DEI Hiring Strategy

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DEI Hiring Strategy

"DEI" has become one of the fastest-growing market trends since the early 2000s. Globalization has shifted local workforces like we used to see in small towns to international teams. It's common for a company today to have creative talent in Ukraine, SDRs in Mexico, Virtual Assistants in the Philippines and South Africa, Developers in India, and others in the UK and the United States. This means almost every organization today is experiencing the benefits of more diverse and multicultural teams.

But this multiculturalism can also bring challenges. People from around the world are raised differently, with various cultures, religions, sexual orientations, and belief systems. People from different parts of the world dress differently, look different, and use words in different ways. This has a direct impact on how businesses operate and communicate.

This is where the DEI hiring strategy comes into play. DEI hiring, meaning "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion" - three essential elements that make up the core of a diverse organization's culture. Diversity means a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives in the workplace. Equity means equal opportunities for all employees regardless of their background. And Inclusion, meaning creating an environment where everyone feels welcomed and valued.

A DEI hiring strategy (or D&I hiring strategy) is the process of intentionally seeking out diverse candidates throughout the recruitment process to create a more inclusive workplace culture- and the best DEI examples go way beyond filling diversity quotas. They embed the principles of inclusion into the DNA of the company, creating a place where employees feel comfortable and empowered to bring their whole selves to work.

But with recent developments, many people are asking themselves whether DEI policies are really working. For example, BlackRock, Zoom, Snap, and Universities like UT-Austin are slashing DEI departments. Twitter (X) just recently laid off its 30-person DEI team and industry statistics show that these RIFs (reduction in force) may continue. In 2023, DEI hiring fell by 5%, and by the end of Q1/ 2024, we'd already seen an 8% reduction in DEI teams. So what's going on?

In February, HRProfessional Magazine posted an article titled, "Is DEI going to Die in 2024?" in which Josh Bersin makes the case that "’s time to do away with the “DEI police” in HR and focus on embedding the principles of inclusion... across all business units."

Over the last two years, many leaders have noticed how their DEI departments were causing conflict, lower productivity, and even leading to increased attrition. These issues have been brought up in leadership meetings, and many executives have realized that a shift in mindset and approach is needed. Instead of having departments internally, consultants would be hired to embed DEI hiring strategies into the DNA of many of these companies.

These consultants would engrain new principles, implement hiring initiatives, identify new hiring tools like interview intelligence, and create a more inclusive culture that welcomes diverse individuals. In short, DEI isn't dying, it's just going through the iterative process of any innovation - from a centralized to a more decentralized approach. This is a necessary step for DEI efforts to be successful in the long term, as it takes the burden off of one department and distributes responsibility throughout the entire organization.

DEI Recruiting Strategy

Now that we've set a baseline, let's dive into creating a DEI recruiting strategy. Aiming to create an inclusive culture is easier than it has ever been, but won't be without challenges. People are stubborn and they don't like to change - but change is the first step of any good inclusive hiring process. A DEI recruiting strategy should include five main components: setting goals, identifying diverse sources for recruitment, identifying the right tools, implementing inclusive hiring practices, and evaluating outcomes.

DEI Recruiting Strategy Template

Setting Goals:

The first step in creating a DEI recruiting strategy is to set clear and measurable goals. These goals should align with the organization's overall DEI objectives and mission. They should be specific, achievable, and trackable. For example, a goal could be to increase the representation of underrepresented groups in leadership positions by 25% within the next year.

Identifying Diverse Sources for Recruitment:

The next step is to identify diverse sources for recruitment. This includes job boards, networking events, career fairs, and partnerships with organizations that focus on diversity and inclusion. It's important to not rely solely on traditional recruitment methods, as they may not reach a diverse pool of candidates.

Identifying the Right Tools:

To attract and retain diverse talent, organizations must use the right tools. This includes reviewing and updating job descriptions to eliminate any bias, implementing interview intelligence technology to remove subjectivity from the hiring process, and utilizing diversity-focused recruitment platforms.

