Talent Acquisition

Diversity Slates: Friend or Foe?

Tanjia Coleman
September 12, 2021

So, one thing when you begin working with clients that are focused on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging is they have a commitment to diversity slates but diversity slates without a true commitment that results in diversity hires are null and void.  One nullifies the other and can leave an even more negative impact.  We are in a time where job seekers are hyper conscious of the time commitment involved in the interviewing process: the research, preparation and practice that is required to adequately prepare for an interview.   The entire process is extremely time consuming so if the thought is to just have a diversity slate to say you’ve met your diversity slate metric but have no intention of hiring diverse individuals then it’s a diversity measure that is not going to move your organization’s diversity goals forward.  

Therefore, if your organization has a commitment to diverse interviewing slates as well diverse interviewing panels these are wonderful diversity strategies.  More and more candidates are demanding to see diverse interviewing slates to further reinforce an organization’s commitment to diversity.   Candidates need to see that there are diverse individuals within an organization that have attained middle and executive level positions.   This should not include adding diverse individuals to the interviewing slate purely for vanity purposes but ensuring candidates see the authenticity of your organization.   

According to Glassdoor, more 76% of  job seekers and employees report that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers and 32% of employees and job seekers would not apply to a job at a company where there is a lack of diversity among its workforce.   These statistics have a significant impact on the growth and scalability of organizations.  

Also, having diverse individuals participate on interviewing panels isn’t effective if at the end of the day those individuals’ voices aren’t heard as part of the final candidate assessment.  We have all been there; you interview with eight individuals and really the decision boils down to one or two individuals and the others that were part of the interviewing slate feedback isn’t weighed in the same manner. It’s as if the other members of the diverse interviewing panel don’t matter therefore organizations should be clear with everyone that is part of the process of interviewing candidates of what their distinct role is on the panel and that their voice will be considered heavily in the decision making process.   

So, how can organizations proactively address these issues?  Here are three considerations:

Diverse Interview Slates

  • Talent acquisition and HR teams need to understand the diversity strategy and goals for their organization
  • Ensure diversity slates have more than one diverse candidate
  • Harvard Business Review found that when the final candidate pool has only one diverse candidate they virtually have no chance of being hired.  Conversely, if the interview slate consists of 2 women, the chances of a women being hired increased 79 times and where there are at least two minorities in the candidate pool the odds of hiring a minority candidate increased were 194 times greater.
  • Ensure all candidates have an awareness of your commitment to diversity.  
  • Measure your results to assist in reinforcing or realigning specific diversity recruitment efforts.

As researched, diversity slates are a proven commodity to ensuring increased diversity hiring goals are met and/or exceeded.  However, these efforts have to be performed in a climate where everyone is informed, and established processes support your organization’s overall diversity and talent acquisition strategies.  

Happy Recruiting!

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