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The Technology Behind a More Diverse, Inclusive Workforce

October 11, 2017 at 1:00 PM William Clarke

womenintechheader (1).pngDiversity hiring is tough, and companies are often shy about sharing their data behind it. Only 3% of Fortune 500 companies share full diversity data and even then, most of them are from the same industry, tech.

But diversity hiring is incredibly important, and not just because it’s the right thing to do. Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have returns above national industry medians, according to a January 2015 McKinsey study. What’s more, Bersin by Deloitte found over a 3-year period, diverse companies see 2.3 times the cash flow per employee when compared to their less diverse peers.

But how do companies actually go about diversity hiring and is there technology out there to help? Panelists at the HR Technology Conference took the stage to tackle these questions and share their advice.

Measuring Success of a Diversity Program

Many employers are trying to do the right thing, but uncertain of how to measure the success of their efforts. Loni Brown, senior director of customer success at Entelo says clients tell her all the time, “I don’t know how to move the needle fast enough.”

That’s where technology can help you. Without a data collection process to understand your company’s diversity metrics today, few will succeed in improving those metrics. Brown says the first step is understanding your company’s diversity stats, and then next is assessing your candidate pools. Are you sourcing from the same places and getting the same candidate over and over again? Repeat these questions through the steps in your recruiting funnel to understand where you have opportunities for improvement and then ask yourself where you can make a change. Technology like Entelo Diversity actually allows companies to make sure their candidate pools are as diverse as they can be by scouring the web for candidates that meet your criteria, and actually pulling from complete candidate pools while removing factors that might cause unconscious bias.

Data Quality not Quantity

To truly move the needle when it comes to diversity hiring, you can’t simply measure what’s taking place at your organization and hope to change it all over night. “If you measure everything, you measure nothing,” shared Director of Customer Success at Textio, Charna Parkey.

Parkey suggests companies “Start by picking the 1 or 2 key metrics you want to move. If it’s pay equity, you make a change and you measure it when it makes sense.” The panel agreed, urging the audience that focusing on a few initiatives at a time will show your leadership team not only that you can achieve these efforts over time, but the magnitude of work that goes into them.

Vendors Must Prove It

Is the technology available on the market today smart enough to actually diversify your candidate pool? Brown says yes, given the fact that Entelo Diversity is able to not only pull in candidates from underrepresented backgrounds, but anonymize that data to take unconscious bias out of the equation.

But don’t assume all the technology that boasts this is able to deliver. VP Product Management at ADP, Jennifer Cambern says, “Prove it. Your vendor should be able to prove how anonymization works with its platform.”

“Have a direct conversation with your vendors, suggests Brown. “Find out how the technology actually works to remove unconscious bias. At Entelo, we’ve built anonymization features into our platform that remove certain data, so that when you’re looking at the profile, your own bias isn’t coming into play. Are your vendors finding ways to exclude that information if you want them to? Can they show you how it’s actually done?

And don’t forget to measure those results. You’ve found a platform to diversify your candidate pool so make sure its delivering on its promise. This close tracking will allow you to maintain your efforts and stay on track with what’s working and what isn’t so that you can build a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

Related Articles:
Hiring on All Cylinders: Live at HR Tech 2017
4 Ways to Make Your Company More Inclusive for Women
The Four Imperatives of a Woman's Journey to Success

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