This week DCAProsearch released an all-encompassing 36 page guide about recruiting and retaining diverse talent in order to create a more multicultural workforce. This valuable guide is split into three concise sections that clearly address the state of diversity in the workplace and methods in which hiring managers, HR, and corporate leaders can take to recruit and retain multicultural talent through effective DEI policies. While the full guide is only a thirty minute read, I wanted to provide a quick executive summary for professionals to read on-the-go while commuting to work or taking a quick break from the office. For the full guide feel free to download it here.
A Business Case for Diversity
When it comes to business decisions, it all comes down to the numbers, and diversity is no exception. Whether you are a skeptic of diversity or a diversity devotee, the numbers prove that diversity works. McKinsey & Company published a study in 2018 correlating that companies in the top quartile of gender diversity a 21% higher likelihood of having above average EBIT and companies in the top quartile of ethnic diversity had a 33% higher likelihood of above average EBIT. A separate Boston Consulting Group found that there exists a statistically significant correlation between the diversity of management teams and innovation. Companies with higher management diversity saw 19% higher innovation revenue than companies with below-average diversity. The Harvard Review also found that teams with higher cognitive diversity were 53% more effective and efficient in completing cognitive tasks than less diverse teams.
Pt I: The Current State of Diversity
A common misconception of multiculturalism is that it consists of only racial and ethnic identities. However, multiculturalism consists of various identities from age, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity each of which consists of different cultural norms and values. Having teams that encompass multicultural perspectives has proven to allow companies to innovate R&I, enhance groupthink, foster cultural ambassadors, reach new markets, incorporate real-world perspectives, and design more relevant product concepts.
While many companies have already recognized the value in investing in multiculturalism there is still a lot to be done. By 2045, racial minorities will be the majority of the nation. If we look at the numbers by age group, it is even sooner. Minors under 18 will be majority minority as soon as 2020, and twenty year olds as soon as 2027. Although minority communities are growing quickly, corporate America still has a long way to catch up. Out of all Fortune 500 CEO’s only 11 are Hispanic (2.2%) and 5 are African American (1%). There are more Fortune 500 CEO’s name David (4.5%) than there are female Fortune 500 CEO’s (4.1%). The average woman gets paid only $0.78 for each dollar earned by a white man, and women of color make even less with Hispanic women getting the least at only $0.53 per dollar. However, regardless of all the shocking statistics, 41% of managers say they are “too busy” to implement diversity initiatives. To say it bluntly, the state of diversity in America should be viewed as unacceptable for any company that strives to be diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DEI).
Pt II: Recruiting for Diversity at Work
Diversity has become expected in today’s workplace. According to glassdoor, 67% of job candidates believe that a company having a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers, and 57% of employees believe their company should be doing more to increase diversity. Who exactly is responsible for diversity though? The number one answer was hiring managers, followed by the CEO and HR. However, 1 in 4 people believes that employees have a large role to do with recruiting diversity as well. This makes diversity a responsibility for everyone in the company, but especially those who make the hiring decisions.
When it comes to achieving diversity, companies have taken varied approaches from matching the diversity of the company to diversifying all levels of management. However, the most effective means were to create a team dedicated to DEI and invest in a Chief Diversity Officer who sits with other top-level executives in making decisions. This officer should be tasked with understanding the current state of diversity within the company and identify areas where diversity needs to be improved. Look at whether diversity is integrated across all departments and leadership levels within the company, and that you are also working with diverse vendors and partners such as multicultural ad agencies or diversity recruiters.
When it comes to actually recruiting diverse candidates, there are a number of ways that a company can attract multicultural talent that is more engaging than typical recruiting efforts. Start by diversifying where you recruit for talent. This can mean appearing at Historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCUs) or Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), sponsoring cultural celebrations, or hosting networking events for minority communities. Additionally, you should be showcasing your diverse talent on social media and award employee referrals to assure diverse talent that your office is a place they can excel and grow.
Consider hiring a diversity recruiter to handle your diversity recruiting needs. Diversity recruiters are experienced in finding top diverse talent and abide by the golden rule of recruiting: less is more. Experienced recruiters will only send you a max of 5 resumes rather than overwhelming you with bad candidates, thus letting you make a more informed and attentive decision.
Pt III: Retaining Multicultural Talent
If your focus is on diversifying your workforce, then you should know that hiring for diversity is not enough. Research by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) identified four main reasons for diversity efforts failing: management disconnect, macroaggressions, cultural illiteracy, and workplace integration dissonance. To put it more simply, nobody took the time to enforce equitable and inclusive policies. When looking to see whether your company is inclusive look at policies that are relevant to minority employees and ensure that policies address their needs as well. Allow them to submit concerns anonymously, and ensure that all employees are respected as valuable individuals.
Various techniques have been utilized around the country by business big and small to foster inclusive work environments. Various companies seek to amplify minority voices by establishing Diversity Group Think Tanks (also known as employee resource groups, ERGs) and encouraging company leaders to mentor lower level employees who have different points of view and perspectives. Additionally, having multicultural teams and management gives employees the ability market brands to multicultural audiences that they are familiar with. To avoid employees not understanding each other’s points of views and backgrounds, invest in cultural brokers on your teams and stress the importance of valuing diverse points of views to ensure that all ideas get heard and considered.
It is important to also note that not all employees have the same experiences, skills, or definitions of success. Many employees may benefit from systematic advantages or unacknowledged bias while putting others at a disadvantage. Therefore, it is important to ensure that all policies and practices within the company are equitable. Not to be confused with equal opportunity which provides equal resources and equal assessment to all employees without regard to previous advantages or setbacks, equitable policies stress fairness by recognizing what is/was needed to be successful based on previous skills, tasks, or abilities.
Equitable policies focus on acknowledging the role of systematic privilege in the success of some employees over others due to underlying bias and seek to bridge the gap between marginalized groups of employees while addressing and eliminating corporate bias. Companies should provide development resources, such as optional quarterly training, for employees who want to improve their skills and company leaders should diversify performance matrix to recognize various forms of success within the company. Furthermore, establish clear promotion tracks to take out the ambiguity and bias that exist when choosing who gets promoted and standardize pay brackets based on task and level within the company to eliminate large gaps in wages while still allowing room for wage negotiations and raises.
A successful DEI strategy has proven to be beneficial for the productivity, success, and well-being of your employees. Employees who work in diverse workplaces reported feeling happier and more likely to stay with the company than employees who work in homogeneous environments. Constantly review your DEI practices and hold quarterly meetings with your Chief Diversity Officer to identify ways in which the company can grow and continue to promote DEI.
At DCAProSearch we want to share the diversity that exists within the workforce with you and your company. We recognize that diverse mindsets bring about new solutions, new ways of thinking, and new opportunities that make our world better. We thank you for being a part of this movement and challenge you to continue to redefine what it means to be a diverse, inclusive, and equitable company.
We hope you enjoyed this executive summary of Diversity Recruiting. If you want to get the full 36 page report that goes into detail about the various methods used to recruit and retain diversity plus ways to establish DEI policies in your company download the full report at https://www.dcaprosearch.com/diversity-guide-request.html