This is going to be hard hitting on some people, but we need to stop relying on the words Diversity and Inclusion. Why? Because the modern institution of diversity and inclusion allows companies to pat themselves on the back for doing a few things, while allowing them to fall short on the promise they made to minority employees. Simply relying on D&I is limiting us on how we look at recruiting and retaining diverse talent. Although I firmly stand behind the values and meaning surrounding D&I, the institutions companies have created around D&I need to be redefined and expanded to the point where current definitions of diversity and inclusion are considered obsolete.
As an executive recruiter, I specialize in the area of diversity recruiting. However, my goal is for the candidates and clients we match to grow together through their career and business practices. What we've realized is that diversity initiatives alone may not be enough to ensure success. Companies may be able to attract multicultural talent, but when there is no real effort in transforming culture, D&I policies and initiatives that exist to make diverse voices feel valued and respected are bound to fail. Diverse employees will not be able to thrive within the company and will leave the company within a year or two at most. Whereas clients that actively promote, celebrate, and empower diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are where we see our clients and candidates thrive and grow together for years to come.
If the culture isn’t already inclusive, you’re not ready for diversity
When companies start seriously thinking about diversity and inclusion, it is typically an afterthought based on complaints by unhappy employees, or an exodus of minority employees. Even the name “Diversity and Inclusion” seems to imply that the order is diversity THEN inclusion. However, a design set up on securing vast amounts of diversity talent before establishing a culture of inclusivity is already designed to fail. Before companies seek to expand in hiring diverse mindsets, they should observe the diversity that already exists within the office and ensure that inclusive practices already exist within the workplace for current employees (ex: parents, age groups, gender). When the company then seeks to attract new forms of diversity, they can simply expand on those practice already in place and create new policies as needed rather than scrambling to create something from scratch.
‘Diversity first’ puts the burden on minorities to create inclusion
For many companies the reality of ‘diversity first’ has already hit and they are scrambling to create inclusion programs. Unfortunately, this is putting an undue burden on minority employees who have been tasked with either learning to adapt to a non-inclusive environment or with designing inclusion for themselves and others like them in the company. Both of these tasks require minority employees to take on responsibility above and beyond what their job calls for. This can have long lasting effects on their performance, efficiency, and longevity within the company.
D&I means nothing if the corporate system isn’t equitable
Equity within the workplace starts with understanding that there are underlying, and often unacknowledged, biases built within organizations that favor some groups of people over others. Furthermore, equity is acknowledging the role of systematic privilege in the success of some employees over other employees due to underlying biases. Therefore, equitable policies are those that help to bridge the gap between marginalized groups of employees while addressing and eliminating corporate bias by recognizing what was/is needed to be successful based on previous skills, tasks, or abilities. Equitable policies should seek to provide supplemental training for all employees who need to refresh their skills, diversify performance matrix by recognizing multiple forms of success, establish clear promotion tracks to eliminate bias in management, and establish pay brackets across management levels to eliminate wage gaps for similar work.
D&I shouldn’t be limited to a department in Human Resources
When many people think of diversity and inclusion they think it’s admirable, but it’s also not their problem. D&I has been reduced to a department out of HR rather than a movement within the company. In reality, DEI should be an ideology held by all members of the company that affects every business decision from hiring, to expanding a product line, to finalizing a marketing campaign. When D&I is siloed within HR, employees and hiring managers are able to brush it off as a responsibility that only exists for HR when they should be the ones at the forefront to create an inclusive and equitable environment for employees and colleagues.
Diversity is a movement, not a mandate
A movement serves as a force that revolutionizes the values and decision making process of a company, leaving no process untouched. Although hiring multicultural talent is beneficial toward improving diversity of thought, if companies do not take active steps to foster a multicultural movement then diverse thinkers will feel marginalized and excluded, stifling your employee’s ability to fully participate in the culture of the company. Therefore if companies want multicultural talent, they need to take the time and resources to ensure that multiculturalism is fully implemented into the vision and culture of the company to ensure the promise of diversity, inclusion, and equity is fulfilled.
The problem with modern D&I is that companies will stop at creating a D&I department thinking that is enough without changing company culture, practices, and values. The movement toward valuing diversity has to extend further than the work that has already been done in modern day D&I departments and needs to extend far past diversity and inclusion to ensure an equitable work place as well. Companies need to step away from the siloed D&I model in HR and begin transitioning a DEI corporate culture that transforms the values held within the company, within management, and within employees. It isn’t until we embrace the movement that is diversity and ensure the success of all voices that we can really begin to say that the American corporation has succeeded in creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.
