With Pride Month upon us, there are rainbow flags waving all over the landscape, with rainbow-colored merchandise in most storefronts. Even grocery stores become more colorful during this time of year as companies change their products’ packaging to celebrate the occasion.
But once the month is finished, all this multi-colored show of support goes out the window. This makes people question whether companies truly support the LGBTQA+ community or if they were just riding the bandwagon for higher profits.
To avoid this mindset from forming in the minds of your customers and clients, you should remember that showing pride in your people is not a one-time big-time thing.
Showing Pride in Employees
Although pride during the month of June is related to the LGBTQA+ community, it holds a different meaning all year round.
Pride, in general, means the feeling of satisfaction caused by certain achievements. As a company, pride can be shown through recognizing the accomplishments of your people. Acknowledging the work that they do and the projects they finish are great ways of showing your satisfaction.
Having pride in your people should also go beyond sales and statistics. This means you also have to acknowledge their strengths and skill sets. You need to show genuine respect and admiration for who they are and what they can bring to the table – this is where DEI comes into play.
Role of DEI in Recruitment
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are linked values that many companies uphold for their people. Having these three values is important for an organization in order for them to be supportive and inclusive of all groups of individuals.¹
Read More: Authencity in Diversity and Inclusion
In a recent study done by Pew Research Center, 56 percent of workers claimed that it’s good for companies to focus on increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion.² This shows that prioritizing DEI is also encouraged by one of the most important stakeholders of the company—its people.
It’s true that all organizations need DEI but it is essentially more important for recruitment and staffing firms. In these types of companies, advocating for DEI is paramount to building an inclusive workforce.
For recruitment agencies, commitment to DEI equates to actively seeking candidates from marginalized and unrepresented groups of people. Employees from these companies show their commitment by valuing the diversity of individuals and ensuring equal opportunities for everyone.
Since staffing firms are third-party companies that are in charge of hiring based on the needs of their clients, they are in the best position to advocate for DEI as they perform the process of hiring.
They would be given the chance to actively seek representation for different groups of people. For example, if a company has more white male employees, staffing firms can focus their advertisements on women or people of color (POC).
Recruitment agencies could also create an inclusive process that would provide equal opportunities for candidates regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, disabilities, and the like.
At the end of the day, DEI is a necessity for companies but staffing firms must be at the helm to fully implement it.
Just like what’s stated in the title, “Recruitment and Inclusion Go Together Like a Horse and A Carriage,” recruitment must be driven by inclusion. If there is no inclusion, the hiring process remains unsuccessful in the fight for a more inclusive and diverse working environment.
5 Tips for Creating a Long-term DEI Plan
To further drive DEI efforts all year round as well as to continuously take pride in your employees and their work, it is crucial for companies to show commitment through establishing DEI plans.
The following are five actionable tips for creating a sustainable DEI plan fit for your company or organization:
1. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Check
The best way to ensure an effective DEI plan is to continuously check in with all your people. This means conducting a comprehensive assessment of your organization’s DEI policies.
- What policies do you have to push for DEI?
- Are there any rules that need to be updated?
- What is the culture like in your offices?
- What are the demographics of your people?
- Do you actively seek diverse candidates?
Using the questions above as examples, you need to collect data and statistics to understand the genuine state of DEI in your company. If surveys are too impersonal for your liking, you can conduct assessments through casual conversations around the office.
Regardless of what method you use, remember that DEI is continuous. You can’t simply plan activities and expect that to be the end. Regularly check the progress of DEI in your organization.
2. Start the Effort from the Top
It is difficult for any employee to conduct DEI plans if the people higher than them show no support or are simply not participating.
Imagine you’re a hiring manager looking to diversify your company’s workforce, but company leaders give credit to only a specific group of people due to their biases. This situation will be frustrating and will make DEI initiatives more difficult to implement.
The best way to ensure that effort starts from the top is to make DEI part of the quarterly review agenda.³ Through the metrics that are tracked, companies can see if leaders are truly taking part. Since there is actual data to judge from, leaders would be held accountable for their performances.
3. Treat DEI as Part of the Business
A strategic DEI plan is one that coincides with the mission and vision of the company. To make it last for a long time, you need to establish a realistic timeline just like you would for other business-related projects.
Aside from realistic goals that are achievable and time-bound, you also have to make them measurable. Reflect and identify clear indicators that the DEI plans are effective. For this, consider both your long-term and short-term DEI goals.
You can also go a step further and benchmark your DEI effort with those in the same business.
A business that is truly committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion needs to use its tools to ensure that its plans are successful in creating meaningful change among its stakeholders.
4. Implement a Clear System
Initiatives that push for DEI must be seen through every step of the journey in your company. From the moment you post advertisements for a role until the very last day of your employees in your organization—DEI must always be present.
For all employees to be on the same page, it’s best to establish clear policies that support your initiatives. When making these policies, you need to put yourself in the shoes of your employees. Consider areas like hiring practices, promotions, and advancements.
For example, the hiring process is the beginning of their journey with your organization. What specific policies should exist in order to welcome diversity? How exactly can you prevent personal biases from affecting the decision of hiring managers?
Once you’ve created the policies, you need to communicate them properly to your employees. This is to ensure that they understand the rules you’ve set, and they can help in successfully enforcing them.
5. Remain Transparent and Open to Feedback
The only chance for a DEI initiative to be successful is when all employees are on board to make it happen. This is difficult to do if your plan and its progress are not easily accessible to them.
A clear level of transparency is needed to properly communicate and promote the plan that you’ve created. According to a Forbes article, employees are less likely to buy into initiatives if they have little or no knowledge about them.
Of course, communication is always a two-way street. To maintain a long-term DEI plan, you need to be open to feedback from your employees. This is the best way you can understand the true effects of your effort and if there is any need to change the policies already in place.
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- McKinsey&Company. “What is diversity, equity, and inclusion?” 17 Aug 2022, https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/mckinsey-explainers/what-is-diversity-equity-and-inclusion
- Minkin, Rachel. “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace.” Pew Research Center, 17 May 2023, https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2023/05/17/diversity-equity-and-inclusion-in-the-workplace/
- Expert Panel. “13 Ways To Maintain Long-Term Momentum With DEI Initiatives” Forbes, 24 Sept 2021, https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2021/09/24/13-ways-to-maintain-long-term-momentum-with-dei-initiatives/?sh=7ae7bd304dfb