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How to use people analytics to rally your organization behind your DEI strategy

 
Megan Gimbar
December 8, 2021

There are many ways HR and talent can leaders motivate their teams and fellow leaders to go full steam ahead with an initiative like purpose-driven goals, motivational meetings, and “selling” them on how they’ll benefit. While these can be important, if you are on a mission to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in your organization (like we are), your most effective prompt for action lies in the wealth of data you have in your talent acquisition technology stack.  

However, without the proper reporting and analytics in your recruiting software, that data won’t be much help in measuring progress toward DEI goals or in helping you clearly communicate progress to stakeholders. Decision-makers need insight into the data to know where to focus efforts to make the most positive impact toward a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce. 

We sat down with Caitlin Bigsby, the Director of Product Marketing at people analytics company, Visier (an iCIMS Talent Cloud partner) to discuss how people data fuels the change organizations needs to promote more diversity, equity, and inclusion in your workforce—and get stakeholders behind you. 

Read this post to learn more about how to identify and solve your diversity drop off.  

How can data help organizations get buy-in to improve inclusivity? 

Caitlin: There’s no hiding behind the data. There’s no passing the buck to someone else. Data shows you where your problems are, and it shows you where people are taking action. It takes away excuses and it provides a north star. Building allyship, having open conversations, and having lofty goals are great. But data calls people to action and holds their feet to the fire. 

Diversity goes beyond the historically tracked categories, such as gender, race, ethnicity, and veteran status. What other categories do you recommend organizations report on? And why is that expansion important? 

Caitlin: The value of diversity to the organization is that it brings diversity of thought, which comes from hiring people with different life experiences. LGBTQ+ status, country of origin, physical disability, neural atypicality are all great categories to consider. Something harder to measure, but also valuable, is socioeconomic status. Someone who grew up with less privilege will have a very different perspective—and different ideas—from someone who grew up more comfortably. 

Interview panels are a hot topic. What do Visier dashboards show about interview process conversion? What success have your customers seen due to this visibility? 

Caitlin: Visier has a visual that actually highlights the success for diverse versus non diverse candidates with diverse versus non diverse interviewers to make the difference really apparent. Visier customers do have better than average diversity numbers, and we do see their numbers increase from when they first become a customer of ours to a couple of years later, so having visibility into who’s on the hiring panel helps. 

It’s essential to retain the diverse workforce culture you worked so hard to hire. What impact do effective DEI hiring processes have on maintaining inclusivity?  

Caitlin: When hiring for leadership roles at Visier, our C-suite does a good job of explaining their DEI hiring practices to employees, even if they ultimately don’t select a diverse candidate. That shows the organization that diversity is a priority and that leadership has been thoughtful about the selection process. As a woman within the organization, that matters to me. Knowing that my company is dedicated to DEI hiring practices tells me that they value my diverse perspective and mirror my values, and it increases my commitment to the organization. 

Every talent action Visier takes sends a message to our people. If you want to keep diversity, you need to hire diverse talent so that people see themselves with you in the long term. 

How do you recommend teams who are new to rolling out diversity initiatives focus their attention? 

Caitlin: Transparency and accountability are key. It’s critical that you have the numbers—where you are, where you want to be, trends over time, and projections of where you will be if you don’t change anything—to start the conversation. Everyone needs to understand that change won’t happen passively. You need to take action, and that action happens with each person’s individual decisions as well as those of talent teams. 

The steps that make the biggest impact are promotions. The management gap is real and significant, especially for gender and racial diversity. Creating diversity in management is the surest way to achieve the financial benefits of diversity, such as diversity of thought and improving retention, so you keep your workplace welcoming and inclusive. 

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If you’re interested in learning more about how to improve your DEI efforts with talent acquisition and workforce data, download our whitepaper here. 

Download your copy: Problem-solving DEI in your talent acquisition funnel

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