Skip to main content

I believe in Talent: Top Diversity and Inclusion leader Fields Jackson on today’s D&I Trends

Talenya is pleased to have had the privilege to sit down with Fields Jackson, CEO of Racing Toward Diversity Magazine and D&I influencer. Fields gave his key insights on the trends in Diversity and Inclusion, as well as his understanding of how businesses can improve recruiting and retention of diverse candidates. 

Mr. Jackson shares the three biggest trends in diversity right now: 1) an increased interest in the importance of diversity, 2) an understanding that it drives better business, and 3) the impact of technology in leveling the playing field so all talent can be found.

He explains that while companies knew their employees in a work setting, they had rarely realized the realities of the lives of many employees until recently. 

“I’ll go back to the George Floyd incident. I think that sort of crystallized what folks in my community have been talking about for years.” 

People are starting to understand and care more about what is going on in the communities of minority employees, they recognize that they are bright, smart, and helping their organizations grow. They are realizing that helping these communities will be better for everyone overall. 

Secondly, Mr. Jackson highlights the business case for diversity.

Diversity brings different perspectives to the discussion table. It helps organizations understand their consumers and fuels innovation. “I believe that a diverse board of directors is going to help us…if you keep talking to the same people, you’re going to get the same answer.” Fields wisely notes that if a company is selling products in Spain, they would obviously need to have someone on the team who speaks Spanish and understands that culture. Similarly, if a company were selling insurance in the historically black neighborhoods of the South Side of Chicago, they should want to hire someone who is from the area and understands that demographic. The upshot is that “Companies that believe in diversity tend to do better in business and better in a global environment.” 

This business advantage comes with a caveat: companies must set goals for diversity and hold managers accountable. Just as a salesperson is measured on his sales performance, so too human resource departments must be measured on meeting their diversity metrics. 

“If nothing happens when recruiters don’t meet their diversity goals, then you are essentially telling the entire corporation that you really didn’t mean this.”

"Whether a company really believes in diversity is the most significant factor in D&I," explains Fields. 

This belief is apparent in everything from the composition of the board members to whether a company takes its diversity recruiting goals seriously. Fields explains that no matter what a company tells us, it is easy to identify whether they truly believe in diversity. We can see a company’s values from looking at their board members and executives, as well as whether they hold HR accountable to diversity and inclusion. Consumers and talented candidates will see this reality and use it to evaluate their choices.

Finally, technology has become a driving force in the D&I space. With the recent events surrounding COVID, we see that technologies like Zoom and Teams are driving business more than ever, and changing the way that we interact and meet. “You start to do things with folks that aren’t in your inner circle…it opens up another dimension.” This quicker, wider communication has enabled us to speak with people from all different backgrounds and gain different perspectives to which we had never previously been exposed.

Mr. Jackson notes that technology’s influence goes beyond video calls and can have a real impact on diversity recruiting and inclusion. “Technology can allow us to track and measure things in real time, and I believe it all comes down to measurement. If something isn’t being measured, it’s not getting done."

"If the goal is to get better, I can only get better if I measure what I did yesterday.” 

This kind of measurement can help us identify a winning recruitment team that consistently meets their D&I goals. It helps us recruit and reward superstar diversity professionals, and it leads to more inclusive workplaces that attract the best talent.


Successful companies and leaders who believe in diversity follow through to meet their diversity goals. Talenya is one such company. We not only strive to achieve diversity in our own organization, but hope to change the world by providing leaders with tools designed to help D&I recruiters excel. This exclusive is the newest in our Diversity Series, in which we will speak with leaders in the field to help share their insights to inspire rising stars to make the world a more inclusive place.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why Men Still Get An Unfair Advantage Finding New Jobs

A large scale research of 10 million candidate profiles conducted by Talenya reveals why men still get an unfair advantage finding new job opportunities.   It’s 2020, and women are still being paid 79 cents to the dollar as compared to men, with women making up only 40% of managers. Deep structural problems exist, starting with the hiring process. The problem is twofold - arising both from the way candidates are recruited as well as the presence of implicit bias when viewing candidates. It isn’t that there aren’t qualified women in the pipeline, it’s that recruiters find and accept candidates who write resumes and professional networking profiles in a certain way -- the male way. Discrimination based on how people write their resumes is apparent in both human recruitment and improperly trained AI-powered recruitment systems. Amazon scrapped their recruiting AI after finding that there was gender bias, specifically related to certain language used by male candidates as opposed to fema

The Limitation of "Boolean" in Talent Sourcing

I did a search on LinkedIn for a “Java Software Engineer” in New York City. I entered that job title as a keyword (under Job Titles) and LinkedIn suggested that my talent pool was 2,059 candidates. Then I added a skill and my talent pool decreased to 1,956 candidates. When I added another skill, my pool increased. This is the nature of Boolean search. Every candidate that has at least one of the requirements is brought up in the search results. If you want the skills to be additive (X and Y), you need to write a compound Boolean search string rather than just adding the skills from the LinkedIn menu. I wanted to reduce my targeted talent pool and added “years of experience” range. The pool tanked. The same happened when I added “education requirements”. It was not clear what I should do at this point. I didn’t know what to change in my search in order to maximize my pool while maintaining the quality of the candidates in my search results. Was it a specific skill or the combin

The New Normal is Fostering Outstanding Innovation

In the first of our series of interviews with HR executives discussing the COVID-19 crises, we sat down (virtually…) with Adam Levy to discuss this topic from his perspective. As a key leader in a global market research company, Levy was able to provide insights on a macro level, as Nielsen is continuously tracking the impact of COVID-19 . Q: Can you describe how you realigned your TA operations in light of COVID 19? A: We have refocused the team to focus on 1) ramping up workforce planning efforts, 2) focusing on understanding future needs and difficult to fill roles, and 3) building pipelines for those roles.  As the team is working on new policies ahead of an eventual return to work and reopening of offices, we came to realize that companies cannot rush to get back to normal, because “normal” as we know it will no longer exist. We really need to be thoughtful in terms of what the new normal looks like”. That means being clear on essential vs. non-essential work, managi