Diversity is a hot topic in American society right now, especially as burgeoning social movements are sparking conversations about how to create more inclusive environments.
Yet creating more inclusive environments is more challenging than most employers think, and one of the main causes is what's known as the pipeline issue. This article will explore the pipeline issue most companies face in their recruiting efforts, why it needs to be addressed, and how to best address it in today's employment environment.
So let’s get started!
What is the Pipeline Issue?
You might not of heard of the pipeline issue, but it's an issue facing many companies trying to be on the forefront of diversity and inclusion, and it's one that needs to be talked about.
But you may be asking yourself: "What is the pipeline issue?"
The pipeline issue concerns the lack of women and people of color in leadership positions. Throughout society, women and people of color usually have less access to leadership positions than others do. This disparity comes from many factors, such as lack of mentors, lack of role models, biases in school systems and more. It’s vital that employers create a culture where employees can succeed and grow so that we can see more diverse leadership opportunities for everyone.
How can you address the pipeline issue?
Companies need to show that they’re committed to diversity and inclusion. If you want a pool of diverse candidates, it’s essential to establish your company as a place where this is valued and respected.
This can be done in many ways, such as:
1) Hold community events that attract people of color and women
Events are an effective way to get the word out about your company, but events that attract diverse candidates are even better. Holding events that attract people of color and women can be really great for your company because it signals to potential employees that you're invested in creating a diverse work environment. Events that attract diverse candidates also help build connections between companies and communities of color.
A few ways you can find events for your company include:
Checking with organizations like the NAACP or the National Council of La Raza
Talking to local colleges about their annual homecoming events
Asking around at local churches
Looking through classifieds websites for community groups and organizations
Asking local youth associations
2) Hire an HR manager with previous experience in recruiting diverse candidates
Another way to increase diversity in your company is to hire an HR manager with previous experience in recruiting diverse candidates.
Be sure to keep the pipeline issue top of mind as you interview for this position and think about what you can do to make it a good fit.
Some characteristics that might be useful in the best candidate for this position include: experience understanding why bias exists and how it impacts organizational behavior; experience recruiting women and people of color; and an interest in retention and identity development.
Hiring someone who has knowledge on what biases exist will also help your organization stay committed to the pipeline issue. It's hard work for one person to address all of these issues, so it's important that employees within the company are committed to staying informed and educated on these matters.
3) Promote your company as a place where diversity is valued and respected
Promoting the company as a place where diversity is valued and respected is key to increasing diversity in your company. This can be done by communicating how important the issue of diversity is to your company, making sure employees are involved in recruitment efforts, and monitoring employee satisfaction levels.
Similar to hiring an HR manager with experience in diversifying your candidate pool, it's important that employees within the organization are invested in the pipeline issue, and are committed to recruiting candidates from different backgrounds.
The commitment has to start from the top however. Senior leadership should be leading the charge on showing employees how committed they are to diversity and inclusion.
This will enable you to attract the best candidates for your organization, and it will also show that you're serious about building a strong workforce.
Communicating how important the issue of diversity is to the company can be done in many ways. We've already discussed hosting community events that attract people of color and women, but another way includes participating in panels with leaders from different backgrounds or belonging to different groups.
By reaching out to other communities, you also increase the chance of finding qualified candidates of the right cultural background for both leadership positions within your organization and jobs outside your organization.
Making sure employees are involved in recruitment efforts is also an effective way to increase diversity. Employees can be trained and involved in the interview process so that they understand the value of a diverse candidate pool for your organization.
In summary, dealing with the pipeline issue in recruiting for diversity in the workplace can be challenging, but it's well worth it. Research shows that companies with more diverse workforces experience high job satisfaction, better communication and increased productivity.
With these three strategies, you can start making progress on solving the pipeline issue for your company, and thereby increasing your ability to hire a more diverse workforce. So what are you waiting for?