You might be wondering why an Executive Recruiter is so hung up on the DEI issue, it is because we want our clients to thrive and they will thrive when they set themselves up for it by incorporating a successful DEI process in which the STAR Diverse Talent we recruit for them will shine and be able to bring all they have to the company including their diverse thought process, ideologies and new product ideas to serve other markets. This is only part of a 30 page guide which will be made available to prospective clients within the month on how to ensure DEI. If you would like to receive this guide the second it comes out, please sign up at www.dcaprosearch.com/diversity-guide-signup.html
Albert Einstein defines insanity as trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The same thing goes for your hiring practices. If you continue utilizing the same hiring process you will continue to hire the same type of employee. Hiring diverse employees has been a goal for most Fortune 500 companies. However, only a few have succeeded in truly diversifying their workforce and experiencing the benefits that diversity brings. If you want to attract diverse talent, the first thing you need to do is diversify your hiring practices.
1) Recruit in Diverse Places
This goes without saying, but if you want to attract multicultural candidates then recruit in places that attract multicultural professionals. This includes Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), diversity conferences, job fairs in minority communities, and online social media pages or forums serving minority communities. Not only do you meet a diverse set of candidates, but you also position your company's brand to be one that values diverse talent. When candidates feel like they are being sought out by a company they are more likely to want to work for the company because they feel wanted and valued. Therefore, continuously seek out diverse talent and they will seek you out in return.
2) Sponsor Cultural Celebrations
Sometimes the best recruiting happens when you are not trying to recruit at all. By creating a reputation for your company as an ally to diversity you are attracting top talent without even having to ask for a resume. Diverse candidates like to see their potential employer champion diverse causes and show their support for cultural activities. It makes potential employees feel that your company is a place that they could feel at home and valued. There are thousands of events that you can sponsor: Cinco de Mayo Parades, Dia de los Muertos Celebrations, Black History Month Exhibits, Pride, Women's March, ect. It is also a fun event just to take some friends from the company and enjoy a day celebrating diversity. Who says you can't have fun at work.
3) Showcase Diverse Talent
You are proud of your employees. There is no shame in letting the world know too. People want to work at places that they know they will feel challenged and where they will succeed. When companies showcase that diverse talent has thrived within their workplace, it attracts other diverse voices to join the team. No one wants to work at a place where they do not feel represented or where their voices won't be valued. When showcasing your team on social media, ensure that the diversity of your team is represented. Avoid only sharing images that consist of only one type of gender, race, age, etc. Showcase the diversity of your workplace and be proud of the teams you have put together.
4) Host Networking Events
Who doesn't love Friday happy hours? It is great getting together with members of the company after a long week, but what about bringing together top talent from various companies to mix and mingle? Large companies are often coming together to empower minority groups within the industry to meet each other and share ideas. Events such as 'Women who Code,' LGBTQ+ Marketing mixers, and Society of Hispanic Engineers events happen throughout the country. Team up with other companies and host an event at a local brewery or park and get all of your employees to meet people from other companies. Your employees create connections and mentorships that will attract talent to your company because of how well your employees were admired.
5) Empower Minority Youth
Representation is one of the most important things when creating a spark in young talent. Teens and college students want to work at a place where they see themselves. Organize outreach missions that empower the youth and inspire them to reach for their dreams. No kid will ever forget the first time they felt like they could be the next CEO or create the big viral ad. Create opportunities for minority youth to engage with your brand such as Hackathons, school events, company tours, and other fun events that allow students to see themselves working for your company in a few years. Investing in students and continuously engaging with them year after year is the best way to capture young talent and develop them throughout their career.
6) Hire a Diversity Recruiter
If you want diverse employees, diversity should also exist within the vendors and partners you choose to work with outside the office. These can include advertising agencies, freelancers, contractors, but especially executive recruiters. Diversity recruiters are experts in identifying talent that will expand your company’s capabilities by finding the right talent to build your power teams. At DCAProSearch we have placed diverse talent within top agencies and companies for over 24 years and can confidently say that diverse talent is essential to tapping the benefits of multiculturalism.
