February 28, 2023
Will Companies Achieve DEI Goals in 2023?
2023 Challenges – DEI Recruiting Goals
Almost three years after the racial justice movement resurged, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) continues to top the list of strategic priorities for Talent Acquisition (TA) teams. During the summer of 2020, 61% of employers pledged to increase representation of underrepresented groups in response to national news coverage of the racial justice movement. But, throughout 2022, many employers’ ambitious DEI initiatives still yielded disappointing results. 3 in 5 Talent Acquisition teams were given specific DEI goals for recruiting in 2022; while a majority of teams were on track to achieve or exceed these goals, many reported encountering roadblocks.
This year once again, Talent Acquisition teams are aiming to achieve lofty DEI goals, with 4 out of 5 teams expecting their focus on DEI to increase in 2023. However, the letdowns of years past and current labor market trends have created doubt, with over half of companies worried about meeting their 2023 DEI goals. Our recent Employer Benchmarking research revealed the strategies teams are utilizing to overcome challenges in the sourcing, interview, and offer & sell processes this year.
Examples of DEI Goals
• Implementing diverse slate hiring
• Providing internal DEI trainings
• Ensuring diverse interview panels
• Initiating and maintaining diversity-focused partnerships
• Assessing and addressing potential bias in the recruiting process
• Increasing retention of diverse candidates
The most common DEI goal among TA teams this year is to consider a specific percentage of diverse candidates in recruiting – also referred to as diverse slate hiring. Of companies that have diverse slates, over half have specific DEI goals for the sourcing stage of the recruitment process. Achieving DEI goals in the sourcing stage has proven to be tough. 45% of companies reported difficulty sourcing a more diverse set of candidates in 2022. Many TA teams are addressing sourcing challenges by putting themselves in places where they might connect with more diverse candidates – 54% of teams have started sourcing candidates through diversity partnerships to improve DEI in the sourcing stage, and 50% have started attending diversity conferences.
The interview process is when companies can really narrow down candidates to find the right fit, and many companies are formalizing that process – to increase DEI in interviews, nearly half of companies have implemented diversity trainings for interviewers and hiring managers. Additionally, 2 in 5 companies indicated they have incorporated formalized and consistent procedures for assessing candidates and/or standardized feedback mechanisms (e.g. developing rating scorecards for feedback).
Offer & Sell
In the offer and sell process, many TA teams are embracing personalized communication and transparency in order to increase DEI at this stage. 51% of companies have begun reaching out to applicants individually to make an offer, and 50% of companies report talking openly and transparently about where the company is regarding DEI to increase diversity in the offer and sell process. 2 in 5 companies report showcasing their diversity initiatives to increase DEI.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion has been and will continue to be a primary focus in Talent Acquisition, and intentionality in the sourcing, interviewing, and offer processes is critical for winning diverse talent. After all, candidates are paying attention:
“I want to make sure that there’s consistent messaging throughout the recruiting process. You don’t want [DEI statements] to show up on their website and have it never be spoken about again. You want to see that follow-through throughout the application, interview, and offer process and eventually while working in that space.”
To achieve ambitious goals, best-in-class recruiting teams have to leave the guesswork behind and leverage data-driven insights to guide their DEI strategy.