how BASF uses talent data to meet diversity & inclusion goals.

February 5, 2021

translate your corporate workforce diversity hiring goals into action using talent analytics

| 4 min read |

The adoption of data-driven decision-making has been consistently increasing in the talent management space. Companies of all types and sizes are learning how analytics can — and should — be applied to various staffing challenges. BASF sets the pace as a leader in leveraging talent analytics, with a major focus on diversity and inclusion initiatives throughout their organization.

diversity & inclusion opportunities for non-exempt hiring

Allen Chilson, talent acquisition manager, Strategic Partnerships at BASFAs one of the world’s top chemical producers, BASF operates more than 150 sites across the U.S. and Canada. Allen Chilson, talent acquisition manager, Strategic Partnerships at BASF, has responsibility for recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) and contingent staffing. His goals for improving workforce diversity are ambitious. Using talent analytics, BASF has been able to develop diversity hiring initiatives that uncover opportunities within non-exempt hiring, create greater visibility for stakeholders, attract and engage a diverse talent pool, and evolve its program over time.

“I like to say that without data, you're just another person with an opinion,” Scotty Parrish, senior vice president at Randstad Sourceright shared during a recent presentation with Chilson at the HRO Today Forum. “Data analytics can help us make more successful business decisions, increase our agility, and also be able to predict future results and chart the right path.”

The majority of human capital leaders agree. In fact, Randstad Sourceright’s 2021 Talent Trends Report shows that 78% say talent analytics play a critical role in sourcing, attracting, engaging and retaining talent. How can human capital leaders feel confident that they are using the right data at the right time to make the right decisions?

what gets measured gets done

That’s Chilson’s take on talent analytics. “You need to set a target and a goal,” he says. “At BASF in North America, our [service level agreement] with Randstad Sourceright mandates that interview panels have to be 50% diverse to create an inclusive candidate experience. Résumés to hiring managers must be 50% diverse, and 50% of candidates chosen for interviews must also be diverse.”

To achieve these goals, BASF first analyzed the diversity of the existing workforce at each facility in order to establish a benchmark. Then it used this diversity data to create visibility for the organization.

“We communicated to each site that this was not a one-size fits all solution,” stresses Chilson. “There were differentiated strategies based on the specifics of each business unit and location.”

SLAs, KPIs and reporting solutions

At the outset of BASF’s recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) program in 2017, carefully considered service level agreements (SLAs) and key performance indicators (KPIs) were put in place. Using BASF’s applicant tracking system (ATS) data, the company was able to break out the percentage of diverse candidates at each phase of the recruitment funnel — from new applicants through final hires.

“The biggest questions are: are you selecting diverse candidates for hire, are they successful and how can we do this again,” says Teresa Holmes, Randstad Sourceright’s senior director of client delivery for BASF.

BASF collected data for hiring events and candidates who were sourced through multiple recruitment channels, including community-based organizations. This was done using a calendar of events for each BASF site and a survey tool to gauge success. Candidates were tracked from events through the entire recruitment funnel to determine ROI.

Based on this diversity data and other market intelligence, stakeholders are provided with business unit, location and position-specific sourcing strategies. They also receive guidance and support in building strong local relationships with tech schools and local diversity group chapters, as well as large well-known associations.

attracting and engaging quality applicants

It is important, however, not to lose the human touch in a sea of data. Talent acquisition strategies need to be branded and creative, particularly for non-exempt candidates.

Customer relationship management (CRM) tools and talent networks make it easier to target candidates based on skill sets to build diverse candidate slates for roles currently open, as well as laying the groundwork for recruiting roles that open up in the future.

“Since implementing the non-exempt RPO solution in 2017, our results have exceeded every goal,” Chilson states. “We have visited sites and met with hiring managers. We do telephone check-ins and surveys to measure satisfaction with the quantity and quality of diverse candidates. These surveys provide the feedback to drive evolution of the program and identify hot spots.”

“Best practices are not one size fits all, there is not one answer,” says Holmes about diversity and inclusion journeys. “... We need to make sure we are adjusting and changing along with the company, so we can understand where the gaps and opportunities are. Utilizing the reporting abilities of the ATS and CRM tools shows us the numbers and results. But creating a positive candidate experience is the main thing.”

Getting the right tools and technologies in place — and measuring their outcomes — can clearly advance your diversity and inclusion goals. This strategy is particularly effective when coupled with collaborative partnerships that drive through to measurable results.

Want to learn more about using talent analytics to improve workforce diversity outcomes? Watch the 2020 HRO Today Forum presentation.

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