Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

2022 Brazen Diversity Hiring Webinar: Top Takeaways

Feb 02, 2022 - Valery Caputi Lopez

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) is a hot topic in today’s hiring landscape. And not just for employers, but for job seekers as well. We even experienced this fact firsthand during Brazen’s 2022 Diversity Hiring Webinar: Strategies, Statistics, and Stories, which garnered over a thousand registrations in just a few weeks — a new record for our company!

This virtual event featured a panel of 4 speakers and subject matter experts, including Kirby Traynham, Sr. Manager North America for D&I Talent Acquisition at Dell Technologies, Fields Jackson, Jr., CEO & Chief Cheerleader at Racing Towards Diversity Magazine, Brian Vaught, EVP for Diversity, Equity, and Belonging at Publicis Media, and Russell Fugett, Chief Encouragement Officer at Jumla Network as they discussed the current state of diversity hiring in their own industries and beyond.

Diversity Hiring Panel Webinar Cover Image

Click here to watch it on-demand.

Prefer to read than watch? No worries, we’ve also got you covered! These are the 4 top takeaways from this incredible webinar, including some insights from our panel experts, starting with:

1. Work Equity and Opportunity Gaps are Growing

    Job and wage losses were reported to hit minorities the hardest, with Pew reporting that 44% of Black and 61% of Hispanic individuals have experienced job and wage loss throughout the pandemic. Covid-19 has also exacerbated the already uneven work equity gaps between genders. According to a study by McKinsey, women’s jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable than men’s jobs. And while women make up 39% of global employment, they accounted for 54% of overall job losses during the pandemic.

    So what are organizations doing to get these women back? Traynham had some suggestions for this specific issue: “I think we're starting to see a lot of organizations actually offer what historically would have been a re-entry program intended for someone (typically for female employees) who's had to take time off to care for someone who is sick or to care for their family. This transition of a company’s engagement strategy is now being extended to individuals who are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, except this bridge is focused on offering flexibility to attract employees back in. Remote work has further supported that flexibility as well. Now [companies] have to align to what talent wants and bridge that gap with programs that can effectively bring people back to work”.

    2. TA Teams Are Facing a Competitive Talent Market

      Driving diversity across the organization isn’t a simple task, particularly if you are currently in a veritable tug-of-war with other organizations over a limited supply of talent. Vaught explains:

      “Some of the biggest challenges right now that TA teams are experiencing is definitely around the war for talent. We all know the market is hot and it’s a hard job being a recruiter, with about 20 target roles on their plates at any given time and other companies pulling at the same applicants to make them better offers.” According to him, TA teams need to actively challenge themselves and their hiring managers to think differently about their definitions of talent and consider non-traditional candidates for many open positions, or risk coming up empty handed.

      Finding ways to reach underrepresented candidate pools is no longer a plus, but a must in this recruitment climate. As Jackson explains, “when people say they can't find anybody, I tell them you have to open up your network. Because if you're talking to the same people, you are going to get the same answer every time. The second you bring in somebody new and diversify that talent pool, the answer will change. That’s why when we hosted our own job fairs, we pushed them out to the whole HBCU network (not just the top 20 schools), in addition to 150 other universities that also showed up. The quality of the student alumni and folks that showed up was just unbelievable, and there were diverse students from all over.”

      3. Today’s Candidates Want Diversity in their Organizations

        2 out of 3 candidates seek companies that have diverse workforces (Glassdoor). Not just that, but new hires and prospective employees are holding organizations more accountable when it comes to diversity, pushing for significant internal changes rather than superficial posturing on behalf of employers. “Culture is increasingly important to job seekers, and nowadays they have many avenues with which to peer into a company. So as companies start to get their arms around diversity, they can no longer depend on lip service. [Candidates] are going to look at your board of directors, your senior leadership and check for themselves whether or not you’re practicing what you preach,” said Jackson.

        Part of this shift is also attributed to the generation of workers that will soon be dominating the talent market. “Millennials in the next three to five years are going to be the largest cohort in the workplace. And as many of us know, millennials are also the most diverse generation in American history. So the shift is coming, and companies need to be ready,” added Fugett. According to Deloitte, 83% of millennials reported to be more likely to be engaged at work within inclusive companies, while 47% actively look for diversity in potential employers.

        That being said, it’s not enough to only feature diversity within your company’s entry level roles. Diversity must be seen and experienced across the organization, particularly in leadership and managerial roles. But that is far from the reality today. In fact, 78% of employees who responded to a Harvard Business Review Study said they work at organizations that lack diversity in leadership positions, showing that there is massive room for improvement in most organizations. Even within the ones that have diverse board directors right now, over one-third of them hold multiple board seats across different companies, suggesting that opportunities aren’t as widespread or as easily accessible as they should be.

        4. Virtual Hiring Events Help Organizations to Cultivate, Engage, and Hire Diverse Talent

          Virtual hiring events help level the playing field for applicants because they don’t require travel, can be off-hours, are more accessible to a wider range of candidates, and can help reach more diverse talent pools, among other key benefits.

          “Dell has been partnering with Brazen to host virtual career fairs and it’s been very successful. Virtual career fairs have really played out for us well this year, by offering the volume to get enough talent through the pipeline, but then also enabling us to provide the unique, personalized experience to further attract talent that may have already been contacted by five different organizations,” Traynham said.

          Jackson seconded that notion. “We were thrilled with the Brazen platform. It's easy to work. It's easy to get in. It's easy to recruit. But more importantly, it opens up people’s view of what is possible [in the recruiting world today].”

          To watch the full webinar, click here or on the banner below.

          Diversity Hiring Panel Webinar Cover Image

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