The fact is simple, if you want to attract diverse talent you have to reevaluate your hiring practices to market your open positions to attract that diverse talent. If you continue using your old hiring practices, you will continue to hire the same type of employees you have always hired. Therefore, switch things up and diversify your hiring process and you will see the types of candidates you attract begin to differ as well.
The push toward multiculturalism has revolutionized how many companies view potential new hires. Rather than enforcing congruency in how they require their employees to think, companies are finding the value in diversity of thought and various points of view that come with multiculturalism. Multiculturalism has become the buzz word among HR departments and hiring managers as they strive toward hiring employees from different cultural backgrounds and disciplines of thought. However, multiculturalism cannot remain simply a mandate from the Human Resources that only affects the hiring process. Rather, multiculturalism has to become a transformative movement within the company that reinvents company culture.
A movement serves as a force that revolutionizes the values and decision making process of a company, leaving no process untouched. After all, diversity and inclusion is a two-step process. Diversity cannot sustain itself without inclusion. Although hiring multicultural talent is beneficial toward improving diversity of thought, if companies do not take active steps to foster a multicultural movement then diverse thinkers will feel marginalized and excluded, stifling your employee’s ability to fully participate in the culture of the company. Therefore if companies want multicultural talent, they need to take the time and resources to ensure that multiculturalism is fully implemented in every process and task that occurs within the workplace. It may sound like a huge process, but there are actually proven ways that companies have supported the movement toward true diversity and re-imagined what it means to be a multicultural workplace.
1) Develop Diversity Group Think Tanks
Most large corporations consist of thousands of employees each coming from various backgrounds. With so many people, minority voices can often be muted by the thousands of other voices within the company. Diversity groups serve as a means to unite similar voices into a force to promote inclusion for marginalized employees. L’Oréal has landed itself a top 20 spot on the Thomson Reuters Diversity & Inclusion Index for their incorporation of diversity groups within the workplace. With think tanks such as disABILITY, Out@Loreal, and Women of Color L’Oréal employees are empowered to speak out for new inclusive corporate policies and develop product for under served consumer groups. This strategy has resulted in significant growth for the brand, increasing their sales in emerging and multicultural markets by nearly 10% versus 7.1% overall according to the recent financial statements made public in their 2018 annual report.
2) Encourage Diversity Mentoring
Mentoring is often praised for developing new talent, but it also serves as an opportunity for both parties involved to learn from each other. Part of Pricewaterhouse Cooper’s (PwC) Diversity & Inclusion strategy is to encourage their employees to participate in diversity mentoring and sponsorship. Upper-level management is often eager to mentor lower-level employees who come from different backgrounds and bring different points of view. This not only develops management from within but it encourages employees to develop open minds and find solutions that they may not have seen before.
3) Incorporate Multicultural Teams and Management
Every year the group Working Mothers releases their list of “Best Companies for Multicultural Women.” Consistently on the list are companies like IBM, Deloitte, P&G, and Accenture. A Forbes report looked into what these companies all had in common and found that the CEO’s of these companies actively promoted three things: They all provide an annual update on diversity to the board of directors; they all require a dedicated diversity executive to update them on diversity metrics; and they all meet regularly with a diversity executive to review goals and performance. These companies invest in diversity at all levels of the company and integrate it into all teams. These are key actions that companies can take to achieving their goals for Diversity and Inclusion.
4) Measure Diversity Initiatives
The French hospitality company Sodexo was recently recognized in France for having the greatest gender balance within their board consisting of 53% women and a female chair. Sodexo Chair, Sophie Bellon, attributes their stride toward representation on setting goals and measuring. “What gets measured gets done,” said Bellon. Many companies have adopted similar strategies, setting goals to have their company diversity match the demographics of the nation or city they reside in. While goal setting can be a good way to motivate diverse hiring practices, it is important to recognize the difference between a goal and quota. The difference being that goals recognizes the value of diversity and encourage diverse hires while a quota forces hiring practices without valuing what diverse talent brings.
5) Serve Multicultural Audiences
Having a multicultural team also makes it easier to expand into multicultural consumer spaces. Multicultural advertising agencies will all be quick to tell you the secret toward targeting multicultural audiences is to hire employees who mirror your audience. A Harvard Business Review case study revealed that cosmetic giant L’Oréal actively seeks to hire multicultural talent in their product development teams to find opportunities in new markets and to serve a diverse consumer base.
