Many companies today have some kind of diversity program in place to recruit underrepresented talent in a given industry. But do these companies have the infrastructure and internal programs in place to support new employees in their roles once they’re hired? How can you tell if your diversity program is working?
Host Christina Shareef, along with Kim Lonas, Melisa Medrano, Anna Forsberg and Checkster’s Sean Rehder discuss the importance of a company’s diversity program and the role it plays in locating, hiring, developing, and retaining highly qualified candidates and ultimately employees. Watch the Webinar now.
Sourcing Diverse Talent:
What do we mean when we talk about a diverse candidate? Diversity and underrepresentation can refer to all different criteria: age, race, sex, gender, religious or cultural diversity and it’s important not to limit your search to only gender or cultural identity. TA leaders can get involved with various diversity organizations-there’s no need to rely solely on Linkedin for these talent leads. There are plenty of industry-specific diversity organizations from which to choose, and most have job boards where you can post open reqs. Recruiters sometimes get push back from hiring managers who are under deadlines; they want diverse candidates, but don’t always want to wait to fill a role. One key is to broaden your reach-don’t simply source in your “backyard.” If you recruit from other geographical locations it will help bring a wealth of diverse candidates to your pipeline, especially with today’s work-from-home opportunities.
The Hiring Process:
Once you have found a slate of diverse candidates, you’ll want to create a welcoming, comfortable experience for them. When possible, make sure your organization’s interview panel represents a diverse group of employees (gender, cultural, racial, age etc.). If candidates can’t see themselves reflected in the panel, it might be hard for them to picture themselves at your company. If your hiring panel is small or not diverse enough, an Employee Resource Group or “ERG” can help with this process. They can reach out to candidates via email or phone who have made it through the first interview to give them a “boots on the ground” picture of what daily life at the company looks like. And even if the candidate doesn’t get the job, you want them to feel like the process was a positive, inclusive experience. This will only boost your company brand and may lead to valuable referrals down the road.
Research shows that a diverse workforce results in different perspectives, more creativity, better decisions and innovations, attracts a broader audience to your company’s brand, and contributes to overall business growth. Therefore it goes without saying that once your ideal candidates have been hired, you want to ensure they will stay and thrive at your company. So what can be done internally to revamp the on-boarding process? Assign someone other than the hiring manager to answer the new employees questions and to invite them to participate in company-sponsored activities. Managers need to help upskill their diverse talent and develop a clear career trajectory for them at the company. Creating a mentoring program that works hand-in-hand with your diversity program will show new employees that you care about their professional development and long-term opportunities at your organization.
Strengthening Your Diversity Program:
Great ideas to fortify your program include establishing and nurturing a robust internship program that is strategically and thoughtfully diverse. Sourcing from your ERG contacts or diverse universities and colleges can help feed this pipeline. TA can also partner with your ERG and set up group informational meetings with diverse candidates. This can help reaffirm your brand and commitment to diversity and inclusion in your organization as well as potentially collecting resumes from interested, qualified parties you might not readily source otherwise. Sometimes there will be roadblocks surrounding your diversity program. Some departments may be slow to prioritize diverse hiring. Talk to the hiring managers and call attention to the importance of diversity and how it’s tied to company success. Conduct employee surveys often, perhaps several small ones every year, to collect authentic employee opinions about how things are working. This data will help inform decision leaders how to further cultivate diversity and inclusion. By changing the “DNA” of your company over time, your diversity program will gain support and create greater impact within your enterprise.
Measuring Diversity Program Success:
One indication that your program is working is when your business leaders start weaving the diversity program into company culture (independent of HR initiatives), as well as providing budget for advertising in targeted spaces. Measuring progress year-over-year can also show how successful your program is, and where to focus additional resources and energy. When managers approach TA to gather data to forecast strategic staffing planning, TA leaders can provide managers with survey/engagement scores, attrition rates, time-to-fill and other data points, which are all good signs that the program is respected and taken seriously. Analyze exit interviews. TA can also look at back-fill rates, and if your diverse talent is leaving for lateral positions, you can assume that the program isn’t creating the impact that it should. If your learning and development team is doing their job and upskilling your diverse talent, these employees may only leave for a higher-level job opportunity.
Your company’s diversity program can benefit everyone by promoting a supportive, inclusive, and truly collaborative working environment for all employees, which serves to make your organization more competitive and successful.