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photo of Christina Brady, COO, IRI

Christina Brady
Chief Operating Officer

Across 2022, IRI brought a simple question to conversations with diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI) leaders at our member companies: “What is your company doing to embed DEI into talent acquisition?”

Time and again, members shared the innovative approaches they were taking to widen the net used to source talent and improve the systems used to evaluate that talent. With so much activity happening, responses to this simple question showcased the deep commitment to DEI across the industry.

We’ve compiled what we heard into a resource, called the “Best Practice Compendium: Embedding DEI in Early- and Mid-Career Talent Acquisition,” to keep the conversation going.

Growing competition for talent
Demographic projections show that the need to broaden reach and widen talent pools will grow exponentially as Baby Boomers retire and U.S. workforce growth declines. The US Congressional Budget Office projects that the labor force will slow to 2.9 percent growth in the coming decades, a dramatic decline compared to the near 12 percent growth characterizing the 1990s.[1]

DEI helps companies expand their candidate pool and win the war for top talent
When it comes to talent acquisition, DEI tactics directly address this problem by expanding the pool of candidates for consideration and ensuring candidate evaluations yield consistent results. DEI investment can also make job offers more attractive to Millennial and Gen Z candidates. In a 2020 survey conducted by the Harris Group, over 75 percent of employees and job seekers said that “a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers.”[2]

Where can DEI strategies help your company’s talent search?
Companies can give their playbooks for early- and mid-career talent acquisition a check-up by assessing the DEI strategies currently used and where opportunities remain. IRI’s resource “Best Practice Compendium: Embedding DEI in Early- and Mid-Career Talent Acquisition” details tactics for sourcing diverse talent and for unbiased candidate evaluation. Compiled through conversations with DEI and HR leaders from across the industry, this report outlines many of the best practices in use across the industry and provides helpful tips for implementation.

Share your company’s innovative ideas
If your company is employing DEI strategies for early- and mid-career talent acquisition not listed in our compendium, we would like to hear from you. Please reach out to Christina Brady at or Shani Armon at to share the tactics your company is using and how those strategies are having a positive impact in the war for talent.

[1] Business Insider. “The Forever Labor Shortage.” May 16, 2023.
[2] Glassdoor. “Glassdoor’s Diversity and Inclusion Workplace Survey.” September 29, 2020.
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