6) Value Diverse Points of View
The very nature of multiculturalism in the workplace is to develop diverse points of view and gain an understanding of solutions that differ from what your company was doing before. P&G Chief Brand Officer, Marc Pritchard, told an audience that “If you aren’t doing multicultural marketing you aren’t doing marketing” at the 2018 ANA conference. Therefore, valuing and empowering multicultural voices is the first step to being able unlock the benefits of a multicultural team.
7) Invest in Cultural Brokers
Although multiculturalism has been recognized by most Fortune 500 companies to be beneficial to the workplace, often times, multicultural teams develop the Tower of Babel Syndrome where team members talk past one another without understanding and teamwork breaks down. That is where cultural brokers come in. Sujin Jang, assistant professor of Organizational Psychology at INSTEAD, recently published research revealing that in multicultural teams cultural brokers can be useful to navigate and translate the different points of view. She writes in her research that “[Cultural brokers are] team members who have relatively more multicultural experience than others and who act as a bridge between their monocultural teammates.” Therefore, investing in cultural brokers can help with team morale and efficiency within the office.
Multiculturalism brings substantial value to any company, but it cannot remain simply a mandate from HR. Multiculturalism is a state of mind and a movement that has to be adopted by every member of the company and woven into the company culture. Therefore, if you are looking to promote multiculturalism in your workplace, be sure to create a plan that also involves inclusion initiatives. Utilize multicultural recruiting agencies to source multicultural talent and provide tips on how to implement inclusion strategies. Hiring diverse talent is great, but without promoting proven inclusion programs your talent will leave you as fast as they came in.
You walk into work and on your desk you find that one of your best employees has just handed in their two week resignation. It’s upsetting news, but unfortunately every hiring manager will have go through the process of replacing talent. The question is, where do you find this talent? As a recruiting specialist with over 23 years of experience, I can tell you that it’s not via job boards or your corporate careers website. In fact, those are actually one of the worst places to post your open positions because anybody and everybody can apply, qualified or not. Job boards are not everything they are cut out to be for a few reasons.
You Don’t Have the Time
Let’s be honest. Are you actually going to look through every single resume? The honest answer is no, because you just don’t have the time. The average job posting receives 75-250 resumes. While more resumes may seem like a good thing because you can screen more candidates, it is also a time consuming task that neither you nor HR can devote your time to. Although, many companies have attempted to speed up the process by utilizing programs that scan resumes and send back any that have matching keywords, the truth is the program can never replace a human when it comes to finding great talent. Resumes are a story of growth and experience. Robots aren’t programmed to find potential between the lines, therefore they will miss things that you might find valuable. So either way you are going to lose great talent for one reason: you don’t have time to do it yourself.
The Applicants are Cheating on You
The resumes you get on job boards are from what we call, professional job searchers. While you’re working, their 9 to 5 consists of applying to job after job. There may be a valid reasons for this, and being temporarily unemployed is not a bad thing. However, you know without a doubt that you are not the only one they are sending their resume to. They are not invested in you and your company, they are instead focused on landing any job that will call them back. As a hiring manager, you should want the candidates that you are recruiting to be invested in you and excited to work for you, not any company out there. Invested candidates become invested employees, and you only deserve employees that are invested in the success of your company.
The People You Want Don’t Look at Job Boards
You want professionals who have a proven track record of success and who enjoy coming to work. Hate to break it to you, but those professionals already have jobs and they are not going to be looking at your job posts. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in a new opportunity. If you want passive candidates you are going to have to find them and approach them yourself. This means asking your network, scouring around LinkedIn or candidate boards, or attending networking events. All of which are very time consuming tasks that don’t guarantee that you’re going to find the talent you are hoping to find.
Your Resume Database is Outdated
When was the last time you collected resumes? It was likely the last time you posted an open position. Therefore, your resume database is going to be out of date. As time goes on people progress in their careers. The marketing director who submitted their resume two years ago isn’t going to want to apply for an open marketing director job now because they are further in their career now. Furthermore, candidates who used to be unqualified have likely completed tasks and projects that would make them qualified now, but you don’t know about it because you don’t have an updated resume. Therefore, if you aren’t regularly updating your resume database the candidates you pull do not exist anymore, and any resume will be old and inapplicable to your current search.
