Updated: Jun 11, 2020
Talent acquisition and HR professionals play an important role in attracting, retaining and supporting highly skilled, diverse candidates to meet and exceed organisational goals.
The role of Talent Acquisition and HR practitioners is integral to the development of processes to close barriers to inclusion.
Diversity and inclusion plays an important part to the efficiency, and consequently, the success of an organisation. An inclusive workforce cultivates an array of business opportunities, helping to develop innovation and build competitive advantage.
Evidence suggests that companies that actively recruit for, and retain a diverse cohort of recruits, benefit from a clear competitive advantage.
Increasing diversity and inclusion correlates to better business results and helps to foster an environment that is supportive and engages people from all backgrounds.
Harnessing diversity and inclusion is important to benefit from untapped opportunities and develop innovative products and services, It is key to attracting, retaining and supporting employees from a wide range of backgrounds.
It is a business imperative that supports a well managed, diverse and balanced leadership talent pipeline, helping organisations to promote and sustain diversity.
Talent acquisition and other HR professionals are key to advancing D&I and maintaining structures to ensure that diverse candidates and employees are supported.
These play an important role to engaging diverse staff groups and candidates and provide act as a mechanism through which an organisation can align diverse recruitment with sustainable and actionable and sustainable diversity.
These professionals have a significant role in supporting fairness and inclusive processes across development and progression initiatives.
There are several areas that practitioners can support to build diversity into the fabric of organisations, whilst seeking to develop equitable talent processes to build inclusion.
Human Resource Management of Diversity.
Diversity and inclusive processes are imperative to developing good relations, both internally and externally. It is a key driver of increased motivation for employees. It helps to attract the attention of potential talent and helps to engage consumers with your business brand.
A supportive and inclusive workplace environment encourages innovation and the development of new, business critical ideas.
It helps to develop an engaged workforce that is supported to contribute to the key deliverable within our operations.
Human resource managers play a key role in promoting and fostering diversity and inclusion within your business. A diverse and inclusive workplace environment adds value to your bottom line.
It helps to reduce staff absenteeism and potential discriminatory action being taken against the business. Having the correct policies and procedures in place, helps to further the acquisition of diversity and inclusion, across the human resource function.
By employing a system for the effective management of diversity, which is supported by appropriate governance strategies, HR can support important frameworks to promote and embed inclusion.
Diversity and inclusion ensures that employees, regardless of race, culture, gender or other difference, are able to pursue a fulfilling career. It enables and affords the equality of opportunity to progress within the business.
In short, development of D&I within the HR function, encourages a a platform upon which a business can ensure that every employee has the opportunity to learn and contribute.
Talent Acquisition to develop Diversity and Inclusion.
A commitment from leadership to increasing the diversity of a workforce, through effective talent acquisition, and learning and development, is imperative to developing diversity and inclusion.
It helps to both attract, and retain talent, that is highly skilled and who feel able to contribute and develop within a well supported workplace environment.
The development of partnerships, both internal and external can support both recruitment and retention of a diverse staff cohort.
It supports the enhancement of corporate brand image, attracting candidates under-represented backgrounds.
By actively seeking out groups who are currently under-represented, recruiters can develop relationships that help to bridge the gap in terms of diversity and knowledge.
Effective talent acquisition subsumes diversity and inclusion as standard. It aligns diversity and inclusion with the growth, innovation and trust associated with the business.
Partnering with other organisations helps to build trust with communities and helps to increase motivation and trust with current employees as part of the inclusive workplace agenda.
Building business relationships with diverse organisations and communities is important for developing corporate social responsibility agenda, and helps to build relationships with potential candidates from a wide range of backgrounds.
Talent Acquisition professionals can help to support the development of activities that will encourage motivation towards building an inclusive workplace.
Mentoring helps to Build Inclusion.
Diversity Mentoring is a fantastic activity to develop knowledge and skills around diversity and inclusion. It can be provided as an internal activity or as part of an external partnership developed to enhance diversity and inclusion.
Mentoring allows staff members to share experiences with leadership, helping to build knowledge and skills around the benefits of diversity as well as the challenges often faced by members of minority groups.
By mentoring and fostering diverse talent at an early stage, a business can ensure that relationships are built with diverse communities.
Ultimately, this will create opportunities to learn and develop which is beneficial for both parties.
It also allows for groups and individuals to learn about career opportunities and gain experience of industries that may otherwise have evaded them. Mentoring schemes are reciprocal and support both mentor and mentee to develop knowledge and make informed choices about advancing diversity.
