By now, anyone who's paying attention to workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion knows that gender and racial representation are essential to organizational growth.
Studies have shown time and time again that companies with diverse leadership teams are more profitable and innovative. If you aren't looking for diverse executives, you are leaving high-performing candidates on the table.
Based on a study by Mckinsey & Company, when an organization has more gender and ethnic diversity the likelihood of financial outperformance in the market is 35% greater on average.
The numbers show the results of hiring diverse executives. In 2017, 16 companies in the S&P 500 did not have a single woman on the board or in the C-suite. By the end of 2019, every company had at least one woman on their board — and closed the year at a nearly 30% increase. Plain and simple, diversity at the top is good for business.
If you are looking to add diversity to your workforce, these are 4 easily implementable executive recruitment strategies to make your executive search more diverse.
Write inclusive job descriptions
There are no two ways around this: if you want to design the best team, you must be deliberate in your language.
This means your job descriptions need to be inclusive. Make sure you are:
- Using gender-neutral pronouns and ethnically neutral descriptions
- Taking out any overly casual or gendered language
- Eliminating age signifiers and ensuring job requirements aren’t segmenting out untraditional applicants
- Ensuring you are not collecting personal identifiers that could introduce bias
Effective and neutral job descriptions will attract top talent and expand your applicant pool. The removal of personal identifiers will allow you to look at their qualifications as objectively as possible.
Develop a diverse interview panel
In 2014, Intel began requiring that interview panels for all new hires include at least two members of underrepresented communities. Since then, Intel's diversity numbers have shot up.
Before that requirement, 31 percent of new hires were either women or people of color; two years later, that number was 45 percent.
Bringing minorities into your interview process shows your candidate that you understand the importance of different perspectives.
Hold your recruiter accountable
We hear a lot about diverse slates of candidates. But you can have a seemingly diverse slate and still never hire a woman. You could have 50-50 gender parity in your slate, but if everybody comes from the same ethnic or cultural background, that's not true diversity.
When working with an executive recruiter, request candidates who represent the gender and racial makeup of your country or region and make the search firm you've hired commit to bring a representative slate of qualified candidates. Hold them accountable to deliver what you want.
Top executive recruiters should have an expanded network of diverse individuals. A good rule of thumb for an effective representative slate should include 50 percent women and 40 percent people of color. Don't settle for the sake of time, and push back if you don't get what you've asked for.
Be aware of common myths
There are three common myths within hiring practices that need to be addressed.
- Myth: top talent went only to top schools.
There are plenty of incredible people who have risen through the ranks via their own grit and tenacity who have never received a formal degree.
Anyone who has hired enough people will agree that top schools matter less than the person’s passion for their work.
- Myth: hire for “culture fit”.
"Culture fit" is a buzzy phrase that needs redefining.
Hiring for culture fit only asks things like: Are you like me? Can I get along with you? Can we socialize together? Do I understand you? Do you understand me?
While it's important to know if you'll be able to work with someone on a day-to-day basis, these criteria should carry only so much weight.
Through the hiring process, you should define your culture by company values and match the candidates who share those values.
- Myth: There are not enough women and people of color that qualify for open executive and board seats.
This is simply not true. There are plenty of qualified women capable of moving up the ladder.
If you aren’t seeing enough possible candidates, then you have a network problem. We all need to continue to diversify our networks if we want to find better candidates. It's a matter of being active on professional platforms like Mogul and expanding your connections
Finding diverse executives doesn’t have to be difficult
There’s still work to be done, but we’ve made great progress towards diversity in the last couple of years.
As noted in the 2019 Spencer Stuart Board Index, a record-breaking 59 percent of new directors are diverse, and women constitute 46 percent of the new directors coming in.
There’s an incredible amount of untapped diverse talent out there ready to be recruited. Commit to a fully diversified executive search and you will see the results.
Want help with your executive recruitment? Here at Mogul we’re experts at diverse recruiting and we already have a large network of diverse talent in place - we’d love to find your next executive.