How to Recruit Top Graduates: Your Innovative Approach

How to Recruit Top Graduates: Your Innovative Approach

Finding and recruiting bright individuals is essential for companies to stay afloat in the competitive market. Currently, 84% of recruiters say they have more jobs to fill than last year. Subsequently, more than 70% of them report having trouble finding enough good quality talent. For many employers, graduates are one of the most effective ways of identifying and capturing talent before the competition notices them. And while 76% of employers surveyed by Kaplan report looking for new talent through graduate programmes, the question remains – how to recruit top graduates efficiently?

1. Attract the Future Talent with Case Competitions

Generally, companies don’t complain about having too few candidates applying for graduate positions. According to Sky News, in 2021, employers offering jobs to young talent would receive an average of 91 applications per vacancy – a 17% increase compared to 2020.

When those candidates don’t live up to the expectations recruiters set, the issue arises. Thus, your HR teams spend a lot of their precious time screening applications that may not yield satisfactory results.

How can you ensure you attract top talents from the get-go? Act before those bright talents actively start looking for employment and organise case competitions.

Case competitions are extracurricular events where students are challenged to come up with a solution to real-life business problems. As an organiser, you decide on what that problem is, so it’s pertinent to your business.

How are case competitions beneficial to your talent attraction efforts?

Building your future talent pipeline ahead of the competition

Building a solid talent pipeline is essential for all recruitment efforts, but even more so in the case of graduate recruitment. More and more companies realise the importance of securing hires among early talent, with 55% of them reporting increasing efforts in this department.

Organising case competitions is your way to proactively attract and identify top performers ahead of the competition and become a potential employer once they’re ready to find their first job.

Hack the Case, organised by Deloitte and Scotiabank, is an example of case competitions yielding profitable benefits to businesses. Mark Morreale, Senior Global Academic Program Manager, describes the competition as: “a great way for us to give graduates real-world experience and training using our software, while also helping our clients fill the talent pipeline that’s so critical to their ongoing success.”

The result? As reported in the article, Deloitte and Scotiabank are high on graduates’ list of prospective employers.

Case Competitions give students a chance to show their talent. As the tasks are usually highly challenging, you attract only the most motivated and top candidates – enriching your future talent pool early in the race.

Get fresh insights to inspire your strategies

The premises of a case competition are simple. You identify a problem either common in your industry or specific to the struggles you encounter. Then, students working in teams need to develop a practical, feasible solution that yields positive results.

On top of meeting many bright talents in one place, you also get to hear fresh insights from younger generations. It’s an excellent opportunity for you to learn about ideas you maybe wouldn’t think of otherwise.

Nancy Schoemann, Vice President of Operations at Optera, talked about this advantage in an interview for the University of Colorado. The company that organised a case competition focused on attracting and retaining diverse talent noticed that: “there is such a value to us in listening to and learning from the students.”

She then continued: “these are individuals who are going to be entering the job market in a few years—they’re looking at DEI from an angle we don’t necessarily see. Getting their insight and perspective is so helpful to us as we decide where to focus our time and resources.”

Indeed, she’s not the only one to see high potential in graduates. In fact, 60% of employers surveyed by Kaplan say they believe that every other graduate will become a leader within their business in the future. It’s up to you to spot that talent early on.

Strengthen your employer branding

Employer branding reflects on your ability to find and keep clients but also on attracting early talent, as agreed by 60% of recruiters.

Can case competitions help you strengthen your reputation? As it appears, yes. And even better so, you’re also not unlikely to benefit from the free promotion. Let’s look at the example of L’Oréal and their international case competition, Brandstorm. As reported by the Global Employer Branding Manager quoted in the paper, L’Oréal benefits from high media coverage throughout the competition. Moreover, as he points out, the brand organising a case competition gets more attention and free advertising on social media.

Although companies are increasing their efforts to hire young talent, many continue to focus on campus recruitment programmes and fairs. It’s therefore not surprising that brands organising case competitions, still not that common, get a lot of attention. The trend seems unlikely to change soon.

Considering that 75% of job seekers scrutinise a company’s reputation before applying for a job, solid employer branding is vital. Especially now when nearly everything can be found online within a few clicks, and younger generations are more than fluent at checking you thoroughly.  

Want to organise a Case Competition?

Now that you know how to attract top talents and broaden your future graduate talent pool, would you like to try case competitions? We can help with that.

Innoflow is a leading global provider of online case competitions, enabling companies to host local, regional, or even international events. We work closely with organisations such as RSM Star Case Competition and CBC Case Competition, helping students enrich their experience and give them a career boost. 

How do we make the whole process easy for you?

✅ We take care of a marketing plan promoting the event to educational institutions you select

✅ We provide you with a complete software solution, including a customised case – developed by us, approved by you

✅ Once the teams are presented with the case, they have 24-48 hours to submit a solution. Employees act as judges to ensure the selection of the solution most relevant to your organisation

If you’re interested in learning more about the process, our experts are happy to answer all your questions!

2. Recruit Top Graduates Successfully

Whether you choose to use case competitions to build a talent pipeline or not, you’ll still need a solid strategy on how to recruit graduates when the time comes. Is your HR team ready for that?

Resumé screening won’t work

If you’re one of the 52% of companies that still heavily rely on resumés in recruitment, you may need to change your approach to identify and recruit top graduates successfully.

Resumés are not the best method of finding talent for various reasons. However, the statement is perhaps the most relevant for the graduate market. Why? Because resumés generally focus on education and experience.

Graduates, by definition, have little to no experience. On top of that, there’s no correlation between one’s academic scores and job performance. In fact, neither education nor experience is good at predicting future job performance, as shown by the research we discussed in this blog post.

Thus, grades or diplomas cannot be considered valid factors in the selection process. Resumés fail to accurately reflect a graduate’s potential and competencies – the factors that secure a successful hire.

With the pandemic changing the recruitment dynamic, businesses need to find better ways of assessing candidates (regardless of whether they’re graduates or not). Luckily, there’s a convenient solution.

How to recruit top graduates: Innoflow x Graduate Acquisition

As much as 75% of employers find it difficult (very or moderately) to recruit top graduates. As discussed previously, two of the most common challenges are having too many candidates overall and not having enough many qualified ones.

The Innoflow Graduate Acquisition programme is divided into three stages that help solve these issues.

Step 1: High Volume Screening  

As graduate applications increased in 2021, companies hiring young talent need a way to sieve through larger piles of applications more efficiently. To do that, consider starting with a Situational Judgment Test. The test is a replacement for resumés and cover letters (for the reasons mentioned previously).

Instead, you present your candidates with multiple-choice scenarios customised to your organisation and its needs. Thus, you get to check which graduate candidates have the knowledge necessary to succeed at your company.

This stage is fully digitalised, automated, and anonymous. The assessment is done automatically and saves your time, subsequently ensuring the bias-free selection.

Step 2: Low Volume Screening

Once you’ve narrowed down the pool, you can move on to competency evaluation. As we’ve mentioned, resumés don’t give the option to present one’s potential. And this sentiment is shared by 25% of graduates who expressed that the application process doesn’t let their skills show.

