I regularly write about diversity related matters and have just published an article on the importance of measurable targets on the Computer Weekly news site.
Are you getting fed up with the constant talk about diversity and inclusion..? So am I.
Because simply talking about diversity doesn’t mean that anything is actually going to change.
In our WITsend blog in November 2017 I wrote about how most companies now have a diversity and inclusion policy, but that there usually is little substance behind it. REAL diversity and inclusion require REAL change and commitment, which in turn require clearly defined and measurable targets.
If your organisation is serious about recruiting a diverse workforce and ensuring that your employees all get equal opportunities to grow and progress, you should set measurable targets and continuously monitor them.
In order to improve diversity within their organisations, business leaders need to first and foremost fully understand what diversity and inclusion actually mean. A significant shift in awareness, attitudes and behaviours is required.
Organisations must also possess the strategic focus, resources and tools to map out:
- Where they are now
- Where they want to be
- What the timescales are
- What changes are required
- How to overcome any hurdles
- Who is accountable
- How success will be measured
An inclusive government
The UK Civil Service is a very interesting case in point. As part of the Civil Service Workforce Plan, the government set themselves the ambitious target to become the nation’s most inclusive employer by 2020.
In order to drive the Workforce Plan forward, the government has created a diversity and inclusion working group. I am thrilled to be a member of this committee and regularly meet with senior government leaders to consult on, in particular, disability inclusion.
The Civil Service has already introduced several brilliant initiatives such as development programmes for employees from underrepresented groups and ‘name and school blind’ recruitment processes. Furthermore, all Permanent Secretaries are tasked with improving diversity and directly accountable to the Head of the Civil Service. There is also a partnership with the private sector and CIPD, the professional body for HR, to define the goals and action plans.
Will the Civil Service meet their target by 2020? Perhaps not, but by then they will be on their journey travelling in the right direction and have every reason to be proud.
Smart Recruitment for diversity
In our business we have trademarked SRaaS (Smart Recruitment as a Service) where we encourage hiring managers to think much wider about talent and resourcing to help attract a high-quality diverse candidate pool. We want clients to move their businesses away from static recruitment processes that exclude a significant proportion of the candidate market to flexible, inclusive solutions.
Effective target setting and continuous evaluation are a key part of this. We work with clients to bespoke and agree specific diversity metrics and key performance indicators for each new job role and recruitment campaign. For example, organisations could aim for 50% women at board level within 5 years or increasing the number of graduates from ethnic minorities by a minimum of 25% during a 2-year period. Some positions offer us more opportunity to be truly inclusive than the ‘harder to fill’ specialist roles, but we will always look to present a range of candidates that offer the client talent from a diverse candidate pool.
Utilising our database and tools we produce regular, tailored reports for the customer providing key metrics and updates on the recruitment services being carried out. Reporting content is determined by the customer’s key diversity performance indicators and targets. We also identify and monitor any challenges or issues.
In summary, I firmly believe that leaders in the public as well as private sectors who invest in targeted, measurable inclusion and build diverse, multi-skilled teams empowered to think differently will reap the rewards. Organisations with a diverse workforce are simply smarter, more innovative and achieve better financial outcomes.