Use Data to Inform Diversity Hiring Decisions

December 09, 2020

Contributor: Teresa Zuech

Labor market data provides a more complete picture of available talent, improving the success of diversity hiring initiatives.

The demand for recruiters with experience in diversity hiring jumped 800% between 2017-18 and 2019-20, according to Gartner TalentNeuron™ data. However, hiring specialists to bring in more diverse talent is only one step in the move toward a sustained approach to hiring, developing and promoting diverse talent. 

“ Women and men of color comprised only 10% and 18% of senior-level positions, respectively, in U.S. organizations ”

The events of 2020 have amplified the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) within business and talent strategies as protests against racial injustice followed the dual economic and health crises presented by COVID-19 — effects felt disproportionately by underrepresented groups.

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Diversity and equity opportunities aren’t new. As of late 2019, Gartner TalentNeuron data showed that women and men of color comprised only 10% and 18% of senior-level positions, respectively, in U.S. organizations.

“ Organizations can now take into consideration future location strategy and go beyond proximate labor markets ”

The challenge for hiring managers is how to hone the searches in their talent acquisition process. Data can help with that. Data can show, for example, that popular locations replete with talent aren’t always optimal locations that offer stronger representation of females and ethnic underrepresented talent. 

Consider the search for information security analysts in the U.S. 

Gartner TalentNeuron data shows top locations in the U.S. for information security analyst talent supply by minority segments.

Comprehensive labor market data shows, for example, that even though Washington D.C. offers a well-established and large talent pool, locations like Atlanta and Philadelphia offer higher proportions of diverse talent — and with far less competition from government contractors offering security clearances. 

Equipped with the correct data, HR leaders can provide a realistic view of diverse talent profiles across popular and alternative locations in the U.S. when making hiring decisions. 

Further, with the rapid adoption of remote and hybrid workforce models in 2020, organizations can now take into consideration future location strategy and go beyond proximate labor markets that may be homogeneous or experiencing high competition for diverse talent. HR leaders can then expand their geographical footprint and leverage flexible locations to increase the overall pool of qualified, available talent and improve representation of diverse talent within their organization. 

How does data improve a DEI recruiting strategy? 

Labor market data can support diversity hiring initiatives in a number of ways:

  • Expanded talent pools. HR leaders can use data to find, examine and adjust their location considerations and expand their talent pools. With a broader lens and improved understanding of labor market supply and demand, organizations can more effectively create and adjust DEI strategies
  • Broaden DEI understanding among business partners. Utilizing data for recruitment raises awareness among business and HR leaders of the availability of diverse talent segments in nonobvious alternative locations. 
  • Understanding bias. External labor market and competitor level diversity data are two of the best proxies HR leaders have to discover whether biased talent processes are preventing the fair and equitable acquisition, development and promotion of diverse talent in organizations. 

Read more: Lack of Skills Threatens Digital Transformation

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