This is not a fictional story. When it comes to quality talent, it requires more than looking that what just appears on the resume or being said in an interview. That being said, hiring team can no longer blame it as a ‘top-of-the-funnel’ problem. Shaping the talent ecosystem around DE&I hiring should be the heart of an enterprise. It should be a ‘tryst with destiny’, not just fancy lip service or changing the verbiage.
You might have come across the famous ‘musical’ DE&I analogy by Inclusion Strategist at Netflix, Verna Myers:
- Diversity is being invited to the dance (regardless of the differences)
- Equity is being asked to dance (closing the gaps for all)
- Inclusion is allowing you to choose the music (acknowledging the thoughts, opinions and facts)
Let’s cut the hype short. DE&I or Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in workforce refers to hiring talent from all walks of life, from race to lifestyle. Having said that, integrating DE&I strategies into work culture in not something of a breakthrough revolution. In fact, the ball is always in the court. Like Audra Jenkins Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Randstad North America, Randstad USA, says, “DE&I allows me to … make sure that I’m giving a voice to the voiceless. I’m making an impact in a positive way and using my platform to make a difference.“
This powerful statement is in fact echoed in the recent publication of HR4.0: Shaping People Strategies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it is noted that achieving DE&I is an organization wide drive, particularly from the senior most leaders in the organization.
As per a report by Spencerstaurt.com, 9 out of 10 companies are keen to increase DE&I investment this year where 30 percent will focus on increasing diversity in seniority leadership and 20 percent will aim at building diverse talent pipelines.
In a recent survey by Bain&Company, 76 percent of employees and job seekers (3 in 4) said diverse workforce is an important factor when they evaluate companies and their job offer. The same survey found that employees in a “speak-up” culture were likely to contribute 3.5 times more than their potential. It also disclosed the fact that companies that had 50 percent of diversity in their teams had 50 percent better business decisions. Considering the impact of integrating DE&I on productivity and employee satisfaction, it makes sense for enterprises to orchestrate DE&I as a keystone in hiring quality talent. Let us look at some of the reasons why DE&I uplifts talent like no other.
Developing recruitment strategies around DE&I sends out messages of open-minded culture of an organization. In other words, quality talent comes seeking those organizations that nurtures a sense of belonging irrespective of any persona. But how to do it? The answer lies in leveraging AI-based recruitment technologies. For example, leading recruitment and staffing companies like Glider.ai not only place DE&I at the top of the recruitment funnel, but also addresses biases through data hotspots and modern technology adoption.
“A diverse and inclusive workforce helps everyone enjoy going to work, no matter who they are, and they can feel equally involved in supporting the organization’s mission and vision.”
– Ken R.Taunton, President and CEO, The Royster Group Inc
The Innovation Drive
Research studies have shown a positive correlation between innovations and DE&I workforce. Rather than just mimicking thoughts and actions everywhere, DE&I talent brings a breath of fresh air to the otherwise mundane atmosphere of heuristics. When employees come from different communities and capabilities, they show a million different ways of doing things at workplace.
Studies have proven that companies that embedded diversity witnessed 20 percent higher rate of innovation and 19 percent higher innovation revenues.
Empowering workforce is a value-driven model that aims to provide a sense of ownership and belonging for everyone irrespective of any idiosyncrasies. It is also about good corporate citizenship. When employees are empowered, more paths open for transformations, commitments, better products and services.
In a study by London Business Survey, it was revealed that companies run by diverse teams were likely to develop new products than their corresponding counterparts.
It is all about creating a holistic employee experience. With the help of AI recruitment tools talent acquisition has not only become more streamlined, but engaging them across many business dimensions has become easy and stronger as well.
As per a survey by Changeboard, DE&I focused organizations have 12 percent more hard-working employees and 57 percent higher peer collaborations.
In the words of Steve Jobs, it is, “What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.”
