We’ve created hundreds of pieces of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) content over the last decade.
It’s content that went from a nice to have, to a need to have, in 2020. But we noticed a trend over the last year where companies seemed to be shifting away from creating DEI-specific content.
So we got curious. We wanted to know: how is DEI content and messaging showing up in the workplace now?
We dove in and reviewed all 100 career sites from the 2023 Fortune “Best Companies to Work For” list to see how diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives are being represented to candidates at these top companies.
What we found may surprise you.
What DEI content is found on company career sites?
A 2022 DEI report by Lever found that 81% of job candidates investigated a company’s website to discover their stance on diversity, equity, and inclusion before applying for an open position.
That’s an overwhelming number of candidates trying to marry your company’s DEI promises with its actions.
What we found is that DEI content on career sites isn’t always easy to find.
While 75% of the career sites we reviewed have some mention of DEI on their home page, only 29% have a top menu navigation that leads directly to its Diversity & Inclusion page. The 46% that don’t have an easy way to navigate typically have a DEI section toward the bottom of the home page—meaning a candidate needs to scroll down anywhere from one to three times to find it.
This also means that a glaring 25% of sites don’t include any information on DEI in the place where candidates are most likely to search for it.
Key takeaway: For the sites that do include DEI content, most of it is housed on a separate Diversity & Inclusion page, taking the interested candidate away from the career page, eventually making it harder to get back to search and apply for jobs. We know there is a lot you need on your career site, but making sure DEI content is easily accessible should be a priority.
What DEI content do candidates care about and what are they getting?
When considering a new job, employees say it is important that there are employees and leaders they identify with, and that DEI is a priority for the CEO. DEI efforts are also a key factor in a career decisions for Gen Z (77%) and Millennials (63%) according to a study conducted by Eagle Hill Consulting.
DEI philosophies and strategies are commonly listed on company sites. Sixty percent of the sites we looked at included some mention of their philosophy around promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at their company.
But words on a screen don’t always paint the full picture.
Only 44% of these companies include data and measurement on how they are reaching their DEI goals. The most effective pages include their employee data directly on the site, but this wasn’t the majority. Most data is housed in a downloadable report which means a candidate needs to download it, find the people section, and then look at the data.
What about sharing other workplace awards?
We also found that only 27% of sites included their DEI awards on their main diversity page, making it easy for a candidate to see how the company is being specifically recognized for their DEI efforts.
Key takeaway: We’re not making it easy for candidates to see the progress of a company’s DEI initiatives by burying the data in a lengthy report.
How well-represented is DEI content on career sites?
Here is the real kicker.
Three quarters of the Fortune 100 “Best Companies to Work For” are creating space on their career site for diversity and inclusion. But, of that group, only 36% are using actual employees in diversity-related content on their web site outside of static images.
In our research, we found:
- 31% of sites had at least one video focused on DEI (but at least a handful were videos using stock broll and voiceover rather than real employee experiences.)
- Only 13% used employee quotes or testimonials outside of leaders like their CEO or Chief Diversity Officer.
- 58% listed their employee resource groups (ERGs) but only a few included any stories or videos featuring ERG members.
Key takeaway: Employees say it’s important that there are employees and leaders they identify with. Not including current employees in DEI content is a real missed opportunity to showcase the actual people behind your diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and programs. Here are our five DEI content strategy tips to earn employee and candidate trust.
Even the top workplaces have opportunities to share more of their DEI story on their careers sites, particularly through the experiences of their people. Candidates who are interested in your company will spend a limited amount of time searching for the information they care about the most. When DEI content is hard to find, or not substantive, candidates will quickly move on to the company who shows them a place where they may belong.
About our methodology
Our observational research was focused on company career and web site content. We know many organizations talk about DEI across other channels, but for the sake of equal comparison, we limited our analysis to career sites. We started our search at every company’s careers home page and followed its DEI story from there.