A recent PwC survey found that 57% of CFOs planned to invest in diversity and inclusion initiatives in the next year. But, with investment comes accountability; you can’t track and report your progress without the proper technology tools. So, as employers continue to prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion, talent leaders need the proper tools to understand the progress they’re making toward reaching their DE&I goals.
Additionally, despite the progress made throughout the last few years, employers still have a long way to go. In fact, according to a survey by Boston Consulting Group, only 25% of employees from underrepresented backgrounds said that they had benefited from their company’s diversity and inclusion programs—despite the fact that most companies have these programs in place.
In this article, we’ll discuss how the right technology tools can help measure and improve diversity, equity and inclusion in your recruitment process.
We live in a complex, interwoven world, where diversity forms the foundation of our modern society. Unsurprisingly, our workplaces mirror the sociocultural dynamics that affect our lives outside of work.
Diversity hiring efforts start at the beginning with sourcing; you can’t hire diverse candidates without a diverse pipeline. And, to build a diverse candidate pipeline, you need to track who your candidates are and which of your sourcing channels and campaigns bring them into the recruitment process.
To further understand who your candidates are, it’s essential to capture their demographic information in your applicant tracking system (ATS) through self-identification via the employment application. However, because some candidates from underrepresented groups may feel uncomfortable disclosing this information in an application, it’s best practice to also ask for self-identification after you extend an offer or when a new employee goes through the onboarding process.
Then, track the sourcing channel through your candidate relationship management (CRM) software, which is critically important to track your recruitment marketing campaigns, as well as sources. Simply tracking that a candidate came to your careers site through LinkedIn isn’t enough; you need to know if a specific campaign on LinkedIn influenced their decision to apply.
Building a more diverse, equitable and inclusive process doesn’t stop with sourcing; if you’re bringing a robust slate of diverse candidates into your pipeline, but very few candidates from underrepresented groups are actually hired, you may have a barrier somewhere else in your process: This could be an assessment with an unintentional bias; a recruiter or hiring manager who could benefit from more training; or an issue with your employment offers. In this situation, the right data can help determine exactly where the issue is occurring in your process and whether changes would result in a more equitable recruitment process.
Our first examples focused on improving diversity and equity in the recruitment funnel, but you can also use data to measure and improve inclusion. Your goal is to understand how candidates feel about your hiring process, as well as how new employees feel about your onboarding process and company culture—and the best way to measure this is to simply ask them.
In fact, you can and should survey candidates at different stages of your recruitment funnel. Fortunately, there are a variety of candidate survey tools that you can integrate into your ATS to automatically ask candidates for feedback about their experiences, which can then provide critical insights about points where you may be alienating certain candidates. Yet, very few employers regularly ask candidates for feedback about the recruitment process: According to a survey by PeopleScout and HRO Today, only 29% of employers in North America regularly ask for candidate feedback, while 33% never do so. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), the data is somewhat better, with 42% of recruiters reporting that they regularly request candidate feedback, whereas 24% say that they never do.
Essentially, there are two different ways you can gather and gauge the results of your surveys, and it all comes down to the questions that you ask. A strong survey will have a mixture of both scored questions and open text responses; the scores help you identify trends over time, while the text responses help you drill into specifics.
Surveys can also help measure your success and identify problem areas—especially when coupled with your recruiting data. For example, if you ask candidates how they feel about the interview process and those scores start to trend downward, you can review your recruiting data to see if you notice any changing trends. Likewise, if you see more candidates from underrepresented backgrounds dropping out just before or after an interview, you can evaluate and determine why your interview process is negatively affecting candidates—especially if you also have text responses that provide specific feedback.
As employers continue to work to improve diversity, equity and inclusion within their organizations, it’s critical to have the right tools in place to identify opportunities for improvement and measure success. Talent acquisition leaders play an important role in achieving those goals, and a trusted RPO and technology partner can provide valuable insights and market trends. To learn more about what talent leaders can do, download our ebook, Progress in Action: Moving Toward a Globally Diverse and Inclusive Workplace.