A high quality mentoring programme will support leaders to contribute strongly to the future development of the business. It can harness and develop the skills necessary to build innovative thinking into your strategies.
Diversity in Talent Management and Leadership.
Leadership and talent management must commit to developing initiatives that support equitable career progression for staff. Minority ethnic, women and employees with visible disabilities continue to be grossly under-represented at management level across the UK.
This remains a challenging issue and employers must ensure that it is committed to addressing the imbalances that serve to perpetuate this situation.
The development of an inclusive culture, enables talent to flourish. It is critical to achieving a well engaged workplace environment.
Regardless of background and difference, every employee should be afforded the opportunity to develop within the organisation.
Ensuring that talent is recognised and fairly compensated is important to developing an inclusive brand, which is attractive to a wide range of candidates.
There is increasing debate around the lack of diversity at senior leadership levels across corporate companies. Issues of the lack of Black employees and women in leadership positions continue to abound.
Talent Acquisition and HR professionals must be duty bound to redress these imbalances and develop systems for effective, inclusive talent management.
The talent pipeline is filled with highly skilled individuals from a wide range of backgrounds who are capable of filling senior roles.
The concern is that they are still grossly under represented at this level. Is this an issue of unconscious bias, an issue with lack of available talent or simply the inability to attract and retain suitable candidates?
Is it an inability, or worse an unwillingness, of leaders to engage with diverse candidates and support them into leadership positions?
Is there an issue with boardrooms unable or unwilling, to manage homogeneous 'group think' or change the status quo at leadership levels?
Clearly, exclusion is an issue that needs to be addressed. By supporting the diversity and inclusion agenda with a genuine commitment, corporate leaders, talent acquisition and HR professionals can develop and promote inclusion at all levels.
Culture is powerful.
Leaders within talent acquisition and human resources functions, must understand the relevance of culture within the diversity and inclusion space.
A full appreciation of the importance of culture is necessary to effectively manage a workforce. It is imperative to understand the ways in which cultural knowledge can support inclusion.
It is important that it is not only 'culture' in terms of individual and group background that is relevant here.
Particularly when managing global talent, it is important to understand the impact of culture, language and values to enable effective communication that values the importance of difference.
Organisational culture is also significant in building an organisation that is mindful of diversity and inclusion.
It is necessary to re-frame organisational culture to ensure that it supports an inclusive agenda. Leaders across all areas of business operations must be cognisant of, and appreciate, the need for change.
Cultural understanding will underpin the development of processes to support diverse staff teams and aid in the structuring of initiatives to build the inclusion agenda. This can be achieved through specific training which is best aligned to operational and organisational goals and frameworks to achieve the best results.
Monitor Diversity And Inclusion effectively.
An important aspect of any process development is the ability to monitor its effectiveness. Without this, there is the risk that processes become a tick box exercise.
By undertaking monitoring activities periodically ( at least annually ), HR teams can develop a clear picture of the ways in which diversity and inclusion is impacting the business.
Monitoring activities can be undertaken to audit diversity across the recruitment of employee prospects, product and service development, staff satisfaction etc.
Effective monitoring of these processes helps to measure progress and highlights opportunities to develop actions to cement inclusive processes.
This helps to develop a dynamic process that is aligned across interrelated functions, as well as the overall D&I agenda to support an inclusive environment.
The Future of Diversity within Business.
Diversity and inclusion is increasingly recognised as important to business efficiency. It supports a well managed and functional organisation, that is able to maximise business results, attract and retain talent and increase innovation.
Human resources and talent acquisition teams have a pivotal role to play in building diversity and inclusion for the future of business.
By approaching diversity and inclusion with creativity, and a genuine will to succeed, professionals can provide a platform for the development of a host of initiatives within your business.
Companies need to think about developing new and innovative ways of building diversity into business to support inclusion. Aside from the compliance directives of the Equality Act 2010, there are many different ways of implementing long lasting diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Making positive moves to develop the talent pipeline and promote diversity across leadership development programmes, helps to develop a strategic focus on diversity and inclusion.
Aside from the tried and tested route of implementing diversity and inclusion training, which is not effective in isolation, there are several ways in which HR, Talent Acquisition and Learning and development teams can work together to promote inclusion.
Diversity and inclusion must be embedded into the fabric of the business. Making positive moves to embed diversity and inclusion requires more than the delivery of diversity training.
It requires a commitment to building and nurturing the systems and processes that attract, retain and develop talent..... through an inclusive talent pipeline.
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Kenroi Consulting is a bespoke diversity consultancy providing tailor made solutions for businesses across the UK.
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