Talent Board and iCIMS Research: Lack of Data and Metrics Is Fueling a Hiring Diversity Perception Gap

Perception gaps are common in recruiting and hiring.

Talent acquisition professionals, for instance, tend to rate their companies’ candidate experiences higher than candidates do. And candidates who are ultimately hired rate their experiences higher than recruiters do. These are just two of the numerous perception gaps that Talent Board’s candidate experience research has revealed over the years.

One of the biggest gaps we recently uncovered (via research conducted in partnership with iCIMS, the talent cloud company) is related to hiring diversity: members of the C-suite rate their organization’s hiring diversity 74% higher than recruiters do. That’s not a gap. That’s a gulf!

It’s tempting to chalk up this disparity to senior leaders simply not having all of the critical data that front-line recruiters have. They have a rosier impression of hiring diversity because they’re not as informed, right? While there may be some truth to that assumption, the fact is many companies still aren’t tracking diversity data, which means even recruiters and hiring managers don’t have a truly accurate impression of their diversity.

A Data Dearth & Opportunities Missed

Asked which diversity metrics their companies actually track, respondents’ top five responses were: 60% track ethnicity; 58% track race; 50% track disability status; 43% track veteran status; and 31% track age. More than half of participants’ companies have never used diversity-related data or analytics beyond what is minimally required for EEOC compliance.

This all adds up to major missed opportunities. Too many employers are missing out on knowing precisely how diverse their candidates and new hires are. They’re missing out on knowing exactly where they’ve made progress in hiring diversity and where progress is still needed. They’re missing out on aligning the perceptions of senior leaders with those of recruiters … and on aligning everyone’s perceptions with reality. With just a modest effort and a handful of metrics, employers could seize these opportunities and gain real clarity around their recruiting/hiring diversity.

Our survey also found that employers are failing to nurture greater hiring diversity by implementing diverse slate policies, diversity-focused recruitment and hiring goals, and service-level agreements (SLAs) for their recruiters and hiring managers:

  • 40% of participants’ companies do not have diverse slate policies or diversity-focused recruitment/hiring goals.
  • 66% said their companies don’t set diversity-related service level agreements (SLAs) or specific targets for recruiters and hiring managers. And 45% set no SLAs or targets for either group.

Again, these are important missed opportunities for employers to remove the subjectivity and guesswork from their diverse hiring initiatives.

Bottom line, a significant number of employers need to become more disciplined in supporting their hiring diversity with data, metrics, and targets. These are essential tools for any organization that wants to have a clearer understanding of their diversity status and progress. You can read about other key areas of opportunity related to diversity and inclusion by downloading our full report.

Remember, the time to sign up to participate in Talent Board’s 2021 benchmark research program is running out! All surveys need to be completed by August 31.


Be safe and well,

Kevin Grossman, Talent Board President

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