If someone were going by headlines alone in 2023, they might be under the impression that recent news heralds the end of DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) efforts. In May, Florida passed a bill banning its public colleges and universities from spending money on DEI programs. Then in June, Texas passed a similar bill banning DEI offices in public universities. These were followed by a Supreme Court decision effectively striking down affirmative action in college and university admissions nationwide. Businesses observing what seemed like the start of a clear trend might have wondered if it was time to pull back on corporate DEI initiatives as well. However, recent data shows that despite the political narrative, that isn’t what’s happening—and companies that abandon DEI can be putting themselves at a serious disadvantage.
Software company Textio analyzed the language used in public job listings from 2023 compared to those in 2022, and found that use of key DEI terms had actually increased slightly year over year. “Diversity” rose from appearing in 30.6% of all listings to appearing in 31.6%, “inclusion” rose from 18.8% to 19%, and “equity” went from 10.2% to 12%. Further, while hiring for all roles was down due to fears of a recession, DEI roles were less proportionally impacted than others. This is not what anybody would expect to see if businesses were truly discontinuing DEI work.
In reality, companies are increasingly seeing the practical value of having a diverse workforce. As Textio’s CEO noted, “If your team doesn’t reflect the demographics of your customer base, you’ll make products that don’t serve them…. If you don’t serve your customers, you go out of business.” With the audience businesses are attempting to reach becoming more diverse than ever, companies that can authentically reach those potential consumers and clients gain an advantage over competitors. In addition, actively indicating your commitment to diversity in hiring expands the pool of potential applicants in what, despite a downturn in job listings, continues to be a tight labor market, allowing you to attract better people. (Unemployment was at 3.5% in the U.S. as of July 2023.)
Everybody understands the necessity of crafting a strong brand for their products or services, but they may not pay as much attention to actively managing their employer brand. The reputation your company has among its current employees and potential job seekers can make or break your efforts to find and retain top talent. However, authentically incorporating DEI into your employer branding is more complex than simply injecting strategically placed buzzwords into job listings—and efforts that are interpreted as an empty marketing ploy can be damaging instead of helpful.
For example, the first thing that comes to mind when people talk about DEI is often racial or ethnic inequities. But DEI initiatives encompass a much wider range of categories such as age and generation, gender and gender identity, disability, socioeconomic status and background, sexual orientation, and religious and spiritual beliefs. If your employer branding isn’t communicating the efforts your organization is making to promote inclusivity for all, you could be missing out on key hires.
At Iffel International, our branding division can help you create an employer brand that makes you a place of choice for the candidates you want to hire. We incorporate DEI messaging into your employer branding in a way that effectively conveys your genuine commitment to diversity and equality of opportunity in the workplace in order to attract and retain top talent. Our knowledge of DEI has been gained through hands-on work in the field, giving us unique insight in this area. Our CEO, Hema Dey, is actively involved with DEI initiatives, including advising a prominent professional advisory group on setting up their own DEI culture.
Don’t leave the impression top candidates receive of your company up to chance. To learn more about how Iffel International can strengthen your employer branding and help you build and keep the team you want, contact us here to schedule a consultation.
Turn Your Website Into A Sales Engine.