ICYMI:  Diversity Recruitment Innovations Webinar Recap


Last week, we were thrilled to host a webinar panel discussion with two of the top experts in the industry on Diversity & Inclusion. Gerry Crispin, Principal & Co-Founder, Career XRoads and Torin Ellis, Principal, The Torin Ellis Brand, examined the latest innovations in diversity recruiting and provided expert insights into creating an authentic approach to recruiting underrepresented candidates. We encourage you to take time now to view this replay if you weren’t able to join live and learn what you can do to improve diversity recruiting in your organization. Throughout this blog, we’ve highlighted leading companies and organizations actively focused on D&I initiatives, and at the end, we provide a list of resources you can use to take action on creating a more inclusive and representative workforce through your hiring programs.

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The Expanded Definition of Diversity

The concept of diversity today has expanded beyond only gender and ethnicity to include a diversity of thoughts, perspectives and worldviews. This has led to a resurgence in social, political and economic transformation that every corporation is now facing, including issues around gender parity, racial tensions, ageism, and neurodiversity. Questions such as ‘How do we collectively do work?’ and ‘How do we move the needle on the performance of the organization?’ have recently emerged. And they have led to the realization that if people at each level within the organization are not fully engaged to help each other, then the corporation will not be successful. Organizations that want to win the war for talent are forced to address how they embrace and celebrate differences rather than succumb to insulating themselves with people who think and act similarly. 

diversity-recruitingFor those organizations that recognize and understand this transformative period, and are serious about equity, inclusion and belonging with regard to their talent acquisition activities, then they are actively pursuing strategies to bring about purposeful results that create a truly inclusive workforce. And this starts with leadership at the top.

Innovative Diversity Recruiting Programs at Leading Organizations

According to the panelists, while there is considerable work to be done across every organization today, there are a number of companies that are leading the way in diversity recruiting programs. While the programs developed at these organizations are specific to their success, there are a number of examples that can pave the way for other companies. For example, Torin Ellis indicated that Larry Fink, CEO, BlackRock, in his Letter to Shareholders, has emphasized the growing importance of a diverse range of perspectives so that the BlackRock workforce will continue to transform over the next five years to be more representative of the clients it serves.

Similarly, at PepsiCo, according to Gerry Crispin, diversity has been a central focus at the leadership level. This grew, in part, because the company required that leaders do well in both overall business performance, but also in creating a workforce that would meet the values of the customers it served across every product, in every culture, across every ethnicity.

Responsibility for Gender Equity in Talent Acquisition

Another key discussion point during the panel was the topic of pay equity and the responsibility of talent acquisition to make this happen. For example, Mr. Ellis mentioned that he challenges not only men in talent acquisition, but women, and specifically women in recruiting who are presenting offer letters to candidates. If we know or see that pay inequity exists, it is up to each of us to not escape responsibility, but to offer equal compensation for equal work. The corporate example provided around this topic was the recent Salesforce Equal Pay Assessment. The company over the last several years took purposeful action to assess the salaries and bonuses of the global workforce and then to analyze unexplained compensation differences and make adjustments where necessary.


For organizations that want to go beyond just compliance and are truly concerned with gender equality, they need to examine their existing practices and then align their compensation practices to their values. Two additional resources provided by the panelists included the National Committee on Pay Equity Website and the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index that identifies corporations based on public evidence of how equitable they are. Just as in the United Kingdom, where companies are required to calculate gender pay differences, the trend toward transparency is growing. And companies need to step up in advance of compliance requirements and do the right thing relative to their values.

Programs and Best Practices Around Hiring with Disabilities

At last year’s HR Technology Conference, Gerry Crispin participated in a panel discussion with leading organizations, including Sodexho, Microsoft, SAP and BASF, which are innovating with regard to hiring candidates with disabilities. For example, at Microsoft, the company’s talent acquisition activities have focused on bringing in and building community around neurodiversity. The organization provides a class of new candidates with neurodiversity and provides mentors, unique onboarding experiences, and specialized training for hiring managers. This has impacted in an extraordinarily positive way every employee who interacts with these new hires and has actually increased engagement scores throughout respective divisions. Ultimately, companies that are focused on hiring candidates with disabilities need to think about how to change the existing culture of the workforce and identify how the culture will change for the better to help those candidates that are differently abled. But with just four percent of corporations focused on making disability inclusion mandatory, there is much work to be done across organizations today.

diversity-recruiting-candidates-with-disabilitiesHiring candidates with disabilities must also be a part of ongoing recruiter training initiatives. Leading companies today have implemented training programs for how recruiters should effectively interview people who outwardly declare they have a disability. Because if companies want to set themselves apart to win, they must bring in people that have been historically ignored. New practices focusing on issues of welcoming people of diverse backgrounds, onboarding or preboarding, like concierge services, technology and digital capabilities, will continue to play an increasing role in talent acquisition.

The Impact of Technology on Diversity Recruiting and Aligning Practices

With the rise of the consumer-quality candidate experience, technology will increasingly offer candidates a more informed search and more in-depth evaluation of potential employers. These new tools, including AI and machine learning, will also continue to empower underrepresented talent. In addition, the increase of employee-generated video is helping organizations relate to more diverse candidates. But complementing these incredible technologies, organizational practices must continue to drive the will of the talent acquisition function, and align to the values of the corporation to move the company toward greater inclusion.

For example, when it comes to sourcing underrepresented talent, you have to have the desire as part of your overall diversity hiring plan and the right CRM technology to develop genuine relationships with diverse candidates. And you have to empower and incentivize recruiters to build these diverse talent pools through nurturing and managing candidate relationships. In fact, leading organizations actually hold their recruiters accountable for diversity hiring results.

Closing Thoughts from the Experts

Organizations that are winning at inclusion are willing to step outside of their normal programs and paradigms, and get creative. And they self-reflect on what really matters. This starts at the individual level. Take time to examine what you care about. What your organization should care about. And what you can do to embrace the diversity around you. Listen more. And most importantly, think differently. Challenge yourself to be creative. Explore new boundaries. Create new perimeters and you’ll begin to do better as it relates to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.

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