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Diversity metrics you should track during the hiring process

January 18, 2023, 12:48 PM UTC
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Staying on course to hit previously published diversity targets requires ongoing analyses of hiring practices.
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In 2020, many HR and DEI leaders helped set ambitious five-year plans to increase diversity and inclusion. But some now fear the enthusiasm and support behind corporate diversity efforts have stalled, especially as the U.S. enters a possible recession. 

DEI initiatives are often the first budget item cut amid financial constraints. Because of this, experts say, now is a crucial time to track diversity progress and pacing and update benchmarking practices. 

“This is the time, even though Christmas has passed, when employees see whether you’re naughty or nice. Did you really mean what you said? And how is that coloring the decisions you’re making?” says Meisha-ann Martin, senior director of people analytics and research at HR software company Workhuman. 

Staying on course to hit published diversity targets requires that talent heads continually collect and analyze data and metrics on their workforce makeup. And it goes beyond representation numbers.

“Representation is where it starts,” Martin says. “Examine the [entire] process: who’s applying, who’s getting to the hiring manager, and who’s being hired.”

Who’s applying? Look at your applicant pool. Is it reflective of geographic surroundings or the broader talent market? If not, identify potential roadblocks, such as how you’re wording job descriptions. Do they include limiting or biased language that could discourage underrepresented candidates or women from applying?

Who’s getting interviews? Require hiring managers to track who’s represented in their interview pool, depending on how candidates self-identify in their applications, and applicants’ journey through the hiring pipeline. Collecting such data can illuminate demographics employers should focus on sourcing and at what point certain candidates fall out of the interview process. Also, remember that solely implementing policies like the Rooney Rule, which requires hiring managers to interview at least one underrepresented candidate or woman for every job, does not directly boost diverse hiring. Employers must implement additional interview training and processes to eradicate potential biases.  

Who’s hired? Track candidate outcomes. Suppose you’re not measuring hiring decisions for marginalized candidates after implementing changes earlier in the pipeline. In that case, Martin says, “You invite people to the table just to meet that goal, and they end up disproportionately not getting hired.”

Amber Burton

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Everything you need to know from Fortune.

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This is the web version of CHRO Daily, a newsletter focusing on helping HR executives navigate the needs of the workplace. Today’s edition was curated by Paolo Confino. Sign up to get it delivered free to your inbox.