Making Executive Searches More Diverse

Sharing expectations about diversity with the in-house executive search team at the start of the search gets everyone on the same page and may help to shift attitudes or perceptions about which candidates may be right for the job. As you look to increase diversity in your executive recruiting, you may wonder how to go about accomplishing your goals. Here's some fresh thinking from Thrive TRM.

Companies have begun to discover that racial and gender diversity in recruiting is imperative to business growth. Companies with more diverse executive teams often experience greater business impact than less diverse companies, in large part due to a shift in global corporate culture that seeks out and rewards diversity.

Given this dynamic, it’s natural to set a goal of making your executive searches more diverse. The first step in diverse executive searches is to evolve your searches to better attract more diverse candidates. One key to grabbing the attention of diverse candidates is to make sure your job descriptions are inclusive. For example, using job descriptions with gender-coded language can deter members of the opposite gender from applying. By including greater inclusivity in your job descriptions, you’ll naturally be inviting a more diverse talent pool to apply.

Some examples of masculine-coded language that might deter women from your job listings are words that emphasize individual, warrior-like achievement, i.e. “driven,” “fast-paced” and even “ninja.” By contrast, inclusive language is more collaborative, i.e. “loyal,” “understanding,” and “cooperate.”

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Another way to achieve greater diversity in executive searches is to increase the diversity of the actual executive recruiting team. Not only may a diverse executive search team know how to better appeal to diverse candidates, but candidates may actually feel more comfortable accepting an offer from your company if their overall experience is more inclusive.


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In the business world, talent is king. More than 80 percent of talent and HR leaders say talent is the No. 1 priority at their company or organization, according to Linkedin’s 2017 Global Recruiting Trends report. And more than half of talent and HR leaders believe hiring will increase in the U.S. and across the globe in 2017.  


Manage Expectations

An openness to and expectation of diversity will ensure that when a candidate comes along that doesn’t fit the typical mold, they will be given an equal chance for the position.

Sharing expectations about diversity with the in-house executive search team at the start of the search gets everyone on the same page and may help to shift attitudes or perceptions about which candidates may be right for the job. Not only can managing expectations lead to meeting diversity goals, but it can also be the foundation for a company-wide shift toward diversity that can have a tangible impact on the company’s bottom line.

Software Support for Diversity in Recruiting

As you look to increase diversity in your executive recruiting, you may wonder how to go about accomplishing your goals. Thrive TRM software can help with diverse recruiting goals by integrating with other software tools, including diversity screening tools that are just now coming online. In addition, Thrive TRM’s ability to instantly compare profiles can help to highlight diversity when it does appear.


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The messaging features of Thrive TRM keep everyone informed and up to date on developments and can provide reminders and encouragement about diversity goals as the search progresses. Finally, Thrive TRM can track the diversity of applicants among other metrics to measure whether your team is meeting its diversity goals.

If diversity is one of your executive recruiting goals, Thrive TRM can help you meet those goals and keep your executive search process moving at the same time. Contact us for more information about Thrive TRM and its many capabilities as a partner in the executive search process.

Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor

Contributed by Reed Flesher, president and head of product at Thrive. Mr. Flesher works with search firms, in-house executive recruiters, and VC/PE firms to deliver insights and software solutions to drive consistently better hiring outcomes, create and grow dynamic talent networks, and to enhance search team collaboration. For more info, visit www.thrivetrm.com

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