To get information on a graduate’s potential, use work samples instead. During this second stage, your candidates will receive a work sample mirroring the tasks they’d perform on the job. That’s your chance of assessing their skills and competencies in a way that’s been proven to predict future job performance effectively.

The solutions will again be entirely anonymous, but this time assessed manually.

Stage 3: Team-based Case

Now that you have a list of top graduates, it’s time to test two competencies that are the most desired among recruiters in graduate acquisition: communication (73%) and team player skills (61%).

In the last stage, the final selection of candidates will be asked to solve a case in small teams. The case’s purpose is to assess their collaboration skills in a work-related scenario. To facilitate your work further, we fully provide the tools to evaluate teams competently.

Would you like to hear more about the Innoflow Graduate Acquisition Programme and how we can help you recruit top graduates? Let us know!

Use Technology to Successfully Recruit Top Graduates

Recruiting graduates comes with challenges, but its benefits to your bottom line can be game-changing. Today’s companies have a unique chance to use technology to help them identify early talents, as admitted by 67% of employers who plan to increase their investment in talent acquisition tools next year.

Don’t let your business stay behind the competition, and try methods that will increase your chances of hiring top graduates in a sure-fire way.

4 Most Common Challenges in Graduate Recruitment and How to Overcome Them

4 Most Common Challenges in Graduate Recruitment and How to Overcome Them

Every organisation’s primary goal is to recruit the brightest talents to help their teams thrive and succeed. It’s still the most common for recruiters to put their efforts into sourcing experienced talents. However, more and more focus on targeting the fresh ones – graduates. Targeting this group is highly beneficial as they bring new perspectives and skills. Nevertheless, graduate recruitment comes with its challenges. Luckily, you can overcome them with the right recruiting strategy.

According to a Kaplan survey, 76% of employers report continuing to search for new talents through graduate recruitment. During times of skills shortages, it’s especially important to use all accessible channels of sourcing employees.

Nevertheless, the same survey shows that 67% of the questioned employers find it moderately difficult to acquire the right graduates. 

Recruiting graduates, although beneficial, proves to be challenging. In this blog, we’ll discuss the four most common graduate recruitment challenges you can find on your way and how you can adjust your strategy to overcome them.

Challenge #1. High Number of Applications

For many large enterprises, it’s often the hardest to fill entry-level positions because of the increasingly fierce competition amongst graduates. They’re freshly out of university, with little or no experience, and landing the first job is their main goal. For that reason, graduate programmes and internships are very appealing to the young workforce. As mentioned by Nicholas Shekerdemian, many organisations experience having as many as 39 graduate candidates per vacant role. That leads to one of the biggest challenges in graduate recruitment – a high volume of applicants.

Financial Times reports that in 2021, graduate applications increased by 60% compared with the pre-pandemic 2019. High interest in your brand is a good thing as your talent pipeline expands. On the flip side, receiving tens or even hundreds of applications make your recruitment process more difficult.

Depending on your recruiting strategy, your HR professionals will most likely be forced to go through a pile of resumés and conduct plenty of interviews – many of which will yield fruitless. A suboptimal strategy will cost your organisation precious time and money. Hence it’s essential to adjust it by using recruitment tactics to efficiently narrow down the number of applications to the most relevant ones.

Consider implementing Situational Judgment Tests and Case-based Screening discussed in detail below to assure you only get applications from the most suitable candidates.

Challenge #2. Graduates Lack Required Experience

Recent graduates have little or no experience as they haven’t had many opportunities to develop skills relevant to the market. But did you know that 70% of recruiters still base their hiring decisions on the degree, and many won’t even hire a person without experience at all?

Repeating after Maggie Stilwell, EY Managing Partner for Talent, “there’s little link between previous success at university and future success in professional qualifications.”

Therefore, requiring 2-5 years of working experience for entry-level positions leaves fresh graduates without a chance. And shouldn’t entry-level jobs be meant to be precisely that – a way of entering the market?

Relying on recruiting methods that evaluate past experiences, i.e. checking references or resumés, is of little value in graduate recruitment where one’s career history is minimal. In the case of such candidates, CVs can’t accurately reflect their true potential. That’s reflected by candidate experience, too. 25% of graduate candidates surveyed by People Scout expressed that the application process didn’t let their skills shine. Therefore, recruiters should focus on alternative recruitment methods.

To amass the best talents out there, learn to look past resumés and apply forward-looking measures of potential rather than self-reported descriptions of the past. Personality, cognitive abilities, and real talent can’t be learned – nor can they be successfully identified through CVs or even interviews. Start hiring for skills and potential by implementing the following in your graduate recruitment strategy:

  • Situational Judgment Tests (High Volume Screening) – replace CVs and cover letters entirely. Instead, present your candidates with multiple-choice case scenarios customised to your organisation and its needs. That way, you can check if your candidate has the knowledge necessary to operate on the same wavelength as your business. This way, you can also reduce the number of eligible candidates.

  • Case-based Screening (Low Volume Screening) – once you’ve narrowed down the pool, you can move on to competency assessment. Here, candidates will be presented with a case (or: work sample) mirroring the task(s) they’d be responsible for if hired. That’s the stage where you can successfully assess one’s skills, as work samples are proved to be one of the most effective methods currently available when predicting future job performance.

Another strength of opting for these recruitment tactics is that you can administer them fully online. Considering how the past two years somewhat forced us to move recruitment online, and 72% of the surveyed organisations cancelled attending career fairs (one of the most critical sources of graduates), finding methods that can be sustainable over time is of value.

At Innoflow, we guarantee that all recruitment services we provide are fully anonymous to minimise the chances of any (un)conscious biases that could emerge during resumé screening or interviews.

Furthermore, they help your organisation increase the sought-after diversity. So far, 62.5% of Hiring Managers who opted for using Innoflow reported a significant increase in diversity and discovered talents they would have disregarded otherwise.

As said by Bjarne Lauritsen, Director of Operations at Bring Denmark, “With Innoflow, we are now able to find the talents we would have missed out on in a resumé screening.”

Adjust your recruitment strategies for those that allow you to hire for skills and potential rather than past experiences (or lack thereof). Focus on what truly matters: finding candidates with the right organisational fit, personality traits, and cognitive abilities – the rest can be learned.

Challenge #3. High Graduate Turnover

Graduation time is stressful and complicated. The young are about to step into adult life and are burning to begin their career path finally. That, however, also means that they feel pressured to enter the workforce and tend to accept any job that comes along.

It’s only once they’ve got a taste of their day-to-day responsibilities that many realise it doesn’t fit their needs. Or that the role is far from what they’ve expected. Although 56% of the graduates surveyed by Harver wish to stay 3+ years at the first job, the Telegraph reports that a quarter of fresh graduates quit their first job within the first year of employment.

One of the ways you can overcome this challenge in graduate recruitment is by eliminating false expectations about the job.

