More and more companies today are realizing the very real and tangible benefits of a diverse and vibrant workforce. What in the past might have been a ‘nice to have’ and ‘important initiative’ has become a main focus for progressive companies who understand the market data.
Here are some business-centric stats that may surprise you:
- Companies employing an equal number of men and women produce as high as 41% stronger revenue results relative to competitors
- Companies with racially-diverse teams produce 35% better performance than their competitors
- 43% of companies with diverse management exhibited higher profits than competitors
- 78% of candidates believe diversity and inclusion programs matter in their decision-making
- 57% of employees polled want to see their company increase diversity
Let’s say your company has implemented a comprehensive Diversity and Inclusion program, led by an accomplished D&I leader. All the education, training, mentoring, career-planning, and employee spotlights have been planned and executed brilliantly. Now comes the HOW of actually sourcing diverse candidates for STEM roles that traditionally were not so diverse.
Here are 5 Tips that can make an impact in your Diversity Sourcing Efforts for your Talent Acquisition teams:
1. Gender-neutral Position Postings: Typically companies will either formulate generic job descriptions, or have line managers write them – in both cases they might unwittingly contain masculine-centric words or phrases that may deter woman from applying, especially if written by males.
EX: “This position requires occasional nights/weekends availability, child care is not available at this time” While the first part is fine, obviously the second assumes any moms applying would have trouble with the requirement.
2. Participation in Diverse LinkedIn Groups: Make sure your Talent teams are active participants in discussions within groups like Women in Technology (WIT), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE), and the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals (NOGLSTP). Your company postings for positions should be plentiful in these groups and their free organization job listings on their websites.
3. Relationships with HBCUs and Diverse Technical Programs: In each major metropolitan area, there are typically many great sources for diverse technical grads, but my advice is to select 2-3 where you can develop strong working relationships, attend their career fairs and join their outplacement organizations. Many companies have thriving internship programs with these schools, and are growing more diverse by the year. Where some get it wrong is that this strategy can be inefficient with too many schools, and companies do not invest in the valuable relationships that can yield better results.
4. Standardized and Diverse Interview Process: When you are interviewing a female candidate, and the only people they interview with are males, this is a problem. This happens frequently in the technical fields of IT, Software Development, Engineering, etc. There is an inherent bias on the part of the managers, whether they know it or not, and instead of coaching it out of them – just strive to include as many people who might identify with the candidate and provide perspective in the decision-making process. The ‘process’ should be as transparent, inclusive, and clear as possible – and most companies have a long way to go here.
5. Measure the Progress: Though words like ‘quotas’, ‘targets’ and even ‘affirmative action’ can conjure politically-charged pushback at times, the fact remains that what gets measured, gets done. The old standard of ‘Select the Best Qualified Candidate for the Position’ rings hollow if the only candidates for the position are one gender or race/ethnicity. Measurement of number of diverse candidates who apply, number of diverse candidates in consideration per role, and monitoring of diverse interview teams is critical in determining the efficiency of your company’s efforts. Once progress is made, highlighting that progress internally and externally will create a virtuous circle that begins to compound on itself.
Hopefully with education, diligence, and time – the previously non-existent candidates that eluded the sourcing efforts of your company will become very real, very interested, and very valuable to the long-term growth of the organization.
Stats: Jacimovic, Darko. The Importance of Diversity in the Workplace – 20 Key Statistics, February 25th, 2021. https://whattobecome.com/blog/diversity-in-the-workplace-statistics
About the Author:
Mike Nicholas is the founder of Davis Laine, LLC, an expert advisory firm specializing in solving talent acquisition headaches through TA setup advisory, specialized recruiter skills training, and RPO Recruiting services.
For more helpful information, visit www.davislaine.com