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What Juneteenth can teach us about hiring Black/African American talent?

Amidst the landscape of protests and demonstrations against systemic racism and injustice, Juneteenth 2020 marked the launch of many formal diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in organizations across the United States. But corporate initiatives are not enough.

Today, while Black/African American make up 13.2% of the US population and 10% of Fortune 500 employees, they still make up only 5%-8% of employees in industries such as Semiconductors, Medical Devices, Pharma & Bio Tech, Information and Technology & Services.

In order to close that gap and realize the true benefits of a diverse workforce, employers need to hire, and therefore consider, a diverse candidate pool. Unfortunately, that’s harder than you might think. Black/African American candidates are underrepresented in recruiting search results.

We know from our research that Black/African American candidates post 17% less skills on their LinkedIn profiles than white males.

It’s not that they do not have such skills, they are simply less inclined to list all skills, and as a result, they appear lower on recruiters’ search results.

Another reason Black/African American candidates are underrepresented in recruiting searches is that only 34% of Black LinkedIn users post a photo on their profile (compared to 46% of non-Black/African American users). According to LinkedIn’s findings, members whose profiles include photos get 21x more profile views and receive 36x more messages.

The result: Black/African American candidates may not even be considered for open roles because they appear to be less qualified.

There are many challenges to diverse talent sourcing that limit companies from reaching their hiring goals. Fortunately, new AI and ML technologies are making it possible for recruiters to more accurately and efficiently expand their searches and boost talent participation in the pipeline.

We want to take this Juneteenth celebration to encourage HR leaders to commit to new ways of increasing diversity in their workforce while giving more candidates a better chance to be considered and ultimately hired.

Talenya is an AI-powered diverse talent sourcing solution, powering talent acquisition teams to uncover and engage with 3X more diverse talent than any other tool.

To learn more about Talenya’s Diversity AI™ click here.

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