Balancing recruitment and DE&I needs amid the Great Contemplation

Organisations are struggling to keep their focus on purposeful recruitment

Despite tough economic times, employees’ priorities are shifting more than ever before. Not feeling valued by their organisation or manager, lacking a flexible work-life balance, and feeling there’s minimal care and trust in teams are just some of the reasons that record numbers of workers are looking elsewhere. Employees now have more choices than ever and are no longer willing to sign away their lives to a business that makes them feel like “just a number”.  

The shifting of teams and talent is showing no sign of slowing down, and recruitment strategies are struggling to keep up with employees’ shifting priorities. What truly matters to candidates has changed, with benefits packages, corporate responsibility, and flexible work policies becoming vital to secure talent. 

In a rush to fill roles in times of high attrition, it can be hard to prioritise inprioritiseand sustainable growth. Sacrificing purposeful recruitment in favour of speed will make you lose out in the long run, and organisations must strike the fine balance of moving fast with bringing the right people along on the journey.

External uncertainty can lead even the most resilient individuals to hand in their resignations. It was estimated that 40% plan to leave their jobs in 2022, and only 29% of global IT workers have a ‘high intent’ to stay in their current roles. With so many employees willing to seek change, even in the face of a possible global recession, we must look inward and act. 

Smash the glass ceiling

It is vital not to lose focus on the bigger picture. 

Although diversity and representation are slowly getting better, biases still exist. We hate to believe that there is a glass ceiling in our sector, but unfortunately, it remains, and women in C-suite roles are still assumed to be in marketing or HR. 

Inherent biases continue with low representation of females in leadership positions, with a shockingly low 5% in the tech sector and people from ethnic minority backgrounds making up just 17% of C-suite roles. People have a perception of what an executive should look like and how they should behave. But why should this be the case? 

It is up to us as leaders to change those perceptions and keep diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) at the top of our minds when we grow our teams. The opportunities are plentiful in tech, and it is only through hiring with purpose that we can smash the glass ceiling.

Recruit with purpose

The Great Contemplation may have left organisations with more roles to fill; however, we must make a concerted effort to hire with purpose. We must constantly check ourselves throughout the hiring process, driving DE&I initiatives to craft the best teams possible and avoid falling back into old habits of speed over substance.

Hiring teams must look outside the perceived ‘normal’ scope to bring in diversity of background and thought. This leads to higher levels of creativity and a wider variety of ideas, gaining different perspectives and understanding. Recruiting from different roles or industries can also help to boost credibility, enhance the team’s skillset, and provide new outlooks. 

Take a step back; be purposeful about who you are recruiting and why they will add value to your organisation.

Company culture and better management drive retention

Just because you’re hiring in the best doesn’t mean you can be complacent. It’s as much a question of nurturing your existing teams as hiring new, diverse talent. Are you asking yourself how to invest enough in your people to keep them? 

With the challenge of hybrid working keeping people on their toes as we continue figuring out and working towards a new gold standard, with backlash likely one way or another. Organisations need to inveOrganisationsmanagers that will have more impact on the day-to-day of a company than any other worker, influencing employee experience and, in turn, the customer experience.

As leaders, we must inspire our workforce and build a culture where people feel valued. With uncaring and uninspiring leaders placing in the top three reasons for people quitting their previous roles, we need to ensure that employees feel heard. Giving managers the training and resources they need to deliver good people management is key. With sufficient investment in these roles, you can give your management teams a chance to be good and do good.

A culture of awareness and empathy starts with listening and sharing. At Five9, we pride ourselves on our collaborative, open, and welcoming culture. We realise that we need to be proactive and do more to support our female, BIPOC and other minorities workforce to be their full, authentic selves at work. 

Combining a top-down strategy with a grassroots approach, the team created safe spaces to share and check in with each other in our employee resource groups (ERGs). The team were proactive and introduced a listening series of hour-long ‘vent’ sessions, and our HR team worked to create a more diverse hiring panel. And I say team because this was something led by the teams themselves, authentic and real, not just a checkmark on a list of things to get done. 

So why does this matter? If people aren’t satisfied with where they are, they can leave and get hired elsewhere easily. People can afford to be picky, with almost twice the number of job openings as unemployed people, so it’s important to nurture the great teams you have.

Recruitment and DE&I go hand-in-hand

14% of employees state that a non-inclusive and unwelcoming community pushed them to quit their roles. This is simply not good enough. 

As leaders, we have a responsibility to embrace authenticity and trust, lead with transparency, empower our employees, and support each other within our communities. Diverse hiring is key, but you won’t be able to recruit people into a space where they don’t feel heard and valued. Numbers matter in terms of results, but behaviours count just as much. 

Amid the Great Contemplation, we must not lose sight of what is important – hiring with purpose and building a culture of transparency, trust and collaboration. It might not always be pretty and polished, but it must be real and authentic. 

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