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Does Your Organization Hire the ‘Best and the Brightest’?

5 Tips for Integrating Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging into Your Recruiting Process

For so long, organizations have said, “We need to hire ‘the best and the brightest.’ ” But what does that really mean in today’s world? Certainly, what is best for one organization may be different from what is best for another. But, even if an organization were to carefully define what it means by ‘the best’, its hiring practices will ultimately determine whether it can be achieved.

Furthermore, there is plenty of research to support the notion that diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) leads to increased productivity, retention, innovation and profitability. Top performing companies are committed to examining and modifying their people processes to help foster DEIB in their organizations. (For more on this, please read my recent blog in which I provided a Three-Step Process - Auditing, Assessing and Adjusting for organizations to use in reviewing their people processes.)

When considering both our desire to hire the best and the potential benefits of DEIB, we can understand why integrating DEIB into our hiring practices is so important. After all, the recruiting process is the very first touch point for those who may join our organizations. New hires are an essential feeder pool for the next generation of leaders and will contribute to driving the business forward. Whether they get the job or not, job candidates can become our organization’s #1 brand ambassador.

“Highly diverse and inclusive companies do not think about DEI as a “hiring problem” or “HR strategy.” They view this as a business strategy.”

Five (5) Key Areas of Focus

Below are 5 areas for your organization to consider when Auditing, Assessing and Adjusting your recruiting process to ensure integration of DEIB:

1. Employee Value PropositionArticulate what positively differentiates your organization from its competitors as it relates to DEIB – its culture, processes, policies and job design. For example, how does your organization demonstrate it values the voice of all its employees? Are opportunities for career development, mentorship, exposure to senior leaders and advancement clear, transparent, and available to all? What policies and benefits are in place in the organization that would attract diverse candidates (e.g., flexible hours, remote work)? These are some of the things that will attract the ‘best’ talent for your organization.

2. Definition of SuccessDefine what ‘best and brightest’ means in your organization through your job descriptions (and advancement criteria). Outline the skills and performance standards required for success in each role and level. Determine how best to evaluate culture fit of a prospective hire and its importance relative to experience and specific skillsets.

3. Recruiting Function and Interview Panels - Consider the diversity in the recruiters who are sourcing and screening applicants, as well as those involved in evaluating candidates and making hiring decisions. Work to remove information to ensure fair, unbiased evaluations of candidates. Train hiring managers to ensure that the ‘best’ candidate is selected.

4. Hiring Process and TechnologyMake a commitment to search for equally qualified, diverse talent in nontraditional sourcing locations. The use of behavioral interviewing can decrease bias in learning about the candidate during interviews. interview process. Many organizations are using technology (i.e., AI) to remove bias in the resume evaluation process, in addition to newer techniques including blind hiring and a scorecard.

5. MeasurementIdentify the most objective, meaningful and actionable metrics to measure, and determine who will see and how your organization will respond to the results of your analyses. Include short-term and longer term measurements and avoid gathering only activity-based data. Survey your new hires and interview panels about the experience and effectiveness of the hiring process, both before and after you complete the ‘Adjustment’ phase. Remember, “what gets measured gets improved.”

Finally, as with most large-scale cultural, operational and organizational transformations, what is most critical for success is the support and active involvement from the top of the house (e.g., CEO, C-Suite, Senior Executives, Board).

For assistance with reviewing and enhancing your organization’s recruiting process to ensure it reinforces your organization’s DEIB philosophy, strategy and goals, contact me at or


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