According to the study, 43% of new employees overall quit jobs shortly after being hired because their role didn’t turn out to be what they had been led to believe it would be. Getting your message about the role across is particularly crucial for graduates. If they’ve never had a full-time position before, they simply don’t know what the market looks like. As the research by graduate job specialist Milkround presents, jargon, buzzwords, and industry language leave your applicants (especially those entering the workforce) confused and underprepared – as admitted by almost 50% of polled graduates. In other words, they may simply not fully understand your expectations.

Whenever you craft a job posting, it’s hard to be entirely sure that everyone reading it will understand it exactly the way you intended it. Instead of talking about the job, we advocate for showing what the job looks like.

By changing your recruitment strategy and implementing, e.g. the previously mentioned work samples, you give your graduates a taste of what the role entails. At the same time, you get to see their skills in action.

Minimise any possible misconceptions that could lead to a turnover and maximise your chances of finding talents you wouldn’t notice otherwise.

Challenge #4. It’s Too Costly and Time-Consuming

Hiring is costly and far from risk-free in any case, and graduate recruitment is no exception. Hence no wonder that it’s one of the most commonly noted challenges in graduate recruitment reported by organisations.

On average, it takes between 12 weeks to 6 months to recruit a graduate. The process includes planning, advertising, assessment, and any other necessary steps. Businesses, especially those in high demand, typically interview several graduates per one vacant position. The average number, as reported by mthree is five, but 44% of employers claim to evaluate six or more applicants per role. The higher the number of the interested, the more costs – especially if your recruiters conduct more than one interviewing stage in the process.

Every leg of this lengthy process carries its costs with it, totalling even as much as $4.000, according to ANU. Now, these are the costs we usually have in mind, but there are plenty of other factors that make recruitment expensive.

Onboarding, while it’s always important, is particularly crucial in terms of graduates. They’re without much experience and need more guidance than employees who’ve been in the business for a while.

Based on the previously quoted mthree report, 45% of employers say they spend between £1,000 and £10,000. It can be a considerable expense, especially considering that it takes junior hires around six months to start making an impact on the team.  

The costs, however, will finally pay off as you’ll have a custom-made employee at your hands. You’ll get a unique chance of teaching them how to function in your organisation specifically – as they have no ‘bad habits’ from previous jobs.

In order to achieve that, however, you need to make sure not only to hire the right graduates but also to retain them. And graduates are especially prone to high turnover. Financially, it poses another issue – additional costs related to starting your recruitment process from scratch. To learn more about the reasons behind your new hires walking away, check out one of the previous blog posts.

To minimise the costs of hiring and reduce the risks of graduate turnover, consider applying the following tactics:

  • Use assessment methods that help efficiently reduce the number of applicants to the most suitable ones (see: situational judgment tests). With the Innoflow process, you can save up on average 30% of the time spent on screening.
  • Consider whether multiple interview stages are necessary;
  • Pay attention to the cultural fit of your candidates. Nearly 30% of newly-hired graduates quit within their first year due to the culture being different to what they believed it to be;
  • Present the day-to-day duties as accurately as possible to avoid misunderstandings about the job. To give the best representation of the role, consider opting for work samples.

Ready to Review Your Graduate Recruiting Strategy?

Like any other recruitment, hiring graduates has its challenges. However, investing in the right talents will be a worthy venture in the long run. Your business gets to amass people with fresh ideas who understand the modern digital world. Moreover, you can mould them to fit your organisation’s needs specifically.

Challenges in graduate recruitment, although present, can be overcome. By applying the right recruiting tactics, you can not only save your time and money (with a highly efficient and fully digitalised process) but also give a chance for fresh candidates to enter the workforce and find talents you could easily overlook.

Disadvantages of Traditional Recruitment & Why Skill Shortage is Not Necessarily the Problem

Disadvantages of Traditional Recruitment & Why Skill Shortage is Not Necessarily the Problem

Are there any disadvantages of traditional recruitment that make finding talent challenging? A friend of mine was looking for a job recently. After sending over 200 CVs within three months, he got frustrated. The positions he applied for were all entry-level, and he only chose those he knew he could be good at (either having prior experience or competencies). Yet, no responses came.

Then, at a family dinner, he mentioned his struggles. His father, a previous director of a big company, and his sister, a recruiter, gave him two different pieces of advice.

His father told him he should reach out to several companies aligned with his predispositions and ask for a job. As he said, that’s how he hired his best employees in the past – all he needed was the right competencies and motivation to learn.

His sister ridiculed the idea. She said that to make it, he needs to tweak his CV to include the right keywords recruiters or ATS would filter for.

Curious, my friend tried the second option. The result? Within a few weeks, he had three great interviews lined up – one at the company he had already applied to before.

What’s Going on With the Recruitment?

The pandemic undoubtedly caused a lot of disturbance in the labour market. Last year, the UN labour experts estimated that by the end of 2022, over 200 million people will be unemployed. Many of them, fair to say, with the qualifications and experience from the jobs they lost during the crisis. The lack of job seekers was far from the problem, too. In the UK, for example, at the peak of the pandemic, there were 506 applications for a single low-skilled position.

Even the people who had jobs were keen on finding new employment. The poll from August 2021 showed that 65% of the respondents were actively looking for another job.

And yet, a staggering 83% of SHRM respondents claim to have trouble finding suitable candidates.

My friend’s story, combined with the overall situation, sparked my interest. People are struggling to find jobs, and companies are struggling to find good candidates. Is the skill shortage entirely to blame across the board, or could it be that recruiters are unable to identify the available talent?

War for Talent VS Disadvantages of Traditional Recruitment

It’s undeniable that companies globally are having a hard time filling positions with the right people. Already back in 2015, 73% of Randstad respondents said that ‘war for talent’ was an accurate description of the business environment.

Fast-forward a few years, and the metaphor seems to remain accurate. In Denmark alone, 33% of all recruitments in 2021 were in vain. As of February 2022, the US had over 11 million job openings – and presumably no fitting individuals to take them.

Although 75% of HR professionals attribute their struggles to a skill shortage, there appears to be a disconnect between what recruiters want to find and what the methods they use show them.

Resumés And Talent Don’t Have Much to Do With Each Other

To keep pace with the ever-developing world, recruitment also undergoes changes. Nevertheless, these changes may not be substantial enough for the current demands. For 52% of hiring professionals, resumé screening, seen by some as a relic of the past, remains the 1st or 2nd most important evaluation method.

But can resumés be reliable when looking for talent? Or are they one of the disadvantages of traditional recruitment that stops candidates and companies from meeting their goals?

Does Talent Show on a Resumé?

Recruiters continue to claim they search for talent, yet 36% of them say that lack of experience is why they don’t find enough suitable candidates. Perhaps that’s because resumés don’t allow candidates to show talent – only past work experience and education.

Two elements that, paradoxically, aren’t even good predictors of future job performance, as proven by research. Yet that’s basically what resumés focus on.

Especially in the case of people looking for entry-level jobs, this method doesn’t seem valid at all. If the point of the first job is to gain experience, there simply won’t be any on their CV.

Even a candidate’s education shouldn’t be considered a strong or weak factor during recruitment in many cases. After all, people have various reasons for pursuing a specific degree. My friend from the story has a degree in religious studies and now is a high-scored employee of one of the world’s biggest IT companies.

