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How to retain great talent #10: DEI is not a box-ticking exercise

  • Publish Date: Posted about 1 year ago
  • Author: Handle Recruitment
The People Experience - Handle Recruitment

… And it must be in every aspect of your People strategy. 

Here’s what to consider:

  • Data will reveal your blindspots 

Diversity metrics are the key to understanding your company blindspots. But diversity data can be (legally and morally) a tricky area. To solve this, be very specific about usage (and the value) when asking people to opt-in. To avoid binaries, ensure there are options beyond check-boxes about ethnicity, sexuality, gender etc. Be transparent about why you are collecting this data, and the scope of what it will be used for. 

  • Share your commitments (widely!)

This one may strike fear into hearts - but it shouldn’t. If you’ve identified where your gaps lie, and are serious about meeting your commitments to diversity, you need to be sharing this information with everybody in your company - not just ESG groups. Let’s face it, if the results aren’t good, people know that anyway. You’re going to need buy-in across the company, and the best way to do that is with honest and accountable communication. 

  • Get managers involved 

A mistake that many people teams make is strategizing their DEI plans, then delivering this to managers. Teams are already very diverse in the ways that they operate, and you’ll need to account for these different ways of working before you strategise. Having managers involved from the start will help with getting buy-in, and ensure that things are implemented smoothly. 

  • Recruitment is not the start

Many of the conversations around DEI place the emphasis on recruitment. This is a huge mistake - you need to get the house in order first, or those new hires just aren’t going to stay. Internally, diversity looks like placing emphasis on team communication and success, rather than ‘culture fit’, identifying core values, communicating them, and ensuring that promotion and development strategies are without bias. Only when you have these things internally, can you consider diversifying hiring.

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