Diversity recruiting is a key focus for many companies.

Now more than ever, businesses are recognizing the value of diversity and willing to invest substantial resources into building more diverse teams.

However, I can tell you right now that a lot these recruiting projects are destined to fail – before they’ve even started.

At Qualigence, we’ve worked with organizations to help them add diversity for over 20 years. In that time, I’ve learned a lot about the keys to making a D&I initiative succeed – and the major pitfalls to avoid.

Here are five reasons why so many diversity recruiting projects fall flat.

They Don’t Put the Business Case First

If you’re going to invest the time and money into diversity recruiting, you need to have a very clear idea of WHY it benefits your business.

Vague ideas about the value of diversity, wanting to “do the right thing” or “because your competitors are doing it” are not good enough.

If all you do is put token minorities on your teams, you’ve wasted time and resources – and those people will probably leave before long.

Maybe you’re prioritizing innovation and recognize that diversity means more ideas, more perspectives, and thus stronger innovation.

Maybe you want to make sure your customer-facing teams mirror that of your customers.

These are both great examples of a case for diversity that directly supports business goals.

If you don’t know exactly why diversity is valuable from a business perspective, the initiative will run out of steam and face greater internal opposition.

If you’re making big changes at your organization and telling people they need to recruit for specific parameters, you’re far more likely to succeed if they understand why!

Which brings us to our next point…

They Don’t COMMUNICATE This Case to The Organization

It’s not enough for YOU to know why you’re recruiting for diversity. Your team needs to understand the business case as well. They also need to understand how it benefits them!

Otherwise, people may resent the new changes. On any given team, there are some people who need to know why changes are being made and understand the benefit, whether it’s diversity or a new tech platform. It’s just part of human nature.

Leaders need to clearly communicate why this new initiative supports your business goals and makes the organization stronger as a whole.

By making a clear case for the business – and explaining how that will also support new opportunities for your teams – you can get the buy-in needed for success.

They Set Unrealistic Expectations

Some professions and industries are vastly more diverse than others. It’s unfortunate, but there’s only so much your organization can do about it.

It’s great to set ambitious goals and to take diversity seriously. But it’s important to have a clear idea of how much diversity actually exists in your candidate pool before you start recruiting.

By understanding the talent landscape, you can set a realistic goal that’s actually achievable.

If you set your sights too high, you risk falling short and creating a backlash internally or frustration that it was all a waste of money.

They Go for Too Narrow of a Candidate Pool

For most recruiting projects, we hunt for candidates who have all the right skills with a background in our industry. If not our industry, we search for candidates with experience in particular role.

But if we’re recruiting for an industry or profession with very little diversity, the odds are greatly stacked against us.

In these situations, we can have much better success by broadening our candidate pool. We can do this by searching for people with the right competencies – who can be trained on our specific line of work and industry.

Take banking. The industry historically has very little diversity. If you were recruiting for diversity in commercial lending, you could search for diverse commercial landing candidates – and you’d probably have little to show for your time.

Alternatively, you could search for diverse candidates who have a history of closing deals and who can be TRAINED on commercial lending. You’d find more people and probably make some great hires!

They Don’t Use Objective Tools for Candidate Selection

It’s human nature to gravitate toward people that sound and look like us. You may not realize it, but we all have some subconscious biases in this area.

That’s why it’s so important to have objective tools to evaluate candidates. These tools help us check our assumptions, guard against bias, and make sure we’re really hiring the right candidate for the job.

Here at Qualigence, we’ve seen tremendous success with candidate selection with the talent optimization platform from the Predictive Index. It doesn’t override or replace our own judgement, but it provides an objective benchmark to ensure we’re making smart hiring decisions.

Furthermore, we’ve seen how effective Perception Predict’s sales arbitrage platform can be at picking individuals with a high earning potential for your sales team.

These tools are incredibly useful for ensuring we’re building diverse teams that are geared to deliver real results in the workplace.

Unlock the Benefits of Diversity

Building diverse teams can give your business a tremendous advantage in the workplace. The key is to make sure you really understand WHY it strengthens your company and go in with a carefully crafted plan for success.

You know what they say about planning – if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail!