If you’re struggling to find diverse talent, check out these 5 areas

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Recruiting and retaining talented employees from diverse backgrounds is important for many reasons. Diverse teams outperform their competitors in terms of profitability. In addition, your organization can better respond to diverse consumer needs while driving innovation in the workforce.

Unfortunately, many organizations today struggle to fill their talent pipeline with talent from diverse backgrounds. This means they are unable to meet their representation goals, nor do they experience the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce.

If your organization is facing a pipeline problem when it comes to hiring more diverse talent, it is essential to take corrective action to resolve this problem. This article discusses five areas to help you troubleshoot the root cause of the pipeline problem, and strategies to fix it.

Related: Unconventional ways to find diverse talent

1. Barriers and targets

What is the representation goal for your organization? Perhaps your company wants to increase the percentage of female leaders within the C-suite by a certain percentage or is looking for more talent from underrepresented backgrounds to occupy senior leadership positions. The goal can be both quantitative and qualitative. Whatever your vision is, the vision should be clear and have specific benchmarks associated with it.

Once the business purpose is clear, move on to the individual experience. Underrepresented talents experience various barriers in their careers. Map out which barriers there are for your target groups. This can be shown, for example, by not feeling supported by colleagues or missing opportunities.

Consider how these individual barriers will affect their career path. Identifying existing processes in the company can help reduce these barriers in the short term.

Related: 4 Criteria Diverse Talents Use to Evaluate Their Future Employers

2. Rethink your talent search strategies

What do your current talent sourcing strategies look like? Looking at your existing talent pipeline, where are your talents currently coming from? Do you feel that this meets the representational goal you have at an organizational level? If you’re looking for a different outcome and want to increase representation in your organization, you may need to rethink your talent search strategies.

If the company is not meeting its representation goals and is looking for more talent from an under-represented background, then you cannot do the same as before. There has to be some kind of shift. Whether you innovate the existing strategy jobs that work really well or you try something completely different, you need to do something different. This is no exception when looking at your talent sourcing strategy.

What does the sourcing strategy look like then? It is imperative to understand that you cannot expect a different outcome if you do the same thing as before, so make sure your procurement strategy reflects that change in some way.

Related: Are You Struggling With Hiring Right Now? It’s time to go all-in on diversity

3. Interpretation of assessment criteria

How do you currently review and evaluate candidates? You may already have a fixed method of evaluating and assessing candidates. But what if it hinders your underrepresented talents from even applying? While the criteria remain the same when it comes to skills or experience, the interpretation will have to change.

For example, when evaluating cultural fit, many companies assess cultural fit based on shared personal interests. This can reject talents from different backgrounds. So instead of similar personal interests, focus on evaluating from the shared professional values.

If you’re looking for diverse candidates, your criteria may need to shift to assess candidates from different perspectives. For example, instead of judging cultural fit based on shared interests, consider evaluating their professional values. Rather than focusing on specific graduated schools or grades, consider sticking to a certain level of education or an equivalent amount of professional experience in a specific business position.

By shifting the interpretation of the assessment criteria themselves, your recruiting team can begin evaluating diverse talents based on additional strengths they can bring, rather than how similar they are to everyone else. This, in turn, will help with the number of applications that make it through the initial rounds of recruitment.

Related: Hiring Like a Diversity Expert: 5 Key Qualities of an Inclusive Workforce

4. Relationship between interview and quotation

Are people from different backgrounds being interviewed at all? If the answer is no, the first three areas in this blog may be helpful in solving this. However, if several candidates are interviewed but no offers are made, it may be a symptom of a deeper problem.

Consider recording the interviews for both training and transparency purposes. When you go back to the recordings, you see things that stand out. Perhaps a candidate has been asked a question, even as an icebreaker, that has not been asked of other candidates. It could have been a different setting, or a candidate who didn’t get the requested accommodation.

This will help you identify why some of these talents were not even able to reach the final offering stage and determine at a strategic level where the problem might be coming from.

Related: Diversity & Inclusion Best Practices for Your Workforce

5. Career Path

You may have everything in place in terms of strategic direction, sourcing strategies, a good interview-to-quote ratio, and the candidates accepting the offer. However, retention or representation at leadership levels could use more improvement. If this is the case, the career path should be examined.

This is a long-term strategy that requires you to accumulate over the years to examine the trend. For example, if entry-level employees leave the company for another company that gave them a higher-level position, it could mean they saw no growth opportunities. Whereas if a senior team member comes in as a new leader and they leave, they may not have felt they were ready for success.

Once you identify a clear pattern, move on in the records. What concerns did they raise with their managers? Has anyone else who was guided by that manager experienced a similar problem? Were there any clues? Use the data to better shape the career path and experience.

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Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.