Using Data in Diversity Recruiting

Using Data in Diversity Recruiting

Posted on June 15, 2020, by Devyn Hinchee


Image of city skyline with neon sign saying "Data has a better idea"

We’ve spoken before about the importance of data. Data-driven recruiting decisions should be the cornerstone of your work process. Data and talent intelligence is what makes a recruiter a talent advisor. Tracking metrics make it possible for teams to not only understand a benchmark of where they are but measure how their efforts to be better are working.

Learning Where You’re At

Whether you’re trying to build a diverse recruiting team or if your recruiting team is being asked to recruit to create a diverse workforce, you need to know what the starting point is. What sort of Diversity & Inclusion initiatives have already been implemented? What have been the results of those initiatives? Have diverse members of the team been surveyed on their feelings of the inclusiveness and safety they feel at work? Have there been complaints of discrimination or microaggressions?

These questions aren’t often easy to get answers to, but they’re imperative. If the workplace isn’t inclusive, diverse candidates will have no interest in working there. Building this benchmark and learning where you (or the team you’re recruiting for) is at is the start of the process.

Collecting Data

As recruiters, you’re aware of the legality of collecting data. EY put together an article that discusses collecting sensitive and personal data here. Always confirm the laws in your area before collecting personal data, but as the article states, generally if permission is given for the data to be collected, then you’re able to get the information you need. As EY mentions, “people tend only to be willing to share that data when they know what it is for. In light of this, it is critical to accompany your quest for D&I data with a communications campaign spelling out your ambition to have a more diverse and inclusive organisation.” (Source)

If you’re serious about your diversity and inclusion recruiting and hiring goals, collecting this data is crucial. It’s also crucial to remember that members of marginalized groups are often wary that personal information will be used for discriminatory purposes, so it’s on you as a data collector to make it clear that the information is being used to build a more inclusive workforce and hold leaders accountable to their promises.

Create Clear Goals That Can Be Tracked

If you’re looking to close the pay gap at your company, you need to know exactly what sort of gaps exist and you need to have multiple actionable steps that you will be taking to make the goals happen. Creating a goal of “Bringing more Black leaders onto the leadership team” is great, but what if you reframed it as “Hire at least one new Black leader or promote an existing Black employee every 6 months at least”?

By creating a clear goal, you are setting up the actionable steps to be taken and holding yourself accountable to specifics.

Having these clear goals also makes it easier to track the corresponding data and progress. Knowledge is power. If you know what your goals are, what steps need to be taken to reach those goals, and are able to track the progress of those steps…you could be unstoppable.

The Humans Behind the Numbers

Whenever working towards diversity and inclusion recruiting and hiring goals it’s important to remember that, even though having data is critical to success, people are not just numbers. They are not commodities to be counted so that your team page looks diverse. These goals should be about being supportive of people who have been oppressed and building a diverse team because you know that makes for a better team.

Is your team using data effectively when it comes to your diversity recruiting goals?

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