The Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) webinar “From Diverse Suppliers to Diverse Talent: Sourcing for Diversity” not only spotlighted existing challenges in talent acquisition but also illuminated pathways for integrating diversity into talent strategies. Held on November 9, 2023, this webinar brought together thought leaders Catie Brand, COO, GA Talent & Vice President of General Assembly and Susan E. Lotz, Northeast Inclusion and Diversity Recruiting Lead from Accenture.
Guided by the insightful moderation of Dawn McCartney, CCWP, VP of Contingent Workforce Strategies Council at SIA, these industry veterans explored the intricacies of recruiting diverse talent, especially in the realm of contingent labor.
The RMC Team attended to bring you this SIA webinar recap – From Diverse Suppliers to Diverse Talent: Sourcing for Diversity.
The Dawn of a New DEI Era
The webinar opened with an eye-opening statistic: for the first time in 68 years, over 10% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women. This sets the stage for a second Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) reckoning, with enterprises urged not to be caught unprepared.
The discussion opened a candid conversation about the repercussions for companies that fail to fulfill their public commitments to diversity and inclusion. The stakes are high. Companies may face employee turnover, dissatisfaction and dwindling productivity due to inadequate diversity practices.
Such shortcomings could spill over to external customer relations, manifesting as decreased performance and brand reputation damage.
Accenture’s Pioneering Approach
Susan highlighted Accenture’s apprenticeship program, where they partner with institutions like community colleges, veterans organizations, LinkedIn and General Assembly. Shifting away from the traditional route, they looked for potential team members without bachelor degrees.
Their efforts in sourcing from HBCUs and minority-focused conferences further demonstrate a commitment to DEI.
Notably, Accenture has hired over 132 career changers from General Assembly since 2018, with many progressing to mid and senior roles.
Five DEI Strategies for Contingent Labor
The speakers outlined five key strategies to enhance DEI in contingent labor forces:
- Executive Support: DEI agendas must have top-level backing.
- Supplier Collaboration: Work with suppliers who track and report diversity metrics.
- Career Pathing: View contingent labor as a talent pool for permanent roles.
- Inclusive Interviewing: Implement objective assessments, diverse interview panels, and training on unconscious bias.
- Community Building: Include contingent workers in DEI programs to boost visibility, community, and retention.
Diverse Suppliers vs. Diverse Talent
The discussion contrasted the impacts of diverse suppliers and diverse talent. While the former contributes to broader economic and social responsibility goals, the latter directly affects an organization’s DEI statistics and fosters a culture of inclusivity and innovation.
- Contribute to ESG/CSR efforts
- Direct economic impact on DEI partners
- Potential to impact business at scale
- Increased innovation and customer connectivity
- Potential future leaders
- Direct impact on DEI stats
- Visible to employers
- Morale boosting
The event underscored the urgent need for companies to evolve from merely focusing on diverse suppliers to actively cultivating diverse talent pools. Based on this recap of SIA webinar, it becomes clear that integrating DEI into your talent acquisition tools is not just a moral imperative but a strategic business necessity. The insights shared by Accenture and General Assembly pave the way for organizations to build more inclusive and dynamic workforces, ultimately leading to a more equitable and prosperous future for all.