Diversity and Its Importance to the Future of Recruiting
Diversity and Its Importance to the Future of Recruiting

Last year, we heard it over and over “It’s a year unlike any other”. Alongside an unprecedented virus threat, political uncertainty, economic and labor disruptions; the world also had a renewed focus on the importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).

Before we take a deep dive into the subject; let’s have a quick glance at what does DEI means –
Diversity means the practice of including people from a range of different social, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds, including different genders, sexual orientations, etc. Equity revolves around ensuring fair treatment, equality of opportunities. It also includes building a culture of belongingness and ensuring equal participation and contribution from all. It overlaps with the concept of Inclusion; meaning it’s the action of including within a group or structure who might otherwise be marginalized or excluded for any reason including physical and mental disabilities.

The recruitment and staffing industry is no different and has also been having conversations on what it means for the industry to be diverse & inclusive and the actions that need to be taken.
According to a recent survey by LinkedIn, “The Future of Recruiting” employer brand will hinge on empathy and actions. 73% of professionals say diversity will be very important to the future of recruiting. 54% say hiring managers are held accountable for interviewing a diverse slate of candidates.

For talent seekers, there has never been more access to new and diverse talent pools; remote work and increased flexibility means underrepresented groups face fewer barriers to hiring. To engage better in diversity hiring you can focus on –

a. Prospective candidates in rural areas who would have not typically applied for a jobs due to location constraint but will like to consider now because of remote working option.

b. Candidates from under-privileged areas who might be hesitant to apply for a job earlier.

c. Candidates with special needs or disabilities; with working from home as an option they can now stay in the comfort of their home and deliver their best work.

d. Candidates who are stay-at-home mothers or fathers; can benefit from flexible schedules while working from home, as certain family priorities can be easily accommodated.

Further, more data-backed reporting against diversity goals drives greater accountability not just around more diverse hires, but that diverse talent is retained and engaged.

In this blog, we will talk about how diversity is going to play an important role in the world of recruiting. We will also dig into how 2020 has impacted diversity as an agenda and what recruiters are doing about it in 2021. Let’s explore!
There are various studies and statistics supporting the fact that diverse teams are more innovative and make better decisions, and diverse companies have higher revenue and profitability. Let’s have a look at reports and studies from different organizations around DEI:

  • Gender-diverse organizations have a 15% high probability to get above-average profitability, than organizations that are not, as per a report by McKinsey Global Institute
  • Companies with higher diversity in management earned, on average, 38% more revenue than companies with lower diversity.
  • According to a report from Boston Consulting Group, management teams from diverse backgrounds, generate 19 times more revenue than non-diverse teams
  • Ethnically-diverse organizations characteristically experience a 35% increase in performance as opposed to their non-diverse counterparts.
  • Organizations in the top quartile (25%) for gender diversity are 21% more likely to have above-average profitability/
  • For companies in the top quartile for ethnic and cultural diversity are 33% more likely to outperform on profitability.
  • The Manifest found that 70% of job seekers value a company’s commitment to diversity when assessing potential employers.

Recently, several industry leaders have reiterated a prevalent belief – “One should not waste a crisis”. If one takes this advice sincerely, then the ongoing crisis presents organizations with opportunities to re-imagine priorities, re-build culture, and re-write organizational values.

Organizations are realizing and strongly believing in the fact that Diversity is not just a compliance measure or an exercise that ticks the box; in fact, it is an integral part of any organization’s workforce plan. Last year, we saw an increase in hires for a diversity leadership position, which gave further momentum to this initiative.

Today, the world, and organizations at large, are more sensitive to employee’s welfare issues than ever before. It only makes sense that the same workforce would expect such equity and inclusivity at the workplace as well. As organizations begin to plan the way forward, the need for DEI initiatives to become key priorities, has switched from good to have to mandatory.

Until recently, the stance of organizations had so far been to build a diverse culture with a few diverse hires. However, with the changed mindset, there is an opportunity to shift this outlook to one that walks the talk by valuing and living inclusion through talent processes, and not a mere display of intent and belief.