We need to change the mindset and not let educational background determine whether a candidate has the right skills or competencies to succeed at a job. Mainly when nowadays people have endless options to gain skills without the help of university courses.

Shrinking Pool. Candidates Don’t Seem to Like Traditional Recruitment

When struggling to find suitable applicants, recruiters want to maximise their talent pool. Especially currently when companies don’t only wish to hire the best talent. They also want to align their efforts with corporate diversity goals. Sadly, that’s where another disadvantage of traditional recruitment enters the stage – it shrinks your talent pool.

As humans, we all have our preferences, and if something doesn’t live up to our expectations – we move on. When a product doesn’t satisfy your needs, you stop buying it. If you don’t like the service at a café, you find a new one. There are options, and we won’t hesitate to use them.

Recruitment is no different. If a candidate is not happy with your hiring process, you may never see them again.

A staggering 65% of candidates report that their most recent application process was frustrating. To make things worse, 30% of them decided to opt-out of the process for that reason.

And contrary to popular belief, it’s not the length of the process that irritates candidates the most. In fact, the Gartner report shows that the optimal time job seekers want to spend on an application is between 10-30 minutes.

The reason is that when a candidate is truly interested in a job, they want to prove their skills and competencies in the best way possible. Unfortunately, many feel that resumés don’t give them that option.

Over 50% of candidates name work samples as a form of skill assessment they’d like to see in the recruitment. Are companies good at satisfying that need? Not so much. According to Murray Resources, only 33% of surveyed employers say they use skill assessments when hiring.

Continuing to hold on to traditional recruitment can deter valuable talent from you and undermine your diversity goals. And it appears that some companies are becoming aware of the issue. 25% of respondents stated that the biggest challenge to recruiting more diverse people is the unwillingness among leadership to deviate from existing recruiting practices.

We now see a candidate-driven market where the voices of those you wish to hire should matter most. Failing to listen to those voices can cause serious problems for your bottom line, especially when competition isn’t slowing down.

Matching Skills Will Guarantee the Success – Right?

Recruiters want to hire people, yet they continue to assess them through the prism of a few paragraphs depicting a candidate’s past. Having the right skills is undoubtedly important, and if you manage to find a candidate who fulfils your requirements perfectly – great.

And yet, 11% of hires fail due to a lack of skills. Skills they were deemed to have to be hired in the first place. How could this be?

Most people look for a job out of necessity rather than pleasure. What happens when you become desperate? You may try to enhance your chances and tweak your resumé to look better.

In fact, it’s more common than we’d like to think. According to Zippia, 30% of the surveyed admitted to bending the truth or straight-up lying on their resumés to look more competent.

Every company wants to find a great candidate, and every candidate wants to find a good job. But if your recruitment doesn’t give fair chances to everyone to prove their talent, candidates may also not play fair with you.

When job seekers realise the only way to even get your attention is by giving you what you want to see (or what your ATS will look for), you risk ending up in a situation where you may not be getting exactly what you thought you were.

Moreover, over one-third of HR leaders report a general decrease in candidate quality. But what does it mean precisely? That fewer candidates have the required education? Or maybe instead of five years of experience, now more of them have only three?

Yet again, if your recruitment goal is to find the best talent, then your methods should help you see it. At Innoflow, we argue that resumés are one of the disadvantages of traditional recruitment that limit your ability to see the potential and competencies of many candidates. So how to fix that?

Alternative Method That Lets You Uncover Talent. Unbiased

Recruitment as we know it has been with us for a long time, and changing habits is far from easy. Nonetheless, there are alternatives recruiters can use to satisfy candidates’ expectations and increase the level of competencies among the final candidates, as reported by over 33% of our customers.

The alternative recruitment method we propose is case-based screening. It’s a form of skill assessment that allows your candidates to prove whether they have what it takes to perform the required tasks.

How does it work? A case (work sample) is crafted to suit the position you’re trying to fill in. For instance, if you’re looking for a marketing designer, candidates could be asked to create a visual for a marketing campaign fully customised to your organisation’s needs and expectations.

How does it compare to the disadvantages of traditional recruitment?

✅ All candidates can showcase their skills and competencies, not worrying that their resumé won’t be enough

✅ You get to test-drive a candidate and see what their talent looks like in action without relying on the self-reported description of skills

✅ You open your talent pool to people from diverse backgrounds as they won’t feel intimidated by a vast list of requirements

✅ Your recruitment will be unbiased. The only thing you’ll evaluate candidates on is their case solution (no access to personal information)

Everybody has talent, and we stand by this statement wholeheartedly at Innoflow. We strive to perfect a recruitment method that gives everybody a fair and unbiased chance at getting a meaningful work-life regardless of their background.

Bring your recruitment to the 21st century and offer candidates something very few other companies do. Be a breath of fresh air challenging the status quo of traditional recruitment and join on our journey to unleash the full potential of individuals and find the best talent for your team.

Should Recruitment Go Back to the Roots?

In the 1970s, slightly over 100 million people had post-secondary education. Now, it’s over 840 million. And while people are constantly raising their competencies, there’s a prevalent belief that we lack talented people to succeed in jobs. Perhaps the problem nowadays is that we put too much weight on proving skills with certificates and degrees, forgetting that talent and competencies don’t always show on paper.

It appears as if in the past it was easier to simply get a chance and make our way up. Now, to quote my friend from the introduction, recruiters almost force many candidates to fake it till they make it.

Jack Welch, the late CEO of General Electric, once said: ‘change before you have to’. Employers need to take this advice to heart and revise the disadvantages of traditional recruitment that can harm their position in the competitive market. Or miss out on talented individuals struggling to make you notice them.

Workforce Diversity Goals in 2022 & How Your Recruitment Methods Impact Them

Workforce Diversity Goals in 2022 & How Your Recruitment Methods Impact Them

Building a diverse workforce has become a staple for many companies that realise the benefits it can bring to their bottom line. Hence, organisations now place a heavy emphasis on attracting candidates to reach their workforce diversity goals and improving the overall talent acquisition efforts.

However, many still struggle with translating their plans into action – with 45% of those surveyed by Robert Walters admitting their recruitment strategies aren’t efficient enough.

In this blog post, we’ll look at two recruitment methods used by organisations and see how they can impact your workforce diversity goals as we move into 2022 and onwards.

  1. Resumé screening – considered by 52% of the employers as the 1st or 2nd most important part of the hiring process
  2. Skill assessments – favoured by 33% of the Murray Resources respondents

1. Resumé Screening

Resumé screening has been with us for decades now, so it’s no surprise that it’s the most common recruitment method. It’s familiar and used to work pretty well in the past. But is it a valid tool for reaching diversity goals in 2022?

Workforce Diversity Goals & Resumés

Step one of reaching your workforce diversity goals is to attract diverse candidates to your brand. Step two is to recruit them successfully. If your hiring efforts fall short, perhaps it’s time to realise that relying heavily on resumés is the main contributing factor.

