Welcome back. Now last week we talked about strategic planning and the steps that you can take in planning DE&I efforts so that they are more likely to be successful. Since the best practice in anything we do usually involves careful planning, let's talk about a plan or a process as it relates to diversity recruitment. DE&I recruitment usually means one, you have identified an underrepresented group or groups, and you have taken affirmative steps to locate and recruit those groups. Or two, you have a goal to recruit a specific market share of a group, such as a graduating class or geographic area you want your organization's demography to reflect, ie, you want your workforce to reflect the city or region's racial breakdown. In either case, there are plenty of best practices on diversity recruitment. See for yourself, pause the video. Google best practices for DE&I recruitment strategies or for finding candidates of color or women and see what comes up. What did you find? I'm pretty sure you've found some of the following and your searches; use social media. If you're looking for an engineer of color, you may connect with the National Society of Black Engineers or Professional Organizations for Latinx or women on LinkedIn or another social media site. Another best practice is to post the position on websites that actively reach out to people of color. Look at trade and association websites related to your field and post a job through them. Or consider a local resource like a magazine or an event like a job fair geared towards your underrepresented population and post your position or by a booth, MM as well. I'd be interested in what else you've found, but I will tell you that regardless of what you found, none of that means much if you're not willing to contact them directly. Honestly, DE&I recruitment should be more complicated than that, but it isn't. The truth of the matter is that the build it and they will come approach, the post it wait and see approach, the if they want the job they will find us approach. The passive DE&I effort is not going to cut it. Let's get that out of the way right now. You have to recruit directly, which means call, email, meet them. Why? Because you have to sell your vision to them that they will be more successful at your organization than anyplace else. That simply can't be done in a posting. But before you recruit them directly, you have to find underrepresented talent to recruit. Now, underrepresentation means you feel that you have less representation of a certain sex, race, or ethnic group than you would like. Recruitment plans for underrepresented talent usually starts with you answering the following questions. Demographically speaking, what does your organization look like? Then once you answer that, why does it look that way? If you have underrepresentation, you need to know why before you start recruiting. If in reality there's a problem that needs resolving, resolve it if you can, before bringing someone new in. Another reality you need to address is your applicant pipeline. Are you testing it to make sure that it is sufficiently supplied with the underrepresented talent that you are seeking? You need to know this so that you can answer the next question, which is, what does your organization want to look like? Got to ask this so that you can base your recruitment goals in reality as well. After answering, what do we look like? Why do we look this way? What do we want to look like? You have to then ask the final question. What is your plan to look the way you want to look? When answering this question be careful not to discriminate against anyone, meaning select or exclude anyone based on assignments made to them at birth. For example, we define underrepresented persons. It does not have to always mean a racial or ethnic minority or women. If you are underrepresented in LGBTQ employees, veterans, individuals with disabilities or white men, you should have a plan to recruit them directly as well. While DE&I is looking to balance out disparities, you don't want to create barriers in reality or perceive by creating terms of art or processes that exclude folks that should be included. Once exposed, not only do such contradictions dampen enthusiasm there are the perfect recipe for a lawsuit to cook and loss by you and we don't want that. To avoid that drama, consider this step-by-step process using the 4W's that we talked about before. Step number 1, what do we look like? That means using data to discover what group is underrepresented and own it. We are searching for A because we are lacking in A. Step 2, why do we look this way? That means reviewing previous searches, exit interviews, complaints or climate data, etc, to determine why people come, why people stay, and why people don't come, and why people leave your organization. Step 3, what do we want to look like? Assumes that you don't look the way that you want to, but have an idea as to how you should look. Maybe it's a peer benchmark or a certain market share. Just know that whatever it is, you must set a goal for how many applicants you need in your applicant pool to yield the diversity you're aiming for. One applicant out of 10 might not be enough. Set a goal for qualified underrepresented talent within your applicant pool that gives them a realistic chance to compete. Then, in step 4, make your hiring managers describe their strategy to directly recruit qualified underrepresented talent to apply for their jobs before the search even begins. Now if you're already doing these steps, consider the following. Step 5, before the hiring manager can begin interviewing, have someone certify the applicant pool to make sure there is sufficient diversity in it. Now, here's a great question. What if there are no applicants of color in the applicant pool? Well, thank you for asking. Should the search go on? My answer is it depends. So long as the manager actually implemented the DE&I plan that they submitted in step 4, it's all good. If they've made a good faith effort, they should be allowed to move on and continue on in the search. However, if they did not do what they said they were going to do, then the request to interview should be postponed until they make a direct effort to get underrepresented diverse talent into the applicant pool. It's just that simple. In step 6, during the evaluation stage, I recommend the hiring managers or the search committee check their bias by using an applicant evaluation matrix. A matrix is like a scoring card for every applicant that takes the essential functions of the job description and evaluates each candidate's application and responses to the interview questions against it. By using a matrix, the hiring manager is forced to quantify each function and reduce every response to a score on the matrix. The person with the highest score should be considered the most qualified candidate for the position. By basing the evaluation strictly on the items on the matrix, it helps keep the focus on the person's qualifications and nothing else. Now, for some of you, this may sound crazy, and for others, this may not sound crazy enough. Either way, I have one major tip to leave you with, and maybe it's exactly what you need to hear. Recruitment is about mindset. If your mindset is that you are special and that applicants should flock to you, then you will stay right where you are and keep getting exactly what you have been getting. If you want to change from that mindset, accept the fact that the pipeline problems that you are having are yours to fix. Blaming your failed strategy on the bias of your hiring managers or worse the scarcity of the underrepresented talent you are searching for is pointless and unfair. Where you have bias check it with process. Where you have shortages of talent get creative, recruit your talent earlier in their development, reach out to them before others do. Get in front of them and do whatever it takes to demonstrate your genuine interest in them and be direct. We want you here with us and here's why. You have to be all in for a successful DE&I search. With that, I'm searching for you next week.