How to Ensure Your Talent Acquisition Strategy is Future-proofed for Diversity.

6 min

Having a diverse workforce is essential for success.

Indeed, having a diverse range of people with a wide variety of backgrounds in your organisation can have strong benefits:

  • According to McKinsey & Company, companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 36% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians 
  • A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that companies with diverse workforces are more likely to attract and retain top talent
  • A study by the Harvard Business Review found that diverse teams are more likely to innovate and make better decisions 

Across the board, women and minorities have made more progress in board representation for the Fortune 500 between 2016 and 2020 than between 2010 and 2016. This increased rate of change, while encouraging, still requires, in some cases, decades more for the achievement of equitable gender and minority board representation.

Just over two out of every five seats occupied by African American/Black board members were held by a person serving on multiple Fortune 500 boards. 

Remedying this inequality is essential to provide equal opportunity and to the global economic recovery from the pandemic - evidence shows that companies with a higher proportion of senior women are more productive and competitive and less likely to fail.

In our latest article, we wanted to take a deeper dive into equality, particularly looking at how to improve your talent acquisition strategy, ensuring your business is future-proofed for diversity.

1. Evaluate Your Current Workplace

Before you start planning for diversity targets and implementing new strategies, take an unbiased look around your office. Does it radiate inclusivity?  

For example, consider the Muslim employee who feels self-conscious about maintaining his daily prayer routine on company grounds, the native Polish speaker who doesn't feel comfortable speaking any language other than English in workplace common areas, or the breastfeeding mother who has returned to work. 

Does your company cater to everyone?

2. Is your Leadership Team Diverse?

Furthermore, it is also essential for the top management team to be equally diverse. This includes gender diversity, ethnic diversity, sexual orientation, and more.

A diverse employee population performs best under a diverse leadership team, but hiring for diversity is only the first step in ensuring your business is future-proofed for diversity. Long term success is only found when your leadership team is truly committed to inclusivity in every aspect of their company culture. 

After all, the top management of a company speaks volumes about your culture.

3. Develop Your Company Brand To Reflect Your Diversity:

In order to attract and retain a diverse talent pool, you must consider the motivations of potential candidates. For example, generation Z are very much concerned with social and diversity issues. According to the World Economic Forum, 72% of Gen Z said racial equality and diversity is the most critical issue today. (WEF)

  • A further  76% of Gen Z said it is vital for their employer to promote their wellbeing. (Peldon Rose)
  • Whilst, 75% of Gen Zers said that they desired to have multiple roles within an organisation. (WEF)   

By considering a more diverse acquisition strategy, including the motivations of your talent pool, people from across the globe, with varying skill sets, will want to work with you. 

To do so, you must be authentic. A diverse strategy goes way beyond simply celebrating a wider mix of cultural days. For example, you may want to consider diversity and equality training for staff members at all levels of your business, to rid any lingering and outdated biases.

Considering a candidate's experience is paramount to a successful and diverse talent acquisition strategy. For example, if you have increased your search area to attract a more diverse talent pool, you may want to consider brushing up on information that could be helpful to candidates who are relocating for a role.

4. Diversifying your Recruitment Process:

Future proofing your talent acquisition strategy doesn’t always require radical change. Simple adjustments such as improving the inclusivity of your job advertisements can go a long way. For example, consider the language and the tone you use - is it predominantly masculine and therefore only appealing to a specific male audience? 

You may also want to consider using tools to help you reach diverse candidates. Many recruiters are now looking to artificial intelligence (AI) as part of their talent strategy to provide actionable data insights. Certainly, the strongest talent acquisition strategies are built around the analysis of data, helping identify areas for improvement, giving your team a focus search area.

Most notably, make sure you’re recruiting without personal bias. 

Are you hiring because the candidate reminds you of yourself or are you hiring because they possess different talents and will bring a new, exciting outlook to key decisions throughout the business?

5. Diversity in STEM: Looking at the whole picture

Diversity in STEM, especially when it comes to gender diversity, is a problem for many employers who often struggle to find suitable candidates to achieve their targets. 

According to Wise Campaign only 24% of the STEM workforce are women compared to 76% men. However, the number of women opting for STEM related subjects at university is improving.

However, despite the exposure around the lack of women in STEM, there are some STEM subjects that are dominated by women, such as biological science. In 2018, HESA UCAS data, published figures detailing that 60% of students studying biology are female.

Why is this important? While their subject may not be directly related to your industry, it is quite possible that their skill set is. Perhaps employers are failing to reach their gender diversity targets because they are not looking in the right place or not casting their net widely enough.

Of course, these graduates will have a strong academic performance, can adapt quickly and are able to process and understand data, alongside solid interpersonal skills.  In order to fill this pipeline issue, talent acquisition strategies should consider transferable skills with higher regard.

A Diverse Strategy Takes Time

Without a doubt, this change isn’t going to happen overnight. However, taking steps now can help ensure your business is future-proofed so that the next generation of diverse, talented candidates can flourish.

"Everyone is different and unless employers take diversity seriously, they will fail to recruit, retain and engage the commitment of the talent needed to sustain and improve performance" (Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development)

At CSG Talent, we’re extremely passionate about providing a pathway for diverse talent to make their mark. Our philosophy is to operate as dedicated recruitment partners to our clients and candidates, providing expert support not simply during the hiring process itself, but before and after it as well. If you would like further advice about how you can diversify your talent acquisition strategy, speak to a member of our expert team today. If you're keen to review and enhance your hiring strategy to support diversity and inclusion, click here to download our practical guide - How to Create a Diverse Hiring Strategy.