steps ensure an organization’s DEI priorities are evident throughout the recruiting cycle: 

Create a diverse hiring panel 
Appoint a hiring panel that is diverse and whose members have connections to the position in question. When possible, include representation for each candidate’s background. 

Be transparent 
Share as many details about each step of the hiring process as possible. This provides candidates with clarity and a sense that all applicants are being treated with equity. 

Be structured 
Decide in advance what questions to ask all candidates to prevent unconscious bias. Establish objective metrics to evaluate candidates. 

Debrief neutrally 
Before recapping an interview and discussing a candidate, review the job description, the skills required and other applicable criteria. This will help maintain objectivity. 

Communicate DEI policies openly 
If it’s vital for organizations to have DEI policies, it is perhaps just as imperative to share them. Companies should make their DEI strategies available to employees, job seekers, customers and business partners. They should communicate their diversity data and highlight their DEI trends and improvements. 

Include DEI commitment in job descriptions
DEI policies should also be included in job descriptions. If organizations don’t receive diverse applicants for open positions, or if candidates from underrepresented groups drop out disproportionately during recruiting, those involved in hiring should evaluate available data and other factors to discover why. 

Be aware of unconscious biases
Achieving DEI objectives sometimes requires identifying and overcoming unconscious biases. An unconscious bias is an unintentional but discriminatory mental process that leads some people to behave in ways that reinforce stereotypes about age, ethnicity, gender, physical ability, race and sexuality. 

When DEI challenges surface during recruiting, it may be advisable to consider unconscious-bias training for hiring managers and internal recruiters. Quality training programs can help individuals manage their biases and change their behaviors.

The Re-Imagined Recruitment Playbook

Over the past two years, we have captured hard won lessons learned across thousands of worker hiring engagements by our team of professional recruiters and distilled them into practical ideas that you can start using immediately. The Re-Imagined Recruitment Playbook is a step-by-step guide to help source, screen, select, onboard and retain talent in the New World of Work.

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