10 Questions to Ask During Your Search for a D&I Partner

Categories: Diversity & Inclusion

Are you on the hunt for diversity and inclusion consulting firms, diversity and inclusion consultants, or diversity and inclusion speakers? As the statistics show, an organizational focus on diversity and inclusion isn’t just the right thing to do for the world around you—it can also provide a great boost to business. 

The talents of diversity and inclusion consulting firms, diversity and inclusion consultants, and diversity and inclusion speakers can help get your organization where it needs to be when it comes to diversity and inclusion efforts. But how do you know which one of these vendors is right for you? Here are the 10 questions you should ask before you settle on your next D&I vendor.

What is your “global reach” and POV when it comes to D&I learning outside of the HQ country?

Diversity and inclusion should not just get limited to your organization’s headquarters company. These days, D&I demands a global focus and international point-of-view—not just a “tunnel vision” philosophy sequestered to the company’s main campus. Make sure your vendor can address the unique diversity and inclusion needs and situations of every culture your organization works in or works with.

What assessments do you use?

Are there any multi-rater/360 assessments available? Assessment tools—like the GlobeSmart Profile or the Inclusive Behaviors Inventory from Aperian Global—can give an organization the insight it needs to not only see where it stands with diversity and inclusion efforts but also where it needs to get to. An assessment tool is vital for your diversity and inclusion success, and the best D&I vendors should have one prominently featured with their program.

Can your learning programs and assessments integrate seamlessly with our LMS/LXP?

The last thing you need is another headache or painful integration with your company’s learning management system or learning experience platform. Those types of frustrations lead to plenty of annoyed emails running through different departments—and can cause upper management to question the entire process. The best diversity and inclusion consulting firms, diversity and inclusion consultants, and diversity and inclusion speakers have resources that quickly and easily integrate into your existing platforms for a smooth, painless, and successful operation.

How often do you publish research on D&I issues?

Diversity and inclusion consulting firms, diversity and inclusion consultants, and diversity and inclusion speakers shouldn’t be resting on their laurels. This is an ever-changing field that demands constant study and research, and the best speakers, consultants, and firms should have a robust library of published research in trusted, respected outlets.

What is the validity/reliability of your D&I assessments?

Look for hard statistical proof, not just secondhand anecdotes. Ask for the statistics and metrics that prove your D&I assessments are making an impact within an organization; if they don’t have any to provide, keep looking.

Can you certify our internal practitioners on your assessments?

A certification from a D&I vendor is a powerful tool for ensuring the assessment can scale within your organization; it’s a validated mark that shows not only an employee’s knowledge of and hard work in diversity and inclusion efforts but the organization’s continued commitment to those efforts. Being certified is a nice professional development tool for your D&I practitioners’ toolkit as well!

Where are your D&I consultants based?

The best diversity and inclusion consulting firms and diversity and inclusion consultants have a worldly pedigree. Look for firms and consultants that aren’t just limited to one country or region; the best firms and consultants should span the globe with their reach, providing the global perspective modern organizations need to succeed.

How do your services integrate within our existing D&I strategy and curriculum?

The services from diversity and inclusion consulting firms, diversity and inclusion consultants, and diversity and inclusion speakers should integrate into your existing D&I strategy, business objectives, and instructional methods—not the other way around. Carefully examine how the philosophies and strategies from your considered vendors will work within your structure to ensure seamless, helpful learning throughout the organization.

How do you blend instructor-led with asynchronous/digital learning assets?

Logistically (and financially), it’s likely not possible to have your consultants or vendors speak in person to every single member of your organization. Make sure your D&I firm offers digital learning or asynchronous assets that your personnel can explore on their own time—and ask them how they effectively blend their in-person instruction with these other assets.

What is your D&I approach/POV?

Fun fact: no vendor can know for certain whether their methodology will be a good match for your specific search criteria. It’s vital that you get to know how your provider puts their theory into practice. Ask questions about their focus areas and targeted outcomes, for whom their content is optimized, and their key learning delivery methodologies. That way, you can ensure your ambitious D&I effort will not create an unintended backlash. Aperian Global, for example, comes to the table with 30 years of consulting experience along with learning topic accessibility for all, a practical action posture, and many other benefits easily integrated into your unique needs.

Interested in D&I training, consulting, and speakers that check all these boxes?