That’s because early on, one’s resumé is the sole determinant of whether a candidate moves forward in the hiring process or not. And how can you increase your diverse hires if the final candidates to choose from are seemingly all the same?

To avoid that problem, your recruitment should help you find applicants from various backgrounds representing many shades of diversity. And resumé screening seems to be an obstacle to that.

Bias Is in the Eye of the Résumé-Holder

Perhaps the reason for you not having a diverse pool of candidates is that resumés are prone to bias. In the recruitment context, bias occurs when you form an opinion about an applicant based on impressions, a lack of information, or pre-existing convictions.

Bias in resumé screening can take many forms. It can be related to one’s education, background, ethnicity, age, or even looks. People always tend to gravitate towards those similar to us because it makes cooperation easier.

But when trying to reach your workforce diversity goals, it’s an obstacle. 72% of the surveyed recruiters believe a human should be responsible for reviewing all resumés, so taking out that prone to bias human factor is difficult.

The result? Discrimination on many levels.

For instance, a study commissioned by the French government in 2016 found that companies were less likely to invite candidates with African-sounding names to interviews after receiving their CVs. And that’s regardless of their competencies being close to those of candidates with non-African names.

Similarly, bias can also pertain to age. In this poll, half of the people over 40 confessed they experienced age discrimination during the application process. 

Although it’s most common to hear about bias in the context of minorities, it can lead to discrimination against anyone else – even the groups that are seen as privileged.

This 2017 poll conducted in America shows some insightful data. 55% of the Caucasian people stated they too face discrimination, and 19% experienced it when applying for a job.

Even when it comes to gender discrimination, the data paints a problematic picture. While we usually hear about women having difficulty getting past the resumé screening stage, men also experience bias. The research by the University of North Carolina found that men were more likely to be overlooked by employers for white-collar jobs, an area in which women didn’t have the same problem.

Blinding resumés to increase diversity?

A staggering 96% of recruiters realise that unconscious bias has a negative impact on their hiring efforts. And while it’s virtually impossible to separate bias from our human nature, companies try to improve their strategy by tweaking the method – blinding resumés.

Blinding resumés is nothing else than removing personal information (name, age, etc) that could lead to bias. In theory, it should help. In practice? According to a Swedish study, anonymous resumés didn’t increase the rate of ethnic minorities being hired.

If screening resumés by humans reveals our inherent bias, could technology do it better?

ATS-aided screening

Many companies try to remove the human factor from the process by moving towards ATS-based screening. In fact, 95% of the Fortune 500 companies use them in their recruitment process.

Using software that sorts through applications undoubtedly makes the job faster, but its contribution to your diversity efforts can be questionable. Nearly nine out of ten company leaders surveyed by Harvard admitted that ATS they use prevents them from seeing good applicants.

The reason? That much automation makes it difficult for some applicants to stand out, narrowing your diverse talent pool. ATS-aided resumé screening turned the whole process of CV writing into complicated science. And a biased one, at that.

The software ranks candidates according to pre-determined criteria such as university degrees, deleting anyone who doesn’t fall into this category from the pool. Let alone that education and even work experience aren’t good at predicting future job performance.

By limiting your definition of talent to a list of keywords, you risk missing out on people who have the skills you need. A diverse workforce is a group of people from different backgrounds, including different experiences. A team full of people with a university degree in their resumé is hardly diverse.

Yet again, the data seems to prove the point – it’s not the way you handle resumés that undermines your workforce diversity goals (or hiring goals in general). It’s the resumés in the first place that are the problem. They shrink your candidate pool and limit it to those who fit your criteria that often aren’t diversity flexible. You’re missing out on skilled people, but perhaps their talent didn’t show on paper.

2. Skill Assessments – a Valuable Alternative?

Recruiters continue to report challenges finding qualified candidates. But perhaps the methods they are so accustomed to are the problem, not a lack of talented people.

Companies that want to remain relevant and win the fight for talent need to think creatively and accept alternative recruitment methods. One of them, case-based screening, helps you find the most suitable candidates. It also enables you to remove bias from recruitment and thus aid your workforce diversity goals.

Do candidates want conventional recruitment?

We’ve previously discussed the importance of candidate experience and its impact on your employer branding. If you wish to have more diverse candidates in your pool, you first need to attract them. An excellent way to do so is to stand out from other employers and give candidates the recruitment they want.

Candidates overall seem to be dissatisfied with many aspects of conventional recruitment methods (i.e. resumés & interviews).

☑️ Communication: Almost 40% of candidates state that responsiveness is essential in the hiring process. Sadly, 39% of them don’t get status updates throughout the process.

☑️ Feedback: 91% of candidates want feedback, yet 41% report never receiving any.

☑️ Frustrating application process: 65% of the job-seekers state that their most recent job application process was frustrating (too long, confusing, not optimal).

☑️ Interview scheduling: 43% of candidates globally admit to removing themselves from a recruitment process because it took too long to schedule an interview.

Clearly, there’s a disconnect between what candidates want from the recruitment process and what companies give them. Although an alternative method, work samples were mentioned by 50.2% of respondents as what they want from the perfect recruitment process.

Not only is it desired by your potential talents. It also successfully eliminates the candidate frustrations mentioned above and helps you amass a wider talent pool by strengthening your brand image.

What does case-based screening offer to your candidates?

The stages of the process are transparent

✅ All applicants always receive updates on where the process is at a given moment.

✅ Every applicant receives meaningful feedback based on their case solution.

Focus on skills without bias in sight

40% of C-level executives of large companies say they can’t find enough qualified and diverse talent. But does talent always show on a resumé? If you’re really looking for talent, use methods that allow candidates to prove their skills.

Case-based screening is based on work samples solved anonymously. How does that work?

When you’re trying to fill in a vacancy, a case is customised to test the skills needed for that position within your organisation specifically. Do you need a designer for your marketing team? Ask them to prepare an advertisement. Perhaps a copywriter? Let them write a piece based on your company’s needs.

Your candidates will then upload their case solution without providing any data about themselves apart from their e-mail address. The judges appointed to evaluate the solutions won’t have access to personal details, so candidates will be judged fairly and without bias. The only thing you consider is one’s fit based on the skills they present.

This method helps you remove any bias that could emerge unconsciously or consciously during resumé screening. Does it reflect on your workforce diversity goals? Yes, and positively at that.

So far, the companies that used the Innoflow case-based screening report a 62.5% increase in diversity. They say that their final ten is more diverse than when using other recruitment methods, and they now find talents they’d have otherwise overlooked.

Are there any downsides to your workforce diversity goals?

We tend to think that the talent pool needs to be vast to reach workforce diversity goals. In a nutshell – the more candidates, the better. However, that approach won’t help much if the candidates you get are either seemingly all the same (because your list of requirements targets a very narrow group) or not qualified enough.

With case-based screening, you most likely won’t receive hundreds of applications. But the ones you get will come from people motivated enough to spend time on solving the case instead of copy-pasting a resumé.

So how can you get more diverse candidates if your pool won’t be that large? Because you open yourself up to people who would have otherwise clicked away after seeing they don’t fit your requirements.

