4 Things To Consider Before You Create A D&I Recruiting Function
June 17, 2021

4 Things To Consider Before You Create A D&I Recruiting Function

Brenna Walsh

Here at WayUp, we’re lucky to spend time talking with organizations about their DEI recruiting goals and how to make those goals a reality. Recently, we’ve noticed a new trend: more organizations are talking about creating dedicated D&I recruiting teams, but there’s a question to consider before taking that first step. Is creating a D&I function at my company the right decision? 

D&I recruiting can often turn into a “band-aid” solution for an organization without actually contributing to a more equitable environment. With these considerations in mind, WayUp set forth to host a conversation all about “How to Create a D&I Recruiting Function” alongside three remarkable leaders in the DEI space, including Margaret Spence, Founder at The Employee to CEO Project, Franklin Reed, Executive Director of Inclusion and Diversity at TEKsystems, and David Ong, Senior Director, Talent Acquisition at MAXIMUS. Read on for our top four takeaways from the discussion to ensure you’re making the right moves to either create or advance DEI at your organization—both in the short and long term.

1. Not all companies are ready to create a D&I recruiting function. 

Wondering if your company is ready to take this step? Consider what you’ve heard or observed around the value and importance of DEI within your organization. Is becoming a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive company part of an overarching strategy? What is the intent in creating a DEI recruiting position or function? Is it to create opportunities? Shift numbers? Check a box? 

DEI recruiting becomes a band-aid or a performative action when the larger company culture isn’t aligned with overall DEI values and objectives. From executive leadership to recruiters to hiring managers, the entire team should be dedicated to championing diversity, and DEI should be a factor in every decision the company makes. You’re primed to succeed when everyone sees the value in working alongside individuals with different experiences and perspectives. 

2. You need a budget and buy-in to begin.

It’s nearly impossible to move the needle on DEI without being prepared to invest both money and time. A well-planned DEI strategy includes a trifecta of resources 1) budget to train the recruiters and hiring managers on unbiased hiring, 2) budget for outreach and collateral, and 3) budget for continuing education for the team. Additionally, you won’t be set up for success if DEI recruiting remains siloed in Talent Acquisition or HR. Cross-functional collaboration is critical to success and can also be useful in securing the funding you need to get started. Consider the concept of “connector budgets” — combining funds from several departments to support your strategy. 

Providing more opportunities and hiring diverse talent starts with creating relationships. Do your homework and identify what resources you need to promote DEI. You’ll likely need to allocate funds to professional development opportunities, education opportunities, and partnerships.   

3. Avoid the band-aid approach. 

Diversity recruitment is a marathon, not a sprint. A dedicated DEI leader can provide strategic direction and guidance on tactical execution to ensure you’re not putting a band-aid on the problem. However, regardless of whether you have a DEI leader on your team, it takes time to drive diversity and inclusion across a large and busy organization. Long-term success requires patience, resources, budget, and bandwidth.  A DEI leader can help your team think beyond the obvious, such as the long-held belief that HBCU’s are the single solution for generating more diverse talent in your pipeline. In addition, these skilled individuals will help you commit to making diverse hires by elevating your current DEI recruiting strategy and connecting recruiters to new opportunities, like multicultural organizations or disability organizations, or solutions with a focus on D&I recruiting like WayUp.

4. Set goals and hold your team accountable. 

Be transparent about your DEI hiring strategy and the results you’re trying to achieve. Of course, each organization’s goals will be unique based on where the company is currently, but it’s important to remember that viewing diversity solely by the numbers isn’t the answer. Creating a DEI recruiting function should be measured by impact. For instance, how are you changing the conversation around DEI at your company? Does your organization reflect the community around you, and are you better this year than you were the last?

Leverage data to benchmark where you are and identify where you want to go. Track incoming candidates and conversion rates from stage to stage to pinpoint where there are fractures and how to intervene. WayUp’s D&I Analytics Dashboards allows companies to see the demographics of their hiring funnel in real-time on top of showing them what percent of the funnel includes candidates from underrepresented groups.

Next Steps

As candidates move through your hiring process, they will believe what you show them rather than what you tell them. As such, before embarking on creating a DEI function, consider these questions. How does your candidate experience reflect your organization’s values? Who is representing your company during interviews or recruiting events? Be prepared to answer questions about your commitment at every stage of the hiring process. Today’s candidates are savvy, and they’re looking for companies that demonstrate a commitment to DEI through action.

Want to hear more of this important conversation? Check out the full webinar replay here, or reach out today to learn how WayUp can support your D&I hiring efforts.

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