DE&I and Value Creation
By value creation, we mean revenues and financial performance. There is no second thought on the fact that DE&I raises the revenues of the company. In one of their business cases, McKinsey found that companies that had higher gender diversity reported 15 percent above-average profitability.
Besides, they also found positive correlation between executive-level gender and ethnic diversity and financial performances. Overall, there are enough evidences, statistically and otherwise to prove that DE&I make a positive contribution to overall business performance.
DE&I and Competitive Advantage can be those BFFs in a company. Not only do there is a positive correlation between DE&I workforce and productivity, but proves to be source of outperforming competitors as well.
To resonate this, a study from Deloitte Insights revealed that more than 78 percent of employees believe diversity and inclusion are keys to competitive advantage.
“Diversity and inclusion aren’t just the right thing to do – it’s good for business and our economy.”
– Joyce Beatty, Congresswoman, Ohio
Walk the Talk
No matter, what the studies prove, the key to unlocking opportunities for DE&I lies in the hands of C-Suite! Leaders sitting at the top have to make real commitments that are actually reflected in reality. It’s time they displayed impact behavior instead of remaining tone-deaf.
Through a synergistic integration of AI-based hiring technologies, they can make a difference and thereby a positive impact. As per a whitepaper by HR 4.0, creating a set of actionable practices is one of the six imperatives for the workforce of the future.
“We in the staffing world have the unique opportunity and responsibility to help our employers be diverse with talent, thought and action.”
– Orlando L. Williams Chief Executive and Equity Officer, Motus Recruiting & Staffing Inc.
We have already come across this term in the earlier part of this blog. But that doesn’t make it less significant. For starters, companies can practice open-door policies by having meaningful conversations about commitment and actionable practices, instead of taking a non-political stand. Through relevant dialogues, employers set a benchmark and affirmations for anyone who aspires to work for them. It also makes onboarding easier and comfortable.
Besides this, a DE&I workplace that encourage employees to put forward their opinions and suggestions and also raise concerns are real super heroes. A recent study by Harvard Business Review showed a whopping 167 percent increase in employee promoter score – which means recommendation of their workplace by employees, majorly due to open-door policies.
The Resilience Mindset
Resilience is the exact opposite of succumb. But do you know how workplace DE&I gets stronger? The word is Resilience – a mindset that has zero tolerance for discriminatory HR practices, from hiring to appraisal. A strong work culture that is built around resilience and wellness lets their employees harness the potential of getting heard and discussed whenever and wherever necessary.
Going forward, the global workforce has become more resilient in the current times, all thanks to global pandemic. With the blurring of personal and professional workspaces, mental health has become the numero uno issue faced by everyone today. A study by Oracle showed that 85 percent employees agreeing that mental health issues affect their personal life negatively. The least workplaces can do in these trying times is to provide a safe and EEO for everyone
“In such trying times, it is so fulfilling to create these opportunities and witness people benefiting from it for real.“
– Beth Armesto, Sr. Director, Supplier Relationship Management, Guidant Global, Impellam Group
Sense of Belonging and Ownership
You cannot imagine the sense of belonging without ownership and vice versa. Well, the terms are self-explanatory from an employee standpoint. Yet, it makes sense to discuss them in the context of DE&I employees, who have been severely underrepresented for decades, but are steadily getting the honor they deserve long due. Thanks to protests, campaigns and many other worldwide movements, organizations, be it small or large are waking to realize the human side of business, that is being human.
As per CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion Package, tackling DE&I issues has been elevated as a national need by all CEO signatories. That’s a positive gesture towards cultivating meaning workplace practices for businesses and in turn for the society as a whole.
“Belonging is being somewhere where you want to be, and they want you. Fitting in is being somewhere where you want to be, but they don’t care one way or the other. Belonging is being accepted for you. Fitting in is being accepted for being like everyone else. If I get to be me, I belong. If I have to be like you, I fit in.” This quote by Brene Brown is a great example of what to strive for.