Diversity hiring is so important to us here at Talent Partners that it is written into our philosophy and guides our process. We aim to have diversity in every aspect of our Engaged Executive Search, from discovery to engagement to talent pools. Diversity is essential to any workplace, so it makes sense that we place a high value on it; both internally and when hiring for clients.
We are committed to diversity for many reasons, but first and foremost because it is right thing, as well as the smart thing to do. Diversity hiring is only the first step to making a positive impact within a company. When a diverse candidate is hired it opens the door to diverse leadership, diverse executives, and diverse thought-leaders. Every individual brings a different perspective to the table, which turns into an array of processes, knowledge, and ideas. There have been various studies indicating a correlation between diversity and creativity, innovation, and business growth. This is not to say the only outlet that allows for those benefits is diversity, but diversity hiring is something positive for every business.
Correlation (not necessarily causation) between diversity hiring and:
- Higher productivity levels
- Being better suited to serve global clientele
- Problem solving
- Increased ability to adapt to fluctuating markets and client demands
- Overall business growth
A McKinsey analysis has shown that gender diverse companies are 15% more likely to outperform and ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform (in relation to financial performance above the national industry mean).
Recruit Outside of the Box
Recruiting diversity can be hard and we get that. Often times diverse executives don't want to self-identify on applications; they don't want to be a token hire or be at risk for discrimination. In theory employee referrals seem like a great idea: if they're a good employee it makes sense to hire people in their network because they'll probably be a good fit. However, this can actually lead to an endless cycle of hiring people who look and act like that first candidate; instead of diversifying the company it becomes a sea of similar individuals. So, as recruiters we must recruit differently to uncover those diverse candidates who will bring a new perspective to a company.
We all belong to a wide array of networks and communities, but if we only recruited in a set number of groups we would never be able to recruit the best talent. It's been proposed that an individual’s brain can only maintain about 150 stable social relationships (this is known as Dunbar's Number), meaning that there is a limit on how many connections can be made within a given group. We don't want to wear blinders as recruiters so the answer is to go outside of networks to access other individuals. We cannot solely rely on previously established relationships, so we must go above and beyond to access executives.
Being Smarter Pays Off
It's obvious that diversity hiring is the smart thing to do, but what exactly is the best practice to yield results? A great approach would be to use research to pick up on subtle cues that executives provide on their diversity status. A recruiter should also try to uncover what it might take for a diverse candidate to want to make a move. By following those two steps, a recruiter can be smarter about creating a plan to sell their company or their clients company to the correct diverse candidate.
One major reason companies do not focus on diversity hiring: they say "they don't have time." At Talent Partners we have the networks and relationships to help you succeed with a calculated diversity plan. We support, value, and include diversity in each and every search we work on. When creating our talent pools we look at every qualified individual and aim to bring our clients candidates with different perspectives and backgrounds.