The 2021 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Work candidate survey, by recruitment firm, DMCG Global, reinforces the importance of a diverse and inclusive work environment to jobseekers and employees. In fact, over half (55%) of the 133 creative and marketing professionals surveyed across the UK, Europe and USA, said they would consider looking for a new role if their employer could not adequately commit to it.
An overwhelming majority (77%) agreed that employer-based diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) programmes have a positive impact on workplace belonging and job satisfaction. Meanwhile, almost half (45%) said that a lack of DE&I commitment from a potential employer would stop them from actively pursuing an interview or an opportunity at that company.
“The impact that diversity, equity and inclusion has on an organisation’s ability to recruit talent is highly apparent through the survey”, says Louise Matthews, diversity, equity and inclusion consultant at DMCG Global. “Candidates know that DE&I contribute to a more productive, safe and satisfying workplace, so they’re assessing a company’s commitment to it. This, in turn, affects the uptake for new recruits at early stages”.
Show your commitment to DE&I
So how can you authentically demonstrate your commitment to an inclusive workplace? The survey indicates there are many effective ways candidates assess a potential employer’s commitment to DE&I, the two most prominent being ‘current employee experience’ and having a ‘diverse executive leadership and management team’.
Notably, a common theme across respondents was that a lack of diverse leadership, combined with poor leadership behaviours, are common indicators of an organisation just going through the motions.
DMCG Global has these three top tips to help you show your commitment to DE&I:
- Let candidates know that DE&I is a priority for your organisation throughout the interview process.
- Encourage peer-to-peer interviews that are open and discussion-based about the subject.
- ‘Walk the talk’ by appointing and promoting a diverse leadership team.
DMCG Global suggests putting yourself in the jobseeker’s shoes. If you were to conduct online research on your organisation, what would you learn about your company values, employer brand and the bottom line when it comes to what it’s like to work there? If you were to step back and examine the trust and fairness of your organisation, what would you find? Here are some key areas to consider:
- Your company’s core values.
- Employee benefits - do they demonstrate inclusion and are they accessible to all regardless of age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status?
- Company website, inclusive marketing, inclusive language.
- Online articles, and reviews on employment sites.
- Employee resource groups and equitable access to support and training.
Just because your organisation appears to demonstrate an inclusive and diverse environment, this must not be lip service, DMCG Global is keen to emphasise. If the reality behind these efforts doesn’t match, you will be doing more harm than good. Ticking boxes will not transform workplace culture. For this very reason, many jobseekers are taking time to learn about the genuine culture via personal experiences, connecting with past or current employees and reading online reviews.
Be prepared to answer DE&I questions in an interview
The survey reveals that potential employees are not afraid to ask about workplace inclusion and many of them want to know more about it during the interview stage, to help them assess if it’s the right place for them. However, 79% found that their interviewer could not answer those questions.
Everyone in the organisation has a responsibility when it comes to creating an inclusive environment. Leaders and managers must role model the inclusive values set forth by your company. At interview stage, can your leadership team share genuine insight into inclusion, and demonstrate how this shows up in the workplace?
If DE&I is part of your company’s core values then use examples to promote this. For example:
- How do you ensure fairness and respect?
- How do you empower team members and build collaboration and trust?
- What are the opportunities for growth and development?
- Does everyone have access to the same resources needed to balance the demands of the job?
- How do you hold yourself accountable for promoting diversity and inclusion?
- What programmes are in place to promote inclusion? Do you offer training?
Much more to be done
The survey shows that DE&I is a core part of the employee experience when job seeking and once employed in a new role. Yet, nearly two-thirds (65%) feel that not enough progress is being made towards genuine DE&I in the industry. Inclusion is key, and a lack of commitment to DE&I may cost employers in the longer term.
Matthews concludes: “By stepping forward and leading by example, employers can take the initiative and become a desirable and sought-after place to work, with high employee retention rates. In turn, this will have a positive impact and move the needle forward. In an industry that is made up of companies that are only as good as its people, we see that more can be done - with positive effects for employee acquisition and retention”.
The key takeaways from the survey are clear: Understand your commitment and ensure this is part of the workplace culture, be ready with clear examples at interview stage, and engage with employees to promote learning, cross-cultural communication, and employee collaboration.
If you’d like to know how DMCG Global can assist you in your talent requirements, please do get in touch for a confidential discussion by visiting www.dmcgglobal.com for your local representative.
DMCG Global is a leading international recruitment, search, talent and HR consultancy group, connecting businesses and brands with the best creative, marketing, communications, digital & tech talent from across the world. DMCG Global has local offices in London, Amsterdam, Berlin, New York, Los Angeles, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Brisbane, Perth and Sydney.