Scanning the headlines today, you will undoubtedly come across stories about the need to build diverse workforces at all organizational levels, particularly the C-suite. The conversation has been driven in large part by the strength of the Black Lives Matter movement, in addition to recent legislation — including California’s Senate Bill (SB) 826 requiring public companies to find female board members — and empirical evidence showing that diversity is good for a company’s bottom line.
While the importance of diversity and inclusion initiatives in executive recruiting is clear, implementing those initiatives can be rather difficult. It isn’t as simple as posting a job ad on Indeed and waiting for qualified applicants to arrive at your door. Instead, companies must intentionally create practical and achievable plans to diversify their leadership ranks.
Many well-intentioned diversity recruiting initiatives are stymied by problems of perception. Developing actionable strategies to achieve diversity recruiting goals requires putting those erroneous perceptions aside.
When company leaders sit down to plan diversity initiatives for executive recruiting, several objections often immediately bubble to the surface.
Some of the objections above may have some merit. For instance, some smaller businesses really do struggle to pull in top candidates. Larger companies like Google or Nike can easily identify and attract diverse talent from all over the world, but a small or medium-sized enterprise not located in a major city may find it much more difficult to capture those candidates’ attention.
That said, board- and executive-level diversity cannot be ignored. Company leaders cannot bury their heads in the sand and try to ride out the trend toward more diversity with minimal effort. Instead, companies have to take practical steps to improve their odds of finding game-changing candidates from diverse backgrounds.
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