Big data analytics continues to evolve human resources (HR) departments, helping HR executives and leaders improve talent acquisition strategies, better identify training needs, and benefit from data-driven cultures. Below we look at the topic of diversity and inclusion, and how data-driven hiring is helping support this important cause.

According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, while many companies understand the reasons why they need a more diverse workforce, very few know how to actually make it happen. For companies that do, a more diverse workforce not only helps them outperform competitors, but it also enables their companies to be better prepared for changing population demographics and consumer needs in the future. The HBR article offers lessons in workplace diversity for any company, detailing the story of the PGA of America and its efforts to increase inclusion by implementing new ways to “engage, recruit, and retain talent from underrepresented communities.”

Working with Jopwell, a career advancement platform for Black, Latinx, and Native American students and professionals, the PGA started the process by collecting data, including current perceptions in the golf industry and barriers to entry for career opportunities in the sport. Following surveys and polling of Jopwell users, the PGA learned that there was more of a lack of awareness about career opportunities in the golf industry than a lack of interest in jobs. The PGA also discovered there was more they could do to educate people about available opportunities.

To help overcome these issues, the PGA worked with Jopwell to take action on the data by developing a plan to “lay the foundation for lasting change” in the way it hires employees. This included three key steps that addressed issues across workplace accessibility, awareness, and accountability. See more on these steps below, including specific actions the PGA took for each, and how they can help your company:

  1. Improve Accessibility. According to the HBR article, “It’s important for companies to consider barriers to entry and what can be done to break them down.” This includes ensuring that diverse candidates are in the pipeline of new hires. To do this, the PGA sponsored scholarships and career events, centralized job postings, and focused on growing networks to reach a range of diverse communities.
  2. Increase Awareness. The PGA determined that it had to do more than make career opportunities accessible. As a result, they asked themselves what they were doing to educate diverse candidates and “speak to them authentically.” Actions taken by the PGA to improve in these areas included using social media to tell the stories of current employees, ensuring diversity in top leadership roles, and attending career fairs to reach diverse audiences.
  3. Create Systems of Accountability. According to the HBR article, “Systems and processes must be put in place to help change a culture.” This spans everything from having the right interview channels to being clear with candidates on what skills are required for the job. Steps to help create this transparency include putting systems in place to “propel” candidates through the process with established timelines and setting goals for recruiting candidates from underrepresented communities.

If you’d like to learn more, you can find the complete Harvard Business Review article here.