Recently, employers have made a re-commitment to expand diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) efforts in their organizations. These changes came in the wake of nationwide protests that sparked in June.
The crucial step that companies can take first is reviewing how hiring and recruiting is done. Other things must also change — from how job postings are written, which potential candidates are chosen for positions, and how to partner with recruiters.
Filling Diversity Leadership Roles
Following statements in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, companies gave very public comments about the need to address racial inequities. Since then, organizations have asked existing leaders to step into DE&I roles, while some are creating these roles for the first time. This is an exploratory stage for many organizations as they look at how to achieve diversity goals best.
There is currently an upsurge in searches for diverse leadership, as many companies expressed their intent to increase the number of their senior Black leaders.
What's Lacking in DE&I Leadership
Most of the time, the challenge is that companies are not entirely sure what the role is supposed to be. When a diversity officer is called, it is often due to a situation from the outside world. It has become normal for company leaders to demand a DE&I professional at the drop of a hat to react to the situation.
Often, either the senior-most person of color or woman will be appointed to lead the DE&I department of an organization. This approach by companies has been met with mixed results, at best. While these individuals indeed know diversity from an institution standpoint, still, they might lack the in-depth practical know-how on strategies and opportunities to lead DE&I’s success throughout the whole organization.
In this situation, it is vital to bring in an expert who can overcome the position’s tremendous hurdles. It does not sound good to learn things on the fly. While talented individuals might be moved from HR or communications roles into DE&I, they are often not successful. Companies must think through to their end goal and take the time to hire a leader who can best overcome the challenges of a DE&I position.
Lack of Diversity in Talent Acquisition
Much research suggests that individuals recruit other people who look like them or recruit from their networks, which are usually homogenous. This scenario leads to an unconscious bias if the talent acquisition team, search team, or interview panel is not diverse.
When a candidate pool is non-white or female, a hiring committee has a 50/50 chance of choosing one of them. When only one finalist in a candidate pool is non-white or female, they are never chosen.
To attract the most diverse candidate pool in the first place, companies must do a proactive outreach into different markets. It is good to look at various search firms, talk with them about their stance on diversity, ask if the candidates they recommend are really diverse. To help diversity truly thrive, companies must make internal changes, vary the channels where they post job openings, and diversify the interview panel at the onset.
Hiring managers must also be fully invested in DE&I. They must be interested in the DE&I cause that HR is pushing on them, its strategic advantage, and its cultural imperative.
Hiring diverse leaders begins with changing up the gatekeepers in many organizations. Many closed systems usually exist between HR and their preferences of a recruiting firm. Companies continue to use the same hiring sources and the same search partners to do their hiring. As a result of these exclusive relationships, many more non-diverse leadership teams continue to form in organizations.
To resolve this, companies must be open to working with diverse gatekeepers worldwide to onboard more extensive and more diverse leadership teams and increase their chance of hiring more diverse members in the future. Working with diverse individuals will only give your company more of an edge as you incorporate broader networks to find the right candidate for the right job consistently.
Celebrating Diversity, Promoting Equity and Inclusion
At Infinity Consulting Solutions, we embrace and celebrate multiple views and opinions in our workplace. We promote a culture of belonging where each employee’s unique attributes are celebrated. We welcome a workforce with different ethnic, cultural, sexual orientation, gender, and educational backgrounds. This type of diversity sparks collaboration and yields innovation.
We continue to evolve by implementing a targeted recruiting strategy, skills training & development, and mentoring program to expand our DE&I outreach, retention, and branding. Let us assist you in making your teams diverse and vibrant by bridging the right talent to you. Get in touch with us to learn more.