Many companies are just now starting to implement diversity recruitment programs. What are the first few steps a company should take when starting?
Tag Archive: Diversity
2020 will remain a very unique time in history.
Recent events have made us all stop and think (more) about equality and diversity. For me, they’ve also brought to mind history: both America’s history and my own.
The health of a company can be directly connected to the health of their employee base. And one of the ways you can maintain an environment which keeps your workforce healthy, happy, and motivated is by developing and managing a strong company culture.
When your online experiences aren’t accessible, you shrink your recruiting reach – and the diversity inside your company – by 15%.
Over 1 billion people around the world have some form of disability, according to The World Bank. That’s 15% of the global population. If you don’t happen to be part of that 15%, you probably haven’t thought much about accessibility. Until now.
As we enter a new decade, we’re seeing accessibility move closer and closer to a tipping point. Digital natives are gaining influence, and voices on social media are louder than ever. On top of that, diversity has evolved from a conversation to a full blown revolution.
These things have converged and are all directing out attention to the issue of accessibility. Frankly, it doesn’t make business sense to ignore it any longer.
According to a recent poll, 30% of HR leaders said they’re making accessibility improvements. Forty-one percent said “I know it’s important and want to learn more,” and 28% said “Eager to make improvements, just need budget and a plan.”
If you haven’t started on your accessibility journey, you’re not alone. But, that’s no excuse to throw it on the back burner. Here are 3 reasons why you should make accessibility a priority in 2020:
1. Legislation is coming.
Remember GDPR? When GDPR became law in the EU, companies all over the world went frantic. One day the switch was flipped, and if you hadn’t been proactive about it, you were suddenly out of compliance with data privacy laws effecting a major chunk of the globe. It can happen that fast, or at least it seems fast when you don’t see it coming.
So here it is. We’re telling you now. Accessibility is following the same trajectory as GDPR, and it won’t be long until we see suggestions and guidelines turn into laws.
2. Accessibility shows you care.
At this point, you have to ask yourself, What kind of business do I want to be? What kind of culture do I want to create? Choosing not to be accessible sends a message that diversity isn’t important enough to take action on.
Picture your logo, stamped with a big red disclaimer that says:
- People with disabilities may not make it through our application process.
- People with disabilities don’t have equal access to tools and resources in our company.
- People with disabilities will encounter barriers that keep them from thriving here.
The last thing you want is to be ‘found out’ for allowing this to happen. Luckily, no one expects you to achieve a 100% accessibility overnight. As long as you’re taking steps, even baby steps, you’re moving in the right direction.
A good mantra to follow is:
“Be better today than we were yesterday.”
3. Accessibility has a cost. Not being accessible has an even greater cost.
Beyond the hit to your brand reputation, think about what your losing when you don’t provide accessible experiences. While the war for talent rages on, can you really afford to exclude 15% of the population from applying to your jobs? Can you risk losing 15% of your talent to companies that are more inclusive?
In a world where innovation is king and curiosity is an employer’s #1 competency, even a small improvement can make a world of difference. Imagine increasing diversity of thought in your company by 15%. Based on research, you can bet you’d see more than a 15% return.
I’m sold. Now what?
Since accessibility matters for web apps, mobile apps, digital media, and basically everything your candidates and employees touch, it can feel like an impossible project. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Find help. You don’t have to do it alone. There are companies out there that specialize in accessibility. They can provides audits, training, whatever you need. You’ll also want to find an internal champion (or group of champions!) to keep the wheels moving.
- Look for like-minded partners. Because technology operates in an ecosystem, you’ll need to make sure your vendor partners are on the accessibility journey, too. They don’t be completely mature, or even in the same place as you. But they need to be on the journey.
- Follow the guidelines. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is considered the gold standard in accessibility and is used all over the world. This framework provides specific and clear-cut guidance for designers, developers, and anyone interested in creating accessible experiences.
- Start a focus group. Accessibility often involves making changes that are invisible to people without disabilities. How will you know it’s working? There are tools and widgets you can use, but also, get feedback from people with disabilities and people who use assisstive technologies.
