Sustaining Your DEI Goals During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Talent Acquisition

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts in the workplace have undoubtedly been shaken up by the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies are being consistently challenged to pivot with all the changes being presented by a recovering economy, declining unemployment benefit support, waves of Covid-19 infections, and an increase in people getting vaccinations, and thus being available for in-office work.

With these changes, work is fortunately available, but qualified and interested workers may not be. With more employment opportunities being available, candidates have the liberty to be more selective with the offers they entertain. In an effort to keep companies staffed, hiring candidates quickly has become a top priority, which can overshadow other organizational plans, including DEI goals. Recruiting new hires is a definite priority for any company, but organizations should remember that employee retention is the key to growth, efficiency, and bigger profits.

>> Integrating Change Management in Your DEI Interventions

DEI efforts must be a consideration in company processes in order to save time and money. Examine your company DEI policies, online marketing strategies, remote work opportunities, promotion policies, and referral strategies in order to sustain your DEI goals during the pandemic.

Examine or Create Company DEI Policies

The workforce is multicultural, and multi-ethnic. In a world that is increasingly recognizing the differences between people as what makes them special and unique, rather than a source of division, any company would be remiss to not have DEI policies and practices in force.

An effective DEI policy includes details, goals, and considerations for how your organization will handle Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Some policies include the company mission regarding DEI, or commitment to DEI, principles regarding acknowledging employee differences in age, disability, gender, race, religion, pregnancy, sex, or sexual orientation, and methods of achieving these goals.

If you have a DEI policy, ensure that you are still taking the appropriate steps to achieve the vision of the policy. These policies make employees feel valued and enhance their sense of belonging with your organization. Engaged employees decrease employee turnover rates, and help companies grow.

Use Diversity in Your Online Marketing Images

Make sure that any website, social media platform, or company profile used contains images demonstrating diversity. As minority candidates search for employment and research your company, they will seek out ways to determine how comfortable they will be as a part of your team. One of the standards of measurement will be how diverse your organization already is. Don’t let the images they see associated with your company lead them to assume that diversity is not a concern. Present images that contain a variety of ethnicities and cultures. Even if the make-up of your organization’s staff does not currently meet your DEI goals, the images used will show that diversity is a consideration.

Offer Flexible Work Schedules and Remote Positions

Women are one of the diversity groups that have been disproportionately affected by employment changes related to Covid-19 due to being the primary caregivers of children and other family members among their households.

Be mindful of employees that need special arrangements in order to complete their workloads. Offer flexible work schedules, and continuing arrangements for remote work. Set realistic goals for completing work and meeting deadlines, and guidelines for communicating with supervisors, other employees, and clients.

Flexible working strategies help retain valuable employees who can continue contributing to your company with these supportive adjustments in place. These strategies also open work opportunities to new potential employees who don’t live nearby or have disabilities.

Promote From Within

Promote employees from within the organization if possible. Open advancement and growth opportunities to all employees based on ability, talent, and skill, regardless of seniority. Then, fill those open positions with new hires based on the same measurements. Job qualifications that prioritize experience over potential tend to favor a less diverse talent pool. Opening up job opportunities to a more diverse range of candidates will simultaneously help you to meet DEI goals and bring in a wider range of capable people.  

Use A Variety of Referral Strategies

Most companies have a go-to recruiting method that they consistently use to find new hires. Try using a variety of referral strategies if you are not getting diverse results from your current strategy. Create or continue an employee referral program but try offering bonuses for diverse leads or applicants that apply and are hired. The initiative to recruit diverse applicants through referrals can align with company DEI goals, such as hiring more women, or hiring more Hispanic people.

Encourage minority employees to refer people from within their networks. These candidates will most likely be from the same ethnic or cultural background as the employee which will lead to increasing diversity. Use recruiting companies or job boards that focus on diversity and minority hiring efforts.

>> Using Diversity Audits to Determine Your Company’s Needs

In this challenging, ever-changing workplace climate, organizations must work with efficiency, wisdom, and speed to gain and retain employees. We’ve identified five ways to sustain your DEI goals in the ongoing pandemic.

  1. Examine or create company DEI policies.
  2. Use diversity in your online marketing strategy images.
  3. Offer flexible work schedules and remote positions.
  4. Promote from within.
  5. Use a variety of referral strategies.

As your company recruits new talent, take these steps to ensure that all candidates will feel welcome. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion cannot be excluded from recruitment efforts when it comes to implementing methods for keeping your company afloat and successful.

Photo Courtesy of Stock Photo Secrets 

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