Since 2004, April has been called, “Celebrate Diversity Month,” and last month we spent our time honoring that mission. It’s a time to recognize, honor, and support our differences and similarities. The goal is to help people gain a deeper understanding of each other. After spending the last month focused on how we can support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, we uncovered some interesting facts.
Since we work with companies on hiring talent, a common theme is “diversity.” The truth is each company defines diversity slightly differently, but diversity means having a range of people with various racial, ethnic, gender, socioeconomic, cultural backgrounds, various lifestyles, experiences, and/or interests. By this definition, it is clear that an individual can not be diverse, but a group of people can be diverse (friendly reminder, it is time to stop referring to a person as diverse). For this reason, when talking about an individual role, we encourage the use of the phrase searching for under-represented talent, instead of diverse talent. (Link)
When talking to companies, we have a list of suggestions we’ve learned (around attracting and recruiting underrepresented talent from the AllVoices’s event we moderated last month, linked below):
Employer branding. Be conscious of what your social media, website, public profiles show. Candidates are curious about your initiatives, and your benefits (not just medical, but for flexibility, childcare, learning and development, and more). If you’re unsure or looking for feedback, ask those that you are looking to attract, for their feedback. If you’re not where you want to be, own it, and speak openly on your vision or goals when it comes to DEI. Most of all, be transparent and be authentic.
Inclusive job descriptions. Make sure you are using inclusive language in your job descriptions, and emails. We recommend using tools like dei.ai to monitor inclusive language. But, do not just change your language. Educate your team as to why, so they learn and can educate others.
Consider adjusting your job requirements. Only recruiting from certain cities, universities, and/or companies can dramatically limit under-represented talent.
Educate the team. Interviewing and hiring candidates from different backgrounds is the first step, but doesn’t always ensure a safe and equitable environment for those individuals. Make sure that your entire team is familiar with DEI best practices. DEI training isn’t something that you want to have your team train on once a year, but something that should be discussed and invested in throughout the year. Have conversations and educational initiatives on Unconscious Bias, Awareness, Microaggressions, Belonging and Skill-Acquisition (Inclusive Management, Allyship, Inclusive Interview and Hiring). If you don’t have the capital, there are free programs, book clubs, and panels to send your team to.
Diverse interview committee. If possible, avoid a homogenous group of employees to represent your company when conducting interviews. If you are working on your DEI strategy, speak about your vision and goals when it comes to DEI.
Encourage DEI initiatives that focus on internal and external goals. Give your employees a voice and eventually goals to make an impact in the community and at your company.
DEI-focused pulse survey. Ask your team members, if they feel that the work environment supports Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. What else can the team be doing?
As this is always fresh on our minds, we would love to hear what your organization does to celebrate and support diversity in your workplace.
Natan & David