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What is Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB)?

You’ve probably heard the terms ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’ a lot. The terms ‘equity’ and ‘belonging’ might be less familiar, but they’re just as critical in setting your company up for success. A Deloitte study found that diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) offers a company a 46% increase in competitive advantage in the industry, 40% better and more accurate decision making, a 34% increase in financial performance, and many other benefits. Furthermore, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging improves retention rates and breeds cutting-edge innovation.

The recruitment stage is where it starts. Our Findem research shows that 57% of talent leaders want to hire a more workforce as one of their top three priorities, but sourcing candidates is a challenge for 43% of leaders.

In this article, we’ll discuss what diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are, the importance of focusing your recruitment and retention strategies on these initiatives, and how to overcome the challenges.

Definition of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB)

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) are four concepts that work together to boost team dynamics, productivity, and innovation within your organization. With DEIB at the core of your mission, you ensure that each team member has equal opportunities to do their best work and feels valued.

Here’s a breakdown of each concept:

  • Diversity refers to the demographics of your workplace, which includes ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, military/veteran status, location, nationality, disability status, skills, and many other factors. It can be challenging to diversify teams. And when you do succeed, having a certain percentage of diversity won’t transform your team—it’s the environment that you foster for diverse employees that brings real change.
  • Equity gives each employee fair and equal access, opportunities, and advancements, regardless of their diversity background. This can require companies to actively break down employees’ barriers to success. For example, if a new hire has a disability, an equitable workplace ensures that the resources are readily accessible to help that employee succeed. Equity means that each team member has the proper resources to do their job, with equal opportunity.
  • Inclusion ensures everyone on the team is treated fairly and respectfully, despite differences. Garter reports that inclusive teams have 30% better performance. Inclusion is about how employees interact. Are their ideas well-received? Are colleagues uplifting? Do employees offer each other constructive feedback?
  • Belonging centers around the employee experience of feeling accepted in the workplace. Every team member should feel that their perspective is valued and adds something useful. Belonging to a team implies a sense of value—that an employee is needed and wanted. A simplistic example is if a leadership team is composed of nine seasoned managers and a young, new manager. This could make the new manager feel like an outlier with little value to offer. But, if the others actively encourage the new manager to voice ideas and input, provide equal opportunity for this manager to lead projects and grow, etc., this helps the new manager to feel valued and respected. It delivers a sense of belonging.

Importance of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in the Workplace

Mentioning DEIB in your mission and vision statements is one thing, but it’s another to actually live out those values in practice. When people truly commit to driving diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in their workplace, they become more empathetic and engaged. This behavior has a ripple effect, encouraging other employees to consider how they can bring DEIB to their work as well, thereby turning the office into a more compassionate, productive place. Below, we dive into the concrete benefits you can expect as a result of embracing DEIB at your company.

Improves bias awareness

Because we’re human, we bring even unconscious biases into our decision making. Having a diverse workforce can bring biases to light. Establishing DEIB in the workplace inherently makes people more aware when it comes to staffing projects, hiring talent, giving performance reviews, and more. When DEIB is tracked and top of mind, everyone at the organization puts more emphasis on it, ensuring a more equal and inclusive environment for everyone.

Since hiring and recruitment bias can be especially detrimental to diverse talent acquisition—often where DEIB starts—a data-driven approach to sourcing helps remove some unconscious bias. That’s why Findem has created a platform that allows you to search for specific skills and experience, such as “software engineer with 5 years of B2B experience who has seen a company through a successful exit”.

Increases talent pool

Candidates will be less likely to apply for a job if they aren’t convinced employers care about DEIB. Millennial and Gen Z professionals actively avoid companies without a diverse workforce, clear promotion track, or commitment to confronting systemic racism in their ranks. If you have scathing reviews on Glassdoor about unfair compensation, favoritism, or cliques, you’re not going to attract the best candidates. By demonstrating that you take DEIB seriously and consider it in every step of the recruiting, interviewing, onboarding, and employee growth process, you open yourself up to potential employees who might not have even considered your company before.

But part of your duty is to find diverse candidates. If you don’t know where to look for diverse candidates, you could potentially miss out on some of the top talent on the market. That’s why having a platform, like Findem, that can help expand your talent pipelines ten-fold and increase candidate quality and diversity.

Boosts employee engagement

It’s no small matter to make sure everyone is included and feels that they’re a valuable member of their team. When employees are welcomed and appreciated, they’re bound to put more effort into their work, motivating their peers to do the same. Changeboard found that simply by having a diverse workplace, employees collaborated 57% better with their peers, worked 12% harder, and were 19% more likely to stay with their organization longer. When employees are engaged, they’re more likely to work as a team and collaborate cross-functionally, promoting a greater sense of belonging and inclusion.

Offers better decision making

All teams benefit from having various perspectives and opinions. Without variance in thought, you end up with homogenous ideas, a boring work environment, and poor performance. A team with different skills and experiences approaches problems more holistically, and as a result, tends to make better choices. The Society for Human Resource Management found that diverse teams are 87% better at decision-making than non-diverse teams.

Improves performance

Leadership has to reflect a diverse, equitable, and inclusive atmosphere for employees to feel like DEIB is truly a priority. And when they do, it pays off. Employees perform better when they feel comfortable bringing their full selves to work, knowing there are others who can offer the support and camaraderie they need to excel. Three McKinsey studies found that ethnically diverse companies had an edge of up to 36% more profitability, while companies with higher gender diversity had up to 25% better financially.

