A long-standing debate exists around diversity inclusion within hiring practices. How intentional should a company be in hiring minorities? As a company that conducts executive search, we are in the business of finding great talent. Recently, we took a step back to self-evaluate our approach on diversity and inclusion. We believe in finding the best of the best from all backgrounds. Would our recruitment numbers reflect this belief? Let’s find out.
WE ARE MINORITY-OWNED
As a Minority Business Enterprise, Spirit Consulting uniquely values all that a multicultural workforce can offer. We’ve spent the last decade as an inclusion-focused search firm, and we understand that the highest priority is finding the absolute best candidate for the job. We dig deep and draw on our vast resources in the diversity segment to find the best and the brightest for our clients.
PROUD OF OUR NUMBERS
In a study conducted of one of our leading clients, we found that about 1 in every 3 candidates hired from our services is from a diverse background. In an internal audit conducted in 2021, we found that 80% of candidates hired across 2019 and 2020 were either non-white, non-male, or were veterans. Spirit is proud to curate, carefully, the most qualified candidates from across the spectrums of gender, culture, and national background, among other characteristics, for our clients.
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION FOR OUR CLIENTS
Our mission is to fulfill our clients’ dreams through virtuous service, so what is the virtuous way to think about diversity and inclusion? Our approach is cyclical: leading with love and seeing all people as equal, identifying and eliminating explicit and implicit biases, and having continuous conversations.
As an executive search and HR consultancy, we never make decisions on behalf of our clients. All we can do is run national searches seeking the best talent, run work psychology assessments on candidates to see who is wired for success, and then present that information to our clients. The hiring decision rests with our clients and their search committees.
We do, however, ensure that all hiring, screening, promoting, demoting, conflict resolution, and people-based decision making is based on bona fide occupational qualities (BFOQ). We actively seek candidates with diversity of thought, and we believe tokenism hurts client relationships, especially when candidates fail to meet expectations. For example, if an organization desires to expand a new product into a culturally diverse segment, but all of their sales and marketing leaders are white and have no experience in that segment, the best approach is to set a requirement that a hired candidate needs to have that specific cultural experience. This approach makes cultural diversity a BFOQ while simultaneously bringing in a diverse candidate to the organization. The risk of hiring an inexperienced candidate is minimized.
According to the Wall Street Journal, among CEOs of S&P 500 companies, only 11% are ethnic minorities (3% Latino, 3% Indian, 2% Asian, 1% Middle Eastern, 1% Multiracial, and 1% Black). 89% are white. If we truly love people and want to break down this racial divide, we should continue to pull up our brothers and sisters of other races.
DEBATE ON INTENTIONAL DIVERSITY
Opponents of intentional diversity initiatives argue that less qualified candidates will enter into positions for which other people have worked harder. As much as we want to say that hiring people is a science, the truth is that time and time again, the “best candidate” on paper ends up fizzling out, while others end up achieving levels of success the search committees never dreamed imaginable. Looking back at candidate presentations for the sake of re-establishing relationships over the past 15+ years, non-hired candidates achieve shocking feats.
For organizations that have explicitly sought to increase diversity, we have successfully consulted them in areas that would be most likely to require diverse perspectives. This allows for gender, culture, national background and more to function as BFOQs, giving clients the ability to hire the best candidate and accomplish their goal of hiring a diverse candidate.
While this explanation provides the foundation of our philosophy, please visit spiritmco.com for more about our organization and our core values. For thought leadership specifically related to our diversity and inclusion principles, please read the following:
Thanks for reading–we look forward to serving you.