10 Things You Can do to Attract Scarce Talent: #1 – Focus on DEI

By The Intersect Group

We believe skilled talent such as IT and accounting/finance professionals will be difficult to find, let alone hire, for the coming months, possibly even well into next year.

We’re not alone in this:

The IT talent shortage isn’t just because of the current situation the country is in due to the pandemic: a software developer shortage in particular already is here: there were 1.4 million unfilled computer science jobs in 2020, with only 400K graduates per year. Yet, the shortage is expected to reach 85.2 million workers by 2030.

As for finance staffing: The U.S. was facing a shortage of accountants and CPAs even before the pandemic due to retirements. Additionally, too many finance professionals have become specialists rather than generalists. So much so that they “lack the general business skills that many CFOs are looking for.”

Introducing our latest series: strategies to attract scarce talent

To help our IT and finance clients attract the incredibly hard-to-find professionals they need, this post is the first of 10 offering up recruiting strategies.

This first post in the series discusses why a focus on your company’s diversity, equality and inclusion efforts is critical today and in the future if you want to attract top talent in your sector.

  1. Focus on DEI

Why a focus on DEI is critical

SHRM states that a company’s focus on “company culture and diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) efforts play a big part in the decision to apply for a job,” with about 86 percent of job seeker survey respondents saying it’s somewhat or very important, 49 percent asking about the company’s goals about improving diversity during their job interviews, and 42 percent saying they would reject a job offer if the company lacked diversity or clear goals to improve it.

Showcase your DEI efforts on your website

If you don’t have one already, publish a DEI commitment statement in a prominent place on your site’s career/job opportunities section. (You also could consider placing it as a banner at the top of the page).

You should also list the specific actions you’re taking to improve your diversity efforts and – this is even more important – the specific results of those actions.

Candidate communications

Consider placing a DEI statement in a prominent place on every correspondence you send to candidates. This would include email, regular mail, at the bottom of blog posts, PDF documents, etc.

Let top candidates speak with diverse employees

It’s always a good idea to let candidates in which you’re most interested speak with current employees so that they can get a feel for what it’s like to work at your company and get to know their future colleagues. (This can be done in-person, via phone, or Zoom.)

A list of more ideas using DEI to attract candidates

  • Build relationships with diverse organizations. Consider reaching out to diverse educational organizations to offer internships.
  • Incentivize your employees to refer diverse candidates they may know.
  • Partner with diverse business-boosting enterprises, such as Black, Hispanic, Asian, and other diverse chambers of commerce and associations.
  • Consider reaching out to external recruitment firms to help you broaden your search.
  • How diverse is your internal recruiting team? A first step may be to look for diverse recruiters, HR pros, etc.
  • Find ways to get involved with diverse business groups by offering mentoring programs, job training initiatives, etc.
  • Grow – or start – your undergraduate recruiting efforts with colleges that traditionally attract people in minority groups. Make sure to increase your internship programs with these colleges.
  • Consider hiring a DEI consultant. These professionals can take a look at your job postings and look for words and phrases that could signal a non-inclusive workplace. The consultant could also help you apply criteria consistently and question each one to find hidden biases in your recruitment, hiring, and even onboarding processes.

Contact The Intersect Group to learn more about how we can dig into our robust pool of IT and finance/accounting talent to help you find highly talented professionals.