The Time for Diversity and Inclusion is Now

How a Talent Intelligence Platform Improves D&I to Deliver a Stronger Bottom Line

Mercer and Red Thread Research recently released an in-depth report detailing the current state of the diversity and inclusion (D&I) technology market[1]. While many organizations recognize the need for improving D&I, many fewer understand the business case for implementing these programs. This document provides an excellent overview of why D&I delivers solid business results, as well as a thorough exploration of technology solutions to help make it happen.

D&I technology is a booming, rapidly growing business. The drivers behind this growth include:

  • Clear awareness that the same old approach to diversity won’t work in the #metoo era
  • Increasing financial and publicity penalties associated with a lack of diversity and a workplace that doesn’t promote inclusivity
  • Demographic changes in which more than half of U.S. workers will be minorities by 2025, with far less tolerance for business-as-usual.

As the report makes clear, D&I investment delivers solid returns. One survey cited, covering 1700 organizations in eight countries, determined that organizations with above average diversity generated 19% higher innovation revenues and 9% higher margins.

D&I technology providers range from early-stage innovators to enterprise-level consulting groups with international scale. They all have one thing in common: a technological approach to improving D&I based on tools that remove overt, innate, and behavioral biases from talent management.

Analysis within the report covers a wide range of D&I technologies, centered around four broad categories:

  • Talent Acquisition
  • Development/Advancement
  • Engagement/Retention
  • Analytics

Embedding Diversity into the Talent Lifecycle

At the same time, the report’s function-by function approach raises a question: how many of the technologies included within these four categories can solve multiple issues, helping reduce the number of overlapping products and services an organization needs to meet its D&I goals?

For example, a Talent Intelligence Platform like the one provided by Eightfold supports all four of this report’s categories. The same masking tools and AI-based focus on skills and career trajectory that make Eightfold a superior tool for building top-end talent funnels also directly impact the rest of the employee experience.

Restless or unchallenged employees gain the ability to explore other jobs within their organization, including descriptions of the skills needed to make that next career move. Hiring managers who open job postings to internal applicants use the same screening tools to help foster internal talent while protecting the privacy of internal applicants.

On the engagement and retention front, HR receives feedback on employees who might be flight risks due to expanded skillsets or delayed career advancement. Early identification helps the organization recognize at-risk talent and take pre-emptive steps to keep them challenged.

The Talent Intelligence Platform also delivers a unifying function across other systems, aligning ATS and HR applications as well as its own data resources. This cross-platform/cross-department capability makes it far easier to generate the analytics and reporting that’s essential to document D&I initiative progress.

In short, while current D&I solutions already deliver tremendous value, consolidation of functionality is the next step in D&I technology’s evolution.

[1] Diversity & Inclusion Technology: The Rise of a Transformative Market, Stacia Sherman Garr and Carole Jackson, RedThread Research and Mercer, February 2019

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