Diversity can be defined in a multitude of different ways.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that people are of a different race or gender, it can simply mean that they think or act in a different way than your team.
The benefits of a diverse workplace are clear – McKinsey research indicates that gender diverse teams are 15% more likely to do better than the market, while ethnically diverse teams are 35% more likely to outperform.
With this in mind, we teamed up with Greenhouse to launch a report into the state of diversity. We surveyed 347 recruiting professionals to identify deficiencies that remain in many organizations’ diversity schemes, pinpoint the challenges they face when they try to make improvements and discuss tactics for successful diversity initiatives.
Here are 3 of the key takeaways from the data we collected (you can get access to the full report here.)
1. The diversity disconnect: priority vs. action
As expected, diversity ranks as a high priority for most organizations.
When asked to rank the importance of diversity on a scale of 1-10, 55% of respondents said diversity was a high priority (8-10), while only 15% of recruiters saw it as a low priority (0-4).
Our report suggests a disconnect between priorities and action however, as only 33% of organizations reported providing diversity training for recruiters, who are on the frontline, making decisions that significantly impact company diversity.
Investing in training is a clear example of "low hanging fruit" for companies that want to take positive steps towards increasing diversity.
2. Companies lack a clear way to track progress towards diversity objectives
While just over half (58%) of all companies surveyed are currently tracking internal diversity statistics, 52% of respondents admitted that they don’t currently measure their progress towards diversity targets.
This represents a major issue. Organizations that want to effectively prioritize diversity understand that they must focus on improving their ability to pipeline candidates that meet these requirements.
If companies can't understand the diversity of their pipeline, they have no way of understanding whether any initiative that they launch is working until candidates reach the final stages of the process, making it hard for recruiting teams to be agile.
For talent teams to tackle diversity more successfully, they need better reporting around the composition of their pipeline and how it matches up against targets.
3. The biggest challenge to hitting diversity targets?
Recruiters might struggle to measure the success of their diversity initiatives, but the real challenge lies in finding relevant candidates. 56% of respondents struggle to find people that meet their diversity requirements.
Many traditional talent attraction techniques (e.g. job advertising) make it hard to stand out to a particular group or subset of candidates. While things like the style of copy can have an impact on the diversity of applications, you're still relying on a certain level of serendipity. The right candidate seeing your job ad at the right time.
It comes as no surprise then that, when asked how they were planning to tackle diversity more effectively in 2017, 45% respondents favored proactive recruiting tactics (talent pipelining and sourcing).
These tactics help recruiting teams go after the candidates that fit their requirements and could be a critical part of the way that companies approach diversity moving forward.
The answers are also consistent with the data we gathered earlier in the year when we launched our State of Talent Acquisition report, where talent pooling and pipelining ranked as the top priority for talent leaders in 2017.