Attracting Diverse Talent: Is Your Organization Really Ready?

Chelsea Finn
Attracting Diverse Talent: Is Your Organization Really Ready?

Most organizations understand that attracting qualified diverse talent is essential to staying competitive in today’s business environment. But sourcing and recruiting diverse talent without a strong organizational foundation of inclusion typically results in the diverse talent ‘revolving door’, in which diverse employees arrive to a workplace where they don’t feel welcomed nor encouraged to be their authentic self; sooner than later, they voluntarily leave. Regina Blair, Day & Zimmermann's VP of Employee Experience & DEI, recently attended HRO Today's Inclusion Summit where she took the stage for the session, Attracting Diverse Talent: Are You Really Ready? Regina's session evaluated the key components of a culture of inclusion that need to be addressed before investing significant resources in diversity recruiting. 

Let's break down these components below. 


Key Readiness Questions

First, there are several key readiness questions you should be asking yourself when it comes to evaluating diversity and inclusion initiatives within your organization. 

  • Where are we on our DEI journey?
  • Can you make a long-term commitment to doing the work
  • Are you willing to go through ups and downs?
  • Do your leaders see this work as part of their jobs?
  • Do you have champions who have energy and passion for the work?
  • Is your leadership team generally functional and willing to learn and grow?
  • Are you willing to examine and address larger systemic issues?
  • Are you willing to invest in communication and relationship building?
  • Are you willing to acknowledge and address racism, power, and privilege?

A Unique Hiring Challenge - Unconscious Bias

There's a major hiring challenge you should be considering when it comes to your organization's diversity and inclusion efforts, and that challenge is called unconscious bias. This is the tendency to gravitate towards those who act, look, or think like we do. When it comes to hiring, sometimes one candidate is picked over another based on something such as their name or whether the hiring manager or recruiter subconsciously thinks they will be the right fit culturally within their organization.

This act has the power to reinforce stereotypes subconsciously, and it must be addressed to be stopped.  There are several steps you can take to make sure that unconscious bias isn't taking place within your recruiting process such as, 

  • Standardizing interviews in order to make sure every candidate is answering the same questions.
  • Reviewing job descriptions to make sure they include inclusive language.
  • Advertising your organization and available roles through new channels to make sure you aren't promoting opportunities to specific groups of people. 


Keeping Diverse Talent

One sign that your organization may not be inclusive is if you're successfully hiring diverse candidates but you notice that the retention rate among your employees is low. Both hiring and retaining diverse talent is essential for your business when it comes to innovation, problem-solving, and growth. Talented candidates want to work for a diverse and inclusive organization. Below are a few steps you can take to ensure that you're focusing on inclusivity. 

  • Offer Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
  • Enact policies and practices that promote equity
  • Hold exit interviews
  • Supply manager training on leading across differences


Metrics to Consider

Additionally, there are several DEI-centric quantitative and qualitative metrics you should track within your organization. 

Representation of protected groups, particularly in leadership roles Employee engagement survey results
Retention of diverse groups compared to overall retention Organizational statements on social justice issues
Promotion rates Employer brand
Voluntary versus involuntary turnover Senior leader visibility
Salary equity  
Participation in leadership development experiences  
Supplier diversity spend  


By looking at these key considerations, you can determine what areas you still need to work on within your organization in order to ensure that you're creating not only a diverse, but also an inclusive work environment. 

DZConneX embraces diversity and inclusion and thrives on learning so that our employees feel respected and invited to contribute to the success of our company, clients, suppliers, and communities. If you're interested in learning more about DEI in talent acquisition, we've also put together a blog post that includes five must-read diversity & inclusion resources that you can read here.


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