Let’s look at an example. If you’re looking for a programmer with a respective degree and five years of experience, you may miss out on:

  • a recent graduate without experience
  • a self-taught programmer without a degree
  • a woman who may feel like her resumé will get lost in a sea of male applicants and fear rejection based on gender bias (women are also less likely to apply unless they meet 100% of requirements)

With anonymous work samples, all those candidates will feel encouraged to prove their skills. Thus, your applicant pool will have people diverse in terms of gender, age, experience, etc.

Reaching Workforce Diversity Goals Depends on Your Methods

It’s not easy to change your recruitment methods or to even accept they should change. But there’s just something not quite right with hiring if it doesn’t yield the results you’re hoping for.

The methods we’re accustomed to were sufficient for the goals in the past. Nowadays, however, they no longer are. Resisting change may cause your business to be left behind – without diversity and still struggling to find competent employees.

Whether your goal is to simply diversify your teams or to increase the quality of candidates you get, trying alternative recruitment methods may be necessary. Innoflow is here to assist you in the process and step up your hiring.

Top 5 Benefits of Case-Based Screening for Your Recruitment And Selection Process

Top 5 Benefits of Case-Based Screening for Your Recruitment And Selection Process

Do you feel like your recruitment and selection process doesn’t yield the results you’d hope for? Many recruiters feel the same. 83% of the surveyed by SHRM report having trouble recruiting suitable candidates. When asked about the main reason for those struggles, three-quarters of them point at skills shortage.

But could it be more of an oversight than a shortage? Perhaps our recruitment and selection methods that should be helping at amassing talent are actually obstacles.

While over eight out of ten recruiters say that talent is the #1 priority at their company, it seems like they’re not hiring for that. Only 33% of the surveyed HR professionals state that skill assessment is a part of their typical hiring process.

If it’s talent you’re looking for, case-based screening may be your solution. This alternative recruitment method allows you to look at candidates from a different perspective and improve your recruitment goals. Are you curious to learn how? Keep reading.

#1. Reduced Bias & Increased Fairness

Did you know that resumés have been used for almost 80 years? Now, if you were to guess, how many companies continue to rely on resumés to evaluate candidates? According to Murray Resources, 52% of recruiters still rate them as either the 1st or the 2nd most important part of the recruitment and selection process.

The problem with resumés is that they are of no help when looking for talent. The reason? Unconscious bias.

Unconscious bias has entered the chat

The impact of unconscious bias and its impact on hiring decisions is no longer a new concept. In fact, a staggering 96% of recruiters realise the grave consequences it can have on their ability to hire talent.

For one, many candidates can be discriminated against when sending their resumés in. A study conducted by the University of Toronto found that applicants with non-white sounding names were up to 53% less likely to receive callbacks.

Does it mean that they were simply underqualified? Not necessarily. The candidates had the same qualifications, so clearly, lack of skill-fit wasn’t the issue.

No bias in sight, talent in the spotlight

Whether your recruitment and selection methods are prone to conscious or unconscious bias, they don’t help your overall recruitment goals. Case-based screening, however, fixes that problem.

At Innoflow, we believe that everyone has talent, and we strive to help organisations see it. Your candidates are asked to solve a case (aka work samples) customised to your organisation and the exact position you’re hiring for. Our software successfully removes all potential biases and lets you focus on one’s skills. How do we ensure that?

  • Fair chances: all candidates are presented with the same case. A fair chance at showing relevant skills.
  • Full anonymity: upon application, all your candidates need to provide is a case solution and their e-mail address. No names, no photos, no bias.
  • Fair evaluation: judges responsible for case evaluation must have pre-defined criteria they judge on. No place for favouritism.

In the words of Tina Herrman, General Manager at Experis ManPowerGroup, “We believe that everyone has talent, and Innoflow enables us to give all candidates the chance to show it.”

Remove all bias and put talent in the spotlight. We’re more than happy to help!

#2. More Diverse Candidates

Mirror, mirror on the wall – who’ll be the most diverse company of them all? Hopefully, you! A struggle for creating a diverse workforce isn’t an easy one.

While 76% of European organisations consider diversity and inclusion a priority area, only 23% of HR professionals think their strategies are highly effective.

Does your recruitment strategy follow the classic job post-resumé-interview theme? Perhaps, that’s where the problem lies.

Your requirements may be deterring

How often do we come across a job post looking like a monthly shopping list? But instead of veggies and candy, all you get is a plethora of terms that seem to be targeting that 1% of people who fit the profile perfectly.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t look for the best candidate possible. On the contrary! But unfortunately, many job posts don’t truly reflect the job and may limit your talent pool dramatically. Meaning you’ll only attract a narrow audience. That’s where your diversity goals meet a sad end.

Did you know that, for example, women are much more critical of their competencies than men? As research shows, female applicants feel they need to match 100% of the listed criteria for the job, while men settle on 60%.

Don’t overwhelm your candidates with a plethora of requirements. Yes, prepare them for what’s coming, but as for proving their skills – show them the job.

Show me your skills

If you’re looking to attract a diverse range of candidates, set one main requirement – solving a case. When your applicants see that all they’ll be judged on is their skills and not how impressive their resumé looks, more of them will feel invited. On top of that, since case-based screening reduces bias, you may find yourself surprised by the candidates you get!

Heidi Wassini, Talent Acquisition & Employer Branding at Vivino, says, “In our Innoflow recruitment processes, we experience a significantly more diverse final 10 compared to our normal processes.”

She’s not the only one to see diversity benefits. Based on our data, companies that apply case-based screening to their recruitment and selection process report an overall 62,5% increase in diversity.

Limiting your requirements to one – proving the skills you’re looking for – helps you access a diverse, untapped talent pool you might otherwise overlook. Or that would overlook your company.

#3. Improved Quality of Hires

In today’s business competition, having the right people in the right jobs is of paramount importance. Yet, as mentioned, many recruiters note having problems finding suitable candidates.

Let’s see how case-based screening can impact your recruitment and selection methods to improve the quality of hires.

Predicting future job performance

Predicting future job performance is a key element when hiring. You want to be as sure as possible that the person you choose will be a productive employee and preferably stay with the company for longer.

However, if you rely on resumés to make such predictions, you’re not unlikely to find yourself in a pickle. And that’s because resumés are not a reflection of one’s talent. They’re a mere description of the past and a self-assessment of one’s skills.

A staggering 30% of the surveyed by Zippia admitted to lying or bending the truth on their resumés. Even worse – 80% of them are never busted for lying. If you base your hiring decision solely on the information provided by a candidate, you might as well be making a wild guess based on potential lies.

Now, case-based screening leaves no room for fortune-telling. In an extensive study, Schmidt & Hunter (1998) discovered that screening methods focused on evaluating actual skills are the most reliable when predicting future job performance. In fact, they’re almost double more efficient than unstructured interviews.

And there’s some truth to it. Mark, a British recruiter, posted some time ago about his experience with one of his candidates. The candidate told him that he had gone through 11 interviews with one company. Eleven. Is that truly necessary to judge one’s fit?

