In 2014, McKinsey researched hundreds of global companies, and released a report on diversity in the workplace. Some of the facts they discovered about the current state were shocking. Not only is lack of corporate diversity a problem; the situation is actually getting worse.
This is especially surprising given that diversity often leads to a higher level of employee engagement and an increase in financial returns. So what's causing this problem and how can you facilitate a plan today
There are many challenges people face when it comes to ensuring diversity recruiting in the workplace. Knowing the root of the issue, and devising a plan, is the key to a healthy and diversely run organization.
- Application/Interview: One of the issues causing a non-diverse population in the workplace, is that minorities are not being given a chance. John Nunley, an economist at the University of Wisconsin, tested this theory, and sent out 9,000 resumes to various companies. Half of the resumes had African American sounding names, and the other half, classic American names (example: John Smith). His findings were that, "black applicants receive approximately 14% fewer interview requests than their otherwise identical white counterparts."
- Climbing the Corporate Ladder: Studies have shown that as black professionals progress throughout their careers, the diversity gap increases dramatically. A 2014 Corporate Diversity Survey by U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, showed that only 18.3% of board directors were non-whites. Minorities are not being offered the most lucrative positions in major corporations.
- Change: Adapting to a diverse workplace can have many challenges, including people being resistant to change. Some people don't like the changing cultural makeup of their workplace. The idea of "we've always done it this way," stifles new ideas and processes.
- Culture: Communication changes when the diversity of the workforce does. Language barriers need to be overcome through diversity training and an open think tank on diversity.
- Implementation: Creating policies for diversity recruiting, is perhaps among the most challenging. With research data, employee assessments and surveying, you should be able to come up with a customized strategy.
- Management: Once you have created and implemented a strong set of policies, it is essential to maintain the new standard. Diversity training alone is not sufficient for a company; the culture must be enmeshed with it.
Now that you are aware of the many challenges diversity in the workplace faces, coming up with a plan is the next step.
- Work From the Bottom up: Although one of the main diversity issues is among board members, a great place to start your program initiatives, is with people who are looking to start a new career and would be willing to work their way up the corporate ladder. The development of a diverse future workforce, starts with enforcing diversity recruiting in application and interviewing processes. Create a group of people to funnel resumes through, so they're seeing the most hands.
- Mentoring: The new workforce is comprised of the millennial population, who are known for innovation, yet not so much, for loyalty. Implementing a strong mentoring program, will not only keep people engaged, but establish loyalty down the road.
- Assessment: Most successful companies have some form of actively assessing their employees. A customizable survey is one way to understand where your company stands in terms of a diverse population.
New ways to conduct employee surveys have recently popped up on the web and social media. You can now gain a lot of employee feedback in real-time, rather than on an annual basis. In addition, Harger Howe is committed to helping recruiters understand is their employee population, so that they can gather enough information to make informed decisions on effective recruitment marketing plans. One of the most recent additions to our Recruiter's Toolbox is the Diversity & Inclusion Quiz. We encourage you to take it and tell us your thoughts.