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How HR Software Helps with Your Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategy

Here’s a rundown of some of the key ways HR tools can help your team accomplish their DEI goals...

Phil Strazzulla
HR Tech Expert, Harvard MBA, Software Enthusiast
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Diversity, equity, and inclusion is an important aspect of any HR strategy.  Even beyond the moral imperative, McKinsey has done a great job of quantifying the results that diverse teams achieve in terms of financial outcomes.

McKinsey business case for diversity in executive teams bar graph

DEI and HR Tech

Given the interest from companies and People teams, many HR Tech vendors have bolstered their DEI offerings and focused on the use cases their specific technology can bring to the table when it comes to hiring a diverse workforce.

However, when thousands of HR software vendors that were already hard to keep track of all of a sudden start releasing new functionality, it can be a bit tough to keep track of it all!

So, here’s a rundown of some of the key ways tools can help your team accomplish their DEI goals.

DEI Implementations

We’ve organized this in terms of the employee lifecycle - from employer branding through alumni.

  • Employer Branding: You can source from DEI focused job boards (FairyGod Boss, Jopwell, etc), create compelling content (landing pages via career site CMS, social posts, email campaigns) from your ERGs to attract and convert under represented talent, and build talent pools for future hiring through your CRM.
  • Recruiting Process: Focus on blind resume screening in your ATS, the right language in job descriptions (check out Textio), Rooney rule policies (not HR Tech, but worth a shoutout), and referrals that don’t exacerbate a current DEI problem (like referring like can be a big issue, look for tools that help you source more balanced demographics).
  • Assessments: Skills based hiring rubrics, algorithmic top of funnel vetting via chatbots, flexible resume requirements in your ATS, .
  • Scheduling: I put this one in here to show the depth that HR Tech can offer...even the right scheduling software can play a major role in DEI by making sure an interview panel is inclusive, flag suboptimal pass rates from specific interviewers (plus provide coaching materials for those who need it!), and flexible interview times.
  • People Analytics: There are of course dashboards to keep track of pay gaps, demographics in different functions/offices/roles, etc.  More interestingly, you can use organizational network analysis (ONA) to do really insightful analysis on career pathing (who in your org are good mentors, why have some women broken the glass ceiling, where are veterans excelling, etc), what story do communication networks in your company tell (segregation, inclusiveness, somewhere in between), which hiring channels are producing results you're after, etc.
  • Employee Experience: Use a best of breed performance management/goals platform to understand how different groups are functioning, employee engagement tools to figure out where strengths and weaknesses are in your culture when it comes to DEI, and coaching platforms to implement just in time education and management where needed.

This listing isn’t comprehensive, and there’s a ton of innovation happening in this space.  But, it should give you some places to think about focusing as you look to leverage your existing HR tools to execute on your DEI strategy.

I also hope it’ll expand your mind a bit when it comes to the many ways tech is helping shape organizations so that the next time you buy software you can dig a little deeper into how that particular tool can help with this oh so important goal.

Phil Strazzulla
HR Tech Expert, Harvard MBA, Software Enthusiast
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Phil is the founder of SelectSoftware Reviews, a website dedicated to helping HR and Recruiting teams find and buy the right software through in-depth, expert advice. He has bought over $1 million worth of HR and Recruiting tools. Additionally, as of 2023, nearly 3 million HR professionals have relied on his advice to determine which business software they should buy.

Phil studied finance at New York University and started his career working in venture capital before getting his MBA from Harvard Business School. His in-depth understanding of the Saas landscape, especially HR Tech, stems from nearly a decade of researching and working with these tools as a computer programmer, user, and entrepreneur.

Featured in: Entrepreneur Harvard Business School Yahoo HR.com Recruiting Daily Hacking HR Podcast HR ShopTalk Podcast Employer Branding for Talent Acquisition (Udemy Course)

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