It’s no secret: Diverse organizations generate higher morale, attract better talent and perform better financially. But to be most effective, HR and hiring leaders must create a diversity and inclusion strategy for talent at all levels within their organization.
What are the keys to building successful diversity and inclusion initiatives for executive and leadership roles? We spoke with Executive Senior Partner Carl White to learn more about how to get D&I right:
Diversity and inclusion success is about more than “headcount.”
In decades past, many organizations focused on D&I as a means to an end – to land a government contract, for example. More recently, however, talent acquisition leaders have shifted their thinking and practices to not just hire more diverse professionals, but to also ensure that diverse individuals are supported and included. Leveraging their wide-ranging experience and perspectives leads to better ideas, decision-making and results for companies, while creating higher levels of career satisfaction and achievement for individuals.
How can employers improve D&I effectiveness?
1. Get buy-in from senior leaders. When a company’s leadership team understands the value and importance of building a diverse team, that mindset is passed down through management and talent acquisition – and spurs positive change.
2. Set new hires up for long-term success. Companies can’t expect success by merely inviting someone (i.e., a diverse hire) to their dance (i.e., their organization); they have to dance with them. HR leaders should build comprehensive onboarding programs to ensure individuals are supported, included and encouraged to be an integral part of their team’s success.
3. Focus on potential. In industries where qualified, diverse candidates are in short supply, companies may need to get creative when recruiting. Talent acquisition leaders should maintain an open mind about hiring requirements. By creating a short list of essential qualifications and being more flexible about skills or experience that is “nice to have,” recruiters can cast a wider net: attracting a diverse talent pool, and then evaluating candidates on fit and potential.
4. Be honest with candidates. No organization is perfect, and high-performing, diverse talent is attracted to employers that are candid about their strengths and flaws. HR leaders should paint a clear picture of what it’s really like to work there, as well as the current state of their D&I initiatives, to create the ideal match between talent and opportunity.