Marcus Ashe

Published

October 26, 2021

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As we prepare for next year, it is important that leaders ask themselves a tough question: “What has our organization done to truly support Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion within our walls and in our communities?”   

In the summer of 2020, a racial reckoning prompted many companies, throughout the world, to acknowledge that their existing corporate efforts simply had not done enough to address racial inequity in the workplace. It also put a focus on the vast wealth gap between White and Black Americans. 

According to David Brown, Chief Executive Officer for HAYS U.S., a global specialist recruitment firm, companies’ stated intentions don’t always reflect reality.   

Brown notes that there is often a gap between companies’ intentions and what employees experience on a daily basis.  

“In most cases, the answer for that is one of three reasons: companies do not have the infrastructure in place to implement ED&I programs, they don’t have a clear communication strategy for their current initiatives, or the intentions are there, but they do not know where to start.”  

Prior to COVID-19, HAYS U.S. had made significant efforts to attract and retain top talent from all walks of life. Unfortunately, during the pandemic we had to let go of new hires. Since then, we’ve maximized our efforts to attract and retain top talent including diverse candidates. Prior to the return to work, 17% of HAYS U.S. employees identified as coming from a diverse background and that has increased to 32% today.  

We have a commitment to increase not only our new hire numbers, but to promote diverse employees to leadership positions. For example, we have made strides to dramatically increase the number of women who sit in leadership roles around the globe. 

HAYS U.S. has also established an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee and Regional ED&I Champion role. This new role will oversee several vital functions at the company:  

  • Education – Including ED&I training, sourcing training, college recruiting, unconscious bias and process training for speaking engagements, blogs, sponsored workshops. 
  • Diverse Talent Communities – Including job boards diversification, university programs, diverse professional organizations, participating in minority career fairs, career site and job posting updates, external branding, building communities and leveraging targeted communications. 
  • Process – Including “blind” recruitment, standardizing processes at the leader level, assessing that new-hire offers confirm equity requirements, developing a minority campus recruiting process, and creating a process for internships. 
  • Data - Tracking demographics related to candidate applications, conducting screenings, offering acceptances, and handling internal referrals from diverse employees. 

HAYS U.S. has also partnered with multiple Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Black and Latino Alumni Associations, and other diversity resource groups to build a more representative workforce. Recently, we hosted a Student Workshop Bootcamp for Edward Waters University, an HBCU based in Jacksonville, Florida, providing global leading expertise in resume writing and interview prepping to help students get a leg up on transitioning into the workforce. 

We’ve also participated in multiple diversity career and job fairs including Kappa Psi Kappa and Phi Beta Sigma, National Urban League, Atlanta and Tampa Veterans job fairs, and the Atlanta Women in Business and Technology Career Fair.  

At HAYS U.S. we believe building diversity not only helps everyone reach their true potential, it allows us to be the most customer-focused, innovative company we can be.  

About the authors

Marcus Ashe