The last two years have literally felt like a roller coaster ride as it relates to talent management. From the dramatic shift to remote working and mass layoffs/furloughs to the slow transition to hybrid work environments to what we’re now seeing with the “Great Resignation”, it’s felt particularly overwhelming for HR and DEI professionals!
This moment in time feels especially challenging, as HR and DEI professionals juggle important commitments to cultivating inclusion in organizations alongside a mass exodus of employees (and leaders).
Given all this upheaval, it’s critical to highlight inclusive talent management and recruitment as we head into 2022. Here are two must dos for HR leaders in the new year:
1. Focus on Supporting and Retaining Talent
Although it can feel daunting to consider how large-scale resignations might impact your organization, there is one key factor that seems to have been left out of the conversation: the Great Resignation wouldn’t be happening if leaders were doing a better job of supporting and retaining talent.
It’s critical that leaders not only understand the principles of psychological safety, burnout, unconscious bias, flexible work arrangements and other important talent management factors that have been spotlighted by the pandemic, but also recognize the need to exercise heightened emotional intelligence, agility, compassion, authenticity and cultural competence across talent management practices.
By prioritizing inclusive talent management, organizations can build and nurture cultures of authenticity, psychological safety and belonging — cultures where team members feel valued, respected and appreciated — all of which are critical for retaining top-performing talent from across cultural communities.
2. Cultivate Recruitment Practices Rooted in Inclusion
Many organizations are planning to focus on recruitment throughout 2022, and if this is your plan, I want to emphasize the importance of ensuring that your recruitment practices reflect inclusion principles. What do I mean by this?
Firstly, you’ll want to focus on disrupting biases that are prevalent in recruitment. This means teaching those who assess applications, make candidate selection determinations, engage in the actual interviews and decide on who will receive an offer to challenge their assumptions, reframe their judgments and increase their knowledge around cultural competence.
During the interview process, you must ensure that clear selection criteria is in place, as well as having structure within your recruitment methodology, such as utilizing interview assessment forms to evaluate candidates; consistently asking all candidates the same or similar questions; leveraging behavioral-based interview questions; using the candidate’s application as your guide and more.
And finally, all interviewers must be trained around how to be inclusive when engaging in dialogue with candidates. This includes pronouncing candidate names correctly, asking about candidate pronouns and discussing your organization’s DEI initiatives with all candidates, among other things. (Learn more with our Inclusive Recruitment checklist.)
At bci, we recognize that the past two years have been a rough ride, but the best way for organizations to weather these new challenges is by digging deep into inclusive talent management practices. While the Great Resignation may feel like another huge hurdle in a long line of challenges, organizations that focus on creating more inclusive HR systems and removing barriers that contribute to attrition will be able to successfully navigate this moment.
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Dr. Komal Bhasin, MSW, MHSc, DocSocSci, is bci’s Senior DEI Consultant and Mental Health Expert-in-Residence and an accomplished DEI facilitator, coach and strategist. Komal has over 20 years of experience in providing strategic and advisory guidance and program development across a range of sectors, with a particular concentration in mental health and racial inclusion. Komal is also Founder of Insayva Inc., a social enterprise focused on providing accessible DEI and health equity support to charities and non-profit organizations.
Komal has extensive experience in creating and delivering programming in a range of DEI areas, including unconscious bias, cultural competence, mental health inclusion, psychological safety and allyship. She is passionate about driving transformational change in workplaces and has worked closely with bci clients — corporations, professional services firms, health care providers and educational institutions — to embed cultures of DEI within their organizations.
Komal has provided one-on-one inclusion coaching to hundreds of senior leaders and brings a unique approach that is informed by her background as a therapist. She is able to expertly handle sensitive conversations and situations and works with leaders to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to advance racial/ethnocultural, gender and mental health-related equity across teams and organizations. Komal also offers a performance coaching program designed specifically for BIPOC leaders. This program aims to help BIPOC leaders harness their place, position and identity to thrive in the workplace and beyond. Komal is a qualified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI).
As bci’s Mental Health Expert-in-Residence, Komal offers tremendous expertise around workplace mental health. As a doctoral trained mental health clinician, certified health executive and registered social worker, Komal has assisted organizations looking to advance employee mental health inclusion and well-being through offering programming on inclusive dialogue, anti-stigma, burnout prevention, psychological safety, resilience and self-care. Komal is committed to advancing mental health and wellness across the life course; she currently serves on the board of the Alzheimer’s Society of Ontario and previously served on the board of Children’s Mental Health Ontario and the YMCA of Greater Toronto.
When Komal is not working, you’ll find her painting, cooking or snuggling with her cats.