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Key takeaways:

  • Senior diversity, equity, and inclusion leaders shared how you can partner with employee resource groups (ERGs) to provide support for attracting diverse talent in your company.
  • ERGs create opportunities for candidates to connect with employees throughout your organization and establish a sense of belonging.
  • ERGs help elevate your overall DEI efforts by highlighting how your strategy is creating career opportunities for underrepresented groups.

As a leader of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in your organization, leveraging employee resource groups (ERGs) for talent recruitment can help bring in diverse candidates and create inclusive workplaces to advance your strategy.

McKinsey & Company reported how ERGs help improve talent diversity, particularly in the recruitment process. ERG members who participate in talent attraction events showcase a welcoming community within organizations and create a sense of belonging for diverse candidates. They also support retention efforts for underrepresented groups in your company by acting as a direct link between business lines.

How can you leverage your ERGs to elevate your talent recruitment efforts to advance DEI? DEI Board members — all heads of DEI at the world’s largest companies — benchmarked the best practices they’re implementing to bring in top talent in partnership with their employees.

Here are some of the initiatives they shared that can help you move the needle for DEI across your enterprise.

ERGs create opportunities to connect with employees

DEI Board members recently discussed how ERGs create connections and communities for employees, specifically for underrepresented groups. These connections can be essential for talent recruitment and retention, as McKinsey & Company reported 51% of employees leave their jobs because they don’t have a sense of belonging.

One DEI Board member noted how they connect candidates with their ERGs in the final stage of hiring. This helps send a message that they are committed to creating a sense of belonging and gives candidates an opportunity to talk to employees about their personal experiences in their organization.

Wendy’s Chief Diversity Officer Beverly Stallings-Johnson explained how ERGs make employees feel seen and their priorities heard. She shared how employee surveys provide perspective on employee experiences, which help her team engage with diverse talent.

“We actually take that feedback and we try to adapt and recognize where we need to go with this, specifically from an inclusive perspective,” Beverly said in a Franchise Times article.

Ambassadors help with recruiting underrepresented talent

Effective ERGs create employees who are more willing to advocate for your organization and act as ambassadors for your company. DEI Board members discussed how employees who feel more inclusive and welcomed are more willing to participate in recruitment initiatives.

One member, the Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion, and Engagement at a global supply chain provider, shared how they created 300 ambassadors enterprise-wide through their business resource groups who helped with talent attraction.

Those in the resource groups have focused on recruiting underrepresented talent, and this DEI Board member explained how leveraging these ambassadors creates connections for diverse talent during the onboarding process and provides support throughout their career journey.

ERGs elevate your DEI efforts

The impact your ERGs have within your organization and in the communities your company serves can elevate your DEI efforts and talent attraction strategy. By connecting and leveraging ERGs, you’re able to understand your candidates and what they value, and are able prioritize the values of underrepresented groups.

According to McKinsey & Company, showcasing the efforts of your ERGs can elevate your brand awareness to attract top talent and address any unfair business processes you may not be aware of.

In a HRD America article, DEI Board Chair and Global Chief Diversity Officer at PepsiCo Tina Bigalke noted how ERGs are essential to their DEI and talent recruiting efforts. She said they are “the soul of the company” because they create communities for underrepresented groups and help recruit more diverse talent into their company, making candidates feel supported.

DEI Board members also explained how they partner with their ERGs to tell authentic stories that highlight diverse voices from within their organizations. It’s critical to communicate these company values externally to attract diverse talent and advance your strategy.

Advance your talent recruitment strategy with senior DEI leaders

It’s essential for you as a DEI leader to partner with ERGs to elevate your recruitment strategy. Whether it’s public goals or increasing attention on diverse representation, leveraging ERGs effectively can be the key step in advancing your strategy and acquiring diverse and high quality talent.

If you lead diversity, equity, and inclusion at a large organization, you can apply to the DEI Board to learn more about how your peers are benchmarking their strategies for working with ERGs and working with talent acquisition teams to go beyond any quota attainments.

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