My name is Jennifer Jackson and I'm one of the co-founders of DNI Talent Solutions,
Recently, I've been having loads of conversations with business owners. I’ve been asking questions like “how are you getting on? What's been happening in your business? What are your plans for this year?” and another really common question: what's been keeping you up at night?
And that’s what this post is really about. The common themes and answers that I've been receiving to "what's keeping you up at night?" have, firstly been around securing the best talent. Everyone's struggling with that. And let's be honest, there is a bit of a talent shortage out there especially in the tech space.
The other common answer is around growing market share - again completely understand hitting financial targets especially right now in the middle of a pandemic!
The next question I’ve been asking has been to address the elephant in the room...what's your D&I strategy?
You know, what are you doing to attract a diverse talent pool, and what are you doing as a company to also make those individuals feel included?
I get the kind of answers you’d expect really... “We've hired a D&I officer, we’re doing really well, it’s at the forefront of our strategy”.
But the real question is then, “OK, so what are the numbers? How are you actually getting on with that? And what are the outcomes?”
Typically, there really isn't that much of an actual change. In the current climate, it’s very easy for a company to publicly claim they're doing loads on diversity & inclusion and changing how they hire people, but more needs to be done around outcomes.
If you're telling me that you're really struggling to secure the best, most diverse talent, but then I look at the job adverts that you've got out and they are clearly not really aligned to attracting a huge, diverse talent pool then it becomes obvious where you’re struggling.
One of the biggest things the diverse talent pool will look for if you are trying to attract diversity into your company is FLEXIBILITY as it underpins a diverse culture.
What flexibility as a company do you offer? Are you flexible for parents? Can parents log on, get the work done, and log off whenever you know they can?
If you can fit it into your organisation and make it work, that is one of the main areas where you can really attract a good broad talent pool.
Another thing that makes a huge difference is ADVERTS i.e. changing your job ads to make them more inclusive.
Practical steps include taking out really, really 'masculine' sounding words and really scrutinising your job adverts before you put them out there.
BLIND CVs, BLIND INTERVIEWS. All of these are things you can be doing to really attract amore diverse talent pool.
And, it's not just that, but once you've done that, you will find it easier then to attract more talent because it's quite clear that individuals, especially when you're looking at this next generation coming through, really, really love diversity. They breathe it. They feel more comfortable. They feel more involved to feel more passionate. They're more motivated.
That is where I think companies need to start looking: at the next generation that are coming through and how they want to not only attract but really retain them in their organisation.
So in fact, the way that you attract the best talent and grow your market share is the fact that you have a diverse team in front of you.
These diverse teams are making decisions based on how they think, the different backgrounds that they've got and, the ultimate result of this is that your product and your offering will appeal to a wider audience and customer base. JOB DONE!
Unfortunately though, there are still so many organisations that I speak to that still just want the same person again and again within the organisation.
The hard truth though is that if you're going for the same all of the time, then you're gonna have the same answers, the same decision making... And I just think WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO if that's the benchmark for success?!
We know what good recruitment looks like, our partners know what inclusive looks like. Check out our partners, if you want to increase diversity in tech and work with the experts who know how.
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