DE&I Recruitment Practices & Policy Review
Conscient Strategies was engaged by a health care policy organization to establish their five year strategy. From the onset, it was critical to this organization to ensure that they included diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as the lens through which all work would be done. During the development phase, we leveraged a DEI lens to evaluate strategic opportunities and embed DEI concepts into decision-making.
With an increased emphasis on DEI, Conscient Strategies adapted the DEI lens concept and worked with our client to apply a catered lens to both their internal operations and external programmatic work. Through those efforts, we drafted an updated equity principle, crafted an organizational equity lens, developed a process and tool to track equity lens usage over time, and integrated DEI goals into the organization’s 2020 objectives and key results (OKR) framework. Specifically, one of the main areas where we applied this lens was to embed DEI into efforts to attract, recruit, hire, and retain talent.
Working hand in hand with the executive team, Conscient Strategies applied the DEI lens to each component of the pipeline creation cycle. Included in each of these areas was the creation of the following framework and deliverables that the client can reference and utilize as they enhance their talent acquisition.
What We Did & Results
Working hand in hand with the executive team, we applied the DEI lens to each component of the pipeline creation cycle. Included in each of these areas was the creation of the following framework and deliverables that the client can reference and utilize as they enhance their talent acquisition.
In each area, it was important to create the baseline of where this organization currently operated and align with their desire for a more diverse and inclusive work environment.
The recruitment practices involve four interlinking gears, recognizing that actions at each gear affect all of the others:
Of key importance in attracting talent is reflecting the commitment of the company to DEI principles and actions. We worked with the team to develop a DEI business case, ensuring that everyone understood the value of a diverse team and was excited to proceed. DEI was already part of the values of the organization, and we worked to improve the language and make the value more visible on the website. We established recruitment goals and job description best practices so that everyone within the organization was executing against the same standards and to ensure that wording and job requirements optimized inclusivity. In order to attract a more diverse talent pool, we identified target communities that were rooted in DEI principles and could identify and refer potential candidates.
The processes the organization had for recruiting were evaluated and an overhaul of their processes was conducted. We undertook a review of the interview process, sourcing, and outreach. It was discovered that there was a limited scope for each of these. We expanded the locations where this organization sourced talent. Importantly, we worked with the team to establish relationships with organizations who could refer individuals, expand the locations where they typically posted announcements, and expand the audience who would be interested or hear about the opportunities. We also updated all job descriptions to ensure that they met best practices.
Recommendations and an implementation plan were created to advance the direction for hiring decisions. Specific criteria were established for interviewing candidates, and the team worked to broaden identification of experiences that would be relevant. We also established an Applicant Tracking System to track demographics of applicants.
Retention is heavily influenced by a sense of inclusion and belonging. A survey highlighted some of the issues that currently existed across different groups of employees. We conducted two all staff, virtual retreats to explore concerns and potential opportunities. Recommendations ranged from specific tactics, such as always sending slides and agenda ahead of meetings to accommodate staff with visual and other access impairments, to broader issues such as staff development efforts, performance management, and ongoing feedback. In order to ensure that DEI principles were integrated into all operations, we developed an Equity Lens. The purpose of the Equity Lens was to provide a framework to evaluate decisions and actions that result in more equitable outcomes. Decisions and activities are being filtered through the Equity Lens for all aspects of the organization – from recruitment and hiring practices, to operations processes, vendor selection, partnership efforts, and programmatic work.
The recruitment effort resulted in two new senior hires, bringing much needed diversity to the leadership team. Equally important to the immediate success, the organization has adopted new processes that will enable them to continue to act on their commitment to DEI. By including retention as a key step in the hiring and recruitment process, the organization is also establishing a virtuous circle.
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