In last month’s Smart Inclusion video conversation on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion we discussed how to turn these Nouns into Verbs.  This month, we took it a step further to talk about DEI training and how it begins with conducting both a self-assessment and a company DEI assessment.

We gained insights from Kelli McLean Slade, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Relias. Kelli is a hands-on leader who takes a collaborative approach to resolving problems, implementing corporate solutions, and managing change through strategic business alignment, creative thinking, training, and motivational coaching.

Kelli noted that when it comes to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion training, it starts with each one of us as individuals. “There is no one person that puts that cape on their back and does this work by themselves… and we have to say this is what I can do. This is my part in this.”

Impactful Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion practices require great training

DEI training starts with each individual taking personal responsibility and swallowing the big “self-assessment pill” to discover unconscious biases through self-awareness.

“It’s about self-awareness, it’s about being aware of other individuals. When we put it into practice, you start to learn your environment and become able to celebrate differences in learning,” Kelli stressed the importance of building your DEI learning and development organically.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for diversity to be lowest in senior management roles. At the same time, these are the people who wield the most influence. That’s why it’s vital for the company leadership team to be actively engaged in – and held accountable for – DEI initiatives.

By conducting individual self-assessments and a company-wide DEI assessment, you won’t have to start your DEI training from scratch. Yet you will have to allow for future changes in your business, growth in your employee population, and make adjustments over time. You’ll be able to customize assessment and training based on your company culture and see where there’s room for improvement from department to department, as well as individual managers, and workplace teams.

What type of training initiatives will work well with your DEI efforts?

SmartSearch is part of the HUDDL3 Group of companies. In our internal DEI training, the People & CultureSubscribe to SmartInclusion by SmartSearch department assembled a team to conduct the initial DEI assessment, and develop workshops and learning tools appropriate to our organization.

First steps include:

  • Conduct an anonymous DEI assessment survey
  • Create a “safe space” where individuals feel free to speak up without repercussions
  • Develop learning programs based on survey results and employee feedback
  • Use Focus Groups to establish, fine-tune, and update ongoing training

You’ll need time to assess the progress of your DEI training.

Here at SmartSearch we have multiple offices, and a hybrid workplace with some team members working remotely. It was important for us to find ways to foster inclusion and develop corporate solutions that fit our business model and work environments.

We learned:

  • It takes time to shift the paradigm
  • DEI training is as on-going as any other company learning & development
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel, tap into available resources

There is an abundance of resources for DEI Assessment and Training available. At SmartSearch and throughout the HUDDL3 family of companies, we’ve tapped into LinkedIn Learning and other online training courses for individual needs, as well as creating our own training webinars.   

“When you open up that space of learning and awareness, that’s when the shift happens.” Kelli emphasized that while there’s no one-size-fits all, starting with the self-assessment will help guide you to the types of DEI training and coaching appropriate for your company culture and goals.

We also learned from our own Smart Inclusion and Future Of Teamwork conversations with clients, vendor partners, industry advocates and thought-leaders to develop DEI Training and assessing how it builds our staff over time. As another benefit, these conversations helped drive product development in Artificial Intelligence and resume “de-biasing” functionality into our recruiting software platform.

Change is inevitable, and continual.

DEI assessment and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training must continue to adapt with the times. From the evolution of your company’s branding and Employee Value Proposition, a fair and equitable recruiting, hiring and onboarding process can help attract—and retain – top talent and position your company as an employer of choice.

In addition to our internal diversity and inclusion training, the SmartSearch recruiting software platform and its continuous development reflects our commitment to promoting diversity in recruiting for our clients. We’ve gone beyond the simple EEOC/OFCCP compliance and reporting of the past to offer more advanced tools such as Artificial Intelligence candidate-matching, CRM for diversity outreach, and user training to promote fairness in recruiting and onboarding.

We’re often called upon to support our clients’ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training for recruiters and hiring managers. This includes best practices training on how to use our Artificial Intelligence sourcing tools. The Artificial Intelligence search engine provides one-click sourcing from a job description that levels the playing field when viewing results by focusing on how well a candidate skills, experience, industry background, career path and education holistically match the requirements. There’s even a reverse AI search that helps match candidates to jobs.

SmartSearch also features a number of corporate solutions for passive candidate relationship management and tracking tools that help build more diverse talent pools and pipelines, plus time-saving workflow automation that enables recruiters to be more human-centric in the process of talent acquisition.

Ask your ATS vendor partner how technology can help create a more equitable hiring process and support DEI training for your recruiters.


What Is DEI Training?

8 Types of diversity, equity, and inclusion training to implement within your organization

Onboarding Empathy: 12 Best Practices for DEI Training

What to Include in Your DEI Training

DEI Training Workshops