Increasing diverse talent in your company’s workforce is a noble goal, but many companies are bound to miss the mark on their goals without the right strategies in place.
Assess Your Situation
Before setting any hiring goals, you need to know where your company currently stands. Here, you will need to know not only your company’s diverse talent makeup but also how you compare with your competitors or your industry as a whole. This helps your company evaluate potential areas of improvement and where your company is already succeeding.
Set Realistic Goals and Align Employees
Once you know where you stand, you will need to set your diversity goals and establish a time frame within which to achieve those goals.
Your goals need to be realistic and in line with your industry standards. If you share your goals with your employees, you are likely to align broad company efforts with such goals and increase your chances of success. Increasing diversity in the workforce is not a task for your talent acquisition team but for all employees, from executives to associates.
Evaluate and Acquire New Tools
If you set diversity hiring goals without giving your talent acquisition team the right tools, you are likely to fail. You need to allocate the necessary budget to acquire such tools. There are many great tools out there for diverse talent sourcing that go beyond keyword searches or LinkedIn profiles. Additionally, artificial intelligence (AI) technology is making diversity sourcing easier and more effective.
Encourage Internal Hiring
While your organization should be focused on hiring more diverse talent, you need to also look at retaining your employees. Employee turnover can cost up to 33% of an employee’s annual salary. Before hiring new employees, companies should first evaluate existing talent and consider hiring or promoting internally. With some training, existing employees can quickly get up to speed, as they’re already familiar with your company’s processes. Additionally, they can reward you with an intangible quality: loyalty. High internal mobility helps retain talent in general and diverse talent in particular.
Track and Report on Progress
Once your organization has set realistic goals and acquired the right tools to find and hire diverse talent, the next step is to track and report your progress. Share that progress with your employees and celebrate success.
Here are the top diversity key performance indicators (KPIs) you should be tracking.
- Percentage of diverse talent in your workforce. This is the most important KPI for companies to track. You need to know this for every ethnicity, race, and gender group. If you compare your diverse talent participation with that of your competitors’, for example, you will know if and where action is needed.
- Average tenure. Average employee tenure may help you identify whether your diverse employees tend to stay with you longer than they stay with your competitors. If they stay less time at your company, this is a red flag that will require action from not only the HR department but also the entire company. You should identify potential reasons for employee turnover and address them.
- Participation in managerial roles. Equitable participation in managerial roles is another factor in improving long-term retention. Low participation in managerial roles among diverse employees may explain why people are leaving your company sooner.
- Internal mobility. If employees have held more than one job in your company, this can signify they are happy at your company and have opportunities to advance their career, either laterally or vertically. There are many solutions to improve a low rate of internal mobility. For example, set a standard that ensures current employees will be considered for every open role alongside external candidates.
- Risk of churn. You want to know not only the percentage of employees who are highly likely to leave you but also where those churn pockets are. For example, you may discover that employees with 1–3 years at your company are at the highest churn risk level. Additionally, some candidates who are actively looking for a job may provide signals on social networks. Using data like this will help you address risk pockets at the right places and at the right time.
If your company has glaring disparities between overall employee makeup and those in managerial positions, this could spell trouble. For example, Talenya recently released a Fortune 500 Diversity Report, which examined data on the diversity of Fortune 500 employees from the first quarter of 2021. It found that women only account for 37% of total employees in managerial roles at Fortune 500 organizations.
Companies with levels of participation in managerial roles that are close to the levels of participation of their group in the overall workforce are likely to better retain employees. Improving this metric can help diverse employees see they have a fair chance to be promoted to managerial roles within their companies.
What It All Means
Increasing diversity among your employees starts with having a clear picture of your goals and KPIs. You need to have the right tools to achieve your goals, share them with employees, and align everyone behind them. From there, you must take proactive measures to increase diversity in the hiring pipeline and beyond and track progress continuously.
Data only helps companies create a road map for recruiting and retaining diverse employees; the rest is up to you.