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Celebrating Black-Owned Businesses for Black History Month

As Featured by the Raleigh Chamber and Triangle DEI Alliance

 

We are honored to be recently highlighted by the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce as part of their Celebrating Black-Owned Businesses for Black History Month initiative. We are proud to be a part of this vibrant community and are dedicated to supporting Black leadership and entrepreneurship

 

Read the article here – https://www.raleighchamber.org/blog/celebrating-black-owned-businesses-for-black-history-month

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Written by

Lileah Akiode

919-813-2454

lileah@theblackdiamondagency.com
Lileah Akiode is the Managing Director of The Black Diamond Agency, a recruitment firm dedicated to connecting talented people with rewarding career opportunities. With a strong background in Talent Acquisition across different corporate retailers, Lileah brings a wealth of experience to ensure a seamless and positive candidate experience. In addition to corporate retail, Lileah also experience supporting the Financial Services and IT industries.

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Robot Recruiters – Promises and Pitfalls

The Promise and Perils of AI in Recruiting

Companies have started using A.I. bots and algorithms to help with hiring – like scanning resumes and deciding who gets interviews. Good news – this tech can take a load off HR teams with piles of applications to sort through! These robo-recruiters can zip through finding keywords way faster than a human.

But here’s the catch – almost half of job seekers still think these bots can be pretty biased. There’s also worries A.I. models themselves learn funny business from unfair examples they’re trained on!

So what to do? Well recruiters and hiring managers still have choices here:

1. You’ve got to pick screening software carefully – we can all use help but need to make sure Johnny Bot 3000 isn’t secretly Mr. Discrimination under the hood. That means testing these robots a ton in advance before unleashing them on applicants.

2. It’s good to have humans double check robot decisions.

3. Listen to feedback directly from candidates – if particular groups keep raising flags about unfair experiences, take that seriously! Maybe your tech needs more tweaking. Or at minimum, folks deserve explanations.

This is all new turf, but bot recruiters are here to stay. Ones doing it right? They’ll be huge assets helping companies AND job hunters spend less time on the tedious apply/sort stuff. But like all tech, it has to be implemented carefully and be refined as we go. No one wants to trade old biases for new high-tech ones. So let’s work together to avoid that.

(1) Source: American Staffing Association

 

 

 

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1510

Written by

Lileah Akiode

919-813-2454

lileah@theblackdiamondagency.com
Lileah Akiode is the Managing Director of The Black Diamond Agency, a recruitment firm dedicated to connecting talented people with rewarding career opportunities. With a strong background in Talent Acquisition across different corporate retailers, Lileah brings a wealth of experience to ensure a seamless and positive candidate experience. In addition to corporate retail, Lileah also experience supporting the Financial Services and IT industries.

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How to Optimize Employee Experience in 2024

Goals for a Productive 2024 Workplace

 

The workplace has changed a lot over the last few years. According to a  McKinsey’s study of over 1,000 people, employees crave trust, social connections and meaningful impact at work. Employees want to feel their contributions are appreciated and recognized.

Developing an exceptional employee experience is crucial for businesses to attract and retain talent in a skills-short market. Companies face an “exodus” of overwhelmed, exhausted, and burned-out employees looking for better opportunities.

Failure to adapt to the evolving needs of the modern workforce places businesses at risk of lost productivity, damage to their employer brands, and rapid turnover.

Fortunately, business leaders can invest in more robust employee experiences in various ways.

Benefits of Improving Employee Experience 

Understanding the core motivators of today’s top talent is crucial. Purpose, personal growth, and a sense of belonging have become pivotal factors. Creating an outstanding employee experience is no longer a luxury but a necessity to unlock the full potential of the workforce.

Why is this important? The answer lies in the transformative power of employees who feel valued, heard, and supported. When people experience a genuine connection with their workplace, their passion becomes a driving force. This, in turn, propels them to exceed expectations and contribute to innovative strides that propel companies forward.

