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How to Convince Leadership to Invest in a DE&I Tool

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) have been put on the forefront of organizations’ recruiting goals in recent years—and for good reason. Becoming a more inclusive organization helps companies find and retain the best talent in their sectors while making them more attractive to consumers and more respected in their communities. In order to help companies meet their diversity goals, recruiters may rely on different tools that help them create job posts that pique the interest of candidates of all backgrounds, eliminate bias when creating a shortlist, and ensure that there is more diversity in every part of the hiring funnel. However, as with creating a DE&I plan itself, to get the tools you need to accomplish diversity goals, the leadership of your organization must buy into the idea that these tools are indeed necessary. Continue reading to find out ways you can convince your organization’s leadership to invest in the DEI tools you need to execute your diversity recruiting plan.

What Is the Purpose of DEI?

The purpose of DE&I in organizations is to ultimately make them stronger and more competitive. But to incorporate DE&I in a recruiting strategy, it’s important to understand exactly what it means. Diversity refers to the makeup of the people who work in an organization and the extent to which there are people from different backgrounds. This includes workers who are of different races, cultures, genders, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic statuses. 

While diversity is a huge part of the DE&I equation, having people from different backgrounds under the same roof is not enough. Once these employees are hired, there has to be inclusion in your organization to make them stay. Inclusion occurs when a company makes historically excluded employees feel welcomed and valued so they know they truly belong there. Inclusion can be fostered in several different ways, including the creation of mentoring programs and employee resource groups. Also, inclusion demands that all workers are treated fairly when it comes to opportunities for raises, promotions, and professional development.  

In order to get to the point where an organization has diversity in hiring practices, and inclusiveness built into its culture to make new hires feel like they belong, there has to be an understanding of equity—which is the guarantee that everyone gets access to the same opportunities of hiring and advancement, as well as fair treatment on a daily basis. To achieve this, organizations need to be educated on the unique barriers that people from untapped backgrounds face, as well as the biases that put bricks in the walls that stand between historically underrepresented groups and the opportunities they deserve.

How Executives Think About Diversity and Inclusion

Luckily, more and more organizational leaders are recognizing the importance of diversity and inclusion, and are making efforts to incorporate DE&I principles into their own workplaces. For example, The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion pledge, which was created by PricewaterhouseCoopers to encourage companies to make a commitment to DE&I principles, was signed by 1,600 CEOs and company presidents. In addition, increasingly more CEOs are publicly discussing the importance of diversity and inclusion, and recognizing that they need to play their part in making the workplace more DE&I friendly. According to an article in Harvard Business Review, 11 CEOs—including leaders at YouTube, Salesforce, and Starbucks—were asked about their views on diversity and inclusion and they discussed the importance of understanding how broad diversity is, creating a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout organizations, taking accountability for the diversity in their organizations, and holding themselves accountable for instilling these principles in their workplaces.

Steps to Achieve Leadership Buy-In

Since leaders are becoming more interested in increasing diversity in their organizations, now is a great time for recruiters to get buy-in for the DE&I tools that will help them accomplish this. But there may still be a need to convince your company’s leaders about the importance of these tools and how they will help your organization execute diversity recruitment plans. The following are some tips to help you accomplish this.

Demonstrate how DE&I tools will help you achieve specific goals

Do you want to increase the number of resumes you receive from historically underrepresented candidates? Then you can use a text analysis program that helps you craft job advertisements that are most likely to attract members of underrepresented communities. Do you want to ensure that you have more candidates of all backgrounds on your shortlist? A blind screening program can help you analyze the credentials of candidates while cloaking personal information that may lead to unconscious bias. No matter what your specific DE&I goal is, you should outline exactly what you want to achieve and how a tool will help you accomplish it effectively and efficiently.

Present data

Nothing makes a case like hard data, so when you’re approaching your organization’s leadership about investing in DE&I tools, make sure that you have the hard numbers available to back up your reasoning. Any specific information about your goals and how you are not reaching them, coupled with data about the effectiveness of the tools you want to use and how they will help your own organization’s numbers improve, will go a long way toward getting approval to purchase the programs you need. 

Appeal to reputation

With more companies making public statements expressing their desire to increase DE&I in their organizations, the last thing your leaders will want is to be left behind. By appealing to their desire to have a good reputation in the community, which includes both prospective talent and potential customers, you can stress the importance of demonstrating solid proof that your organization is on board with a culture of diversity and inclusion—an undertaking that is a lot easier with tools that help you meet your goals. Also, if your company has already expressed to the public a commitment to DE&I, tools will help you hold yourselves accountable—which is what the community will be looking for.

Business Cases for Diversity and Inclusion

There are numerous business reasons for organizations to be concerned about diversity and inclusion in their workplaces. For example, a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 85% of CEOs report that implementing a diversity and inclusion strategy into their organizations has boosted their earnings. Also, potential talent is increasingly interested in working for diverse organizations and when they do have this option, they are happier and more productive than they would be in less diverse environments.

Digital DE&I Tools to Strengthen Your D&I Strategy

There are numerous digital tools that will help you with your diversity recruiting goals. From blind screening to writing job posts to conducting assessments, there are numerous DE&I tools available that can help you remove as much bias from the recruiting process as possible to create a level playing field that will nurture diversity in your organization.

Increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion is an important recruitment goal—and not one that should be left to chance. By using these tips to encourage leaders to invest in DE&I tools, you can increase your chances of success, while quickly identifying shortfalls in your diversity recruitment process so you can correct them in real-time.

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