Hiring Executives to Increase Investment in Diversity Programs
By: S. Scanlon
Glassdoor has released new data revealing that more resources are expected to be invested in diversity and inclusion staffing over the coming year. Some 35 percent polled said they were ramping up investment in the area. Let’s explore the new report and the ramifications on industry.
November 14, 2017 – New efforts toward improving diversity are on their way over the coming year, according to a new report by Glassdoor. One in three (35 percent) hiring decision-makers expect to increase investment in diversity and inclusion and only three percent expect it to decrease. The remainder said they have no plans to change.
The report, which involved 750 hiring decision-makers (those in recruitment, HR and responsible for hiring) in the U.S. and U.K., also found that hiring leaders consider job candidate demographics among the most important recruiting metrics.
“In today’s era of the informed candidate, job seekers are hungry for as much information about a company as possible before they take a job,” said Carmel Galvin, chief human resources officer (CHRO) of Glassdoor. “Job seekers want insights into what businesses are doing to build a workforce that is diverse in all aspects of the word – be it age, gender, ethnicity or thought.”
Driving toward greater diversity in the workplace, he added, “is a high priority effort for many businesses. With increased investment in diversity and inclusion programs, it signals that employers are recognizing the value these efforts are having on recruiting and on financial performance.”
Investment in Diversity & Inclusion Impacts Recruiting Efforts
The report also showed that recruiting is less effective when companies fail to invest in diversity and inclusion programs. Nearly three in five (59 percent) hiring decision-makers reported that a lack of investment in diversity and inclusion is a barrier or challenge their organization faces in attracting and hiring quality candidates.
Candidate demographics are an important measure of recruiting success. The costs a company incurs, in fact, for generating applicants and securing a hire are the only two measures more important than candidate demographics, according to hiring decision-makers. Candidate demographics, they said, are more important to recruiting success than the following measures: how long it takes to fill a role, how long it takes to deliver a job offer, the success a company has in converting job seekers to applicants, and applicants to hires.
Information on diversity and inclusion efforts can help sway candidates. Nearly one in five (18 percent) of those surveyed reported that diversity and inclusion initiatives are among the elements that have the greatest influence on a candidate’s decision to join their organization.
“The opportunity today for employers is to highlight and leverage their company’s diversity and inclusion efforts by enabling their recruiters, employees and others to speak about it online and off so that job seekers can gain access to this valuable information where and when they need it,” said Ms. Galvin.
Key Activities to Drive Diversity and Inclusion Strategies
While diversity and inclusion initiatives have become a “must-have” for 21st century employers, successful ones are often contingent upon having a clear plan and framework that resonates with diverse talent and aligns with overall business goals.
Improvement in D&I Efforts Can Help Make Recruiting More Efficient
While only one in four (28 percent) said they were optimistic that they will make more progress towards achieving their diversity and inclusion goals in the next 12 months, the benefits of achieving those goals can be significant. Of this group, more than half (52 percent) said that they expect the quality of hiring to improve compared to 20 percent that expect quality of hiring to worsen. Hiring decision-makers who said that diversity and inclusion will improve over the next year also reported that they felt six times more likely to convert applicants to quality hires.
Not having a diversity and inclusion focus, meanwhile, could be costly to more than just a company’s recruiting funnel: Ten percent of hiring decision-makers said they believe employees will voluntarily leave their organization in the next 12 months as a result of their company having no diversity and inclusion programs.
Value of Diversity and Inclusion
That employers are recognizing the value of an inclusive and diverse work environment should come as no surprise. It is also well understood that the most forward-looking organizations view it as a leading competitive advantage when hiring from the entry level right up through to the C-suite. A diverse workplace, the argument goes, helps companies understand and meet the needs of an increasingly diverse customer base and develop new markets. Diversity of thought, it has now been proven, is a key driver for improved decision-making, problem solving and innovation.
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There is now broad consensus that having a diverse board, where directors are drawn from both genders and from an array of races and ethnicities, provides the breadth of perspective that is essential in today’s global dynamic environment.
A report from ManpowerGroup Solutions has found that fair and supportive work environments — and those with genuine opportunities for advancement — will ensure that these same companies retain the top diverse talent they are working so hard to recruit in the first place.
Manpower’s report was assembled, in large part, to understand how employers can leverage candidate preferences and create motivators for change. Respondents self-identified on several diversity factors, including ethnicity, sexual preference and the presence of physical or mental disabilities. A number of important trends emerged suggesting how employers can effectively recruit and retain a diverse workforce.
Among U.S. candidates generally, type of work and compensation are the top two motivators when making career decisions. This ranking tends to hold true for diverse candidates as well. What happens beyond those two factors, however, is revealing. “Opportunity for advancement” is a stronger a motivator for African Americans (40 percent) and Hispanic/Latinos (36 percent) but less so for their white counterparts (26 percent).
“Many businesses struggle to attract and retain diverse talent,” said Chris Rowland, global diversity officer at ManpowerGroup. “The problem will not correct itself and a one-size-fits-all approach will not cut it. There is no quick fix, but there are practical steps businesses can take to build a diverse and inclusive workforce. These start with abandoning the ‘post-and-pray’ hiring approach and instead developing purposeful, tailored messaging delivered through carefully chosen channels.”
ManpowerGroup’s Six Tips for Recruiting a Diverse Workforce
1. Articulate clear pathways for advancement: Because the opportunity for advancement is so important to diversity candidates, make it a key message point from the very beginning of your recruitment efforts and reinforce it throughout the candidate experience. A clear pathway for advancement should be articulated in job descriptions, interviews, the onboarding process and annual employee reviews and feedback sessions.
2. Take the direct route: Augment your current recruitment efforts by leveraging websites such as the Professional Diversity Network, Black Career Network, iHispano, Out Pro Network, Military 2 Career and the Asian Career Network. Use the numerous federal, state and local resources that serve candidates with physical or mental disabilities and be sure that those resources know how to articulate the company’s employer value proposition to candidates.
3. A picture is worth a thousand hits: Leverage social media by posting photos and videos of the workplace that depict diversity in action. Stock photos of diversity in the workplace will only go so far in today’s media-savvy culture. Post pictures of employees with whom target candidates can identify. Just as many companies have embraced diversity in their television commercials, and HR departments can dial up the effort in their outreach efforts.
4. Use employee ambassadors: There is no substitute for the authentic voices that employee ambassadors bring to the recruitment of top talent. From their presence at job fairs to posting on career sites and social media, current employees can connect with diversity candidates using the messages that resonate with them. Encourage employees to reach out within their own communities, as appropriate, to raise awareness of employment opportunities.
5. Educate staff: There are a number of good resources on how to build a corporate culture that embraces diversity. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy provides educational material on disability etiquette. Cross-cultural training programs are also available to help ensure that a respectful and productive workplace is maintained where a multiplicity of backgrounds and religions are present.
6. Reward, promote and inspire: Employers who tailor their messages and channels of communication for diversity candidates create a unique covenant with these potential hires. Diversity in the workplace is a commitment that extends from the mailroom to the boardroom. Diversity at all levels of the organization is essential to that commitment. To the degree that diverse employees are rewarded and promoted within the organization, it will send a powerful message throughout the organization and engender employer-employee trust.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media