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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in US Recruitment

Over the last 12 months, the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the stark social divisions within our society. As a result, a shift is beginning to take place.

With the rise of movements such as Black Lives Matter, we’re seeing a greater emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in US recruitment. At Digitalent we ensure that DEI is part of the conversation with all clients, and strive to help our clients overcome the challenges related to diversity, equity and inclusion.

While progress is being made, there’s still a long way to go. More than 90% of CEOs are white men. This is just one example of the bigger problem.

Why diversity matters

DEI isn’t a box-ticking exercise, it’s an essential part of building a healthy, successful company.

Why? Because diverse companies do better. It’s as simple as that.

Published in 2015, McKinsey’s landmark “Why diversity matters” report showed that companies “in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity” were 35% more likely to have better financial returns than those with a less diverse makeup.

The same report found that gender-diverse companies could expect a 15% boost in performance overall, while a later report, also by McKinsey, showed that gender-diverse leadership teams were 21% more likely to overperform on profits.

Meanwhile, a study by BCG revealed that companies with diverse leadership created 19% more revenue, on average than businesses that lacked diversity in management positions.

At Digitalent, we’ve seen this first-hand. Companies with a higher level of gender, racial and ethnic diversity perform better than their non-diverse counterparts.

That’s why DEI is a central focus of our recruitment practice. We strive to raise awareness of diversity and inclusion within the hiring process.

Ensuring your recruitment process is fair 

The biggest challenge for many tech and creative companies is creating a recruitment process with DEI at its heart. To do this, first, you must understand where you’re currently going wrong.

Evaluate your internal processes: ask yourself, “What can we do differently?” to ensure a recruitment process with a broader spectrum of representation.

This could mean looking beyond your current network, expanding your talent pool, and moving away from traditional systems, such as internal referrals.

You’ll also need to get an idea of how your workforce looks. Compile a database of your employees’ demographics and compare this to the labour market. Some areas you may wish to consider include:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Ethnicity
  • National Origin 
  • Race
  • Family Status 
  • Gender, gender identity or expression
  • Sexual orientation

In addition to this, creating transparency, particularly around pay disparities, is another important step towards DEI. Only once you’ve highlighted a problem are you able to begin fixing it.

There are many ways in which you can address unconscious bias and put emphasis on DEI recruitment. Here at Digitalent, one of the ways we are helping our clients address these challenges is through the application of our Synergy solution.

Synergy helps remove bias from the recruitment process by outsourcing the initial stages. We find out everything about your business – what you do, your culture and benefits, and the skills and experience you need to achieve your DEI recruitment goals. Using the questions you’ve provided, we’ll interview the top candidates and package up the results along with time stamps, CVs and tech tests (where relevant).

An added benefit of Synergy is that we coordinate the rest of the interview process, arranging everything with the candidate and your internal interviewer as well as offering management, references and salary negotiation.

Different laws for different states

In the US, employment laws differ from state to state. Understanding this before you begin your recruitment process is essential.

For example, it’s illegal to ask about a candidate’s pay history in 19 states. The aim of the law is to prevent pay discrimination, and there's strong evidence to suggest that it works. Research conducted by the Harvard Business Review found that the law created pay increases for black (13%+) and female (8%+) candidates.

However, this can lead to various challenges for recruiters.

Without knowing what a candidate earns, how do you ensure your offer is competitive? One way is to include a salary range on your job ads. It’s also legal to ask a candidate what they’d expect to earn.

Overcoming your DEI challenges

We’re strong believers in diversity. It’s the key to good recruitment. In fact, our process is built around it. This is why we can help you overcome the challenges outlined above.

We maintain a culture of continual learning and improvement and aim to increase the diversity within our company and work with our clients to achieve the same.

At Digitalent, we’re all about helping our candidates and clients capitalise on the latest tech trends and opportunities. Give us a shout to see how we can help you.

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