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Diversity Recruitment – Asking Tough Questions


Has your company adopted programs to enhance diversity recruitment? According to a new study released from the PwC entitled Winning the fight for female talent: How to gain the diversity edge through inclusive recruitment –which looks at what employers can do to attract and retain female talent and underscores the importance of embedding diversity and inclusion into the employer brand, we learn:

76% of employers have incorporated diversity and inclusion into their employer brands

There are a number of tactics being used to help facilitate this new diversity recruitment focus, but it starts by holding a mirror up to where the company is currently.

Here are a few of the tough questions that need to be asked when creating a diversity recruitment program that are highlighted in the PwC report:

• How well prepared is your organisation to find, attract and keep tomorrow’s workforce – even as you deal with today’s talent challenges?

• How are you adjusting your talent acquisition strategies to be more inclusive of female talent? And how will you attract talent with different needs, aspirations and experiences from multiple generations?

• How will you deliver visible action and results?

• How will you stay focused on inclusive recruitment amid today’s blizzard of change in the employment environment and workforce – including trends such as the rise of the gig economy and the outsourcing of recruitment functions?

Each one of these questions could require an entire task force to support, research and implement. Incorporating a diversity recruitment program requires more indepth work that just stating a goal and hoping you make it.

I am reminded of WeBanc: The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), founded in 1997, is the largest third-party certifier of businesses owned, controlled, and operated by women in the United States. WBENC, a national 501(c)(3) non-profit, partners with 14 Regional Partner Organizations to provide its world class standard of certification to women-owned businesses throughout the country.

From their website we learn more about their mission:

We foster diversity in the world of commerce.  Diversity promotes innovation, opens new channels of revenue and creates partnerships which provide opportunities that fuel the economy.

According to the Small Business Association, the government agencies are required to contract 5% of their business to women-owned businesses. In 2005, according to the goaling report – that number was only 3%. However, slowly the percentage of business has increased and in 2015 that percentage had finally reached the goal of 5% for the first time. 

That is a small percentage and yet it took TWENTY years to make it happen. Imagine how long it will take companies to truly embrace diversity recruitment as part of their business policy.

Again, it is one thing to SAY it is a goal, but another to truly make it happen at every level. According to the PwC report, 46% of companies surveyed have begun offering unconscious bias training, but only for their recruitment professionals.

As we move forward companies will need to move off the foundation of “thinking about” diversity recruitment and commit to a diversity recruitment plan.

Wise words from the PwC report:

To win the fight for female talent, it’s not enough for employers to have an attractive talent brand: it’s also vital that they have an inclusive talent brand. Understanding how the organisation is perceived in this area is the first critical step. Employers need to recognise the fact that diversity and inclusion raises reputational risks they cannot afford to ignore – and that their diversity record is under close and constant scrutiny, not only from the talent they need to attract and retain, but also from customers, investors, stakeholders and – increasingly – governments and regulators. This is why an inclusive talent brand is no longer a nice-to-have option – but an imperative for business success.

JJ DiGeronimo JJ DiGeronimo, a speaker, author and thought-leader for Women in Tech and Girls and STEM, empowers professional women and consults with senior executives on strategies to retain and attract Women in Technology to increase thought and leadership diversity within organizations.

Check out JJ’s Axiom Award winning new book Accelerate Your Impact by downloading three free chapters.accelerate your impact