By Ellen McGirt
Updated: December 14, 2017 2:28 PM ET

What’s your 2018 going to look like?

According to new data from Glassdoor, diversity and inclusion remains very much top of mind as companies plan their talent strategies for next year. The business case the data show is an interesting one: Qualified candidates are increasingly asking that companies show their inclusion receipts before they agree to be hired on.

“Job seekers want insights into what businesses are doing to build a workforce that is diverse in all aspects of the word be it age, gender, ethnicity or thought,” said Carmel Galvin, chief human resources officer of Glassdoor.

The report, which surveyed 750 talent managers in the U.S. and U.K., finds that 59% of hiring leaders say their current diversity shortcomings present a “significant” challenge to their recruiting efforts. As a result, 35% of hiring managers are planning to increase their investment in their diversity and inclusion efforts, with only 3% expecting to invest less.

Criticism about a lack of diversity in the workplace, particularly in tech, continues to be a motivating element, but getting quality candidates in the door takes a very specific form of work. (Here’s a great checklist from HR Dive for hiring managers to think about as they stare blankly at their goals for 2018.)

One area that’s ripe for improvement (and that’s easily overlooked) is finding out how promising candidates get lost before they even get a chance to sit for an interview or test.

Sometimes a simple intervention is all it takes. One mid-level executive at a Fortune 100 financial firm got sick of getting called out for a lack of diversity on her team. “I did what I never do,” she told raceAhead on background. “I called our recruiters and asked them to show me everyone who applied. Every name.” She retrieved some 20% of the screened-out candidates for interviews, some of whom had blue-chip achievements on their resumes, some of whom were intriguing for other reasons. “We’ve got to get better about letting people in the door who don’t always present like a “typical” rock-star candidate,” she said.

And at some point, every person who encounters a potential candidate needs to be encouraged and prepared to answer any questions about diversity and inclusion — specific programs, numbers, or simply demonstrate their company’s authentic commitment to the issue. “I learned something from every one of those interviews,” said the newly woke mid-level executive. “For one, I learned that the pipeline problem was mostly us, not them,” she said. But most of all, “I learned how to better talk about what we believed about diversity. Because we really do believe in it.”



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