Every now and then, a book comes along that fits perfectly to the times like a piece of a puzzle. The SkiNy on Diversity Recruiting by Pamela McElvane, which discusses how companies can tweak their recruiting strategies to meet diversity goals, is one such puzzle piece.
I’ve worked with many CEOs and executives in my career who believed in diversity, and who all agreed that diversity was essential for business success. Unfortunately, when it came to making progress toward their diversity goals–their “what”–they fell short because their “how” was too disjointed and lacked “best practices” insight.
This book plays an important role in helping connect that disjointment. McElvane is the CEO and founder of DiversityMBA Media, and with her Inclusive Leadership Index and Diversity Benchmarking Index, has worked with more than 1350 companies, including such giants as Walmart and McDonald’s. Her educational efforts under Diversity Learning Solutions have lead to the training of more than 30,000 professionals within the past decade, and she hosts multiple conferences and bootcamps every year dedicated to spreading DEI knowledge. Add to that a weekly talk radio show called “The Inclusive Voice,” and it’s clear she’s got insight to spare.
Thankfully, she shares it in The SkiNy on Diversity Recruiting.
A Masterful Job of Connecting the Theory with Reality
With her benchmarking so well-received at the corporate- and academic levels, and her focus so strongly centered around data-driven analysis, it’s no mean feat that she wrote a book that is practical in the hands of recruiters. In fact, HR departments should purchase multiple copies to give to all their recruiters to convince them of the importance of proactive recruiting when diversity is one of the main goals.
Of course, if you’re stuck wondering what the big deal is about diversity, equity and inclusion, and their place in the business world, McElvane wastes no time establishing the book’s raison d’etre:
The question I have been trying to answer with some depth for many years is, “Why are Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion necessary?”… [F]irst, companies desire that their workforce mirror their customers and consumers; second, companies want to create a culture of belonging that celebrates the uniqueness of people’s experiences and distinctions in the workplace. Culture is the single most impactful component. Regardless of how successful you are today, without intentional diversity, you will not achieve absolute cultural depth.
From there, McElvane digs in, parsing the book into four sections that attack diversity recruiting from different angles.
Diversity Recruiting, In-Depth
The first section goes in-depth on the creation of a diversity recruiting strategy that’s both flexible and agile, while section number two devotes three chapters to building a best-in-class recruiting engine. There are quite a few pearls of wisdom here, not the least of which is recognizing the bias that can often exist in talent acquisition.
However, in my opinion, the real meat and potatoes of the book comes in the third section, which deals with building a sourcing platform. In this section, a whopping six chapters provide a deep dive into the nitty-gritty of where diverse talent can be found, with a spotlight cast upon persons with disabilities, veterans and among the LGBTQ+. If the mark of an important book is the good it can do for the world, then the insight these chapters of The SkiNy on Diversity Recruiting provide on behalf of these groups should have McElvane in the running for a Pulitzer Prize.
The final section of the book, dealing with the implementation of a diversity recruiting plan, leans heavily into the metrics-side of things, a nod to McElvane’s own adherence to a metrics-driven approach in her DEI work. But this accent on data doesn’t detract from the message. On the contrary, because it’s all done with an eye toward McElvane’s deep knowledge of recruiting practices, it reads like she’s telling us not that this is this how it should be done, but that this is how it’s done to produce results!
A Must-Read Installment
According to McElvane, the book just scratches the surface of the DEI topic as a whole, but as this is the first installment of a series, subsequent books will shine a light on the other areas.
For anyone looking to transform their company with an eye towards diversity, equity and inclusion, The SkiNy on Diversity Recruiting is a must-read installment in a series that, as a whole, promises to be an important addition to the business world’s drive to create a diverse–and healthy–workforce.
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