When it comes to DE&I, or any other initiative, the power is in the data.
But with so many ways to measure systems, progress, and results, it’s common to end up with measurements that do little more than waste time and decorate slides. The trick to powerful measurements is to measure the right things in the right ways to give true insight and empower good decisions.
To ensure your measurements are informing the decision-making process in a meaningful way, follow these five steps:
Start with the question – Define what question the measurement will answer to ensure your data is satisfying a specific purpose.
Add context – Establish terms for the question and how your team will interpret the targeted values (e.g. good vs. bad).
Map the “now what” – Decide what action you will take based on the results and who will be involved in the execution.
Get the data – Collect the information you need using either technology (e.g. an ATS or HRIS) or a manual process.
Communicate the results –Share the results in a compelling, actionable way with the right stakeholders.
Here are a couple of examples for how to apply this process to DE&I hiring measurements:
Question: Are we getting enough diversity in our candidate pool?
Purpose: Without enough diversity in the candidate pool, we will not be able to hire more diversely.
Context: Where “enough diversity” means on average of no more than 65% of the candidates applying are from a single demographic bucket in race/ethnicity, gender, or age.
Now what: If the candidate pool diversity is below target, initiate an investigation to potential causes including exclusive job descriptions, biasing requirements, inadequate sourcing, and biasing passive candidate targeting. Begin pre-approval process for additional spend to expand sourcing.
Data: demographic data (race/ethnicity, gender, age) for every applicant that has begun the application process per job. Include date opened, location, role, and rank of the job.
Communication: series of pie charts by demographic type showing demographic distribution. Highlight problem if the any one demographic carries over 65% of the full volume.
Question: Is our candidate screening process inclusive and equitable?
Purpose: even if there is enough diversity in the candidate pool, if candidates are not treated inclusively and equitably, we will not be able to hire more diversly.
Context: Inclusive means candidates are not opting out disproportionately from one demographic over another because they don’t feel welcomed or comfortable. Equitable means candidates are not being screened out disproportionately from one demographic over another for reasons that are not clearly driven by job requirements.
Now what: If the candidate pool diversity changes disproportionately for one or more demographics, initiate investigation to potential causes including biases and inequities in interview questions and results, exclusionary candidate experience, and preferential communication. Begin pre-approval process to modify interview questions and/or train interviewers on inclusive practices.
Data: demographic data (race/ethnicity, gender, age) for every applicant that has reached the stage of first interview and the point at which they leave the application process. Include date opened, location, role, and rank of the job.
Communication: series of pie charts by demographic type showing demographic distribution. Highlight problem if any one demographic shifts by more than 10% as compared to the other demographics.