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New Research Reveals Most Organizations are Not Tracking Key Diversity Recruitment Metrics

iCIMS and Talent Board collaborate on a survey to understand diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace

HOLMDEL, N.J. [June 29, 2021] – iCIMS, the talent cloud company, partnered with Talent Board, a nonprofit candidate experience benchmark research organization, to understand key trends and areas for opportunity as employers across the globe strive to build more diverse teams and create equitable and inclusive workplace cultures. The new research revealed today in “The State of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace” shows that many organizations are missing opportunities to track and nurture DEI across the recruiting and hiring process, yet many talent acquisition (TA) and HR professionals believe they have made significant progress.

“If businesses want to be most effective in achieving their desired results, leaders must be intentional about addressing diversity, equity and inclusion in their workplaces,” said Chinor M. Lee, Sr., head of culture, belonging, inclusion and diversity, iCIMS. “The flashpoints from last year that were amplified and magnified by the pandemic have, rightfully, caused many to turn a critical eye toward how businesses show up in the DEI space. Our new research emphasizes how this is a moral and business imperative, and we must collectively move forward on our DEI journeys together.”

Key findings include:

  • Nearly half (49%) of the respondents rate their organizations’ diverse hiring efforts “superb” or “excellent.” Another 45% rate their efforts “fair” or “okay,” and the remaining 6% rate them “disappointing.” A disparity persists in perception between executives and individual contributors, as c-suite executives tend to rate their organizations 74% higher than recruiters do. Additionally, larger organizations with more than 100,000 employees rate their DEI efforts 46% higher than smaller organizations (501 to 2,500 employees).
  • No matter how confident or unconfident HR professionals are about their organizations’ diverse hiring efforts, the reality is that nearly 20% of organizations are not tracking diversity metrics in their recruitment or hiring practices at all. The top five diversity metrics that participants’ companies track are ethnicity (60%), race (58%), veteran status (43%), disability status (50%), and age (31%).
  • Sixty percent of organizations have diverse slate policies or diversity-focused recruitment/hiring goals. However, only 34% say their organizations set diversity-related goals or specific targets for recruiters and hiring managers. Significantly more (45%) set no specific targets for either group.
  • More than half (52%) of employers have not used diversity-related data or analytics beyond what is minimally required for EEOC compliance.
  • Appointing a DEI champion is an important and highly visible step in the right direction as organizations improve diverse recruiting efforts. Sixty-two percent of participants say their organizations have designated an individual to promote DEI in the hiring process.
  • Forty-seven percent of organizations have implemented technology to help reduce unconscious bias in their recruiting and hiring. Although 53% have not implemented such technology, one-third of them plan to do so in the future. Artificial intelligence (AI), for example, is behind many of the latest features in recruitment technology and is a powerful tool that employers can leverage to promote diversity and help provide a faster, fairer hiring process. When used responsibly, AI can offer candidate recommendations based on skills and experience, where the outcome is neither an exclusionary experience nor discriminatory practice.

“These findings will likely stir debate in the talent community,” said Kevin Grossman, president, Talent Board. “Some people will feel the survey shows just how little progress has been made on DEI, and others will feel that significant progress is evident in at least some of the numbers. Regardless of how you feel about any of the specific results, I think the key takeaway here is that many companies still have plenty of room for progress where diverse recruitment and hiring are concerned.”

More than 350 TA and HR professionals responded to the anonymous survey, which was conducted in May of 2021 by Talent Board and iCIMS. Participants included recruiters, hiring managers, and executives within TA and HR at companies of various sizes and across a wide range of industries worldwide. Read the full report here and register for INSPIRE, a free virtual event Nov. 16-17, for more industry-leading insights and successful talent transformation best practices.

About Talent Board

Founded in 2011, Talent Board and the Candidate Experience Awards is the first non-profit research organization focused on the elevation and promotion of a quality candidate experience. Talent Board delivers annual recruiting and hiring industry benchmark research that highlights accountability, fairness and the business impact of candidate experience. More information can be found at

About iCIMS

iCIMS is the talent cloud company that empowers organizations to attract, engage, hire and advance the right talent that builds a diverse, winning workforce. iCIMS accelerates transformation for a community of nearly 6,000 customers, including 40% of the Fortune 100, that collectively employ more than 33 million people around the world.