The beauty of case-based screening lies in our approach. The cases we create are customised for a position specifically within your organisation. What does it mean to you? You’ll be able to look for the exact set of skills you need and forget about the lengthy process.

Quality matters more in the end

As mentioned before, every company wants to broaden their talent pools to find talent. But answer truthfully: would you prefer 1000 applications out of which only 5% is of any use or 100 of great value right away?

Solving cases is no picnic. It can be challenging and take up to 90 minutes. Because of their nature, it lets candidates pre-select themselves. If candidates decide that they don’t want to spend their time solving it, they can quit the process. Benefits for you? You end up with fewer candidates, but those you do get are motivated and already believe they have the right skills.

Sometimes talent won’t show on a piece of paper, and you’re risking missing out on great additions to your team.

Bjarne Lauritsen, Director of Operations at Bring, “With Innoflow, we are now able to find the talents, which we would have missed out on in a resumé screening.”

#4. Better Candidate Experience

Candidate experience is the proverbial elephant in the room. Everybody knows it’s important to the brand and recruitment efforts, but not everyone takes action to fix it. Where to start? With your recruitment methods, obviously.

Say no to boring recruitment

How many times have you sent a resumé to apply for a job? Personally, I stopped counting after 100. And mind you – I consider myself lucky with my job hunts. The process of sending the same document gets tedious and frustrating really fast. In fact, it completely lost any meaning to me.

I’m not alone in this sentiment. 30% of job seekers decide not to move forward in the application process because it’s too frustrating. Perhaps your website is not mobile-friendly, or the process has too many stages. Or maybe you require them to fill in the same information multiple times – the universal job seeker’s pet peeve. 

Now, what if you offered your candidates something new? As it turns out, over two-thirds of candidates prefer job-relevant assessments, such as work samples. Even those who withdrew from the process at some point had a better opinion of the company’s recruitment.

A positive candidate experience should matter to you no less than employee satisfaction. Why? Because job seekers are four times more likely to consider you as a future employment opportunity even after rejection if they were satisfied with your recruitment.

Feedback? Yes, always

What is one thing that almost all candidates want but few get it? According to LinkedIn, for 94% of the respondents, it’s feedback. How good are employers at satisfying that #1 candidate’s need? As shown by the Murray Resources report, not too great.

  • 61% of applicants receive a notification when they apply for a role
  • 61% receive status updates throughout the recruitment process
  • 45% are notified when the position they applied for has been filled

That means that approximately 50% of candidates never know what’s going on with their application in most cases. They don’t know if it was received, where in the process they are, or if the process for them is already over.

The overall dissatisfaction it produces is not hard to find. For example, Lara, a LinkedIn user, decided to share her experience with the online audience.

It’s known that recruiters often don’t have enough time to send feedback to every candidate, let alone make it meaningful. That’s where our Innoflow process comes with a solution. Thanks to the way our software is designed, candidates always:

  • know upfront how many steps the process has
  • get notifications about where the process stands (e.g. when their case solution is being evaluated)
  • receive meaningful feedback based on the evaluation criteria

How does it work in practice? Pretty well! Just look at a comment we received from Shruthi Dasarapu, one of the candidates who took part in our recruitment.

#5. Time-Cost Efficiency

The conventional recruitment and selection process usually consists of resumé screening, phone screening, and at least one round of interviews (unless you’re really indecisive and need 11). How much time does it take your recruiters? Many hours, depending on how many applications you get.

We all want things to be time-cost efficient, and businesses know it better than anyone. So why not optimise your recruitment and selection strategy by trying case-based screening?

Not to give you unfounded facts, let’s hear out one of our clients:

Alex Bondo Andersen, Chief Technology Officer at Smart-Trial, “For multiple positions, Innoflow allowed us to evaluate and manage all candidates in an efficient way and ultimately find the best one for each position.”

Our software helps you save, on average, 30% of the time spent on screening applicants during the recruitment and selection process. As mentioned, you get fewer (but better-suited) candidates as many pre-select themselves and evaluating their case solutions is also faster. It takes between ten and twenty minutes, depending on the case complexity.

You might think: but isn’t it faster to eye a resumé? Yes, it usually takes 7.4 seconds. But are the results satisfying?

Considering that Denmark reported 33% of mis-hires last year, perhaps the answer is no. Test for skills to predict better future performance and enjoy the right candidates in the right places.

A New Model for The Old Normal

For a long time, it’s been thought that resumé screening was the only way to hire. But people no longer want to be evaluated based on a piece of paper that will never tell their full story. Nor will it reveal their true potential.

Case-based screening is not only a way to get job seekers excited with a new way of recruiting. It gives everybody an equal chance to be judged for their talent and nothing more.

For your business bottom line, it’s also no less beneficial. You get to broaden your talent pool, find more suitable candidates, diversify the team, and work more efficiently – something your current recruitment and selection process may not be doing.

Ready to join the visionary Innoflow customers and adapt your recruitment and selection process to that worthy of the 21st century?

Statistics about the benefits of case-based screening.

Corporate Diversity Targets in Europe and the US – The Plans Meet the Reality

Corporate Diversity Targets in Europe and the US – The Plans Meet the Reality

Not so long ago, corporate diversity was regarded as an addition rather than something vital for the bottom line. Now, employers worldwide recognise the strong business case for implementing diversity within their workforce – with 80% of people believing that D&I offers competitive advantages. However, creating a diverse and inclusive environment proved to come with many challenges. Hence, companies look to authorities for guidelines on what corporate diversity targets they should focus on.

What are the diversity targets companies in Europe and the US strive for, and how do these plans translate into reality?

The Commonalities in Corporate Diversity Initiatives

In 2017, the European Commission released a document on the D&I strategy for their staff, including many targets and guidelines that corporations of all sizes can also apply. Guided by the motto a better workplace for all, the EU officials included a strategy divided into targets relevant to all groups and individuals and targets focused on specific groups.

Although the document was crafted by the EU authorities, the targets mentioned below align with most of those adopted in the US.

Nonetheless, setting targets and achieving them are two separate things. While 76% of European organisations state that D&I is a priority area or a declared value, translating their targets into action doesn’t always translate into success.

1. Attracting diverse candidates

46% of the organisations surveyed by PWC admit that attracting talent is their primary objective of diversity strategies. It comes as no surprise, as the benefits of a diverse workforce are plentiful.

How are European companies doing when it comes to diverse talent attraction?

Some of them, such as Adidas, did manage to diversify their teams. Based on their statistics, teams in the German headquarters of the brand are composed of people from countries such as Germany, the UK, France, Italy, Russia, and even China.

In terms of gender diversity, the German brand also found a nearly perfect balance. 52% of their staff in the EMEA region is female, and 48% male.

High budget isn’t everything to help your corporate diversity

The United States also takes a committed approach to diversity. As reported by McKinsey, around $8 billion a year is spent throughout the country on diversity training.

The sum is impressive, but does it translate into results?

Pandora is an example of a committed approach to building a diverse talent pipeline. One of the measures they adopted is Road Crew – a 10-week paid internship programme meant to seek diverse talent.

