There’s no question that diversity is good for business. Companies that prioritize diversity enjoy higher financial returns, and employees do better work at these companies. According to Deloitte, people who work for companies that value diversity are 83% more innovative. They also attend work more consistently, provide better customer service, and experience stronger engagement.
Beyond that, diversity is just the right thing to do.
Why, then, do over half of U.S. employees still believe their companies haven’t gone far enough with efforts toward greater diversity and inclusion?
Most companies have been talking about diversity recruiting for years. But not all employees are convinced that it’s a high enough priority. For example, an international Glassdoor survey found that half of all employees (55% in the U.S.) believe their company should invest more in diversity and inclusion.
That’s especially true of senior level roles. While diversity has generally improved in entry-level and middle management positions over the past decade, many companies are still homogenous in the executive suite and boardroom.
The first step toward change is recognizing the problem. The second is deciding to do something about it. For many companies, that something includes implementing new recruiting strategies that support diversity and inclusion goals.
That’s where RPO can help.
How RPO Supports Diversity Recruiting
In most cases, lack of diversity in the workplace is not intentional. It just happens, sometimes gradually and over many years. We hire people from our networks, and our networks tend to consist of people like us – people with similar backgrounds, experiences, and education. It can be time-consuming and labor intensive to seek out candidates outside your network.
Recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) changes the equation. RPO extends your reach and expands your talent pool so you have access to qualified candidates from many different sources. Because they have built extensive networks reaching into markets and communities across the nation, recruitment process outsourcing companies can help you build a diverse pipeline of talent based on merit, not just proximity.
Here are 5 ways partnering with an RPO firm can move the needle on your diversity recruiting goals:
- Diverse Sourcing Strategies – RPO companies seek out candidates from a broad range of sources including job boards, talent fairs, social media, and partnerships with community organizations. These might include veterans associations, colleges, industry associations, and organizations that offer job placement assistance. Diversifying your recruiting efforts prevents unintentional bias that may occur when you recruit only from places where minorities are underrepresented (for example, at Ivy League schools which tend to skew toward white males). Your RPO partner will also help you craft inclusive job descriptions that invite diverse candidates to apply rather than limiting appeal to a narrow demographic.
- Technology – Cutting edge recruiting technology enables RPO firms to serve clients with the best resources on the market including recruiting databases, resume screening, automation, blind assessments, AI, and other technology advances. With these tools, RPO can help you reduce bias in your sourcing and screening processes and create better candidate experiences overall. This is also a more cost effective option for you, since you won’t have to pay for regular technology upgrades. Instead, you’ll always have access to the latest technology resources of your RPO company.
- Employer Branding – Candidates – especially younger workers – want to work for diverse and inclusive companies. Almost half of employed Millennials say that diversity and inclusion would be an important factor in any new job search (as compared with 33% of Gen Xers and 37% of Baby Boomers). To attract these candidates, you’ll need to develop an employer brand that aligns with their values. An RPO provider can help you evaluate your current employer brand and create a branding strategy that communicates your message effectively and addresses any current perception problems.
- Strategy Assessments – Does your current recruiting strategy unintentionally reinforce bias? This can happen through sourcing and screening practices, interviews, assessments, geographic recruiting patterns, and other areas of your talent attraction process. RPOs help you assess all of these recruiting activities and optimize them for better results. This may include automated resume screening, blind assessments, market research, talent mapping, succession planning, and other methodologies.
- Executive Search – When hiring an executive, many company leaders or board members instinctively reach out to people they know. There are two problems with this approach. First, while the person you have in mind may be a perfect fit for their current role, they may not be equally well suited for your company. Second, it tends to drastically limit diversity at the senior level, since our networks tend to consist of people like us. By implementing a formal executive search process, you gain access to a much broader pool of qualified people. In addition, you’ll invite diversity into your C-suite.
Diversity Starts at the Top
For diversity recruiting to be effective, you must have buy-in at the top. No amount of strategizing and implementation will make a difference if your leaders do not understand the value of prioritizing diversity and inclusion at every level of the organization. By contrast, leaders who champion diversity will develop a culture that values all perspectives. Such a culture will support better work from employees, promote engagement, encourage innovation, and foster collaboration.