Challenges of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

The data clearly proves that diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are vital to your company’s success. But, how do you incorporate measures that improve DEIB in an effective way? Here’s how to tackle the top challenges.

Building a fair and representative talent pool and pipeline

Improving your recruitment strategies is a vital first step to building and maintaining a diverse workforce. To start, ask yourself, am I looking in the right places?

Conducting diverse talent searches to bring in people from groups underrepresented in your workplace is a good starting point. But if you don’t know where to look, your long-term DEIB goals can feel daunting or even unattainable. Findem can offer a hand by using data-driven practices to help you plan out a roadmap. Our platform’s proprietary search function helps you achieve the diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging targets you set for your pipeline. Recruiters can type full phrases, such as “previously led an employee resource group,” and find candidates who are already passionate about and will continue to uphold DEIB best practices in your organization. Plus, Findem has access to multiple datasets that are richer than LinkedIn or Indeed, and widen your search even further.

Once you’ve expanded your pipeline to fit your DEIB needs, you can use Findem to continue tracking DEIB metrics throughout the recruitment cycle, identifying sources, keywords, or phrases that led to hired candidates. Even better, Findem can benchmark your results against competitors to pinpoint any glaring issues or talent gaps so you can continue to iterate on your process.

Meeting diversity compliance

It’s crucial to generate a diverse and inclusive pipeline. Because of its many benefits, diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging is becoming a bigger area of focus for companies. But as your organization begins to introduce DEIB best practices, they must keep Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) requirements in mind. Both laws allow companies to source for very specific types of candidates to increase diversity.

These laws, however, become stricter once someone applies to a job posting. At that point, interviewers can’t discriminate against applicants in any way based on race, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, citizenship status, disability, or status as a protected veteran. Platforms like Findem can streamline the talent acquisition process by helping you source quality candidates in compliance with anti-discimination and labor laws in the U.S. Creating a diverse talent pool through methods like targeted outreach campaigns can help build you a diverse, lasting talent pipeline from the ground up.

Measuring DEIB

Measuring how well a company exemplifies diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging can be nebulous. Most companies default to annual employee surveys to gauge how they’re doing, but these polls only scratch the surface of how candidates feel, addressing just one or two components of DEIB. Not everyone participates in these surveys either, which can lead to skewed results. The worst part is it’s often too late for leadership to make substantial changes by the time results are analyzed. The good news is technology can help by centralizing and automating candidate sourcing and people management.

By analyzing conversion data at every stage of your talent funnel, you can see at a glance where your diversity recruitment strategies are breaking down and identify ways to fix them. For example, you may typically have a diverse pool of candidates, but very few diverse candidates make it through the phone screen or first interview. This may necessitate additional bias awareness training for your internal teams.

Training for DEIB

Getting your entire workforce up to speed on DEIB practices can be a challenge. This includes making sure every employee is aware of their biases, and knows what to do if faced with inequality, exclusion, or prejudice in the workplace. Good DEIB training empowers employees to look out for one another, and speak up if they see harassing or inequitable treatment of a colleague. But even before employees are hired, managers and recruiters need to know how to prioritize DEIB in the talent acquisition process, and to be aware of their biases in the hiring process.

Developing a clear, detailed definition of your DEIB training program (ways to engage in respectful, positive interactions and reduce discrimination and prejudices) for all employees is an important first step. According to one study, annual workshops/training only temporarily improve DEIB before behaviors slowly slide back to what they were pre-training, so it’s best to roll out continuous programs and trainings. It’s essential that recruiters seek diverse candidates—which tools like Findem can help with, and hiring managers know what questions are acceptable to ask. A truly DEIB attitude sets the tone for the whole organization, and a DEIB-focused company will attract diverse talent.

Next, we’ll dive into how to empower DEIB-focused initiatives in your organization.

How to Promote Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in the Workplace

Most companies don’t collect data on DEIB in the workplace. So it’s hard to know if you’re moving the needle on your goals when there are no numbers to show for it. As mentioned, you can start by collecting data points with surveys to get a sense of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging—from race and gender to employees’ ratings of access to resources and job satisfaction. Creating an employee resource group, diversity taskforce, and employee DEIB training programs are just some examples of how you can promote DEIB in your organization. Let’s take a look at some real-life use case examples.

The Marin Community Foundation used Findem to create diversity dashboards that monitor how different genders, races, ethnicities, generations, and veterans are represented in their talent pool. Since these analytics update in real-time, HR teams can immediately switch up their strategy if one of their KPIs is offtrack. Other companies have used Findem’s attribute-based search to guarantee their sourcing efforts include under-represented groups. Tying these hard metrics with more frequent, comprehensive survey responses can paint a better picture of how your company is performing when it comes to DEIB.

Make Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Part of Your Organization

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are more than just concepts. When implemented, they supercharge your company’s success in the market and foster innovation for years to come. But it can be challenging to build a workplace with DEIB values at the core—especially if you lag behind competitors, or fall short of diversity compliance goals.

That’s why Findem created a leading, data-driven platform that can help you reach your DEIB goals. We’re here to help you revamp your recruitment efforts to find highly qualified, diverse talent, shrink your hiring time, and track your progress. To see how Findem can help boost your DEIB, contact us for a demo.

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