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5 Key Takeaways from the CandE Virtual Conference

Our friends at Talent Board hosted the CandE Virtual Conference May 19-20 and we were thrilled to lead a panel discussion on best practices for sourcing, interviewing, and hiring diverse talent. We discussed how incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into your recruiting and hiring improves company culture, encourages innovation, and makes a recruiting strategy exceptional. We also talked about how organizations can get started on creating an effective program.

We’ve compiled our top five takeaways below but hope you watch the full session, as well as many others at the CandEs here.

“What’s often ignored is that diversity is not only a pipeline or recruiting issue. It’s also an issue of engaging the top candidates and increasing employee retention rates.”

Five Takeaways

  • DEI is about everything that makes people different.

Diversity in the workplace could be about the diversity of physical ability, neurodiversity, gender identity, orientation, age, and beliefs. Often people think of diversity being all about race or sex, but it’s much more than that.

“You need people that are represented from a wide variety of groups beyond things like race and sex that you can see on the outside.” – Josh Jones, Recruiter

An inclusive workplace should focus on building diversity in these categories as well as things like veteran service and work experience. When you encourage a variety of identities in your company, employees feel like they can bring their real selves to the office (or virtual office). This creates a culture of inclusivity and encourages sharing of new ideas. Committing to DEI says that your organization cares about its employees today as well as future employees.

  • Job seekers and candidates expect companies to be transparent about diversity.

Candidates are savvier than ever and expect honesty from potential (and existing) employers. In our 2021 Job Seeker Nation Survey, we found that 49% of candidates inquired about employer’s goals and efforts around improving diversity in the workplace during interviews. This shows that job seekers look for honesty and intent about diversity in a company and want to know their concrete plans for improving it in the future.

Josh Jones shared that he has seen an increase in interest from candidates about DEI when interviewing as a recruiter. This has been steadily growing over the last few years, but especially since 2020. Culture is a topic of interest from candidates across the board as work-life balance and inclusivity become the norm in workplace culture. Savvy candidates ask questions in interviews and do their own research on social media and your website.

  • Measure, learn and improve over time.

The way to succeed in any DEI program is to measure your data! Brianne Thomas shared, “you can’t improve or change what you’ve never measured.” Start by measuring where your organization is today with DEI and then develop some strategies from there. Some data points to measure can include:

  • Diversity population % across company, departments, or teams.
  • Areas of the company that are more or less diverse than the total population.
  • What departments can be improved by targeted sourcing for diversity?
  • Interactions on your career site before and after posting diverse content.

No program will be completely developed and have success overnight. Take small steps with the data that you have. Reporting on key benchmarks will help your DEI program gain momentum and success over time. Treat it like a viable business unit with benchmarks, reporting, and data analysis to give the program legs. This will set you up for long-term success and growth.

  • How do I get started in DEI?

If you haven’t worked on DEI in your organization, it’s intimidating to start a whole new program from scratch! Don’t worry, we know the feeling. A good place to start is to see what other companies are doing in their DEI programs – check their social media and career sites and look at the content they share. Good DEI programs will share content like diverse employee stories, community-centered content, and celebration of diversity to their networks.

Once you’ve gathered some inspiration, look internally at your own content. Start with rewriting job descriptions that can be evaluated using tools like Jobvite’s Job Description Grader for biased and exclusionary language. This can be a small win off the bat for your DEI program. Another place to consider is your career site. Look at the stories and ideas shared there and upgrade the language to be more inclusive and diverse. Employer branding is a great place to start communicating your commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  • How to Source Diverse Talent

To start with sourcing, you need to know what types of talent you’re looking to represent in your company. Look for areas in your company that can use better equal representation (this can sometimes be obvious). Do you have a homogenous leadership team? Is your finance department lacking diversity? Once you’ve determined your area of need, invest in some targeted sourcing vendors (pick 1-2) to start working with. Utilize them for their expertise and talent network and give them some time to work. These types of vendors can be a great way to target specific population groups as well as expand your own talent network. You can find job boards and vendors that target specific diverse groups like:

  • HBCU/ Targeted university outreach
  • Alumni groups
  • Networking groups (Women in Tech, Veterans, etc.)
  • Social media
  • Diversity job boards
  • Coding academies

Final Thoughts

The goal of a DEI program should be to improve your workplace culture for everyone regardless of identity. While starting a program from scratch can be intimidating, small improvements over time can make a huge difference! If you’re looking to learn more on D&I and how Jobvite can help – check out these resources below or request a demo.


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