Inclusive Hiring to Build Better Teams … Period

This excerpt from Inclusion Revolution, a new book by Daisy Auger-Domínguez, provides a practical road map for making meaningful progress in workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

Reading Time: 6 min 


People have a hard time hiring people outside of their comfort zone. You can design and implement the most inclusive hiring practices, but if your managers are not willing to champion diversity, equity, and inclusion across the business, you will struggle to attract and retain diverse talent. A diverse team doesn’t happen overnight. Culture change takes time, and representation is only one measure of progress.

We need to start somewhere. To set yourself up for success, you need clarity on metrics (what you’re aiming toward), transparency (how different processes lead to different outcomes), and accountability (who is responsible: The recruiter? The hiring manager? The team leader? The colleague who made the referral? Quick tip: The answer is all of the above).

Academic researchers Siri Chilazi and Iris Bohnet have shown that behavior change requires transformations along two dimensions: the will and the way. It’s not enough to be motivated to be an inclusive leader or to publicly commit to anti-racism if you do not have the knowledge and the skills to act on that ambition. Goals have the potential to transform behaviors because they provide both the will (motivation) and the way (understanding and skills) to change.

When goal setting, how you incentivize and hold people responsible for achieving the desired outcome can be the difference between success and failure. Accountability is key; there is no other route to success. Goals help motivate behavioral change by promoting accountability and transparency; boosting pride, recognition, and competitiveness; and shifting perceptions of desirable outcomes.

Diversity hiring goals should be a part of every employee’s job description and annual performance review and should be factored into compensation and promotion decisions. Meeting the company’s diversity hiring goals should be specifically stressed for middle managers and executives whose outsize positions enable them to change company hiring practices.

In five years, Nike has achieved more than 50% BIPOC representation through inclusive hiring practices like attaching key metrics to hiring and holding leaders accountable for representational growth in their teams. Now, Nike has its sights set on senior leadership positions and has pledged in the next five years to increase representation of women and BIPOC in those roles, tying executive compensation to the success of hitting those targets.


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