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How to Effectively Use Your Diversity and Inclusion Budget

While it’s great that so many organizations are making public declarations about their dedication to D&I, if there isn’t an adequate budget to fund the cost of diversity and inclusion efforts, they’re not going to be able to meet their goals. It’s imperative for your company to put its money where its diversity statement is and really give recruiters the tools they need to create an environment that values DEI. However, it’s equally important to use the funds allocated to your diversity and inclusion budget wisely. The following are ways to get the most bang for the D&I bucks so you can attract the talent you need.

7 Ways To Spend Your D&I Budget

1. Set Budgetary Goals

Chances are, you already have specific D&I goals that guide the way you approach your diversity recruitment plan. But do you have budgetary goals to go along with them? The cost of diversity and inclusion efforts are not all created equally, so it’s important to distribute the funding in your budget based on the importance of each goal. Rank your priorities and create budgetary goals based on where they stand. Be sure to keep track of the money spent, just as you track your plan’s progress, and make adjustments to the budget as necessary.

2. Hire More Recruiters

If your recruitment team is stretched too thin to do all of the work needed to meet your D&I objectives, it may be a good idea to hire more recruiters—particularly those that have experience in specific areas, such as early career recruitment. This investment in additional recruiters can go a long way toward helping you with the legwork that will bring you much closer to your goals.

3. Invest in Employee Resource Groups

Employee resource groups (ERGs) are an excellent way to make your workplace environment more inclusive because they allow employees in specific underserved communities at your organization to come together to discuss their concerns, find solutions to their unique problems, and support each other. Although at first blush, this may seem like a strange item to add to your budget, remember that the employees who lead these groups are putting in real work over and above their regular job duties. In order to show appreciation for their efforts, and encourage others to take leadership roles in these groups, provide compensation for their time. Also, a budget for ERGs can provide needed resources, like events and training, which enhance the experience and help members grow.

4. Provide Training Programs

Investing in training programs can help with both the recruitment and retention parts of your DEI goals. To help with the recruiting piece, you can provide training on things like interviewing in order to ensure hiring managers have the knowledge they need to make equitable decisions. On the retention side, training for your entire organization on topics like unconscious bias and discrimination can help illustrate how to create an inclusive workplace where everyone feels welcomed and valued.   

5. Leverage Technology

Technologies that leverage data are a vital investment to make because they can help you improve the quality of the sources you turn to when looking for candidates, boost the quality of your new hires, and put a spotlight on problems with your hiring process. In addition, early talent recruiting platforms can illustrate what your future goals should be based on the success of your current ones. As a result, technology should be high on the list of what you include in your diversity and inclusion budget.

6. Spend On Events

The money spent on attending and organizing recruiting events is money well spent, especially when those events are targeted toward the underrepresented groups you’re looking to hire. When you’re planning a budget, don’t forget to earmark funds to host events of your own and to send recruiters to events in order to cast a wide net of potential candidates.

7. Provide Promotions and Raises

Spending money on recruiting strategies that get new hires from underrepresented groups is great, but you have to be able to keep these employees in order for your strategy to show long-term gains. One way you can do this, and really show your employees that you value DEI, is by looking at the data of the raises and promotions in your company to uncover any inequities. If the employees from untapped groups are being passed over for opportunities for advancement, it’s time to invest money in closing these gaps by giving promotions and raises in a more equitable way so all employees feel valued for their hard work.  

Creating a diversity and inclusion budget should go hand in hand with creating DEI goals. The more precise your goals are, and the more clear you are about how much money you need to cover the cost of diversity and inclusion efforts, the better positioned you will be to making a workplace that values D&I.

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