Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Work - 2021 Candidate Survey
DMCG Global recently conducted a candidate survey to learn more about the importance of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and how this impacts our candidates’ career decisions. The survey, which generated over 130 responses from creative and marketing industry professionals who work with us, revealed interesting insights, including how DE&I influences candidates’ choices when considering a new role, and how well people feel it is being addressed across the industry. Read on to learn more, along with advice and resources from our team at DMCG Global.
Candidates are seeking employers who are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment.
Workplace DE&I programs are overwhelmingly important to the majority of those surveyed.
Employers must be more prepared to demonstrate their commitment to inclusion at the interview stage.
Positively, respondents have found that employers with a strong commitment to DE&I are actually walking the talk.
Many feel their industry still isn’t doing enough to tackle diversity and inclusion as a whole.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Matters to Job Seekers
An employer’s commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is, for many, viewed as an important part of the working environment. It also impacts decisions made during the job seeking process.
55% of those surveyed stated that they would consider looking for a new role if their employer could not adequately commit to a diverse and inclusive working environment, with 77% of respondents agreeing that employer-based DEI programs have a positive impact on workplace belonging and job satisfaction.
From these results, the impact this has on an organisations ability to recruit top talent is quite apparent, showing that many candidates agree DEI is an important part of an ideal working environment. Candidates know that this will contribute to a more productive, safe, and satisfying workplace.
“Over three quarters of candidates surveyed (77%) feel that workplace DE&I programs do have a positive impact on belonging at work and job satisfaction. Only one in ten (11%) feel it has no impact”
Over half (55%) of candidates stated they would consider looking for a new opportunity if their employer did not demonstrate a commitment to DEI in the working environment. This compares to less than a third (30%) of candidates who said it would make no difference.
In a candidate driven market, with new employee acquisition proving challenging - these are important and statistically strong figures that show promoting a diverse and inclusive working environment has a demonstrable effect on candidate retention rates.
“People are assessing a company’s DE&I Commitment, and this effects the uptake for new recruits at early stages.”
Bearing these results in mind, as an employer, it’s clearly important to demonstrate your commitment to DE&I to potential new hires and show how those values feed through your company. This commitment is, by nearly two-fold, affecting the hiring process for people considering pursing an interview at initial stages.
“45% of respondents stated that a lack of DEI commitment from a potential employer would stop them from actively pursuing an interview or an opportunity at that company. This compares with only 25% who said it would make no difference”
The survey concludes there are many effective ways candidates will assess a potential employers’ commitment to DEI. The current employee experience and having a diverse executive and leadership team are the two most prominent ways of assessing this. Notably, a common theme across respondents was that a “lack of diverse leadership combined with poor leadership behaviours are commonplace evidence that an organisation is just going through the motions.”
“Let candidates know that DEI is a priority for your organisation throughout the interview process, encourage peer to peer interviews which are open and discussive about the subject, and ‘walk the talk’ in appointing and promoting a diverse leadership team.”
Put yourself in the candidate’s position. If you were to conduct online research on your organisation, what would you learn about your company values, employment brand and the bottom line when it comes to what it’s like to work for you? If you step back and examine the trust and fairness of your organisation, what would you find? Some important areas to consider include:
Your company’s core values.
Employee benefits, do they demonstrate inclusion and are they accessible to all regardless of age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.
Company website, inclusive marketing, inclusive language.
Online articles, and reviews on employment sites.
Just because your organisation appears to demonstrate an inclusive and diverse environment, this must not be lip service. If the reality behind these efforts doesn’t match, you will be doing more harm than good. Ticking boxes will not transform workplace culture. For this very reason, many jobseekers are taking time to learn about the genuine culture via personal experiences, connecting with past or current employees and reading online reviews.
The Interview Process and Your DE&I Commitment
Company values matter. Saying you are committed to a diverse and inclusive environment is one thing, but genuinely demonstrating exactly how your organisation achieves this is another. Our survey shows that potential employees are not afraid to ask about workplace inclusion and how this shows up in an organisation. Many candidates want to know more about this during the interview stage, to help them assess if this is the right place for them. Over half of respondents would ask, or have asked, about organisational DE&I at interview stage. Perhaps most revealing is that 79% of those, found that the interviewer/s could not answer those questions. The interview experience was an important point of note for many respondents, who also commented that openness and transparency is incredibly important at this vital stage – and is often not what they experience.
Everyone in an organisation has a responsibility when it comes to creating an inclusive environment. Leaders and managers must role model the inclusive values set forth by your company. At interview stage, can your leadership team share genuine insight into inclusion, and demonstrate how this shows up in the workplace?
If DEI is part of your company core values, then what examples can you share to promote this?
Share how you promote inclusivity on your teams to allow all employees to succeed. For example:
How do you ensure fairness and respect?
How do you empower team members and build collaboration and trust?
What are the opportunities for growth and development?
Does everyone have access to the same resources needed to balance the demands of the job?
How do you hold yourself accountable for promoting diversity and inclusion?
What programs are in place to promote inclusion? For example, do you offer training and can you share more about this?
Growth and development were a common theme amongst respondent comments. People want to see this, not just at entry level which is where a lot of diversity and inclusion efforts are often made, but at middle and senior management level too.
Ensure everyone is informed and comfortable to answer such questions. Promote inclusion across all levels. Cultivate an awareness of the responsibility we all have in creating psychological safety and building inclusive teams.
“You will be losing employees if you can’t promote a diverse and inclusive environment. Nearly one third (32%) of respondents would decline an offer if they didn’t feel the organisation was truly committed to DE&I.”
It is somewhat positive to note that over half of respondents felt that once they start a new role, the DEI experience does match up to what was promised and described during the interview stages. However, the numbers show that there is still work to be done. This only reinforces the importance of not only putting positive DEI strategies in place, but in making sure that these strategies are genuine, actioned and continually reviewed and attended to.
“Nearly two thirds of candidates (65%) feel that not enough progress is being made towards genuine Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the industry.”
By stepping forward and leading by example, employers can take the initiative and become a desirable and sought-after place to work, with high employee retention rates. In turn having a positive impact, moving the needle forward. In an industry that is made up of companies that are only as good as its people, we see that more can be done - with positive effects for employee acquisition and retention.
This survey shows that Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is a core part of the employee experience when job seeking and once employed in a new role. Inclusion is key, and a lack of commitment to DE&I may cost employers in the longer term. Understand your commitment and ensure this is part of the workplace culture, be ready with clear examples at interview stage and engage with employees to promote learning, cross-cultural communication, and employee collaboration.
If you’d like to know how DMCG Global can assist you in your talent requirements, please do get in touch for a confidential discussion by visiting www.dmcgglobal.com for your local representative.