Talent acquisition plays a significant role in creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive culture. Organizations often create a Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) policy without the underlying programs needed to ensure frontline adoption.
Managers need to create an inclusive and open environment where employees feel free to collaborate and share ideas, regardless of their gender, sex, race or sexual identity. Welcoming diverse thoughts often means understanding where barriers, such as management structures, unintentionally block new and different ideas.
To better understand D&I opportunities for improvement when it comes to recruiting, we asked Darren Findley, president of Engage2Excel Recruitment Solutions, for his advice. Darren has over 35 years of experience in helping leading brands improve their recruiting operations. Below is a summary of his suggestions for reevaluating the recruiting methodology to support D&I objectives more effectively.
Sourcing: Effective sourcing begins with targeting. To increase your workforce's representative nature, you need to target your messaging and recruiting venues to engage the right audiences. Understanding the available talent pool in the markets you're in is important. Based on market data, you may need to come up with creative solutions for your outreach.
Outreach: Don't operate your organization's recruiting in a silo. Take advantage of or help create outreach activities that support commitment to the communities where you are recruiting. For example, in healthcare, we have seen that health fairs and school-based wellness education have helped increase diverse applicants. Applicants need to picture themselves as a part of your culture and believe your organization's values as authentic.
Interviewing: Be prescriptive. Define the number of diverse candidates you'll require in the process. Next, training is needed to ensure interviewing around competencies instead of preferences. Improperly trained interviewers tend to be biased toward people like themselves. Focus on competency and you'll almost always hire individuals who can demonstrate success in the role. It is important to obtain C-suite support for creating an inclusive environment. Lastly, if a hiring committee is involved, it goes without saying that it should reflect your target candidates' diverse nature.
Outsourcing: Teaming up with a recruiting partner ensures accountability for building a diverse slate of candidates. Outsourcing enables you to focus internal resources as a strategic initiative. In today's talent market, there can be an abundance of candidates for any given role. Your partner will be able to generate and hire the best-qualified candidates on your behalf, while letting your team focus on being strategic.
Reassessing your organization's approach to ensuring a more diverse, inclusive and fair work environment is the key to future success. Begin looking at market data regarding the perceptions of minority employees. Using the data, gather insights for generating C-suite support and ideas for building your business case. From there, you can improve talent acquisition and enable frontline managers to the importance of your D&I recruiting process and strategies.
Authors note: This content originally appeared in our Diversity & Inclusion eBook.