The recent cry for social change is being felt in all areas of daily life –– and the hiring industry is the most obvious choice of where to start affecting real cultural change. Furthermore, the highly competitive labor market and resulting “war for talent” has given employees more power to decide what they want from a company, forcing these organizations to reevaluate who they are and what they want their culture to reflect.
For many organizations, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is a topic that was never truly openly addressed or fully integrated into their culture –– but now, people are demanding change. A company that does not adapt to ensure their workplace is diverse and equitable will ultimately feel the effects of the changing times.
Let’s take a look at what DEI entails and how it benefits a company that seamlessly incorporates it into their core practices and behaviors.
Understanding DEI is the first step in making positive changes in your organizational culture.
Diversity refers to the representation of various groups of people within a group. It may refer to people from different ethnic and social backgrounds, various age groups, as well as people of different genders or sexual orientations.
Within the procedures, processes, and distribution of resources by an organization, equity is what promotes justice, impartiality, and fairness for all employees. This principle can help identify and eliminate barriers to ensure equal opportunities are available to all members of the organization.
A company's commitment to inclusion refers to its willingness to value, respect, and support individual contributors and perspectives. Inclusion leads to all members of the team feeling appreciated and supported because of the different skills, qualities, and perspectives they bring to the table.
When all three elements work together, they help to create a business culture that increases employee engagement and produces a healthier work environment. Here are a few other benefits of DEI to your company’s performance:
People are at the center of innovation –– and the unique perspectives and experiences that a diverse group of people brings to the table are what drives creativity and ingenuity in business.
If members of the group are open to different perspectives, these discussions have the power to lead to better decisions. When people from all backgrounds come together, you have the opportunity to have more meaningful discussions and creative solutions.
As your organization begins to make better business decisions, you will notice how this directly impacts your bottom line. In the long run, this will ultimately lead to more sales, improved processes, and increased profitability.
To be successful, a progressive workplace should be willing to challenge the society in which it operates. Use these six strategies to help you interweave DEI into your company and culture.
To confront DEI issues effectively, it is essential to understand the underlying causes. Start by examining your current workforce from a diversity perspective to determine which areas of your organization may be lacking. Then assess your hiring process and get feedback on what is being done well, and what areas may not be inclusive enough. By identifying these gaps early on, you can then create a plan to execute on actionable changes and tasks within your workplace.
Based on the gaps you find, you can now create measurable goals to address the areas in which your business would like to improve. For example, you may want to hold a workshop each month centered around a particular DEI topic or how to restructure your current hiring process to reach a broader group of candidates.
Once you have defined your goals, share them with all members of your organization. Not only does this keep everyone on your team informed, but it also opens the door for discussions that help integrate DEI efforts into daily routines. Over time, these goals will keep your teams accountable and allow you to track your progress in the long run.
If you want to successfully change the culture of your company from within, your leadership teams must actively own DEI. Effective leaders not only have the power to implement change, but also influence those around them by embodying the values they want others to see in others.
Often, people are unaware of their behavior and how their actions influence these biases. To combat this, training sessions and workshops designed to improve DEI should be mandatory for all to attend –– starting with the leaders in the business. When leadership teams model DEI within their organization, employees will follow suit.
Unfortunately, whether we are aware of them or not, biases often influence our decision-making as humans. It can also adversely affect the hiring process within the organization, leading to less diversity in the workforce. While using data and technology in the hiring process has helped to eliminate some of these unconscious biases, it is still not a perfect solution.
If you want to reduce these biases, look for talent through new channels you haven't used before. Also consider incorporating various skill assessments that are evaluated by a diverse panel of leaders in your organization. This will reduce the opportunity for biases to influence decisions when assessing a candidate’s abilities. Ultimately, having a clear and consistent structure for your hiring process will be fundamental to fostering diversity and equity every step of the way.
Oftentimes, new hires fail simply because they are not trained adequately –– and if you want all new employees to be aware of your company culture, up-to-date onboarding and training processes are necessary. These will help ensure that your new hires have the resources they need to successfully transition into their new role at your organization while guaranteeing they are aware of the importance of DEI to the culture and how they achieve their goals.
There is no one way to achieve inclusion and equity in the workplace, but continual effort is key to experiencing long-term progress. Regular DEI workshops and keeping your employees accountable are all fundamental to continuous improvement and growth.
Once you begin to interweave DEI in your culture, take time to analyze the performance by establishing, tracking and reporting on key metrics. With the insights you obtain, you can then reevaluate your current DEI strategies for areas of improvement to ensure that you continue to be effective in transforming your workplace culture.
We had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Tera Orey, Vice President of Business Development, to discuss her professional experience with DEI in the hiring industry.
Q: Can you tell us about your background and career?
A: I have been recruiting for over 15 years. Using my Human Resources background I work alongside the human capital team within organizations to bridge the diversity gap. Being a woman, I know first hand how hard it can be to get a seat at the table.
My goal is to help companies bring in diverse talent. Companies are looking for different perspectives. Over the years, we have seen how it improves decision-making, as well as profitability and productivity within organizations.
Q: What is your role in the hiring process?
A: I truly believe understanding the company's culture is the most effective way recruit top talent
When working with a candidate, I need to find out what truly matters in their next career. Then I can match what is important to both sides. It's never black and white –– it's finding out what drives the person and the company and then making sure there's a common ground between those wants and needs.
Q: Do you feel that DEI is a priority for the companies you are working with?
A: Yes, it is. I would say it is a top initiative across the board . Companies want diverse workers. They typically have a set of specific needs. We are able to tell the company's story and why it matters. This gives us a competitive edge to recruit the best talent
Q: Do you think that companies will start being more inclusive as well as speaking out about diversity for wage disparities?
A: Before it was more status quo. Now executives see the value in diversity. By hiring diverse workers you are changing the company's culture and companies are thriving. It goes back to what employees truly care about, employers who listen. When they include diverse perspective companies able attract the best talent
Q: Within your 15 years in this role, when would you say you have started seeing more of a push for DEI initiatives?
A: I would say in the last two to three years, right around pre-COVID-19, I started to see dramatic changes. The global pandemic set everything off. People realized there is such a shortage of talent. Candidates are now in control. Companies that don't diversify are falling behind.
The first step towards change is committing to do your part. As industry leaders, we know that our position grants us the opportunity to advocate for more inclusive and diverse hiring practices for our clients.
Our team is committed to executing a fair hiring process, attracting a wide pool of qualified candidates that match your specific wants and needs. Through a tailored candidate profile, we determine the characteristics of your ideal new hire. Additionally, our post-hire services give your new employees access to resources and workshops that are designed to refine their skills and processes to align with their new role in your organization. From the very beginning of the process, we improve the chances of successfully hiring new talent and aiding the transition into their new leadership roles.
If you would like to partner with us on your current search for talent, click the button below to speak with a member of our team.