You Want an Outside Opinion
Hiring from a job board usually follows the standard hiring process of resume, phone interview, in person interview, fly in, and hire. The process is typical among most companies, but it offers hiring managers very little time to really get to know the applicant. As a result, according to LearshipIQ only 19% of all new hires are considered successes by hiring managers, whereas, 46% were considered to be mis-hires. The hiring process does not give hiring managers enough time to evaluate whether a candidate would be successful or not. Therefore, you want another invested party involved in the hiring process so they can get to know the candidate outside of the typical process and give their second opinion.
If not on job boards or the corporate career site where should you find applicants for your open positions? The answer is simple: use a recruiter.
Recruiters are devoted to finding you the best talent based on your needs. We not only get to know you and your company, but we become your ambassadors to the passive candidate network. The candidates we send you are unavailable on job boards, and we are able to get to know them on a more personal level than the typical hiring process allows ensuring that they have the skills and qualifications that you need. Furthermore, when we contact qualified passive candidates, as your ambassador, we pitch your company for you, thereby building their interest in your position.
Recruiters do what a job board fails at. We provide candidates that resonate with you and your company. While only 19% of employees hired from typical hiring methods are considered a success, DCAProSearch has a 92.8% repeat business rate due to the success of our candidates. Recruiters are invested in their clients and we find talent who are just as invested. The majority of our candidates rise up the ranks to become directors, VPs, and managing partners. Therefore, while job boards find resumes, recruiters find talent that is invested in your company and your success. So stop posting your open positions on job boards and call a recruiter, because you deserve talent that is just as invested as you.
We are in a candidate market, which means one thing: If you are not giving your employees what they want, they will leave you. To make matters more complicated, once your employees leave you, it will be difficult to fill those positions unless you give the new candidates what they want plus more. The most recent jobs report revealed that companies have more open positions than there are qualified employees to fill them. The vacancy of a mid-to-top-tier level employee making $100,000 typically costs a company $1,149 a day, assuming the average employee brings in three times their salary. Therefore, as an employer and team leader you need to take a few steps to ensure your talent remains with you to avoid the costs of an unexpected vacant position.
Team Up with an Outside Recruiter
When I connect with new clients, the main excuse they give me is, “Why do we need an outside recruiter? That’s what HR is for.” Except not really”. Your company’s HR has many essential functions they oversee. Recruiting and developing talent is an area they can’t truly devote too much time to and a lot of great talent is missed or neglected. When employees decide they want to pursue another position, it is likely because an outside recruiter contacted them about a great opportunity elsewhere. Therefore, an outside recruiter can either be your biggest competition or your best friend. Job candidates see outside recruiters as an unbiased third party and more trustworthy than your HR contact. As your ally, executive recruiters can train an employee on how to progress within the company rather than find a new position. Furthermore, any ethical recruiter will refuse to siphon talent from an existing client making the executive recruiter your friend as opposed to your competition.
Ensure Your Employees are Your Top Priority
The expectations of employers usually revolve around two ideals: make a profit for shareholders and keep customers happy. However, employees have begun to demand that they be included in the mix too. Studies have shown that the happier employees are at work the less likely they are to leave, and the more value they bring to the company. Therefore, implement office activities that break the monotony of the work day and keep employees excited about coming to work. For offices on a higher budget that could be taking team development days at a Ropes Course or schedule an office Happy Hour. Offices on a lower budget can sign up for an Ice Cream of the Month Subscription or even go out to volunteer together as a team.
Stop Building a Team and Start Forming a Family
While team building is important, no amount of team development days can replace the connection that you will build with your employees. The number one reason candidates refuse to leave their current position is because of the bonds they have formed with their managers and colleagues. Make it a point to get to know what your employees do outside of work. Meet their families and connect with their kids on bring your kid to work day. Attend events that your employees invite you to. Form connections with them outside of the daily 9 to 5. The close family bonds that employees form with the people they work with are what keeps them at a company, and in some cases cause them to follow their bosses or colleagues to a new company if they leave.
Train Steadily and Promote Regularly
Nobody likes to feel stagnant in their job. The majority of employers will hire new talent and expect them to hit the ground running. However, training them too quickly will typically result in one of two things: the employee will feel overwhelmed, shut down, and leave after a year, or the employee will perfect their role, enjoy it, and then feel unchallenged after a year. The key to a new hire is to continue to develop their skills steadily to keep your employees challenged and always learning. Training them steadily as opposed to all at once will allow them to master, and in some cases improve, how they perform each task they are assigned before venturing to the next challenge. Finally, after about two to three years when they have learned everything in their current role, promote them to continue challenging their skills and keep them from feeling stagnant.
