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The recent Black Lives Matter movement has raised the focus on diversity & equality back into the radar. The commitment to this should not be underestimated. Every organisation understands this powerful statement: “A more diverse workforce has been proven to be one that will increase organisational performance by providing multiple, fresh perspectives leading to innovation and better risk management. The improvement that diverse workforces bring to business delivery is linked to the diversification of the marketplace.”

Now more than ever, employers must demonstrate their commitment to make high quality and diverse hires efficiently by engaging diverse talent pools, enabling tailored employer value propositions (EVP), improving decision making, mitigating bias, reducing the administrative burden on recruiters and hiring managers, and speeding the  alignment of recruiting with desired business outcomes regardless of strategy, complexity, or volume. Recruiting Enablement is key to this.

Employers who want to execute more diverse, inclusive recruiting strategies must simultaneously engage with wider, more diverse candidate pools while designing recruiting processes that root out bias and promote inclusion. Today it’s impossible to deny the strategic value of diverse teams supported within an inclusive environment. But diversity alone isn’t enough: inclusion Is key.

Even highly diverse teams fall short unless they also feel a sense of inclusion. When teams feel inclusive, they work 12% harder and are 57% more collaborative than non-inclusive teams. In addition, 74% of millennials, set to be 75% of the workforce by 2025, believe their employer is more innovative when it has a culture of inclusion.

Current recruiting processes echo the diversity and inclusion (D&I) contradiction, with just 37% of recruiters reporting that their function has implemented a strategy to increase diversity hiring.  As businesses strive to improve diversity and inclusion throughout their talent processes, Recruiting Enablement is about not only expanding WHO you hire, but HOW you hire.

Recruiting Enablement helps recruiters automatically root out bias during every stage of the recruiting process, from debiasing job postings to attracting more diverse candidates, to serving up more inclusive content and using intelligent selection to more fairly rank candidates on their skills and competencies.

There’s little doubt about the benefit of hiring a diverse workforce. McKinsey found in one UK study that greater gender diversity on the senior-executive team could positively affect performance. For every 10% diversity increase, they saw profits rise by up to 3.5%. Organisations know it’s needed, but often lack the ability to ensure diversity hiring is happening within their own talent acquisition programs.

In recruiting, Big Data or AI reveals which applicants are a better fit for positions within the company, correlating skills and work values to numbers and percentages. It’s not about the name on the CV or cultural background of an interviewee. Instead, companies can focus on the candidates with the right expertise, experience and potential to be productive within their already established teams, provided the humans in the equation eschew their own biases.

But for many this is more difficult than it perhaps ought to be! More often than not, recruiting teams are doing what they’ve always done, seeing the same candidates and visiting the same events. Spending budgets are always categorized to suit those practices, sometimes introducing a new avenue, but lacking real understanding of what those additions are bringing to the table. Meanwhile, those traditional, long-standing programs aren’t getting the audits required to understand actual return on investment.

It’s all in line with the adage, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

Yet, for more diversity, organisations need the ability to see underlying potential or lack thereof. Does that university’s career fair actually bring in the right applicants or are you wasting precious resources on it every year? How about those niche job boards? Is your targeted talent finding your job posting and are they actually fitting your needs?

Diversity and inclusion is a priority in talent acquisition and more companies are beginning to invest in strategies and technology to support these efforts. Unfortunately, for most companies bias is still a reality in how decisions are made around talent. Recruiting Enablement can help companies reduce this bias by:

  • Debiasing job descriptions
  • Fairly ranking candidates through the use of technology 
  • Increasing the number of quality applicants by reaching a larger talent pool
  • Using AI-powered insights to deliver relevant and inclusive content

Overall, Diversity & inclusion can’t just be done on a whim. You need to set aspirational goals based on your historic data and then start to construct a customised event/workshop that meets these goals. Your previous successes will help to identify partners or professional groups who can also help build credibility alongside representative members of your existing team. If a culture doesn’t include or develop diverse employees, then you won’t be able to sustain a diverse workforce in the long term.

Charles Hipps, CEO and Founder, Oleeo

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