The Diversity Recruiting Maturity Model

The DRMM team left to right: Jackye Clayton, Joe Gerstandt, myself (Stan Kimer) and Katee Van Horn. Not pictured: Julie Sowash

Last week I attended the one-day “HireConf conference” in New York City with a small team of diversity consultants and practitioners to present a new piece of work in progress called the “Diversity Recruiting Maturity Model,” or DRMM for short.

So four questions:
1) Who was on this team?
2) What is a maturity model?
3) What is in the Diversity Recruiting Maturity Model?
4) How do I get more details and resources?

1. Who was on the team?
• Jackye Clayton of HiringSolved, (the company that was the lead organizer of this conference,) formed and led the team. Earlier this year she sought out a diverse small team of various diversity and inclusion consultants.
Joe Gerstandt, a speaker, author and consultant who has worked with a huge variety of large and small clients on diversity and inclusion efforts.
• Julie Sowash, Senior Consultant with Disability Solutions, focusing on implementation and programs to support the hiring of people with disabilities.
• Katee Van Horn, founder and CEO of “VH Included” with a focus on diversity and inclusion solutions that leverage the creativity of an organization’s people.
• And myself, Stan Kimer of Total Engagement Consulting by Kimer. I handle all areas of diversity consulting and training, but have a deep expertise in LGBTQ+.

Oct 22 was gray drizzling day in New York City, but the Hireconf conference inside was hot and engaging!

2. What is a maturity model? A maturity model is a set of structured levels that depict the organizational behaviors, practices and processes that reliably and sustainably produce required outcomes. (Hammond, Bailey, Boucher, Spohr & Whitekar, 2010.) Since its initial introduction, many professionals have realized that the maturity model structure can be applied to practically any kind of business or organizational issue or process. Hence, we applied the maturity model to Diversity Recruiting.

With the fast-paced shift in American demographics and the labor market, all organizations need to have a strong diversity recruiting process to identify and hire the best talent so they can thrive in the decades ahead.

The team presenting the Diversity Recruiting Maturity Model to an engaged and appreciative audience

3. What is the Diversity Recruiting Maturity Model? Our model includes four steps, each with a set of strategies and tactics that organizations should develop and implement to move ahead:
Initiate – realizing the strategic importance of diversity recruiting and starting to take action.
Implement – developing the initial strategy, and then executing several core steps to recruit and retain diverse talent.
Iterate – moving to strong set of processes that can be repeated and built upon.
Inspire – being a leader in diversity recruiting and sharing best practices within the industry.

4. How do I get more details and resources? The team published a comprehensive 30-page resource that include the details of the four maturity model steps, a self-assessment scorecard, case studies, inclusive leadership information, and resources for recruiting various diverse candidates (women, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, etc.) It is a large file, so email me, Stan Kimer at [email protected] and I will send you a link to download it.

Feel free to contact Jackye for assistance with talent acquisition or any of us for consulting or training around diversity inclusion via our website links included earlier this blog.

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NOTE: Here is a link to a Youtube video summary of the conference from the HireConf “Hirecast” team. The DRMM is talked about from 6:00 t0 8:28 in the Hirecast.

Innovation around building a diverse talent pipeline – an interview

Dan Gonzalez, co-founder of District C

As a diversity consultant, I frequently talk to clients about the importance of diversity recruiting. And with the shrinking talented labor pool along with its increasing diversity, companies and organizations need to start early to build a more diverse talent pipeline. I recently met a fascinating young man, Dan Gonzalez, Co-Founder of “District C”, a nonprofit working to build the diverse talent pipeline of the future, starting with high school students.

Here is my interview with Dan:

Stan: Could you tell me more about your organization and exactly what your mission is?

Dan: I’ll start far afield with a few basketball stats, but I promise to bring it back to District C! In the 1983-1984 season, NBA teams averaged just over 2 3-point shot attempts per game. This past season, they averaged 32 3-point attempts per game ( Wow… the game has changed! It’s no surprise that youth players across the world are preparing for a new style of play dominated by the 3-point shot. Because if you aspire to a career as a competitive basketball player, being a 2-point player just won’t cut it anymore.

Work is changing, too. Employers are increasingly looking for a different kind of talent. They need people who appreciate diversity for the power it brings to a team. People who know how to leverage the diverse strengths and perspectives of others. People who know how to tackle complex, novel problems. This is the 3-point player of the modern economy.

Yet just 11% of business leaders strongly agree that recent college graduates are prepared for today’s work (Gallup, 2018). That’s a problem. We can’t keep preparing 2-point players for a 3-point labor market. In short, District C prepares 3-point players. We teach high school students how to work in diverse teams to solve complex problems.

District C’s programs help high students learn how to work productively on diverse teams.

Stan: What kind of programs do you offer, and who is your target audience?

Dan: We have two programs. Our #FirstInTalent Accelerator teaches the next generation of early talent (high school students) how to work in diverse teams to solve complex problems. In teams of four (four students from four different schools), students work to solve real problems for real businesses. When recruiting students, we work hard to reach every corner of the region and every kind of school imaginable so that we can build teams with students who bring different backgrounds and strengths to the work. After all, you can’t teach students how to leverage the diverse strengths of others unless you put them in truly diverse teams.

And through our Coaching Institute, we train educators and schools to adopt our learning model back in their school communities.
We have reached over 400 students and 40 educators since our founding in early 2017. Through our #FirstInTalent movement, we aim to put the Triangle, North Carolina region on the map as a national leader in diverse talent development.

Stan: On a personal level, what inspired you to start District C?

Dan: The world has lots of problems to solve and opportunities to seize. As educators, we need to do better at preparing our next generation of talent with the tools they need to solve these problems and seize these opportunities. If we don’t, these students will struggle to find fulfilling careers that pay a living wage, and our companies and institutions will struggle to find the talent they need to sustain and grow their organizations.

Stan: Not only is your work interesting, but I am intrigued by your organization’s name. What is behind the name / meaning of the name “District C?”

Dan: The “C” stands for collective. The main focus of our learning model is teaching individuals how to leverage the power of a diverse collective to produce ideas and solutions bigger and better than any one person could generate on their own. District C strives to bring students together from all over the region… students who bring different backgrounds, experiences, and strengths. Our hope is that our students leave the program with the mindsets and tools needed to appreciate and leverage the power of difference.

Stan: How can businesses and the community support your important work?

Dan: Thanks for asking! Two ways that businesses can support District C: (1) provide a real business problem for our teams of students to solve, (2) become a #FirstInTalent Member Organization, and receive all of the benefits of membership, by making a financial contribution.

Stan: Thank you for sharing a little about your organization and its work. I wish you the best with your critical mission in today’s world. So how can people find more information about District C?

Dan: Website:
Twitter: @DistrictC17
Instagram: @DistrictC17