If you Love Them, Let them Go
It’s hard to accept, but sometimes there just is not anything more you can do for your employees and it is out of your control. It may be that they deserve to get promoted but you do not have a position, or they got an offer that is too good to be true. Whatever the case, if you want to see them succeed you have to let them go. Throw them a departure party and invite the rest of the team. This way you can get closure, the rest of your employees can get closer, and the employee leaving can feel valued. Letting your employee leave will give them skills and experiences you could not have taught them, and will make them better. However, do not throw away all hope. If you did everything right, many employees realize how good they had it at their previous company and will come back later when a position opens. Therefore, it isn’t a “goodbye,” but rather a “see you later.” In the meantime call your outside recruiter and start a search to find the next member of your team.
Losing an employee is always difficult and costly, but making your employees feel valued is the best way to ensure that you retain your team. Build a connection with them and the other members on your team and express with them that you are glad they joined the team. However, don’t be so naive to believe an employee will never leave you. Be ready for them to depart unexpectedly, because one day they will find an opportunity that is too good to pass up. Find an executive recruiter, and be proactive in recruiting by forming a relationship with your recruiter. That way your recruiter knows what you value in your employees so they can keep some people in mind if the day comes you need to replace an employee.
Before the rise of the modern day activist brand, companies previously held a low standard on what it meant to be a socially conscious brand. However, as the evolution of the socially conscious brand has begun to take on more meaning, consumers are demanding brands take a stand on the social inequalities that the brands had once tried to ignore. Marketers must understand the evolution of the socially conscious brand to foresee the future of what the socially conscious brand will become.
1900’s: Fiscal Philanthropist
In the past, brands did not have to do much to be considered socially conscious. All they had to do was simply write a yearly check toward a cause or selected charity. Their impact to bring about social change was no more than the silent Fiscal Philanthropist. Although their monetary donations are appreciated, the donations did little to bring positive social change. Today, brands still claim to be socially conscious by writing a yearly check. However, consumers are dismissing the "blank check" approach as part of a corporate show with little sentiment to create lasting social change.
Mid 2000’s: Social Givers
Then came along brands like Tom's and Warby Parker that revolutionized the Socially Conscious Brand with the Buy One, Give One model of giving that redefined what it meant to not only be socially conscious, but active. The new socially conscious brand was no longer a once-a-year commitment, but a constant source of social good to support far-away nations and impoverished peoples. This created a wave of corporations poorly copying the Tom's and Warby Parker model of the socially conscious brand, pushing to remain relevant by engaging in a form of corporate poverty porn. Major companies patted themselves on the back by appearing in photos and videos as saviors of the third world, but continuing to remain silent to the inequalities that existed at home.
2010 – 2016: Cautious Ally
With the rise of multiculturalism and the modern LGBT movement, 2010 brands began to test their influence to impact social change. As support for diversity and LGBT causes increased, brands such as IKEA, Oreo, and Tiffany & Company recognized the power of representation by engaging with the LGBT movement. The introduction of same-sex couples to their advertisements not only brought higher sales and brand recognition, it created discourse about the subject. This recognition brought about the need for increased diversity and multiculturalism in advertising to represent all consumers. Companies followed suit, releasing campaigns like Coca Cola’s America the Beautiful ad in 2014 that championed racial and ethnic diversity.
The new Socially Conscious brand was a champion for diversity and used its influence to recognize the beauty of multiculturalism. Consumers rewarded brands that they saw represented the diversity of America with higher sales and higher brand recognition. Hundreds of companies began establishing diversity and inclusion departments to mirror the diversity of the marketplace in their offices to encourage diversity of thought. However, although brands were quick to embrace multiculturalism and include those once ignored by advertisers, their involvement only went as far as being cautious corporate allies. Brands were still skittish around causing real social change.
