Beaker Blog

DEI & WFA Meets the NFL?

Mar 29, 2021 1:32:40 PM / by Dave Foulke

In our most recent blog post about DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) initiatives in Life Sciences, we explored how the WFA (Work From Anywhere) movement can open up diversity candidate pools but also presents other challenges at the same time.  Specifically, how to identify, attract and recruit those candidates in non-traditional geographies and/or industries. 

As earlier noted, many of our clients, continue to rely on Beaker’s Talent & Marketing Intelligence services and Talent Pipelines to provide these real-time, custom snapshots of their target talent with confirmed current locations. 
But in speaking with many prospective clients who are still trying to find their target diversity candidates on a one-off basis, a new trend is developing in terms of building finalist slates of candidates. 

On several occasions of late, we've heard TA leaders reference an approach similar to the National Football League's (NFL) 2003 "Rooney Rule" policy that requires teams to interview one or more diverse candidates when there is a head coaching vacancy.  In a couple instances, the term Rooney Rule has even been used by these TA leaders. 

The rule has proven controversial in the NFL because it is often used as a way to check-the-box without serious consideration to actually make a diverse hire.  In Life Sciences, the same potential downside exists when companies fail to employ a full-scale strategic approach to identify all target diverse candidates upfront and instead take the path of least resistance to simply include the one or more diverse candidates they found.   

If Life Sciences companies are truly committed to DEI hiring initiatives rather than conducting public-facing PR activities, all qualified diverse candidates must be identified, targeted and included in outreach and recruiting cycles.  Otherwise, the commitment to little more than a diverse interview process seems more important than does the stated outcome of diversity hires. 

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Tags: COVID, Coronavirus, Work From Home, Talent Intelligence, Diversity, Hiring, Recruiting, Executive Search, Talent, Talent Pipeline, Life Sciences Recruiting, Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, Boston Life Sciences, San Francisco Life Sciences, #WFH, #DEI, #DNI, NJ Life Sciences, RTP Life Sciences, Chicago Life Sciences, #D&I, Philadelphia Life Sciences, Seattle Life Sciences

Dave Foulke

Written by Dave Foulke