Numerous studies conducted by Gartner underline the correlation between employer support for team well-being and a substantial increase in high performers—specifically, a remarkable 21% uptick. Leaders who cultivate cultures of inclusivity, where every employee feels welcomed, valued, and empowered, unlock substantial benefits for both individuals and the organization as a whole Some of these benefits are: 

  • Reduction in turnover: Many employees who quit their roles cite a lack of recognition and positive experiences as a critical reason for leaving. If you improve this part of your culture then you will retain more of your people.
  • Improved engagement: Employees who are happy at work are more engaged and more committed to supporting business growth. One study found that organizations in the top quartile for employee engagement achieve up to 21% higher levels of profitability.
  • Greater access to talent: A positive employee experience shines through in a company’s employer brand, helping to attract talent. This makes recruiting top talent easier.
  • Enhanced productivity: Engaged, happy employees put up to 57% more effort into their work than their counterparts. 
  • Improved company culture: A better company culture, built on satisfied and engaged employees, not only strengthens your employer brand but also leads to more collaborative, cooperative teams who can work together to innovate and unlock new opportunities

 

Key Ideas and Strategies for Employers

Studies show that companies with personalized employee experiences see a boost in productivity. But how do you achieve that? McKinsey provides the answer: a systematic approach that considers your workforce’s unique needs throughout their journey with your brand

1. Identify and Transform Employee Journeys

The first step in developing an incredible employee experience is identifying the key elements of the “employee journey” and how employees interact with your company. Leaders in the company should have a clear and aligned view of a great experience, based on their knowledge of their team members and priorities.

It makes sense for most organizations to start with the onboarding experience. An excellent onboarding experience can improve new hire retention by up to 82% and increase productivity by more than 70%.

Create a comprehensive plan for the new employee’s first few weeks, focusing on making them feel connected to the company culture and supported by the business. Help your new associate cultivate relationships between teams, feel comfortable in the office environment and answer any questions they may have about the business.

2. Create a Positive Work Environment

94% of business leaders and 88% of job seekers say a healthy culture is crucial for success in the workplace. Creating a positive work environment goes beyond simply designing contemporary offices.

Businesses today need to focus on nurturing inclusivity, diversity, and psychological safety. Excellent DEI initiatives are critical to creating innovative, forward-thinking organizations, where team members thrive. Train your managers and other team members to demonstrate inclusivity in everything they do, and watch for instances of unintentional bias.

Other factors that can improve a work environment include:

  • Transparent leadership: Ensure leaders consistently share insights and knowledge with team members. Focus on ensuring employees are informed and have a clear view of the vision and mission of the business.
  • Constant communication: Commit to facilitating open and consistent communication between teams. Invest in tools that allow remote and virtual employees to connect with in-person employees on a deeper level.
  • Collaboration: Facilitate the development of cross-departmental relationships by encouraging collaboration between teams. Introduce regular team-building exercises that bring people with different perspectives together.

3. Commit to Employee Development and Growth

Employees value access to resources, training initiatives and experiences that facilitate growth. Up to 69% of employees say they’ll stay with a company longer if that business invests in their professional development.

Investing in mentorship opportunities, career development plans, and training strategies helps empower every employee to achieve their full potential. These initiatives help deepen relationships between team members and increase “buy-in” for the business.

Plus, developing and training your team members ensures your organization can stay competitive as the marketplace continues to evolve. Even giving team members access to short courses and classes online can make a huge difference.

4. Recognize and Reward Team Members

92% of millennials say recognition of their hard work and accomplishments is either important or very important to their satisfaction. Regularly recognizing team members for their work is crucial to cultivating long-term engagement and a positive culture.

There are various ways to show employee recognition, from bonuses for achieving specific goals to simply thanking employees for their work (especially if someone has gone above and beyond their role).

The key to successful employee recognition is finding out what motivates and engages each person on your team and then recognizing them in that way.

 5. Invest in Work-Life Balance

Research shows people who believe they have a good work/life balance work up to 21% harder than those who don’t. This increased effort comes from increased feelings of engagement with both the company they work with, and their role.

Investing in work-life balance can include everything from implementing remote work policies to offering flexible schedules. Encourage employees to take regular breaks and take advantage of paid time off.

Additionally, consider implementing wellness programs and resources that support good mental and physical health. This will reduce absenteeism and enhance workplace morale.

6. Introduce the Right Technology and Tools

The right workplace technology transforms employee experiences for the better. How? By eliminating frustrating and time-consuming tasks that hurt productivity.

 For example, upgrading tools with intuitive, user-friendly solutions removes frustrations. This prevents bottlenecks in key workstreams. With seamless systems aligned to exact team needs, people get more done with less hassle.

 Unlocking the Value of Employee Experience

Investing in excellent employee experiences isn’t just crucial to enhancing your employer brand and attracting critical talent. It’s vital to ensuring high levels of engagement, increased innovation, and reduced turnover.