Implementing Inclusive Hiring Practices:

Inclusive hiring practices are essential to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. This includes unconscious bias training for hiring managers, implementing blind resume reviews, and ensuring diversity on interview panels.

Evaluating Outcomes:

Finally, it's important to regularly evaluate the outcomes of the DEI recruiting strategy. This includes tracking metrics such as the percentage of underrepresented groups in hiring, promotion, and retention. This data can be used to make adjustments and improvements to the strategy over time.

DEI Strategic Plan Example

Let's take a look at how these components can come together in a DEI strategic plan for an organization:

  1. Goal: Increase the representation of underrepresented groups in leadership positions by 25% within the next year.
  2. Diverse Sources for Recruitment:
  • Partnering with organizations such as the National Association of Black Engineers and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers to reach a diverse pool of candidates.
  • Attending diversity-focused career fairs and networking events.
  1. Tools:
  • Reviewing and updating job descriptions to remove any biased language.
  • Utilizing interview intelligence technology to remove subjectivity from the hiring process.
  • Posting job openings on diversity-focused recruitment platforms such as DiversityJobs and HirePurpose.
  1. Inclusive Hiring Practices:
  • Providing unconscious bias training for all hiring managers.
  • Implementing blind resume reviews to eliminate potential bias.
  • Ensuring diverse representation on interview panels.
  1. Evaluation:
  • Regularly tracking the percentage of underrepresented groups in hiring, promotion, and retention.
  • Using this data to make adjustments and improvements to the DEI recruiting strategy.

Implementing a DEI recruiting strategy is not only a moral and legal issue, its also a strategic advantage that enables organizations to build diverse, innovative, and high-performing teams.

Examples Of DEI Hiring Strategies

Successful examples of DEI hiring strategies provide valuable insights into the best practices and innovative approaches that other organizations have found effective and give us a good idea of what to emulate.

Leading companies like Google, Microsoft, and Salesforce have implemented specific DEI hiring strategies with significant impact. Google uses a "Diversity Annual Report" to track and publicly share their progress, setting transparent goals. Microsoft conducts comprehensive unconscious bias training and mandates diverse slates for senior roles. Salesforce has established initiatives like "Equality Groups" and "Diverse Interview Panels" to ensure representation. These strategies have led to measurable improvements: Google reported a 3.1% increase in Black employees, Microsoft saw a 30% growth in women in core technical positions, and Salesforce received top accolades for workplace equality and inclusivity.

These success stories have led to breakthroughs such as the structured interview process, diverse hiring panels, and diverse targeted outreach programs. Exploring these innovative DEI initiatives is critical for understanding how these changes will impact your workers. Employee resource groups (ERGs) and mentorship programs for underrepresented groups can significantly enhance your DEI recruiting strategy. For example, Intel's global initiative for women in underrepresented engineering disciplines and the LGBTQ+ employee resource group have been integral to their success.

In addition to learning from others, it's important for organizations to continuously evaluate and adapt their DEI hiring best practices to better align with their goals and values. Technology can also play a key role in accomplishing this. Deploying bias-detecting software and crafting inclusive job descriptions can help you attract more diverse candidates, but it's only the first step. Implementing DEI training, Implicit Bias testing, and interview intelligence software to remove subjectivity from the hiring process can significantly improve candidate selection. Regularly tracking metrics and gathering feedback from employees can also help organizations identify areas for improvement.

In conclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI full form) are worth the effort- and, building a diverse and inclusive workplace will, without a doubt, take commitment, effort, and continuous improvement. By crafting and following a few DEI hiring best practices and developing a customized DEI recruiting strategy, organizations can create an environment that values diversity and promotes equity for all employees.

If you'd like to see how interview intelligence can help you create a fairer more objective hiring process, book your demo of Pillar today. Our team would love to help you discover how simple changes can help you hire 40% more diverse candidates and build a culture that celebrates everyone you hire!