There’s no denying that over the last few years, diversity initiatives have been thrust into the spotlight. Although organizations have touted their commitment to diversity for years, it was Intel CEO Brian Krazanich who, at this year’s CES event, put it most emphatically:
It is not good enough to say, ‘We value diversity’ and then not have a workplace that reflects the talent pool of women and under-represented minorities.”
Indeed, it’s one thing to talk about diverse hiring and another to actually implement a diversity program. And, of course, there are a multitude of other corporate strategies and initiatives that can throw your diversity program off track. So how can you use workforce analytics and data to not only develop a diversity strategy, but ensure it doesn’t lose momentum while being implemented throughout an organization?
1. Setting Proper Expectations.
First off, companies must set realistic goals around hiring objectives and strategies. For example, are you blindly tasking your recruitment teams to find a certain number of underrepresented female IT candidates? Depending on the markets in which you’re recruiting, these goals may look drastically different. Let’s use two strong IT markets as an example: Austin, Texas, and San Francisco, Calif.:
Austin, TX gender and race/ethnicity breakdown:
San Francisco, CA gender and race/ethnicity breakdown:
Although both markets are poised for growth over the next five years, the demographic makeup of these markets is drastically different. In fact, while white individuals make up almost 64 percent of software developers and programmers in Austin, less than 40 percent of Caucasians are working in San Francisco. Conversely, workers of an Asian background make up 53 percent of software developers in San Francisco, yet only 22 percent of software developers in Austin.
Understanding the demographic differences between markets and creating goals for recruiters in unique areas of the country will better enable more realistic expectations and hiring goals for your teams. You may even find your organization needs to adjust your larger recruitment strategy to support diversity initiatives.
2. Retaining a Diverse Workforce.
It’s no secret that diverse candidates are in higher demand than ever before, not simply to establish corporate goodwill, but also to improve a company’s bottom line. According to a recent McKinsey study, gender- and ethnically-diverse companies are 15 percent and 35 percent more likely to financially outperform their competitors, respectively. Knowing more companies are aggressively targeting diverse workforces, organizations must take steps to highlight themselves as an employer of choice for underrepresented talent.
The first, and easiest, way to find out what your employees want is by asking them! Start with your top-tier talent in roles that are difficult or costly to staff: What benefits are most important to them, and where could your organization improve? Of course, not every request can be fulfilled, but companies should listen to their employees first and consult externally second.
Second, companies should discover the types of benefits competitors are offering (and, to be clear, benefits aren’t what they were 20 years ago). Workers are changing faster than the workplace, and many companies are struggling to retain good people amid a competitive market and rising turnover.
This benefits information can usually be gathered by visiting an organization’s career site or job board. By modifying your own incentives, your organization may be able to retain great talent by offering benefits employees can’t easily find elsewhere.
3. Putting a Strategy In Motion.
What does your workforce look like today? The first step to establishing a diversity recruitment strategy is assessing your internal demographics. Most organizations will turn to their HRIS or internal reporting system to better understand the makeup of employees inside your four walls.
Assuming you have a hold on your internal staff, it’s imperative to benchmark against other companies within your market. Let’s say a company in the commercial banking industry is located in Chicago. Internal data shows the company’s gender, age, and race/ethnicity demographics. But without benchmarking, those numbers don’t provide much in the way of commentary. External data can paint a better picture of where your diversity efforts are successful and possible areas where you can improve.
Chicago MSA – Commercial Banking
Finally, where will the next generation of your talent come from? A successful diversity strategy can’t just live in the present; it also needs to showcase areas where you can recruit future employees.
University recruitment teams can use data from EMSI’s College Analyst tool to better identify which schools are graduating the most diverse talent. For instance, if our organization wanted to recruit students receiving their degree in finance, on which universities should our company focus our efforts? And what expectations should our recruitment team have when visiting these campuses? As the following snapshot shows, Baruch College and Florida International University produced the most diverse finance graduates in 2014.
It’s more important than ever to support your diversity initiatives and goals with labor market data and analysis. CareerBuilder and EMSI can bring this data to the forefront and help you establish a more fact-based diversity strategy.
ABOUT EMSI: Economic Modeling Specialists Intl., a CareerBuilder company, turns labor market data into useful information that organizations understand the connection between economies, people, and work. Using sound economic principles and good data, we build user-friendly services that help educational institutions and associations, among other clients, build a better workforce and improve the economic conditions in their regions.
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