2016 - Present: Vocal Activist
The election of the new administration rang in a new era for the Socially Conscious Brand: The era of the Resistors. Socially Conscious Brands have evolved from the brand as an active observer to a vocal advocate against injustice. The presence of more multicultural, female, and LGBT representation in the workforce has given rise to the vocally polarizing brands we see today. From Ben & Jerry refusing to serve two scoops of the same ice cream in Australia for LGBT rights to Nike’s Collin Kaepernick ad to the recent Gillette #MeToo ad, brands have recognized the power of their voice for social change.
Today, the socially conscious brand must go further than donate money. They must create discourses around injustice and be able to challenge the status quo. Consumers are more active in social issues than ever, and they expect the brands they use to reflect those values. Although new social warrior brands have repelled some consumers, all in all, they have been rewarded for their social convictions by loyalists and activists alike.
2020 – Future: Transparent Role Model
Skepticism still exists around the socially conscious brand of today and the motives behind becoming social warriors. Many consumers argue that the socially conscious brand is only challenging the status quo to benefit their bottom line. Therefore, the socially conscious brand of the future must prove to consumers that they practice what they preach by incorporating diversity throughout the office. Transparency is the next step in brand evolution where consumers will want to see top management reflecting diversity principles that the company promotes. Customers in stores will want to see products that accommodate people of different abilities, religions, and gender identities. Marketers, heed note because soon enough diversity will become tangible in the products and services we use every day. Utilize diversity recruiters to start the change in the office space, create social groups within your company to celebrate diversity, and engage in social celebrations such as Pride and other cultural festivals. Start preparing your corporate culture now because otherwise, you will fail to be the socially conscious brand of tomorrow.
Ninety percent of all work related problems stem from not having the right talent on your team, and by the right talent we mean diverse talent. By ensuring that your team is well equipped to handle any situation that may arise, you are saving yourself from hours of wasted time in the office. However, we get it, hiring the right team is a lot easier said than done, but as recruiters we know a thing or two about the type of employees every executive team needs. Whether you are VP of Operational Marketing or an Advertising Director, you need to find employees with these individual skills in addition to the skills already necessary to get the job done.
The Qualitative Pioneer
Background: Anthropology, Sociology, Strategic Planning, Consumer Insights
Why? That should be the first sound out of this person’s mouth when searching for a solution. Seeing the quantitative data is not enough for your qualitative pioneer. They want to know why the numbers are as they are. Using their anthropological or sociological background they seek the truth via ethnography, focus groups, and interviews to understand the motives behind human decisions. Their qualitative processes may take longer than typical data collection, but the information they receive will be much richer in guiding business decisions. Brands like Adidas, Under Armour, L’Oréal, and Microsoft use anthropological methods and ethnography to understand the motivations of their customers and how their consumers use their products.
The Digital Dweller
Background: Marketing, Social Media, Advertising, Digital
Websites, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, Instagram, Google, Blogs, LinkedIn. Who has time to keep up with all the new digital platforms consumers are using now a-days? Your digital dweller does. Your online presence is just as important as your offline product or services. After all, brands are built online, but they are also destroyed. Your digital dweller has the ability to integrate all communications platforms, design your digital presence, and implement online strategy at the click of a button. Need to run an impromptu a/b test, debug a landing page, or diffuse a social media meltdown? No problem, the digital dweller is always online.
The Impromptu Creative
Background: Copy Writer, Graphic Design, Art Design, Website Design
Most companies already have an in house team of designers to handle all graphic design and artistic needs. If not, many utilize outside agencies. However, the process of submitting a design request, back and forth communication, and the final result can often take days if not weeks. For those last minute requests for presentation decks, website hero images, and displays, the impromptu designer on your team will be able to handle the requests that agencies and in house teams cannot get to fast enough.
The Numerical Genius
Background: Actuary Science, Math, Finance, Accounting, Math Professor
You are in a meeting and the CEO asks you for your new ROI and KPI based on the new marketing numbers you are presenting. You look down at your notepad realizing you left that information in your office when suddenly the numerical genius hands you a slip of paper with the information freshly solved for. They have equations flowing around their heads 24/7 and are just waiting to plug numbers to give you the results. They are book smart, and have a math background or have taught the subject in question. That would explain their ability to fill in a marketing or accounting formula in less than 5 seconds flat.
The Data Disciple
Background: Computer Science, Software Engineer, Marketing Analytics
Today the business world runs on data, and you need someone who can understand it. Whether you are asking to back up your claims, find trends, analyze performance your data disciple is always there with their excel spreadsheets open and tableau charts ready. The data disciple is logical and always backs up their claims with real time data. If buying patterns change they will know immediately. Google analytics, social media, SPSS, Tableau, you name it they have it loaded on their computer constantly analyzing the data and ready to give you real time stats.