- Take a step. Don’t stall the project because you don’t know where to start. Like any big undertaking, you’ll need to prioritize and take a phased approach. Find a place in the business where you think you’ll see the biggest impact from accessibility improvements. Or, find a low-risk place to experiment. What matters most is that you start.
To learn more about accessibility and how to get started, watch our webinar: How to Get a Win for Diversity & Accessibility in 2020.
After making a great hire, the next big goal of your team should be retention. Unfortunately, within the first 6 months of working, 31% of employees quit their jobs. This is an alarming statistic that points to a bigger issue’ poor onboarding.
No matter which way you look at it, recruiting is hard work – especially in 2019. The jobs are plenty, the job seekers are few, and diversity is top of mind at many organizations. So it’s no surprise that gaining traction with potential candidates requires careful thought combined with a whole lot of action.
As a result, recruiters need to revisit their strategies, expand their reach, and tap into new or otherwise nontraditional talent pools. Of course, adding this to your current workload might feel like a second job, but thankfully, there are programs and tools that help facilitate the process. Here are three to consider adding to your existing toolkit:
‘Nontraditional’ applies to a wide variety of job seekers, including those out of the workforce for an extended period. Maybe they served in the military, spent a few years taking care of a loved one, or decided to pursue an advanced degree full-time. No matter the reason, a returnship offers these people the opportunity to slide back into the world of work.
Felicia Fleitman, who manages strategic pipelines at Verisk, a data analytics company, explains the returnship experience as “an intern program for mid-level professionals returning to work.” Recognizing that returnees need help in specific areas, Verisk provides access to training, development, coaching, and mentorship resources designed to restart their career and get them up to speed. Sometimes this leads to a job offer. Sometimes their return isn’t the right fit – and that’s OK too.
In terms of recruiting, adding a returnship program provides direct access to countless candidates, who might go overlooked in an ATS. At the same time, you’re giving returnees the chance to get their confidence back while contributing to your organization. A win-win, all around.
Maybe you’re not in a position to implement a new program, such as returnship. Luckily, there are other ways to tap into nontraditional talent without building something from scratch. For a quick win, take a look at some of your most time-intensive recruitment processes. The administrative workload associated with scheduling and screening candidates is probably not the best use of your recruiters’ time. That workload, coupled with pressure to move fast, forces recruiters to stick with what they know and avoid looking outside the traditional mold.
With a tool like video interviewing to automate and streamline, recruiters are able to review more candidates in less time, while continuing to collaborate with hiring managers and other stakeholders.
As far as nontraditional talent goes, this technology enables all types of candidates to interview when and where they’re able to – rather than simply at the behest of the organization. Be it pre-recorded or live, video interviewing emphasizes convenience – an important factor in a tight job market, especially with so many job seekers either actively employed or else unavailable during office hours. Video interviewing is also mobile friendly, allowing you to reach candidates in different cities, looking to relocate, or those with mobility issues who can’t necessarily travel with ease. With this type of solution in place, you’re able to cast a wider net with fewer strings attached.
Soft skills assessment
When it comes to finding and engaging new talent, you might still need to think outside the box – or in this case, your industry. Sure, it’s great when candidates fall into your lap having the exact resume and experience you’re looking for. But how often does that happen in 2019? Instead of limiting your search to candidates who’ve done the job before, you can use assessments to find people with transferrable skills that will work well in your industry.
Take sales, for example. The ability to sell isn’t contingent on years of experience in a sales position. It’s about having the soft skills and behavioral traits necessary to be productive. Using a pre-hire assessment, you can identify candidates with the highest potential for success, even if their background doesn’t correspond exactly. In fact, nontraditional talent may even outperform other hires because they’re a stronger match – and you won’t know until you assess.
It’s tough to say if and when the job market will change, but for now, it’s a candidate’s game and recruiters need to play through. To get candidates from those nontraditional talent pools you haven’t recruited from before, you need to shore up your resources and dive in head first.
Written by Greg Moran,
CEO of Outmatch
Most of us agree that diversity is a very good thing. Whether we’re talking about a stock portfolio, a sports team, movies, or the types of meals we enjoy, diversity makes for a more interesting, smart and stimulating world.
