Greater diversity and inclusion? Try these 5 tips!

Progress in this area is visible…..

Market changes, new generations on the labor market and greater awareness have made D&I a hot topic for a lot of companies.
As a result, your company may have engaged the necessary steps to increase the (ethnic) diversity and reduce the gender gap and results are showing.
And yet, how is this helping if the vast majority of your management team members went to the same school and if candidates above 45, or coming from other industries, are systematically screened out?

Congrats for the tree, don’t miss the forest!

Let’s dig deeper:

Diversity and inclusion have become a seriously hot topic these days.

When did this awareness arise? Probably when some companies realized their staff did not closely resemble their customer base and they were missing opportunities as a result. Also, when they realized that uniformity of profiles could lead to promoting conformity in a rapidly evolving business world.

Whatever the nature of the wake-up call, there exist many reasons to consider this subject a priority.

The immediate idea that comes to mind is concepts related to almost philosophical drivers.

Let’s first agree here that “diversity and inclusion” is not limited to recruiting more women (who make up half of humankind) and different shades of skin tone.

We will stick here to the proven business case as there are a lot of documented benefits. Here are a few examples:

  • extending the talent pool
  • increasing business resilience to more effectively confront new, unknown, business environments
  • building an environment that favors innovation and creativity by expanding the diversity of thought and experience and
  • creating a more attractive workplace for current and future employees and partners.

There are many ways to create awareness and assess an organization’s commitment to more diversity and inclusion.

Two simple indicators will help:

  • Who do you work with today? And how?
  • Who are you seeking to recruit?

Since business priorities such as innovation or business resilience are directly impacted by talent acquisition, retention and management, optimizing the match between profiles and business needs is critical to continue to ensure competitiveness.

There are also many ways to build a sustainable approach towards diversity and inclusion that delivers tangible business results.

Many actions, however, can already be taken to move in that direction.

Let’s review some ideas here that are easy to implement and will ensure a diverse pipeline that can deliver immediate results:

#1. Don’t format (too much) your recruitment needs

A too restrictive recruitment profile might leave high potentials undetected.

#2. Recruit a potential, not just a CV

A headhunter once told me: “I try to introduce candidates to my clients, but all they want is CVs.”

Which of those companies would have had the vision to recruit Steve Jobs or Richard Branson based on their early CVs? Trust your interview rounds even more than the CV scanning.

#3. Recruit senior candidates (not just at C-level!), both men and women.

If experience is seen as an asset in politics, it is also certainly the case in business.

#4. Recruit candidates from outside your industry

Which companies and industries have experienced and solved issues your company is currently struggling with? Recruiting someone with that wealth of experience can be highly valuable. Consider candidates with diverse perspectives who will help you determine and get where you want to be.

#5. The highest potentials are not always the most vocal

Expect your talent management practice to deliver a structural process to identify, develop and promote your hidden gems.

These simple steps can already be implemented to increase ROI even before a full program is designed and implemented.

In conclusion, it’s about company culture. Engaging a holistic strategy to undertake an impactful diversity and inclusion vision and program is undeniably beneficial for your workforce and for your bottom line.

Consider the strategy and program as a process rather than an event. In other words: start small, start somewhere, start now!

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