Crafting a Diversity Hiring Strategy for 2024: Key Metrics and Benchmarks

Brandice Payne | Author

Brandice Payne

Sr. TA Evangelist

Posted on

January 16, 2024

You’ll hear many companies say that they’re committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) because they want their company makeup to reflect that of the customers and communities they serve. And this is absolutely a worthwhile goal, but let’s be clear: hiring diverse teams is about more than simply checking off demographic boxes. 

Prioritizing diversity means hiring employees who represent different identities in terms of gender, background experiences, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, and disabilities. 

Why should you make this a priority? Companies with diverse workforces are 30% more likely to achieve higher profitability and 17% more likely to be innovative leaders in their market segments. Plus, it’s a critical way to stand out to candidates. In fact, 76% of US workers and employees say a diverse company is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers.

Gem’s most recent recruiting benchmarks report shows there is still much work needed to create equal opportunities for candidates of diverse backgrounds. 

At Gem, our benchmarking data comes from more than 1,200 companies and more than 27 million candidates. This rich source of data provides deep insight into the trends that define how modern, diverse workplaces operate under real-world circumstances. In this article, we’ll share some key insights to help you adjust any ineffective, discriminatory, or non-inclusive hiring practices your company may be guilty of.

The Pillars of a Robust Diversity Hiring Strategy

Based on what we’ve seen from the data and learned from working with hundreds of companies, we’ve identified a few pillars that are key to a robust diversity hiring strategy. These include:

  1. Recognizing bias – Everyone has implicit biases that need to be addressed. You can utilize training and tools, like those offered by Gem, to help teams identify and address unconscious biases and microaggressions that lead to toxic company culture. 

  2. Inclusive job descriptions – Creating inclusive job postings is essential for attracting qualified candidates. Gem uncovered that passthrough rates for underrepresented groups of people were down across the board in 2023. Have you evaluated your job descriptions to see if you’re unintentionally excluding people from specific groups?  

  3. Diverse talent sourcing – Gem found that sourcing diverse talent still remains a challenge. Our recruiting benchmarks report revealed that female candidates were 2.4 times less likely to receive outreach compared to male applicants. It’s worth running reports on your own outreach to see if there’s a similar gap.

  4. Candidate experience – Candidates who have a negative experience during the interview process are less likely to recommend friends and family, and may even discourage others from applying to the company. Make sure you collect satisfaction scores from candidates to identify and correct any problem areas. 

Metrics to Track Your Diversity Hiring Success

If your organization wants to commit to DE&I but you’re unsure of where to start, Gem’s recruiting benchmarks can help you identify a few metrics to track. For example:

  • Diversity Sourcing Ratio: This measures the percentage of candidates sourced from diversity-focused platforms or initiatives. Our recruiting benchmarks report found that all organizations, regardless of size, passed fewer candidates who came from diversity sourcing efforts passed from on-site interview to offer.  

  • Diversity Interview Ratio: This measures the ratio of candidates from underrepresented groups who are being interviewed. Gem’s data reports that fewer  candidates from underrepresented groups are receiving interviews, and that their passthrough rates are lower than those of candidates from other backgrounds.

  • Offer Acceptance Rate by Demographics: This number tracks acceptance rates across various demographic groups.

  • Retention Rate of Diverse Hires: This number measures how long employees from underrepresented groups stay compared to the company average. This will help you gauge how inclusive your company is once candidates convert to employees.

By the way, if you’d like help tracking any of these metrics at your own organization, Gem is here for you! We can help provide visibility into your pipeline diversity, uncover potential biases and bottlenecks, and activate over 20 channels and networks that specialize in sourcing under-represented groups (URG).

Promoting Internal Diversity and Inclusion

In addition to tracking the metrics we’ve outlined above, there are several ways you can promote diversity and inclusion within your organization. 

Here are a few tips from Gem’s former Head of DEI&B Sheilesha Willis:

  • Understand your organization’s current DE&I position – Take stock of where you stand by evaluating recruitment funnel statuses, URG headcounts, URG candidates in your pipeline, and employee surveys. 

  • Set realistic goals – Fundamental change and long-lasting results will take incremental change over an extended period of time. Setting goals your organization can achieve will move the needle and keep motivation high. 

  • Read benchmark reports – Stay up to date with the latest trends and compare your results with the rest of your industry. Calculate your benchmarks and read the latest Gem benchmark report. You can grab your copy here!

  • Customize targets based on department – The offer extended rates for design are higher (81%) compared with engineering (73%) roles. Setting targets based on the department or role can help prevent setting unrealistic goals.  

  • Consider sourcing from a wider labor market – Remote work opens the opportunity to source more employees from different backgrounds. In cities with larger populations of underrepresented groups, like Detroit and Atlanta, there is a 4% higher interest in remote work. 

  • Foster continuous growth of current employees – Establish employee resource groups, mentorship programs, workshops, and continuous learning to foster the development of current employees. 

Be ready to adapt and evolve your strategies based on feedback and changing societal expectations to ensure the success of these initiatives. As Sheilesha Willis said, “A lot of goal-setting is trial and error,” meaning the process will demand constant engagement. 

Elevate Your Diversity Hiring with Gem

Investing in diversity hiring efforts can unlock serious benefits for your organization, such as improved profits and higher levels of innovation. However, the results from Gem’s recruiting benchmarks report show that businesses still have room for improvement in diversifying their teams. 

Diversity isn’t just a societal need but is a crucial component for success, especially in 2024 and onward. With Gem’s all-in-one recruiting software, you can seamlessly integrate diversity into your hiring strategy and unlock those benefits. 

Contact our sales team to get started today with the Gem diversity hiring software! 


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