Your company may need a culture management strategy.
A culture management strategy will benefit your business even when things are relatively stable. But, you will definitely need a strategy to keep your culture strong through growth, mergers, leadership changes, and other tough transitions. Here are 6 common culture shocks that can derail your business, and tips for managing through them:
1. A merger, acquisition, or restructure
Nothing causes culture shock quite like this. For employees going through a merger, acquisition, or organizational restructure, it can feel as if the rug’s been pulled out from under them. So many things change, and changes happen fast. To emerge with a stronger culture, rather than a discordant culture, you need a culture integration strategy. This involves highlighting and understanding all the cultural dynamics at play. A culture measurement tool can help you see the cultural impact of the changes you’ve made, and identify key differences between your different operating groups. Over time, you’ll be able to measure the progress of culture integration and take steps to support a strong company culture, as well as strong subcultures.
2. Change in leadership or organizational strategy
Leadership sets the tone for organizational culture. When there are changes at the executive level, culture shifts often follow. To proactively manage these shifts, business leaders needs a way to assess their current culture, and track progress toward their new cultural vision. A culture measurement tool can compare the executive team’s aspirational culture to the current culture (as experienced by employees) to identify areas where the greatest shifts need to occur. Measuring the culture fit of candidates is also essential—you’ll be able to see how new hires will help move you toward your desired culture, rather than keep you in the past.
3. Hyper growth
Culture is dynamic, and by constantly adding new employees, organizations can severely dilute their culture. If you had a strong culture before a period of hyper growth, you may find that culture significantly changed, and significantly less effective than it was before. Culture dilution has also proven to negatively effect employee engagement, performance, and retention. So how do you scale your business without deteriorating your culture? You must have a dedicated effort on reinforcing the values and underlying behaviors that drive success in your company. With a culture measurement tool, you can monitor for culture dilution, see where it’s happening, and identify values that are decreasing in relative importance. It’s also important to measure candidate fit to ensure you’re hiring people who share the values of your desire culture.
4. Diversity & Inclusion initiatives
There are many dynamics at play within a culture that can inadvertently undermine your diversity and inclusion efforts. The first step is understanding organizational attitudes toward diversity and inclusion. You can do this by measuring cultural behaviors such as tolerance and collaboration. With a culture measurement tool, you’ll be able to see the relative importance of tolerance as compared to other priorities or values that employees perceive as important in your organization. You can also measure perceptions within diverse populations to see if these groups experience culture differently than others in your organization. Only then can you work to harmonize culture across diverse groups and confirm that your diversity and inclusion initiatives are effective.
5. Issues with engagement, performance, or turnover
Culture strength is a direct predictor of employee engagement, which in turn predicts performance and retention. Weakly aligned cultures consistently experience more issues with engagement, performance, and turnover. Whether these issues are pervasive across your company or higher within certain segments of the business, a culture measurement tool can reveal areas of cultural disconnect and help you diagnose the underlying cause. Without visibility, you will struggle to enact positive change. How you hire also impacts on your ability to ‘plug the leak,’ as alignment between personal values and organizational values has proven to enhance engagement, performance, and retention. By measuring candidate fit, you can ensure alignment from the get-go.
6. Defining or refreshing organizational values
Because culture is rooted in organizational values, step one of any culture initiative is understanding what those values are. Values set the expectation for how work gets done within your organization, and values drive the behaviors behind all of your business operations. Rather than choosing words simply because they sound important, like INNOVATION or INTEGRITY, use a culture measurement tool to survey employees and see the values that exist in your organization today. Then, use that insight to align your work practices with your existing values, or build a strategy to shift your values. Either way, a bottom-up approach to defining values will foster an environment where employees are more connected to the culture and feel a sense of ownership.
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To learn more about culture management strategy and best practices, download our infographic: 4 Pillars of an Outstanding Company Culture
I recently spoke with a leader of a large organization about the push towards diversity in most organizations, and its value. While traditional gender, race, and age diversity come to mind, it is becoming increasingly important to consider cognitive diversity.