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Five Things Employers Need to Stop Doing to Meet Their D&I Goals

Listen to our full podcast episode with Jennifer Tardy on iTunes or Spotify


Jennifer Tardy, diversity recruitment trainer, and career coach felt compelled to do D&I work after noticing unfortunate patterns in the workplace. She noticed “patterns in highly talented individuals, vying for opportunities, whether to enter organizations or to get ahead in organizations, and they weren't getting the job opportunity some way within the hiring process—they were falling out,” Jennifer explained. 

Jennifer told us, “I knew that it was a lot bigger than any one company I was working in. And even though I wanted to make an impact where I was that day, I knew that I needed to make a bigger impact.” 

Fast forward to now, where Jennifer works as the head of Jennifer Tardy Consulting (JTC) where she is making that big impact. She tackles D&I in the workplace through a two-pronged approach designed to help both the companies that need assistance with diversity recruiting and the untapped talent that need to overcome systemic barriers to find great opportunities. Through her work, she has seen a lot of mistakes that companies make when trying to attract diverse talent. 

In the recent episode of “Untapped” podcast, she outlines some of these mistakes in her conversation with host Tariq Meyers, and why companies need to stop making them.

Stop avoiding data collection 

Although data collection is an important step in meeting diversity recruiting goals, Jennifer has observed that many companies are failing to get this vital information—a mistake that is going to keep them stuck where they are.

“When I’m talking about the data, I’m talking about, specifically in hiring, if you have a self-ID campaign,” she explained. “So if an organization doesn't have a self-ID campaign going related to the candidate pools, then that is something I absolutely recommend—stop avoiding collecting voluntarily self-ID data.”

Stop avoiding data review 

Jennifer points out that collecting data is not enough: Companies need to actually review the data in order to know where they stand with their diversity recruitment goals.

“There’s such power in knowing where the leaky talent pipeline is,” Jennifer said. “Who is falling out of your hiring process and how? So for instance, in many organizations, if you are reviewing your candidate pool, and you’re looking at it demographically, you may notice that, okay, X percentage of resumes aren’t even getting reviewed.” 

Stop accepting candidate feedback that isn’t useful

When hiring managers finish interviewing people and merely give a yay or nay about their candidacy, there’s no way for recruiters to know why candidates were rejected or moved down the hiring pipeline. Jennifer says companies need to stop accepting this practice and require useful feedback about all of these decisions.

“We have to stop accepting feedback that is not meaningful during the interview process. You may have people on the hiring team that will come and say, ‘Oh, I give a thumbs up’ and that recruiter, for example, may not ask for feedback as to why they’re giving it thumbs up,” said Jennifer. “Somebody else may give a thumbs down and they may not ask, ‘why are you giving it thumbs down?’ Somebody else may say, ‘Oh, I don’t think we should move forward on this person. I just don’t think there’ll be a good fit’. And whoever’s facilitating that, they’re not asking, ‘Well, why don’t you believe it’s a good fit?’ And so the feedback that you’re getting on why candidates aren’t being selected is not meaningful, usable feedback, and that becomes an issue. We have to stop doing that and start collecting meaningful feedback.”

Stop neglecting the backyard work 

In the age of cancel culture, organizations are hyper vigilant about appearing to be on the right side of history when it comes to diversity issues. As a result, they may make public statements about inequity and injustice, or donations to organizations dedicated to fighting these problems. 

Although these are good steps to take, Jennifer has observed that many of these same companies are so busy working on improving impressions about their front yard that they completely neglect to clean up their backyard—namely, how they are internally addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion under their own roof.

“You can see articles about organizations that are donating a million to this fund, this social justice, and then on the back end, I’m watching as their talent acquisition teams are struggling to get the money to invest in training for their recruiters and their hiring managers.”

“And I’m like, ‘Wait a minute. Isn’t your organization understanding that yes, the philanthropy and donating money to these organizations is a good thing, but also there’s accountability within your organization that’s also creating issues affecting the systems as well,’” she said. “And so they should not be struggling to get the money, to invest in making sure that their people know what they’re accountable for and know what they need to do so they can hire more people and get access to these opportunities.”

Stop using diversity euphemisms 

Saying that a company needs to increase its diversity is not enough to get the job done. 

According to Jennifer, companies must stop using these kinds of euphemisms and start getting specific about the underrepresented groups they need to be targeting.

“One of the first things I teach in my training programs is to say what you mean. It’s not enough to go to a recruiting team and say, ‘We need to increase diversity. So go out and do it,’” Jennifer explained. “You need to be able to say ‘we are underrepresented for black women at our senior leadership levels, and so we are trying to increase representation among black women in senior leadership.’ We have to be that specific.”  

To learn more about the lessons Jennifer has learned throughout her 15-year career, listen to the latest episode of “Untapped,” where our Chief People Officer Tariq Meyers has frank DE&I discussions with recruiting and talent professionals. 

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About Jennifer Tardy

Jennifer Tardy, Career Success Coach, owns and operates JTC which is a diversity and inclusion consulting organization in Maryland. She has been named LinkedIn’s Top Voice of 2020.  

Through her #CareerSuccess coaching programs for job seekers and #HiringSuccess diversity training programs for recruiters, she is on a mission to make it easy for recruiters and historically underrepresented job seekers to meet and forge career success.  

Jennifer has vast industry experience as a Recruiting Thought Leader, Diversity Practitioner, and Career Success Coach with over 14 years of experience in the field of human resources and recruiting. She has recruited in the tech, healthcare, education, railroad, plumbing supplies, and professional services industries.

Looking for more insights on how to create a successful DE&I strategy?

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