Getting Diversity Right: A New Approach

Getting Diversity Right: A New Approach

In a recent survey by the Consumer Technology Association, the vast majority of organizations expressed a goal of “greater diversity and inclusion.” Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts have been a high priority for most organizations, and never more than in the wake of the widespread social activism that marked 2020.

Yet a recent article in Fast Company states, “What has become clear is that many companies still have no idea what they’re doing when it comes to addressing DEI.” Why? There’s certainly more than one reason, but we think much of the shortfall has to do with the old saying about doing the same things and expecting a different result.

If your organization is seeking diversity but recruiting from the same sources you’ve always used, you’re unlikely to be successful. More and more candidates of varied backgrounds are seeking alternative paths to success, rejecting the traditional four-year college path and all its debt. So if your first instruction to a recruiter is to limit applicants for technology roles to those with a Bachelor’s Degree, you’re missing a huge and untapped pool of talent.

Similarly, those recruiting instructions might include a certain level of experience. That’s more than fair, but brings problems of its own: new hires bring bad habits with them from a previous job, their skills may have been overstated, and they tend to jump ship at the first opportunity when offered a few more dollars elsewhere. And the cycle repeats.

Think for a moment about the longer-term strategy of screening candidates for potential, not credentials. This is the foundation of the modern apprenticeship movement, and there are solid reasons for that. Organizations get candidates who can be molded to perform their duties in a way that meshes with the company culture from Day One. They work at a discount while they learn, and they’re remarkably loyal to the companies that share their journeys.

And yes, apprenticeships solve the DEI challenge as well, with a pool of candidates that’s far more diverse than traditional recruiting sources, and women represented at a rate nearly one-third higher than the industry average.

A new approach like this requires an organization to think and behave differently, and that can be intimidating. But we have seen over and over again that the apprenticeship model does far more than check the DEI boxes. Apprenticeship change organizations – and lives – for the better.

Ready to learn more about an apprenticeship program for your organization? Contact Franklin Apprenticeships.

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