The Smooth Talker
Background: Communications, Advertising, Public Relations, Theater
Yes, they probably did somehow talk you into giving them extra vacation time, but that simply proves their ability to talk their way out of anything. Your smooth talker is your secret weapon to woo potential clients and win accounts that you were entirely unprepared for. Networking seems to be one of their favorite activities and they always have a way of getting what they want. The truth is, when you have a smooth talker on your team words really are mightier than the sword. Just make sure they don’t use those words to get you to give them that pay raise… again.
The Social Influencer
Background: Event Planning, Social Media, Digital Influencer
While the smooth talker may know how to talk the talk, your social influencer walks the walk. The social influencer is likely to already have thousands of followers on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. They know how to make a moment memorable. Need to plan a showcase for SXSW? Your social influencer will create magic. Want to invite influencers to get the word out? Your influencer has them on speed dial. Looking to create a social media moment? They are more than happy to do it for the Insta. Best of all, the social influencer is likely to plan one heck of an office Christmas party!
The right team has the power to make even the most trying week a walk in the park. Investing in a team with diverse skills is essential to maintaining a smooth operation. Leave it to an executive recruiter that gives you the Distinctive Client Advantage through our proven recruiting process. Submit a talent search or talk with our lead recruiter to learn how you can build up your power team.
When you set your goals for the year, you likely have two goals in mind. The first goal is what is expected of you and your team to reach. This is usually a safe and very realistic goal. The second goal is your Reach Goal. Your reach goal is the goal you were really hoping for in order to go above and beyond. In many cases achieving your reach goal results in bigger bonuses, a promotion, and maybe even that corner office.
Your reach goal is what you know is achievable with a lot of hard work, a few risks, and most importantly, the right team. The people you work with are an extension of your ability. In other words, hiring a diverse set of employees will allow you to reach new a new potential. A 2015 McKinsey report found that companies with higher racial and ethnic diversity were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean. Here are only a few ways in which diversifying your team will allow you to achieve the reach goals you have been striving for.
1) Their Strengths Become your Strengths
Imagine being a carpenter and your only goal is to build a house. Sure, you can build the frame of the house all by yourself, but what about the plumbing, electrical work, and interior design? You don’t have the tools in your tool bag to do those tasks, but your team does. Their tools quickly become your tools. Similarly, filling your team with diverse employees who each have different thought processes and backgrounds gives you access to their various strengths and abilities you did not have before.
2) Understand Other Points of View
As marketers, we have all seen our fair share of cringe-worthy ads. Marketing blunders like the Chevy Nova (Laughs in Spanish), Lady Friendly Doritos, or Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad could all have been avoided if there had been a Spanish speaker, woman, or African American present in the meeting. By maintaining diversity in the office, companies can go from making marketing blunders to creating meaningful brands that will be remembered for years for their clever solutions.
3) Improve Existing Techniques
Would you recreate the wheel if you believe you could make a faster wheel? Of course you would! However, our corporations today are plagued by uniformity: the belief that there is only one way to be, one way to do things, and one way to achieve. However, any company who has invested in inclusion and diversity will argue uniformity is constraining. By investing in the diversity of your employees, you are also investing in the diversity of thought within your office. You will quickly realize there are a hundred and one ways to reinvent the wheel, each one better than the one before. Diversity inspires creativity and will serve as a catalyst for efficiency and improvement.
4) Cultural Relevancy
An article by Forbes recently stated, “If you want black audiences, give them a seat at the table.” Well it might not be a surprise that this is the case for every demographic: women, Hispanic, LGBT, Asian, you name it. In today’s market, consumers value diversity and will reward brands that are transparent and champion diversity in the office, while punishing brands that don’t. Therefore, diversity has become a principle that any ethical brand should promote because consumers know.
Diversity within the office place is not only an asset to improve diversity of thought, it is a demand that consumers are requiring now before engaging with a brand. By championing diversity and hiring diverse employees, companies are finding new ways to achieve their goals through practices introduced through new diverse ideas. Ready to take diversity initiatives to a whole new level? Give us a call and we would be happy to share how diversifying your office might help you reach your highest potential.