Diversity in 2018: 3 Things Recruiting and HR Pros Need To Know

Many of us in the talent space have been poring over LinkedIn’s 2018 Global Recruiting Trends report in recent weeks, and with good reason: It’s packed with interesting, forward-looking data and helpful insights. Based on interviews with industry experts and a survey of almost 9,000 recruiters & hiring managers from around the world, the report covers “the four ideas changing how you hire”, and it details the biggest initiatives in talent acquisition right now. Those trends are: diversity, new interviewing tools, data, and artificial intelligence. One can probably discern why we at Ascendify are especially interested in this piece.

There’s a lot to unpack in the white paper, and you can be sure we’ll have more analyses and related recommendations for you in the coming weeks. Today, we’re sharing what we found to be the three most important ideas in the section on diversity. Diversity was the most popular reported initiative among respondents; we’re betting it’s at or near the top of your list for 2018, too.

So with that said, here’s what you need to know.

1. A Sense of Belonging Should Be Your Top Priority

As an industry, we’re certainly making progress on diversity goals — but we’re still falling short. That’s because our measures of success have, for the most part, been inadequate: While perhaps we’ve been able to bring diverse employees into the organization at a higher rate, we can’t necessarily call that a win. We have to ask ourselves, are these employees engaged? Are they happy? Are they staying?

LinkedIn’s report makes the important point that part of achieving “diversity” means creating a work environment in which diverse employees feel welcome, safe, and encouraged to express their unique selves and points of view. It means building a workplace where they feel they truly belong.

The second biggest reported barrier to improving diversity was retention of diverse employees. A shared sense of belonging among all workers will go a long way in motivating folks to stick around.

2. It’s Not a Scarcity Problem; It’s a Sourcing Problem

The report challenges the notion that building a diverse workforce is hamstrung by a lack of diverse candidates, which was the biggest hurdle cited by respondents.

Instead, the paper insists the candidates we’re seeking are indeed out there, and asks us to consider the possibility that we’re just not looking in the right places. Are we posting our opportunities on diversity job boards? Are we recruiting in historically diverse schools? If we want to broaden our talent pool, we must broaden our sourcing strategy.

3. Improving Diversity Starts with Improving Culture

You will neither attract nor retain diverse employees without a culture that wholeheartedly embraces differences. Sounds obvious, yet how many of us are guilty of immediately looking to our own pipelines when we think of increasing the diversity of our workforce?

As the report notes, our very first step should be ensuring our company culture is sending the right signals. Are differing opinions welcomed? Do people feel like they can be themselves? Do leaders in the organization — including at the very top — communicate and demonstrate that diversity is a priority? Only when these pieces are in place can we make real progress toward diversity goals.

There is, of course, so much more to say about diversity, and we’ve got more insights and tips coming your way. Let the above ideas percolate in the meantime, and stay tuned for more from Ascendify on this subject.

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