Are your vendors delivering on diversity?

Written by Tom Lakin  • Equality, Diversity & Inclusion  • 18 October 2023

Organisations that recognise the importance of having a sound ED&I strategy benefit from a more innovative, collaborative and well-rounded workforce. When outsourcing your recruitment, it’s important to ensure your vendors are equally aligned to your overarching ED&I strategy and diverse hiring goals.

Choosing a supplier who truly understands best-practice diverse hiring and demonstrates a holistic approach delivery diverse talent to your business is key to driving continued meaningful change.

Since 2015, we have supported our client partners to minimise bias within their hiring process, learning a lot about what an effective Diverse Hiring strategy entails and developed a suite of tools to uncover and address inclusivity in the recruitment process. Through our experiences, we have derived five four key questions to ask when considering a recruitment vendor to meet your organisation’s diverse hiring goals.

1. Does your vendor understand your diverse hiring goals?

Like any other business initiative, your diverse hiring strategy should support, not compromise, overarching objectives. For this to happen, your recruitment vendor should fully understand and align to your business needs, while being fluid and adaptive to their approach as needed.

Be wary of quota-based diverse hiring methods based on the concept of affirmative action or derived from a simple need for regulatory adherence. These distract from the true benefits of a diverse workforce – innovation and creativity, better solutioning, and better business performance. Your recruitment vendor should provide a strategy that achieves these benefits in the context of your existing goals, achieving a state where ED&I strategy is synonymous with overall success.

2. Can your vendor effectively measure their impact on your diverse hiring priorities?

Early initiatives of ED&I strategy centered around basic inclusion statements, or hastily reworked job listings that still introduce hidden bias against underrepresented talent.

Our clients can accurately identify barriers and bias thanks to the presence of metrics with measurable data points. We’ve integrated this data-driven approach into the Recruitment Inclusivity Audit, an independent, objective analysis of your recruitment content and process through eight different candidate lenses. Armed with this knowledge, organisations can then develop specific diverse hiring recruitment strategies for meaningful change in key areas.

3. Does your vendor know your market?

Diversity looks very different from continent to continent. Southeast Asia, for instance, has expansive racial diversity that has driven their radical ascent in the world economy, but continues to struggle with gender and socioeconomic inequality. Understanding the geography your company operates in, or seeks to expand into, will be essential to your vendor’s ability to properly represent it with the recruitment process.

Having worked with partners in APAC, EMEA, and North America, we’ve seen bias manifest in various forms, learned much about what the best companies around the world do to mitigate them, and leverage this knowledge in the form of detailed, fact-based recommendations that are actionable in weeks rather than months or years, as seen in our work with AXA and King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

4. Does your vendor look beyond attracting underrepresented talent?

While creating an inclusively curated talent attraction strategy is undoubtedly an important part of any well-rounded ED&I strategy, building a truly inclusive workplace is more than attracting and welcoming newcomers. Incumbent employees, for instance, need to be educated about how to equitably integrate their new colleagues, which calls for diversity training programmes.

Closer to the recruitment process, your hiring managers must subscribe to newly established Diverse Hiring processes – bias, even if borne out of innocent ignorance, could corrupt an otherwise fruitful selection process with well-represented candidates. It’s why our partners often identify priority groups of hiring managers, namely those in charge of teams with skewed demographics or high-growth teams in diverse environments, to launch Inclusive Recruitment & Innocent Ignorance training sessions. These hiring managers eventually become advocates for a truly inclusive workforce, creating a virtuous cycle that aspires to empower all employees equitably.

Is diversity high on your list of hiring priorities, but not sure where to start or how to measure success? Our Diverse Hiring solutions have helped our global partners create deliberate, measurable and impactful diverse hiring outcomes. Explore our suite of award-winning Diverse Hiring solutions today, or contact our Diverse Hiring experts for an exploratory discussion and find out how we can significantly impact your diverse hiring recruitment goals.

Ready to build, re-shape and optimise your workforce for better talent acquisition?

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