Equality, diversity, and inclusion (ED&I) focused business strategies are not just a fad. There is a strong case that companies who are more diverse and inclusive consistently outperform their competitors on a business level.

A 2019 report by McKinsey found that those companies in the top quartile for both gender and ethnic and cultural diversity were 25% more likely to be highly profitable compared to those companies that were the least diverse.

There is also an increased understanding that true diversity goes beyond gender and ethnicity, to encompass individuals across a variety of spectrums, from age, to sexuality, to physical and neurological differences.

Only by embracing true diversity and inclusion can businesses open themselves up to the benefits of multiple viewpoints, experiences, and skills. For many businesses the question is not why we should be recruiting more diversely, but instead how we can build recruitment strategies that encourage diverse hiring.

How can data improve ED&I recruiting?

Improving your recruitment process to be more diverse and inclusive is a complex process that can be assisted and improved by data analysis. Before you begin to use data to drive decisions about your recruitment process you need to break it down into three initial steps:

  • Establish the goals and metrics you intend to measure
  • Develop ongoing data collection systems and analysis of these metrics
  • Take inventory of the current ED&I standing of your organisation

Once you’ve established your metrics, collected, and analysed both new and ongoing ED&I data from your organisation you can use that data in the following ways:

  1. To expand your talent pools
    With a broader understanding of current recruitment processes provided by data, organisations can adjust their strategies to access new sources of talent.
  2. To improve understanding of bias
    Analysis of hiring data is vital in discovering if biased recruitment processes are affecting the hiring, development, and promotion of diverse talent.
  3. To raise awareness of the importance of ED&I amongst leadership
    Having ED&I data available to share with management groups can be leveraged to raise awareness of the importance and advantages of diversity in the workplace. Thus, encouraging greater buy in from all levels of an organisation and making inclusivity that much stronger.

5 innovative ways to use data to support ED&I recruiting

There are also several exciting ways technology and data can directly support diversity in your recruitment. We’ve collected five innovative ways you can harness data, machine learning and AI to support ED&I in your recruitment processes:

  1. Utilise your ATS to monitor candidate demographics
    Most larger companies, and many smaller ones, already use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to streamline their hiring and keep track of large numbers of candidates and CVs. But ATS can also be used to collect demographic data and measure the diversity of the candidates you already attract.
    If this data shows you are not attracting the candidates you would like then you can adjust your hiring practices accordingly. It may also show that you are attracting diverse candidates, but they are not progressing, meaning you can address any bias in your hiring team.
  2. Use AI and machine learning to remove biased language from job postings
    Research by Adzuna found that 60% of businesses showed significant male bias in the wording of their job adverts. This bias can put qualified candidates off from applying, not because they think they aren’t qualified but because they don’t want to work for a company they perceive to be biased.
    AI and machine learning software can be used to scan adverts for exclusionary language ensuring your job postings appeal to the widest possible pool of candidates.
  3. Using AI to screen CVs and reduce bias
    AI CV screening software can learn the requirements of the job and identify candidates who match the brief. It can also be used to reduced bias by ignoring demographic data such as age, race, and gender. Many companies such as HSBC, Google and the BBC also remove additional information such as name and date of birth from CVs before they reach hiring managers in a process known as ‘blinding’.
  4. Audit and track pay, benefits, and development opportunities
    Simply hiring diverse candidates is not enough. You can continue to collect data on your employees’ salary, benefits, and further development to discover if demographics are not being offered fair opportunities to advance or is over or under-represented at a particular level. These factors can have a huge impact on your retention rates.
  5. Analyse employee and applicant feedback
    One of the most important end goals of an ED&I hiring policy is the creation of an inclusive workplace culture that makes all employees feel valued and listened to. 76% of UK jobseekers consider a more inclusive workforce to be important when accepting a job offer. By collecting and analysing employee and applicant feedback you can track this feeling of belonging, identify issues, and make sure that your culture is coming across in your recruitment processes.

Click here for 6 reasons for rejecting a candidate.

How Davies can help you build a more diverse recruitment strategy

In an increasingly competitive and regulated environment, the diversity, creativity, and adaptability of your workforce will be critical to future success. At Davies Resourcing we specialise in finding the right individuals to help you build your team in an unbiased, diverse way.

If you would like to find out more about how Davies can help you build diversity into your recruitment strategy, please get in touch.

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Dave Rose

Commercial Director

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