It's Time to Rethink your Diversity Acquisition Strategy

1Companies today invest significantly in diversity and inclusion programs within their Talent Acquisition Process. In some cases, teams are created to focus on nothing but diversity, as they are tasked with enabling their organization to position themselves correctly and to surpass diversity hiring goals. This can stem from a number of initiatives that typically come from the C-suite. Whether it is a compliance issue, an internal goal of the company, or they simply feel having a diverse workforce is the best internal structure to have, finding and maintaining a diverse talent pool can be a very daunting task. One fact cannot be argued. Numerous studies have proven again and again that a diverse workforce is better for everyone.


Clients tell us every day that they have hiring goals around diversity and inclusion. The initiatives originate in the C-Suite. These goals vary depending on the company. HR/Talent Acquisition teams are then tasked with fulfilling these goals to ensure hiring managers are equipped with a diverse pool of talent during the hiring process. To fulfill this, HR will implement certain strategies that are not unlike your typical recruiting strategies we see within all companies. There is not much difference in choosing target areas, websites, social media, and geographies where they think their target diversity pool is most likely found, then running an ad or promoting information about their company via in person or digital. If this seems familiar to you, I assure you that you are not alone and you might be asking, so what? First, let’s take a look at three simple steps that typically occur:

1. Top level goals are set around diversity

2. HR/Talent Acquisition is engaged to fulfill diversity goals

3. Targeted ad campaigns are initiated to complete task

These steps may seem very logical, straight forward, and even maybe strategic to some folks, but again, it is no different than normal recruitment channels that are reactive and ordinary. So what if you could have a better data set that gives a clear picture of where to spend your time and resources? At the same time, instead of goals and objectives arbitrarily coming from the top down, HR partners could have real time diversity talent pool data at their fingertips in order to build a strategic plan that allows the organization to hit their goals based on facts rather than opinions. We contend that the only way to ensure you are getting to all of the diverse candidates is to engage the entire talent pool. From there and after you have identified up to 90% of any given talent pool, you then have the ability to funnel candidates down into their respective skills groups to know what the true numbers really are. This will enable HR partners to educate the organization and hiring authorities on the best strategic approach to target and attract talent, at the same time set realistic goals for the number of diverse candidates needed by skill set. Example: If you are directed to have, as an example, a 15% diverse population within a division but the data shows that of the entire pool there are 7% that are diverse, and then it stands to reason you will not be able to achieve the original goal.


I know this seems simple; however identifying an entire talent pool for specific skill sets may include thousands of data points. The more data collected usually means your team’s bandwidth will get eaten up while sorting and analyzing each data point. Therein lies the challenge… you cannot put your diversity initiatives on hold while filtering through all of this information, so finding a tool or partner to help and facilitated is recommended. Stick with your current plan, but begin to look at ways where you can bring more certainty and data driven solutions for diversity or hard to fill roles. It is a start, and will not only ensure you are identifying all of the diverse work force available, but it will demonstrate to senior leadership who, where, and how you can attract the very best talent for your organization.

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