With the help of a recruitment team, you can bring focus on employee experience into every aspect of your recruitment and retention journey, paving the way for business growth.

When your employees are happy and engaged, your business thrives. Implement the strategies above, and remember to collect regular feedback from employees.

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1510

Written by

Lileah Akiode

919-813-2454

lileah@theblackdiamondagency.com
Lileah Akiode is the Managing Director of The Black Diamond Agency, a recruitment firm dedicated to connecting talented people with rewarding career opportunities. With a strong background in Talent Acquisition across different corporate retailers, Lileah brings a wealth of experience to ensure a seamless and positive candidate experience. In addition to corporate retail, Lileah also experience supporting the Financial Services and IT industries.

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How to Improve Your Candidate Experience

3 Things to Keep in Mind

 

In the intricate dance of recruitment, there’s often a critical player who gets overlooked: the candidate. Their experience has a far-reaching impact, influencing not just the success of your hiring but also the reputation of your company.

Imagine this: you’re a top-notch talent, brimming with potential. You’ve applied for your dream job, eagerly awaiting the next step. But instead of a prompt response or any communication at all, you’re met with silence. Days turn into weeks, and you’re left wondering if your resume or application has been seen or even matters.

This scenario, unfortunately, is all too common. Companies, caught up in the whirlwind of hiring, often neglect the importance of candidate experience. But what they fail to realize is that this silent treatment can turn an enthusiastic candidate into a disheartened one, leaving a trail of negative word-of-mouth in its wake.

So, how do we break this cycle of neglect and create a candidate experience that not only attracts top talent but also leaves a lasting positive impression? Here are three key steps:

1. Communication

In the world of recruitment, communication is the golden thread that weaves together a positive candidate experience. It’s about keeping candidates informed, providing timely feedback, and demonstrating transparency throughout the process.

Picture this: you’ve just completed an interview, and you’re hanging by a thread, hoping for a sign, any sign, that your skills and experience were conveyed the way you wanted. And then, you receive an email, not from a generic automated system, but from the hiring manager, thanking you for your time and acknowledging your strengths. This simple gesture can make a world of difference, transforming a nervous wait into a feeling of valued recognition.

Each interaction shapes the candidate’s perception. Consistent and clear communication is not just a courtesy; it’s an investment in your company’s reputation.

2. Strategic Interviews

Interviews are the heart of the hiring process, but disorganization can turn them into a nerve-wracking ordeal. To ensure a positive experience for all parties, adopt structured interviews. This strategic approach not only fosters a comfortable atmosphere but also mitigates bias.

Imagine this: you’ve walked into the interview room, prepared to showcase your skills and experience. But instead of a barrage of random questions, you’re greeted with a panel of interviewers who have clearly taken the time to understand your background and the role you’re applying for. The conversation flows naturally, and you feel confident in your ability to demonstrate your value.

Clear guidelines, standardized questions, and systematic evaluation contribute to an equitable and effective interview process. By treating your candidates with respect and professionalism, you’re setting the stage for a positive and productive experience.

3. Onboarding

The journey doesn’t end with an accepted offer; it evolves into onboarding. A rockstar onboarding process is the bridge from candidate to engaged employee. It’s about providing comprehensive training, insightful guidance, and consistent communication during this crucial phase.

Picture this: your first day at your new job. Instead of being thrown into the deep end, you’re greeted by a team of supportive colleagues who take the time to orient you to the company, culture and your specific role. You receive structured training, clear expectations, and regular feedback, empowering you to quickly become a valuable member of the team.

A well-crafted onboarding experience not only ensures a smooth assimilation but also sets the tone for a lasting employer-employee relationship. By investing in your new hires from the very beginning, you’re laying the foundation for long-term success.

Candidate Experience: The Unsung Hero of Recruitment

Remember, candidate experience isn’t just a behind-the-scenes aspect of recruitment; it’s a powerful force shaping the narrative of your company and its talent acquisition prowess. Prioritize candidate treatment, and you’ll find not only successful hires but also brand ambassadors advocating for your workplace excellence.

 

 

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1510

Written by

Lileah Akiode

919-813-2454

lileah@theblackdiamondagency.com
Lileah Akiode is the Managing Director of The Black Diamond Agency, a recruitment firm dedicated to connecting talented people with rewarding career opportunities. With a strong background in Talent Acquisition across different corporate retailers, Lileah brings a wealth of experience to ensure a seamless and positive candidate experience. In addition to corporate retail, Lileah also experience supporting the Financial Services and IT industries.

