Diversity in the Boardroom

Organizations with diversity initiatives in management and directorship roles are better equipped to reflect the increasingly diverse profile of the markets and communities where they operate. Because of this, they are more responsive to new ideas and programs that attract the patronage and loyalty of a wider range of people.

Company boards composed of diverse backgrounds also gain broader perspectives on decision making and direction setting for the organization, and are more inclined to offer creative approaches in dealing with business issues presented by a rapidly changing economic landscape. Positive images and feelings towards organizations that embrace diversity will also lead to stronger relationships with investors, employees, government and the general public.

Because of these advantages, more and more companies are beginning to adopt diversity hiring programs to beef up their leadership and management levels with talent from a wider range of backgrounds.

Diverse Talent Pool: Where to Look

Senior level recruiting is difficult in itself, but diversity-oriented hiring is even more complicated due to cultural sensitivities, stiff competition for talent and lack of organizational expertise in this area. Because of this, organizations of all sizes are increasingly relying on third party executive search firms to help them identify, attract and select candidates who fulfill their diversity criteria.

Executive search firms that specialize in diversity search projects can address these unique challenges head on. Their main goal is to find people with the required skills and experience and can contribute to further diversifying the leadership of their client organizations. But attracting the interest of these candidates and ensuring that they are a good fit with the companies in need of them is a more complicated task. The best candidates may have limited availability for new commitments to another organization, and they want to make sure that the hiring organization has a sincere commitment to diversity.

Selecting an Executive Search Firm

Businesses with a well-run diversity program can teach other organizations a thing or two about selecting an executive search firm for their diversity search assignments. For one, they are known to stick to firms with demonstrable experience in conducting specialized diversity search projects. They also ensure that they have a good cultural fit with the search firm they hire, and are able to communicate their diversity objectives and specifications clearly.

The following pointers will also help organizations in selecting the right search firm for their diversity hiring programs:

  • Demonstrated experience in successfully identifying and attracting diversity candidates
  • Understanding of the unique requirements of diversity recruitment
  • Affiliation with reputable industry and business organizations
  • Sound and ethical candidate search and screening strategies
  • Strict confidence and discreetness during negotiations

There’s no doubt that a diverse workforce and leadership can help propel businesses of all sizes and industries to better cope with a rapidly changing world. Partnering with an executive search firm experienced in diversity recruitment will significantly help turn this goal into a reality.