Some companies  (42%) also attempt to attract talents from specific groups by posting their job ads on specialised boards such as military.com, Hispanic Pride, or Campus Pride.

Yet, improvements or a change in attraction tactics need to be made. Still, 45% of companies think their current methods are ineffective at helping a diverse range of job seekers find them.

2. Fostering diversity in recruitment

Successful talent acquisition is linked to a well-working recruitment process. And if your recruitment process is faulty, you will struggle with attaining your diversity goals. What could be the problem? Unconscious bias.

81% of employers admit that unconscious bias can impact their hiring decisions. Unfortunately, sticking to the well-known recruiting strategies such as resumés may be the obstacle many organisations face.

To reduce bias and increase diversity, Intel opted for including underrepresented members in interview panels. The corporation now requires at least two women and/or representatives of minorities to partake in each interview. The results? The company increased the number of female hires by 41% in two years.

Diverse recruitment isn’t only about gender

Nonetheless, let’s not forget that diversity is much more than gender, and unfortunately, Intel doesn’t provide any information on whether this practice also helped them recruit talent from other groups.

That’s why at Innoflow, we took a different, more wide-reaching approach. An alternative recruitment method we offer and use ourselves is one based on work samples. Case-based screening is unbiased, fair for all, and most importantly for your corporate diversity targets – it helps the cause efficiently.

So far, the companies that teamed up with us report a 62% increase in diversity in their recruitment. We, for one, can be an example. Our ever-growing Innoflow staff comes from seven countries, ranging from ages 22 to 50, and 41% of the team members are female.

3. Gender targets

Although diversity has a plethora of shades, the overall focus of most companies seems to still be on gender. And not without reason. Many big corporations are under increasing social and legal pressure to reach their targets of female employees on all levels. As it appears, 40% seems to be the desired number.

To look at our northern friends, Norway is one of the first countries to have passed the law requiring all companies to have at least 40% of women on their boards – and they were efficient at reaching that goal in 2009.

But success it’s not a solid rule across Europe. For instance, according to the 2007 Spanish Gender Equality Act, big corporations should have no less than the magical 40% of female directors. Yet, as of 2014, the number grew only to 11.6%.

Quotas can be illegal

While in Europe mandatory quotas are not uncommon, in the US, the practice may violate anti-discrimination laws, and for a good reason. One’s progressive goal might be seen as another’s barrier to advancement.

It doesn’t stop companies from setting targets, tough. Nike aims to achieve a goal of 35% representation of racial minorities by 2025 and 50% of women in its global workforce. As for the latter goal, Nike’s already almost reached it. As of now, their female workforce stands at 49.5%.

However, the gender target they set doesn’t include warehouse and retail store workers – a decision that remains unexplained by the brand.

4. Inclusive environment for people with disabilities

According to data, six to ten out of every 100 people in the WHO European Region live with disabilities. Many of them, unfortunately, are left out of the candidate pool.

Let’s look at the data from the UK. According to the report, out of 8.4 million disabled people of working age, only 52.3% were in employment as of 2019. Moreover, the report notes that the disability employment gap is also higher for older and non-white people with disabilities.

That group is a vast and untapped talent pool. But are European companies trying to make recruitment easier for them?

Unfortunately, the results of the actions still leave a lot to wish for. Based on the data, 73% of employers don’t have websites accessible to candidates with disabilities.

Meet the needs of the disabled

One of our newest additions to help people with various disabilities use our website is implementing a tool allowing candidates to adjust the navigation options. Visitors can enable a text reader, stop blinking and flashing elements, enable keyboard navigation, and make many text-display adjustments.

Although a necessary start, creating an inclusive environment for people with disabilities doesn’t end with an easier recruitment process. In this regard, let’s look to our overseas friends.

One of the leading American technology corporations, Cisco, did a great job accommodating their disabled employees. They’re the first company to offer a desk phone with a built-in text-to-speech function. The software makes the workplace more accessible for the blind and visually impaired, making daily tasks easier.

5. LBGTQ community

The LGBTQ community has an equally important place in corporate diversity strategies both in Europe and the US.

The Swedish icon, Ikea, put in place a list of measures promoting inclusivity in their workplace and thus attracting more alike talents. To name a few, Ikea has:

  • A global LGBTQ+ inclusion plan,
  • Guidelines to help managers build trans-inclusive teams,
  • Standards of conduct on tackling discrimination against LGBTQ + people in the workplace

On that note, the brand doesn’t provide any statistics on its workforce within the community.

In America, the numbers are much more easily accessible. For instance, at Accenture, approximately 2.5% of their workforce openly identifies as LGBTQ, and 44 employees identify as non-binary.

Regardless of the efforts and results, however, 20% of LGBTQ+ job seekers in the US still report discrimination when applying for jobs.

Where Do Europe and the US Diverge?

As discussed, most of the corporate diversity targets followed in the US are the same as in Europe. However, our American friends focus also on a few additional aspects worth noting.

In an executive order on DE&I in the Federal Workforce, the U.S. President states that the Federal Government should be a model for how all employees should be treated.

Apart from the targets aligning with European guidelines, the document puts focus on several others:

  • A special focus on the employment of people of colour
  • Expanding employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated

1. People of colour

As the demographics of Europe and the U.S. differ, it’s not unusual that America pays special attention to the employment of people of colour, that make up 42% of their entire population. Yet, unemployment in this group remains at high levels.

American companies focus their efforts on fixing the issue. The previously mentioned Pandora, for instance, plans to increase the percentage of their employees of colour to 45%. They also provide their employees with groups such as Mixtape, amassing people of colour.

At Accenture, the numbers are already higher. The most current data shows that their workforce comprises 50.7% of people of colour.

2. Employment of the formerly incarcerated as a corporate diversity target?

The US is globally known for its rather strict penal system, at least as far as the West is concerned. As of 2021, American prisons held almost 2.1 million people. As a society, we tend to show little empathy to incarcerated and those who were so in the past, leading to bias that tends to result in those groups being marginalised.

Yet, considering that many of those people do time for minor offences, it’s not surprising that the US also turned its attention to including that particular group in their diversity targets.

How do American companies feel about that initiative?

Some of them notice the value in welcoming another group to its diversity strategies. One of them, a Cincinnati-based Nehemiah, prides itself in having nearly 170 second-chance workers. Greystone Bakery from New York has also practised hiring without questions asked for a long time. The result? The 20 million company’s workforce is made up of 65% of ex-offenders.

Despite the initiatives on the part of the government, the willingness to hire a previously incarcerated job seeker seems to remain an issue. As the evidence shows, having a record reduces employer callback by 50%.

As the labour market remains tight, perhaps corporations should open up to another source of the diverse talent pool?

Corporate Diversity Goals – Have We Reached the Goals?

Diversity in the workplace is a goal recognised by many employers globally. While actions and measures favoured by Europe and the US may sometimes differ in execution, the corporate diversity targets are far from being that different.  

Whether it’s the incentives or the strong business case – opening up to diverse candidate pools is of value. We’ve gone a long way, and the way to go is still long. What matters, however, is that the results begin to show.