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Attracting Top Talent Using Job Descriptions

Recruiting the best talent is no easy feat. Skill shortages, evolving employee expectations, and outdated hiring practices can leave many business leaders grappling with team gaps and decreased productivity. But fear not! Today, we’re diving into one major hiring challenge that may be hindering your success and how to conquer it – Job Descriptions.

Problem: Lackluster Job Descriptions

Your job description is a gateway for potential candidates, offering insights into the role, company culture, and benefits. Don’t make the mistake of having a lackluster one. Ensure your job descriptions are crystal clear, inclusive, and enticing. Avoid vague language and unrealistic expectations.

A recent study found that a whopping 60% of businesses unintentionally show significant bias in the wording of their job descriptions. This bias can manifest in a variety of ways, from using masculine terms to phrases that show a preference for candidates of a certain age or background.

The consequences of biased job descriptions can be significant. For one, they can discourage top talent from applying for your open positions. After all, why would someone want to work for a company that doesn’t seem to value diversity and inclusion?

How to Craft Inclusive and Engaging Job Descriptions

To craft inclusive and engaging job descriptions, follow these guidelines:

  • Use gender-neutral language. Instead of using words like “he” or “she,” use “they” or “you.”
  • Avoid using language that is exclusionary or discriminatory. This includes phrases like “recent college graduate” or “must be able to lift 50 pounds.” (unless this is a true requirement to doing the day to day tasks)
  • Focus on the skills and experience that are actually required for the job. Don’t include unnecessary requirements that could discourage qualified candidates from applying.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your job descriptions are fair and welcoming to all candidates. This will help you attract the best talent to your company and create a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

Clarity is Key: Unveil the Mysteries of the Job

Candidates aren’t mind readers, so don’t leave them guessing about what the job entails. Clearly outline the responsibilities, expectations, and challenges they’ll face. Be realistic in setting expectations, ensuring candidates know what they’re getting into. Remember, a job description is a two-way street – it’s about showcasing the exciting opportunities your company offers while also providing candidates with a clear understanding of the role and how they will be adding value.

Inclusivity Matters: Embrace Diversity, Ditch the Bias

In today’s globalized world, diversity is the cornerstone of a successful company. So, ditch the biased language and create job descriptions that are inclusive and welcoming to all. Avoid using language that favors specific races, genders, or ages. Instead, focus on the skills and experience that are truly essential for the job. Remember, diversity isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a driving force for innovation and growth.

For example:

Avoid: “We are looking for a candidate who is fluent in English.”

Why it’s biased: This language is biased because it excludes candidates who may be proficient in English but not native speakers.

Instead: “We are seeking a candidate with excellent communication skills and the ability to work effectively in a multicultural environment.”

 

Avoid: “We are looking for a candidate who is comfortable interacting with people from all walks of life.”

Why it’s biased: This language is biased because it suggests that certain races or ethnicities are more likely to be comfortable interacting with people from different backgrounds.

Instead: “We are seeking a candidate who is open-minded, respectful, and has a strong understanding of diversity and inclusion.”

 

Avoid: “We are looking for a candidate who is a team player and can work well with others.”

Why it’s biased: This language is biased because it suggests that certain races or ethnicities are more likely to be team players.

Instead: “We are seeking a candidate who is collaborative, supportive, and has a proven track record of working effectively in teams.”

In conclusion, crafting effective job descriptions is crucial for attracting top talent and building a thriving workforce. By eliminating biased language, providing clear expectations, and highlighting the benefits of working for your company, you can create job descriptions that are both inclusive and engaging. Embrace diversity, ditch the bias, and let your job descriptions shine as a reflection of your company’s values and commitment to creating a workplace where everyone can thrive. Remember, a well-crafted job description is the first step in building a high-performing team that will drive your company’s success.

 

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1510

Written by

Lileah Akiode

919-813-2454

lileah@theblackdiamondagency.com
Lileah Akiode is the Managing Director of The Black Diamond Agency, a recruitment firm dedicated to connecting talented people with rewarding career opportunities. With a strong background in Talent Acquisition across different corporate retailers, Lileah brings a wealth of experience to ensure a seamless and positive candidate experience. In addition to corporate retail, Lileah also experience supporting the Financial Services and IT industries.

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