How to Keep (and Find) Top LGBT+ Talent

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September 15, 2017 | IBM | HCI

As the War for Talent intensifies, employers around the world are fighting tooth and nail to increase their access to top talent. This, along with other legal, political and social factors, is a major driver behind the increased focus on the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT+) talent segments. In a recent HCI research report, 84% of organizations saw diversity and inclusion as a “strategic opportunity rather than a problem to be solved.” But what’s the most effective way to engage with this talent segment?

Consider the Complete LGBT+ Experience at Your Company.

Many organizations use recruiting as the primary mode of enhancing inclusion. However, it doesn’t matter how many people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives you hire, if the employee experience is sub-par. For this reason, a “recruit only strategy” won’t produce sustainable increases in workforce diversity. For example, if you are interested in enhancing inclusion for those who identify as LGBT+, focus instead on creating an inclusive culture that speaks to the needs of all employees, including those who identify as LGBT+. To do this well, you need to understand if, and how, their experiences at work may differ from the experiences of other employees.

Leverage Employee Surveys to Better Understand All Your Employees.

When deciding where to focus in order to truly enhance the experience of LGBT+ employees, you might want the benefit of hard data on the biggest opportunities for improvement at your organization. Employee surveys are an excellent opportunity to take the pulse of all employees, including this talent segment, so you can target areas where your investment will have the greatest return.

Consider any Legal or Cultural Issues Beforehand.

The anonymity of a survey makes it a natural place for your people to speak up about challenges they may be experiencing, without fear of judgment or reprisal. However, when you consider adding in questions aimed specifically at capturing the sentiment of your LGBT+ employees, take special care that you aren’t violating any legal rules or country or organization norms by doing so.

Better Employee Experience, Better Employment Brand.

Authenticity is the lifeblood of your employment brand, but you need to have an engaged, healthy culture first. As you take action on the results of your survey and launch new programs that address the unique needs of LGBT+ employees, their overarching employee experience will improve. Over time, this will lead to better retention and engagement in this talent segment and, with a little help from the recruiting team, you can parlay these gains into a powerful employment branding campaign.

Like any worthy undertaking, becoming a more inclusive, diverse workplace starts by understanding those you want to serve.  Get to know these employees, look for opportunities where you can better support them.

Not sure where to get started? Watch this on-demand webcast and learn best practices for capturing the voice of your LGBT+ employees through surveys.