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How To Improve Your Workplace Diversity Using Hiring Metrics Achieve workplace diversity and equality by using workforce analytics and big data to improve your company's hiring outcomes.

By Andre Lavoie Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Achieving workplace diversity is a hot topic in hiring trends. It's a goal that requires a careful balance of resources and strategy, and companies lately have been diving in.

Related: This Is What You Get When You Ignore 'Quality Of Hire'

According to a September 2016 LinkedIn Pulse survey released just last month, startup founders projected that, in the future, they would be hiring roughly 50 percent female and 50 percent racially diverse talent in the future. The study also stated that 50 percent of white founders surveyed said their number one obstacle was finding the best talent, regardless of diversity.

Another significant factor here is how some companies are spending millions of dollars on improving diversity. In a May 2015 interview, Google's vice president of people operations, Nancy Lee, told USA Today that Google planned to spend $150 million that year to promote diversity.

Google's efforts were hardly isolated. In fact, there's been a seeming flood of targeted diversity outreach: Intel set aside a $300 million fund for its own diversity efforts by 2020; Apple pledged $50 million toward non-profit organizations supporting women in technology.

Small businesses, of course, lack such resources. But their leaders may be buoyed to know of a more budget-friendly and data-backed method for improving equality in the workplace: hiring metrics.

Here's how to use this method to organically improve your company's diversity.

Use big data to assess candidates fairly.

Decrease uncertainty about workplace diversity and equality by using workforce analytics and big data to improve your company's hiring outcomes. Start by creating an interview rubric to eliminate emotional bias and create a more efficient recruiting process.

Look at performance metrics and pre-hire data for current employees. By comparing these data sets, you'll see predictive trends emerge. For example, if the open position requires leadership skills, examine analytics on employees who have turned out to be great managers.

Did they all answer an interview question in a similar way? Do they have the same experience regardless of their background? Seeing these trends will help form unbiased criteria you can use to fill the position.

With this rubric, hiring managers can also perform a more focused interview with candidates. Alternately, engaging in small talk during the interview leads to bias. Instead of discussing what matters -- like job fit -- the interviewer may get distracted by qualities he or she shares with the candidate.

Related: 3 Prudent Hiring Practices to Acquire the Best Talent

This in turn might lead to a more highly qualified candidate being overlooked because the interviewer based the hiring decision on feelings, rather than data-backed analysis.

Support workplace equality naturally, with transactional data.

Track transactional data to measure your company's customer base. There is a tendency for company composition to affect what type of customers you attract. So, look for specific soft skills that appeal to certain demographics the company isn't reaching.

Everything from your marketing materials to aspects of your customer service will resonate better with similar demographics. For example, a company filled with multi-lingual employees will appeal to a multi-lingual clientele because that is the employees' perspective, too.

Use transactional data to analyze where there are holes in your own customer base, rather than your employee profiles. That will show what new soft skills to look for, enabling your company to hire people who can reach and cater to a broader customer demographic.

Focus on the quality of your hire metrics.

Track quality of hire after a candidate is onboarded. Companies often think that once a candidate is hired, he or she is no longer a factor in data analysis.

Remember that anyone's first few months will be dedicated to getting acclimated, receiving training and becoming familiar with company culture. Tracking quality of hire allows hiring managers not only to calculate the value a new employee brings, but also to assess their own approach.

Did your hiring process attract the most qualified candidate? Does the candidate's demographic directly support your target audience? Seeing the success of your recruiting process will help you identify relevant metrics.

Related: Recruiting Tips That Will Make You Rethink the Gig Economy

Know which metrics are most vital to improving workplace equality. Hiring metrics do not have any power unless they are analyzed and used accordingly. Workplace equality can happen naturally for any company when it is at the forefront of candidate assessment.

Andre Lavoie

Entrepreneur; CEO and Co-Founder, ClearCompany

Andre Lavoie is the CEO of ClearCompany, the talent-management solution that helps companies identify, hire and retain more A players. You can connect with him and the ClearCompany team on Facebook LinkedIn and Twitter.


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