There are several concepts that have exploded into the general consciousness of business owners and human resource departments in the last couple decades, and the acronym "DEI" is one of the most common examples. Short for "diversity, equity and inclusion," DEI programs have helped employers across numerous industries improve their hiring processes, both for themselves and their applicants - and there are several reasons you should be strongly considering these initiatives if you haven't already.
At Integrated Companies, we're happy to assist clients around Utah with various employer HR solutions, including help in the vital area of recruitment and hiring. Here are some basics on what defines DEI, the clear benefits of this approach for your hiring needs, the connections between DEI and strong company culture, and how to go about including DEI concepts in your hiring processes.
Defining and Understanding DEI
As we noted above, DEI stands for diversity, equity and inclusion. Let's look at the individual terms here:
- Diversity: This is a blanket term that basically refers to the makeup of your workforce or applicant pool - how many people from different backgrounds are present? Are there demographic groups that are overrepresented or underrepresented?
- Equity: Equity is about ensuring fair opportunities for employment and advancement. It means taking diversity a step further and making sure that all groups have equal access to resources and opportunities.
- Inclusion: Finally, inclusion is about establishing an environment in which all employees feel welcomed, respected and valued. This can include combating microaggressions or other behaviors that make underrepresented groups feel unwelcome or isolated.
In practical terms, DEI can involve several different steps for the hiring process, ranging from recruitment and retention strategies to mentoring and cultural competency training. It also involves constant re-evaluation of diversity and inclusion factors, both in the context of hiring processes and within your company culture as a whole.
Benefits for Employers
There are numerous benefits that can come with strong DEI programs for employers, including:
- Attracting top talent: When you're known as an inclusive employer, you'll naturally attract more applicants from diverse backgrounds who want to work for a company that values them.
- More innovation: When you have diverse voices at the table, you'll be more likely to generate new ideas and approaches - and this can lead to better products or services for your customers.
- Better financial performance: Studies consistently show that companies with strong DEI programs perform better financially than those without such initiatives in place. This is due to a variety of factors, including attracting better talent and avoiding legal issues.
Benefits for Applicants
Not only that, but job applicants can benefit in a variety of ways from strong DEI programs, including:
- More opportunities: When companies are actively seeking diverse candidates and promoting equity and inclusion, this means more opportunities for job seekers from underrepresented groups.
- Fair treatment: DEI programs help ensure that all candidates are treated fairly in the hiring process, regardless of their background or identity.
- Removal of biases: Whether conscious or unconscious, we all have biases that can impact our decision-making processes. DEI programs help address these and create a more level playing field for applicants.
Company Culture Connections
Beyond just the hiring process, DEI initiatives also play a major role in establishing and maintaining strong company culture. When employees feel included and valued, when they see people who look like them in leadership positions, and when they know that their company prioritizes diversity and equity, they're naturally more likely to be engaged and committed employees. This can lead to lower turnover rates, a happier workforce and better overall financial performance.
Including DEI in Hiring Processes
If you're ready to make DEI a priority in your hiring processes, there are several steps you can take:
- Conduct a diversity and inclusion audit of your current hiring processes.
- Develop strategies for attracting diverse candidates.
- Train employees on cultural competency and inclusivity.
- Review job descriptions and requirements to ensure they are inclusive and not biased towards certain groups.
- Establish metrics for evaluating DEI progress in hiring.
At Integrated Companies, we understand the importance of DEI in creating a strong workforce and company culture. That's why we offer a variety of solutions to help clients implement these concepts into their hiring processes. Contact us today to learn more about our services for employers around Utah, and how we can assist you in creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace. Together, we can build a better future for your organization and its employees.