RECRUITING DIVERSE & INCLUSIVE LEADERS:
A framework for organizations looking to enhance their diversity efforts in talent acquisition.
When it comes to recruitment, there are many factors that dictate what the process should entail, how it must be conducted and whom should be involved. In this article, we explore some of the initial spadework that is needed to facilitate a successful inclusive search for your organization.
Whether you're looking to stretch your imagination on the benefits of diversity or perhaps, rethinking how to attract the most talented diverse and inclusive leaders, it is needless to say that the two are not mutually exclusive. Gone are the days when networking was solely based on "who you know" and the idea that we can simply post jobs and hope to attract people is antiquated and arguably, a careless approach in today's increasingly interconnected global economy. Nonetheless, new and innovative methods have proven to create pathways that can enhance our ability to engagement active as well as passive talent. At EDI, we focus on developing strategies with our clients and training their people to become the inclusive leaders every potential applicant would like to work with. As a result, we want to share a few ideas to help you reimagine your recruitment strategies for 2019 and beyond with an inclusive lens.
1. Strategic Plan: What is the imperative driving your hiring practices? Is it guided by a strategic plan, vision, mission or philosophy? Strategies provide guidance and vision and help organizations allocate resources to address pressing imperatives. Without them, you may be heading for the abyss. For example - one of our clients needed to hire someone and wanted to get it done within a short period of time. After our initial consultation, we suggested that the reason they have such high turnover in these positions is because their hiring practices are NOT guided by any specific strategies. Here are few questions to ponder before you create a position. Why did you create this position? What strategic goal(s) does the position help fulfill? How would you design/create accountability to support your goals? A big picture and 30,000 feet view of your organizational goals is imperative here. For instance, imagine trying to build a house without a vision of what you would like it to look like. It's going to create a lot of chaos for everyone involved. From engineers to contractors and everyone in-between, which would then lead to mistakes. Thereby, costing you a lot of valuable time, resources and ultimately, a stressful situation for everyone involved that can lead to them quitting/leaving the job site.
2. Policy Review: What are the guiding principles for all your hiring managers within your organization? These are the tenets that dictate how, when and why you recruit the way you do. These policies often determine the methods by which divisions, units and departments are suppose to employ when filling a position. For example, if we were to continue the previous scenario above. What happens when you have a design of that house but don't have a blue-print? I'll leave that response to your imagination. We encourage you to begin thinking about what it'll look like if you had a blueprint for your hiring practices going forward. This is should inform everything your organization does as it relates to recruitment and hiring. Note: As you develop these policy, we advise your ensure biases are mitigated and your key indicators as well as accountability are clearly laid out throughout your policy.
3. Recruitment Strategy/Approach: The ultimate reality is that most of your recruitment efforts are going to be consistent with that of your competitors. What are you doing to set yourself apart from them? How have you designed these strategies from above to create the buy-in from all your constituents? For example, in a scenario where you keep hiring people using the same platforms, job templates, jargon and and methods, you're likely going to have the same problem going forward. We encourage you to rethink how, where and who you attract into your organization. What are the mediums/platforms you utilize and are they adequate? Do you have any partnerships that can broaden your scope and reach, to have a more inclusive approach? Are you being intentional about your recruitment strategy? In that, is it a quick-fill or a campaign and if so, what tools do you have at your disposal to accomplish these? You have to be honest with yourself about the resources. If you are a small department with limited resources, you may have to be a little more creative than most or your competitors in order to get this right. Stretch that imagination.
4. Advertisement Outlet (Medium): The outcome of your search could very well be determined by some of the decisions you make early on in the process, such as deciding where to advertise your positions. Depending on the type of industry, position and location, should you decide to engage with candidates within these respective variables, your advertising strategy must be comprehensive in scope, organized, easy for the applicants to find, apply and follow prompts and necessary requirements. This means you have to develop a marketing campaign to enhance your visibility and highlight key position details to attract your ideal candidates. In other words, you must put together a presentable, clean and clear profile for the position. Ask yourself this - what are the markers of success for the role? it also means that you have to keep a robust list of where you post and share your job openings and make sure to ask applicants how they found you for future reference.
5. Interview Process: Not withstanding any specific methodology is the need to develop a robust interview process that capture the essence of the job in its entirety. Of course an inclusive/holistic framework is essential here. Before you set the parameters, here are few things to consider.
Train your entire hiring and interview team/committee on implicit biases and how they affect decision making. Here is where you deploy your diversity leadership to train your committee to ensure they understand what impact these biases have on attracting qualified diverse and inclusive talent for your organization.
Set and highlight your organization's policy on EOC and established guidelines to help you achieve these goals.
Organize your questions in a way that mitigates biases. The key here is to make sure these questions are consistent for all your interviewees, irrespective of ranking or likability.
Implement a strategy to correct any interviewer that goes/steps outside of the process.
6. Follow Up: Be thorough in your follow up with candidates. Naturally, not all applicants will make the list of final candidates but you want to leave a lasting impression in their minds about your organization so be mindful of setting in place follow up instructions. Be honest with candidates from the onset to ensure there are no surprises when you deny their application or candidacy. Ask for the privilege to retain their information for future opportunities and be sure to enter that information in a secure and safe database where you can easily access when needed.
Organizations that are preparing for the second quarter of the 21st century are doing so at an alarming pace. From AI to digitization, technology has circumvented most of the manual and tedious steps we have grown accustomed to. We must create strategies, processes and policies that will allow us to meet the expectations of talented applicant as well as leave lasting impressions/experience when they encounter or interface with our organizations during their job search process. They are either going to keep you in mind and share their positive experience with other talented individuals for future openings or not. These are a few methodologies we have created to help you and your team acclimatize with the necessary steps needed to engage in an inclusive talent acquisition process. While these are certainly not comprehensive in scope, we are ready to engage with you on this journey.
CEO & Chief Diversity Officer
EDI Executive Search | Consulting Firm
(Where leaders engaging with difference drive...change and innovation)
EDI (Engaging Diversity and Inclusion) is premier diversity consulting firm focusing on inclusive executive search practices, racial equity education and social justice initiatives. The firm is located in Rochester, NY.