Diversity and Inclusion Strategy: Questions for Your Workforce Solutions Partner

Over the last several years, Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) in the workforce has gained visibility as more than a nice-to-have ideal. It has proven to be a common denominator in companies effectively attracting and retaining skilled talent in today’s changing world of work.

Along the way, the concept of D&I has shifted among more forward-looking organizations to put the “I” first. That is, having a diverse workforce makes little difference unless the workers involved are fully included in all aspects of value creation. Diversity without inclusion is a story of missed opportunities, of employees so used to being overlooked that they no longer share their ideas and insights, leading to disengagement and increased burnout. As a result, the imperative of Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) now plays a large role in how organizations approach talent strategy.

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The principles behind I&D have been high on business leaders’ priorities for some time now. Even so, recent news around social unrest in the US and across the globe have put much-needed pressure on companies to demonstrate visible efforts in showing more I&D throughout. But with so many disparate groups to consider, supporting I&D goals takes strategy and commitment at multiple levels.

What many organizations may not realize is that I&D principles are not limited to the recruiting and retention of traditional employees. They also apply to the extended workforce, including contingent workers and their suppliers, as well as contractors and freelancers.

Given the size, complexity, and influence of the extended workforce, it pays to engage a managed service provider (MSP) partner to help align stakeholders and steer a consistent approach to recruiting and attraction strategies. In the right conditions, an MSP can not only bring an objective view to your I&D strategy, but it can help boost diversity through its placement approach and relationships with suppliers.

So, if you’re considering bringing a workforce solutions partner into your I&D strategy, take the initiative and address the topic directly with your provider. In this article, we will cover a few questions to guide that conversation.

QUESTIONS FOR YOUR MSP

How Can We Incorporate Management of Diversity in the Workplace to Deliver Results?

First, it is important to prioritize I&D goals that are most critical to attracting a diverse pool of talent. Once established, you can build an inclusive workforce strategy to focus on those goals.

Second, local data and analytics help the MSP provider understand what the market looks like and highlight key areas of focus for a company’s ongoing I&D recruitment strategy. The goal is to make sure you set the right parameters to identify how the diversity of your workforce mirrors with the diversity of your available talent pool.

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How Can Our MSP Support a Diversity and Inclusion Strategy that Solves Specific Client Issues Around I&D?

An MSP is in a unique position to educate and influence the supply base. With a focused strategy, the program can move the needle on improving diversity in the candidates presented by those suppliers.

For example, just over two years ago, we ran a half-day diversity forum for our client in the financial sector. We also included the client’s culture strategy in their supplier manual, which ensures there is cultural alignment when outsourcing. And we reached out across functions to generate greater alignment around I&D initiatives; now, Talent Acquisition, HR, and Procurement teams all come to our meetings and collaborate.

From the outset, it certainly helped that the client had a clear goal and expectation around who they were and how they wanted their workforce to look. Today, the number of hires from their diversity slate has almost doubled.

How Can We Apply Diversity in the Workplace Statistics to Track Progress?

In order to find out if you’re achieving your I&D targets, you need to monitor what is happening on the ground. Here are three metrics you can use to gauge the success of your diversity initiatives.

  • Diversity of Slate
    How diverse are the people you are considering for interviews? Is the slate skewed heavily in favor of overrepresented groups? You should aim for a balance of different groups that reflect your community.
  • Diversity of Hire
    Do your hiring decisions reflect the diversity of slate? How well do your actual hires mirror your ideal diversity goals?
  • Tenure of Diverse Hire
    Among underrepresented groups, how long do they stick around? Attracting diverse talent is one thing, but an inclusive working culture is crucial if underrepresented groups are to feel valued. In general, happy employees will be more loyal and have a longer tenure.

We are living through turbulent times, and the talent divide promises to be a hot-button issue across the globe. Pressure will continue to increase on businesses to properly reflect the wider community in their workforce and act fairly when recruiting and promoting. Those companies that ignore this message will struggle, whereas those that heed it will have a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining talent of all backgrounds.

GAIN

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    Ian Moses
    Written by Ian Moses
    Ian Moses is currently the Global Head of Inclusion and diversity at Allegis Global Solutions. He is responsible for developing and promoting AGS’ Diversity and Inclusion strategy with our employees, partners, and clients. In his role he is responsible for the continued development, promotion, and execution of the AGS diversity and inclusion strategy, with specific focus on building and supporting high performance teams that are inclusive of the communities in which we live and serve.