Looking to HR Tech for Workforce Diversity Solutions

photo-montage-1514218_640This year’s HR Technology Conference was, as always, a whirlwind. We met so many interesting people and were lucky to attend some fascinating talks, including one from our own Nick Sturiale. In the crowded exhibit hall and throughout the conference one thing was clear: technologies around human capital and diversity are growing at an incredible rate.

As I toured exhibition booths and sat in on lectures and panel discussions: Talk about diversity and inclusion was everywhere from the hackathon focused on diversity to numerous companies offering different solutions for organizations hoping to better recruit, hire, and retain a wide range of employees.

PREMIUM CONTENT: US Diversity Staffing Firms

Diversity has become a huge issue across sectors from Silicon Valley to the Fortune 500. Just last week, President Obama called on our national security services to recruit and hire more diverse workforces, calling it a “national security imperative.”

More and more research shows that companies with more diverse workforces are more creative, more profitable, and ultimately more successful than their less diverse competitors. The global consulting firm McKinsey found that gender-diverse companies were 15% more likely – and ethnically diverse companies were an astonishing 35% more likely – to outperform their more traditional counterparts. Even more incredible, McKinsey also found that in the United States “for every 10 percent increase in racial and ethnic diversity on the senior-executive team, earnings before interest and taxes rose .8%.”

Pressure across sectors is mounting as well. General Mills left their ad agency this year, saying they will only work with creative departments that are “to be staffed 50 percent by women and 20 percent with minorities.”

As data, and public pressure to diversify, continue to mount, the market for technologies and services that can help recruit, hire, and retain diverse teams is rapidly expanding.

It was great to see so many innovative approaches to this problem at HR Tech. As human capital experts, we have to be on the front lines of this important push. We’ve seen that training programs alone are not enough to help HR departments hire a wider variety of candidates. The solution to this problem must and will be a technology one. Through software we can write better job descriptions, structure better interviews, and make sure that everyone, from the recruiter to the head of hiring, evaluates candidates using the same process, metrics, and expectations.

HR tech experts, who really understand the complex systems, databases, assessments, and recruitment strategies that make good 21st century hiring possible, will be the innovators who ultimately find ways to step into this growing market with the high-quality tools companies need to make an impact.

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