Should You Share Diversity & Inclusion Numbers? Google Thinks So
Diversity in the workplace is a common topic at an increasing number of businesses. Do our employees reflect our customer base? Are we missing out by hiring based on cultural fit and institutional bias? But now the digital age has pushed the issue to a new, more transparent level.
Many journalists and analysts are uncovering the lack of diversity and inclusion among high profile employers. And many companies are proactively publishing their diversity numbers, with promises to improve. Thanks to the internet, it’s become much harder to blame a homogeneous workforce on ignorance, or to hide apathy towards inclusion.
At the same time, numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of diversity. McKinsey & Company estimates that greater labor force participation from women contributed an additional 20% of U.S. GDP. Further research credits diversity with increased market share for the organization in question, along with stronger innovation and problem solving skills.
Even without all the supporting evidence, workplace diversity is important from a demographic stance–U.S. Census data predicts 83% of growth in working-age adults through 2050 will come from immigrants and their children. So how should recruiters approach their own diversity figures?
Diversity & Inclusion and Your Employer Brand
Who you hire, or don’t hire, will tell candidates a lot about your organization’s employer brand. Even if your company isn’t making its diversity numbers public, word still gets out thanks to employee conversations, social media, and review websites like Glassdoor. Recruiters should ask themselves, and their senior leaders, what do you want people to know about you as an employer when it comes to diversity?
Some executives may balk at the idea of sharing so much information about their staff. Others might feel the need to overshare. Talent acquisition leaders should start by gathering accurate data about the demographics of their workforce. Sharing the good news will be easy, from proud tweets to press releases. It’s the unflattering figures that need to be handled more delicately. The most proactive companies will admit any diversity shortcomings, alongside a plan to do better.
Diversity & Inclusion and Your Career Site
If you’re ready to publish your diversity and inclusion figures, consider starting with your career website. Company career pages are still the most popular job searching tools among candidates. So besides offering a consumer-quality website to applicants, recruiters should also consider their career site as a home base for diversity.
Multinational insurer AIG provides a clear explanation of the benefits of diversity, and details how the company is becoming more inclusive.
Hyatt Hotels even includes a photo gallery showcasing diversity workshops and team building events.
What’s your career site say about diversity?
Diversity & Inclusion and Your C-Suite
Some businesses are going so far as to hire Chief Diversity Officers. Dropbox, Google and American Express all have senior level employees dedicated to diversity. But the position is far more common among schools, nonprofits, and government agencies. And according to some calculations, there are diversity managers at one in five Fortune 1000 companies.
But does it make sense to have a head of diversity at your organization? Not every company needs to follow the same pattern. Real growth in inclusion is likely to come from the bottom up as more diverse candidates apply, rather than from isolated, top-level pronouncements. Diversity and inclusion need to be a part of your overall recruitment strategy, but there are other ways to improve these figures besides hiring another person at the C-Suite level.
Recruiters should include diversity as part of their talent acquisition metrics, and use data on their current workforce to get strong executive buy-in for new diversity programs. Even if you don’t end up with a Chief Diversity Officer, it will be crucial to have someone on your team serve as the point person for all things related to diversity.
Diversity & Inclusion and Recruitment Technology
The last issue recruiters should consider as they go through their diversity figures is how to leverage technology. Consider social media–by far the fastest and easiest way to share information to a large group of people. So any efforts to publicize diversity numbers should be coordinated with your social media team. Will you simply announce your demographics to all your followers? Will you target candidates in underrepresented groups with sponsored posts and direct messages?
Diversity also brings up the issue of technology as it relates to your candidate experience. You want the best candidates to find your open positions and apply to them in the easiest way possible, right? Then you need to ensure you’re reaching every demographic based on the platforms they actually use. ComScore found that two in five Hispanic Millennials only access the internet through mobile devices. And Pew estimates that 55% of black and Hispanic Americans with a smartphone use it to research job opportunities, compared to 37% of white Americans.
Ultimately, recruiters and their leaders will need to decide just how much, if any, information they should share regarding diversity and inclusion, and which technologies they will utilize. But as the workplace grows increasingly transparent, and data is shared more easily than ever, recruiters will not be able to ignore the importance of diversity in the workplace and in their talent acquisition strategy.
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