In recent times, it has been found that the fastest-growing skill for recruiters in the current time is not just technical know-how or personal development; it is also including diversity, equity and inclusion, and HR strategy.

For HR & recruiters, it seems that fostering workforce and organization culture is central to their role and responsibilities.

The working population is changing and we now have four different generations of talent with diverse approaches to job-seeking and employment priorities. Now, things have changed, the best talent have countless choices finding an employer that best fits their personal values, working styles, and lifestyle & personal needs.

As staffing specialists, we at AgreeYa have kept our ears to the ground of changing candidate behaviors, which have continued to reshape and redefine recruitment practices throughout the globe. We are sharing some of the practices we follow at AgreeYa. We hope that these be useful to you also.to promote DEI in your recruitment process –

  • Create inclusive job adverts that speak to a diverse range of candidates

Write job posts ensuring that prospective candidates understand and are aware that your organization is embracing DEI as part of their recruitment strategy. Make sure the job advert focuses on positioning your organization and Pro- Diversity and not just the job profile you are hiring for.

  • Choose a goal – Analyze your workforce and identify underrepresented groups. You may want to consider the following; minorities, veterans, women, recent graduates, LBGTQ, etc. Once you have done this, focus your efforts towards increasing the hiring within these identified groups.
  • Publish jobs post in specific job sites and platforms – Once you have identified your focus unrepresented groups. The next step is posting job ads at places and platforms your identified groups are present. For instance;
  • Create a dedicated hiring team – Recognize and form a recruiting team focused on explicitly hiring from each of these underrepresented groups. At AgreeYa we have created a recruitment group dedicated to hiring from each of our identified groups

i. Post jobs for veterans on veteran-specific job boards, such as veterans.gov, militaryhire.com, ssv.org, recruitmilitary.com, etc.
ii. For women, you should consider posting on women-specific job boards. You can also partner with organizations like Women Back to Work (WBW), Where Women Work or Women Restart, or WITI. Partner with organizations that specialize in connecting companies with women looking to get back in the workforce.
iii. For recently graduated candidates, consider posting jobs on college sites. You may want to partner with industry-specific colleges for full-time/part-time positions.

  • Accept blind CVs from Recruiters

The latest trend in this direction is accepting blind CVs. For a better understanding of our readers; a blind CV does not include any personal details of the applicant, like gender, age, ethnicity, etc. Only information included is work-related, like qualification, work experience, projects undertaken, etc.

This is an interesting stride towards increasing diversity and inclusion in your organization. This method allows recruiters and other key stakeholders in the recruitment process to evaluate individuals based purely on merit alone. This style is becoming more and more common in the current time.

More organizations are embracing this; with several Apps and solutions now offering this service for matching job seekers to employers avoiding any bias at all.

  • Create focused learning and development programs

Identify the gaps in skills and knowledge and curate targeted training programs for various underrepresented groups. Create a targeted training program for individuals from underrepresented backgrounds in the field of their interest or any foundational leadership development programs you may have at your organization. Apart from this, conduct frequent training for all our staff to help them understand what kind of contribution is expected from them to support the organization in their DEI initiatives.

At AgreeYa we do the same; over and above this we also schedule training for our senior level employees and management to help them reinforce DEI and have clear understanding of the goals of the organization.

  • Hire decision-makers who represent DEI

To benefit fully from their DEI initiatives, organizations should also consider appointing a diverse interview panel for recruitment. This brings speed and efficiency in your initiative to develop a workforce with a broad assortment of backgrounds, culture and experiences, thereby increasing the probability of bringing in new ideas, innovation in your organization; creating a highly inclusive, diverse and productive workforce.

Small things play a big role in helping you go a long way. We believe in celebrating differences; you can do that through various ways. At AgreeYa, we do that by celebrating different cultures and festivals together.

As organizations move forward, they are looking for a key avenue to boost inclusion efforts while enabling the change to be both sustainable and scalable. The very first step is making the recruitment, more aware and inclusion-focused. With a workforce including a diverse pot of personalities, generations, cultures, and backgrounds, it is important to implement an inclusive recruitment strategy that speaks to a diverse array of talent.

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