Authenticity in Diversity and Inclusion: Are Your Efforts Only for Show? 

Authenticity in Diversity and Inclusion: Are Your Efforts Only for Show? 

Table of Contents

  • Allan
  • February 10, 2023

One of the best things that emerged over the past decades is this growing awareness of how prejudice and discrimination should no longer exist. This wave is gradually paving the way toward a more welcoming global community. Efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, or DEI, are felt more than ever as there is better consciousness to value people, whomever they are and whatever their background is.

This awareness can be felt in how companies reach out to each potential customer through their marketing efforts. For staffing companies, being mindful of how applications are processed is at the top of recruiters’ minds.

This “wokeness” in today’s society demonstrates that each DEI effort is not only pushed forward for the sake of but is also out of the pure intention to promote a better environment, especially for minorities. It’s worth asking: is your staffing agency authentically for diversity and inclusivity, or it’s just for show? Through this post, examine if your staffing agency indeed delivers DEI initiatives as authentically as possible.

How Is DEI Protected Through Law? 

There have been efforts and breakthroughs throughout history regarding uplifting individuals and protecting them from being prejudiced or mistreated. Recent progressive expressions and demonstrations include the #MeToo Movement and the #BlackLivesMatter Movement, which was emphasized through the death of George Floyd. The evidence of evolving viewpoints can be found in laws strictly adhered to today to allow the community’s diverse voices to be heard and supported throughout the country:

      • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Enacted in 1990, the ADA was passed to make sure that persons with disabilities receive the same opportunities and are treated as equals with everyone else. Through the ADA, persons with disabilities are protected from discrimination in all forms of public life, especially within professional spaces.
      • Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008, or GINA. This is one of the fairly newer laws put into place. GINA aims to protect applicants from not being hired due to their genetic makeup or family history. This law aims to promote equality in employment situations wherein an individual may be at higher risk of contracting diseases due to one’s family health history.

Related Article: Everything You Need to Know About the 2023 California Equal Pay Act

 

If Your DEI Initiative Lacks Sincerity, It Will Eventually Affect Your Brand Authenticity. 

While laws may have been put into place and recruitment firms are doing their best to adhere, it’s sad to think of the possibility that some companies may just be doing it, so they won’t be slapped on the wrist by the law. There are still remnants of prejudice within the country. For example, systemic racism is real, and the gender gap in the workplace is still prevalent. For every 100 men promoted to managerial positions, only 86 women reach the same status.

With a more “woke” society comes a growing skepticism if specific individuals or groups are truly practicing DEI efforts with authenticity. Therefore, should your staffing agency be wary that prospective applicants or company clients might doubt your sincerity in advocating for equity in hiring? The answer is an astounding “yes.” Even your current hires and company clients may have an observation or two that will make others doubt your brand authenticity. Here are a few examples:

      • DEI efforts seem to be limiting the recruitment phase. A staffing agency that is all about job equality and welcoming applicants from all walks of life: sounds like great marketing. But when hires cross from candidates to employees, it’s an entirely different scenario. Sadly, most DEI efforts are centered only on recruitment and reputation management. It’s all about positive brand messaging, but what happens inside the company usually doesn’t live by the essence of DEI. Little do these companies know how much word-of-mouth and online reviews play a big role in building their brand.
      • The staffing agency doesn’t share its DEI statistics. If the agency is truly consistent in its inclusivity hiring efforts, it should have the numbers to back it up. If recruiters and job posts preach about creating a community with diverse backgrounds, there should be some pride in how they have achieved this. Companies that can do this would put their diversity statistics on their websites, do social media posts about it, and talk about their DEI policies across all platforms. Think of how clients would react if they realized that all those words regarding DEI were just sweet talk.
      • The recruitment process can’t be described as “welcoming.” It sounds like a simple factor, but it makes sense: an inclusive hiring process welcomes everyone. This is not only about making sure you hire regardless of gender, race, or age. Did potential hires feel comfortable during the entire process? Were interviewers and recruiters keen on making applicants feel encouraged to do well and supported to get that job all throughout? Can applicants ask questions freely anytime, without feeling they are judged?

In the end, any applicant hopes that the hiring process should be fair and that decisions are based on one’s credentials and performance during the process. This level of fairness is also seen in upholding DEI values. If such fairness can be promoted within the hiring process, it can find its way beyond recruitment.

 

How Can Staffing Agencies Ensure They Are Authentically Practicing DEI? 

As mentioned earlier, most companies simply use diversity and inclusivity as a means of reputation management as a positive way of marketing their brand. This superficial approach will put a staffing agency’s brand at risk. Eventually, the former hires and clients will talk about your lack of an authentic brand, thus putting all your marketing efforts to waste. The best way to be authentic in each DEI effort is to walk the talk. It’s from shedding one’s unconscious bias when handling applications to looking at the staffing agency’s hire population in general.

      • Standardize the recruitment process. The best way to rid the process of bias is to make it as straightforward and streamlined as possible. For starters, testing should lean toward more objective questions, even making it fully objective if possible. Using apps that can administer tests, even remotely, will be helpful as test-takers will be handled merely as test-takers.Next, structure all interviews. While unstructured interviews, i.e. questions are allowed to go in any direction as the interviewer pleases, give the applicant more leeway on how to answer, it may not put them on equal grounding as other applicants. Interviewers should be trained to gather the same information from all applicants, and everyone should be on an equal playing field as they are assessed.Finally, recruiters should take time to evaluate applicants. Remind the recruitment team that these potential employees will be hired for their specific skills and capabilities, so look for these skills with keen scrutiny, regardless of the applicant’s background.
      • Look into Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) hiring. Simply put, EEO hiring is about ensuring that all individuals receive the same employment opportunities and cultural composition of your workforce. But beyond ensuring such opportunities is complying with the requirement of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to submit the EEO-1 Form or a document that profiles the racial and cultural composition of your staffing firm. This is one concrete way to practice DEI in your own agency. Eventually, you can show your diversity statistics on your websites and social media handles to prove that you are an authentic advocate of inclusivity and diversity.

Related Article: “Humane” Resources: Is Your Staffing Agency Practicing Equal Employment Opportunity?

 

ALLIED INSIGHT IS YOUR PARTNER IN COMMUNICATING YOUR AUTHENTIC BRAND.

Practicing DEI within your staffing agency is the best first step, and soon clients and hires will speak about the true advocate you are in promoting DEI. But to get the message across better, why not grab the help of a premier marketing firm devoted to recruitment companies like yours? More than authenticity, Allied Insight can help in promoting brand consistency and cohesion and even assist you with refined content marketing.

Beyond authentic, you are unique. Together, let’s show that to the world. Contact Allied Insight now!

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