The digital skills gap is widening at an alarming pace. In emerging technologies such as AI, Big Data Analytics & Cloud, this gap currently sits at 3MM+ and growing. Over the next seven years, this figure is expected to balloon to 7 MM+.
To bridge this gap, enterprises are resorting to re/upskilling initiatives for their employees. While this measure has been met with some success, analysts have noted that Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) has taken a backseat. In all job roles across industries, ensuring optimal representation across gender, age, sexual orientation, physical disabilities, and other factors has become a matter of priority.
Long-term studies conducted by global universities and even industry analysts agree that a diverse & inclusive workplace provides the benefits of
- Increased creativity
- Access to a variety of perspectives
- Better consumer understanding
- Richer brainstorming
- Boosting your brand reputation
- Better decision making
- Talent availability even in tight labor markets
How D&I Can Help Fill The Talent Gap
While hiring is continuing on-track even during COVID-19, we have noticed that companies are not able to meet their diversity slate commitment. Narrowing your talent search to the usual suspects will only hamper efforts to beat the talent crunch. One obvious solution is to cast a wider net.
Fish in a Bigger Talent Pond
The term neurodiversity isn’t what people usually think when thinking of diversity. But this is precisely what workforce planners at Dell aimed to accomplish – a neurodiverse workforce.
Each year, over half-a-million adults on the autism spectrum will enter the workforce. Traditional hiring processes are often too much to handle for them, and they regrettably opt out of the job hunt.
By curating a custom hiring process for such people, Dell has shown that the talent gap can be filled with some creative thinking.
The FLY again initiative by Airbus India is aimed at hiring women who are trying to restart their careers. IT major Accenture also has a similar mentoring for women called Career Reboot for Women that is a resounding success.
Wall Street companies, notorious for their lack of diversity, are increasingly turning towards hiring from Historically Black colleges and universities.
COVID-19 has shown that most in-house jobs can actually be done from the employee’s house. This recently revealed location-agnostic nature means that enterprises are no longer restricted to hiring from Tier-1 cities that are rich in talent. Financially disadvantaged minority talent is found in more numbers in these cities and is, therefore, an excellent opportunity to hire from a diverse talent pool that is eager to prove themselves on the job.
Leverage Tech To Hire for Diversity
Unsurprisingly, new-age tech is playing a vital role in both increasing diversity as well as filling the talent gap.
A cursory study of job descriptions on job portals found that the language on most of them was skewed towards male, cis and white candidates. Though accidental, this kind of unconscious bias can really prevent minorities from thinking about applying to the job.
Companies are using tools like Textio Writing to remove bias from job descriptions. The augmented writing tool lets you draw out the most qualified and diverse talent pool for a job role.
HiringSolved is another AI-powered solutions. The tool automates candidate matching with particular care to increase diversity and significantly helps to reduce time to fill jobs.
Retaining Diverse Talent
Getting diverse talent is only half the work. The other half is in retaining this talent. Attrition among minority talent has been observed to be 15% higher for the same job role. Among the most common reasons for this is the lack of “inclusivity” in the workplace.
Developing a culture of inclusivity can only happen through concerted efforts from HR and senior management. The need of the hour is culture, gender and ethnicity sensitivity training programs. However, these should not be made mandatory. An HBR study notes that mandatory diversity training often has the opposite effect. Instead, these trainings should be interleaved with every process within the company.
In other words, D&I should become a part of the company ethos.
Another strategy to retain minority talent is by reskilling them. Our analysis reveals that minority talent is primarily employed in roles that are at severe risk of disruption. The only solution to avoid redundancy is to re/upskill. This whitepaper on ethnic diversity in the US retail sector explores this strategy in detail.
Using our proprietary Draup for Talent platform, talent managers get access to dashboards from where they can perform a comprehensive analysis for their minority talent. Draup uses Machine learning models to perform prior analysis and can replicate it on a broader level for any job roles/skills across functions.
The Reskilling Navigator, combined with the Diversity Navigator tool, allows workforce planners to comprehensively manage and ensure that their enterprise diversity goals are met.