I was recently asked by a D&I associate on what are the key initiatives that can help increase the diversity in his organization. I get asked this question a lot by many D&I professionals on what is the best practice towards engaging with a more wider Diverse audience... The popular fallacy is that any Diversity initiative, of course, starts with recruitment practices. Actually, more important than that is to know where in the diversity journey, organizations are currently at. I always suggest organizations start with an audit and awareness of their current setup. Diversity is an inside-out job. Unless organizations build an inclusive culture, bringing diversity into their recruiting process isn't going to solve anything. To start with:
1. Identify the demographical gaps in your organization. Identify which dimensions you'd like to attract for specific roles and the availability of talent pool for those roles. Also having an understanding of diversity data helps you to have a structured plan and gives you the data to articulate to potential candidates better on the areas where your organization is losing momentum and the steps you are taking to bridge those gaps. You come across more authentic owning up to why there is a need for diversity. This is the number 1 reason why many companies make their diversity statistics public even if the numbers don't seem to be exciting. The plan may include de-biased job descriptions, diversity content on the company website, Reviewing the feedback on Glassdoor by current and former employees, etc.
2. Are you recruiting in-house or through recruitment partners? Ensure your model is a healthy balance between inbound recruiting, direct sourcing and outbound(agencies). I always find when organizations hire internally, they control the narrative with diverse talent better and are able to not just engage 1-on-1 right from the outset but also build better relationships. Remember diverse talent is often not looking out actively. But if they trust your methods they'd become your employer brand advocates and give access to their inner circle, professional network, etc.
I shall continue the discussion in the next few posts and more specifically touch upon the approaches and ideas (when looking at recruiting a more diverse workforce) that have worked well for my clients. A lot of material is already available to download from the web. So I would like to focus on specific questions that my D&I network have. This way I can ensure that the content I share is unique and bespoke.