When we wrote our D&I focused white paper last summer, ‘Levelling the Playing Field’, our goal was to lay out a new set of standards for inclusive and fair hiring and development. At the end of May, Sova’s Dr. Alan Bourne spoke at Inclusive.Hiring about methods for levelling the playing field through fair assessment in recruitment and career progression.
Many sets of guidelines on managing or improving diversity in the workplace were written before the age of data. Without updated guidance that’s fit for today’s workplaces, companies have struggled to make a real difference. ‘You can’t fix what you can’t see’ says Alan. But thanks to the volumes of data now available to us, our EDI strategies can be guided by real time information.
That said, there is still a huge amount to be done to turn the dial in three key areas of EDI:
Why is it so hard to shift the dial?
The biggest enemy is indifference, says Alan. If leadership believes that bias has already been dealt with then there is little appetite for further investment. The second biggest threat to progress is setting the bar too low: Guidelines that set minimum standards should be a bare minimum rather than an aspirational target. Other barriers include broad groupings of populations such as BAME (which will have differences within the group), and reliance on piecemeal initiatives that focus on one element of diversity. These may deliver short-lived improvements but not systematic change with meaningful cultural impact across the organisation.
The Sova EDI maturity model
We know that while there is no lack of intent when it comes to EDI, many organisations still struggle to make sustained efforts over time. Through our experience of working with many organisations on their journey to becoming more inclusive, we’ve developed a methodology for pinpointing the maturity of an organisation’s approach to EDI.
The Sova EDI maturity model includes the methods and tactics you might be using in hiring and development depending on whether your organisation is working within the status quo or, at the other end of the scale, is optimising diversity and inclusion through a joined-up approach.
Using the summary graphic below, where do you think your organisation stands? Where would you like to get to and what would need to change in order to progress?
Using data as the guide for a roadmap to fair assessment
It’s our belief that in order to reach an optimised approach to EDI, that you need to make use of data. The four steps below demonstrate the need to objectively consider fairness and inclusivity at every stage of the assessment process.
Thank you to all who participated and fed into this discussion. If you’d like to learn more about designing a fair and inclusive assessment process, we’re pleased to announce that Sova will soon be launching an online course on this topic via the Sova Community.
We launched the Sova Assessment Community earlier this year as a place for those interested in talent acquisition, assessment and development to come together, share expertise, explore best practice and network with HR professionals from other organisations.
We’ve created a FREE online course, “Equitable Assessment - why equality is not enough” for you and your team to upskill and make practical changes to your assessment and recruitment processes.