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Posts about Human Capital Management:

Why DEI&B Matter in Project Based Firms

Posted by Evan Creech-Pritchett on March 14, 2024

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Fostering Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEI&B) is not just a moral imperative but a strategic necessity for project-based firms. DEI&B creates environments that go beyond just diversity and inclusion, aiming to build equitable spaces where individuals feel welcomed, valued, and empowered. Surprisingly, not every company has a DEI&B initiative in place. Let’s review the core aspects of DEI&B, and what implementation strategies firms can use to promote these values.


Diversity, the first pillar of DEI&B, acknowledges the variety of human characteristics and identities within a group or organization. It goes beyond just race and gender, encompassing various aspects that we don’t always think about such as age, ability and disability, socio-economic status, religion, nationality, and many more. In the context of project-based firms, where collaboration and innovation are key, recognizing and embracing diversity is especially important. Recognizing this is the foundation for fostering an environment where each team member's strengths and talents can thrive, ultimately contributing to the overall success of the projects and the organization.


Equity is about ensuring fairness, impartiality, and justice in the treatment of individuals, particularly in environments with historical disadvantages. Project-based firms need to actively address systemic biases, structural inequalities, and discriminatory practices. Achieving equity in a company involves creating policies and procedures that reward based on personal merit, ensuring everyone has an equal chance to succeed no matter what groups they may belong to.


Inclusion is the creation of environments where all individuals feel welcomed, respected, and valued. In project-based firms, inclusive practices involve actively embracing diversity and fostering a sense of belonging. This means creating spaces where people of diverse backgrounds, identities, and perspectives can thrive, express themselves authentically, and engage in meaningful collaboration without fear of discrimination.


Belonging is the newest addition to DEI&B. It goes beyond diversity and inclusion, addressing individuals' emotional and psychological need to feel connected and respected within their professional environments. The feeling of belonging involves creating spaces where people can bring their whole selves to work, form genuine connections, and contribute to a collective identity and purpose.

Importance of DEI&B to Project-Based Firms

Beyond being morally imperative, DEI&B is crucial for project-based firms for several reasons: Fosters Positive Employee Engagement: DEI&B creates a positive and inclusive work culture, leading to higher employee engagement and satisfaction. Drives Innovation: Diverse teams bring a variety of perspectives and ideas, driving innovation and problem-solving in project-based settings. Broadens Talent Pool: Embracing diversity expands the talent pool, bringing in individuals with different skills, experiences, and viewpoints. Maintains Competitive Advantage: Companies with diverse teams often outperform their peers, maintaining a competitive advantage in the market.

Methods to Foster DEI&B in the Workplace

We’ve seen why DEI&B is important, but how do we go about putting these systems in place? Here are several ways that project-based firms can implement various initiatives to foster DEI&B:

  • Diverse Hiring Practices: Actively seek diverse candidates and create inclusive hiring processes. Remember to look deeper into the categories we don’t always recognize, like nationality, socio-economic status, and age.
  • Training and Education: Provide ongoing training on diversity, equity, and inclusion to enhance awareness and understanding.
  • Employee Resource Groups (ERGs): Establish ERGs to provide support, networking, and mentorship for underrepresented groups.
  • Flexible Work Policies: Implement flexible work policies to accommodate diverse needs and promote work-life balance. This can include options for hybrid and fully remote work.
  • Leadership Development: Invest in leadership development programs that prioritize diversity and inclusion.
  • Diversity Metrics & Accountability: Establish measurable goals and hold the organization accountable for progress.
  • Employee Engagement Activities/Events: Organize activities and events that encourage diversity and promote inclusion. These can be as simple as company mixers, sporting events, or other group activities.
  • Promotion of Diversity in Content and Marketing: Ensure that marketing materials and content reflect the diversity within the organization.

Making Diversity Programs Effective

Initiating diversity programs can be challenging, but it is essential for the success of DEI&B. Companies need to do three things in order to make an effective diversity program.

  1. First, you must recognize the full spectrum of diversity. As we’ve talked about already, not all aspects of diversity are easy to see. Understand that diversity encompasses various categories beyond gender and race, including gender identity, age, ability, religion, political beliefs, and socioeconomic status.
  2. Second, embed DEI&B in the company culture. Company culture is many things: the embodiment of a company’s values, its mission, and even its environment. DEI&B should be ingrained in the philosophy of the company.
  3. Finally, appoint DEI&B Leaders. Designate a group responsible for DEI&B programs and initiatives to ensure focused attention and progress. This group does not necessarily have to be management, instead, a dedicated team or individual can ensure focused attention and steady progress in promoting diversity and inclusion within the organization.


Embracing and valuing the concepts of DEI&B in project-based firms not only aligns with social responsibility, but also drives positive organizational outcomes. By actively fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, project-based firms can create environments where individuals thrive personally and professionally, ultimately contributing to the success and innovation of the organization. To learn even more about DEI&B and how Full Sail Partners is helping firms with this initiative, check out the replay of our LinkedIn Live by clicking the image below.

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44th Annual Deltek Clarity A&E Findings: Human Capital Management (HCM) Trends

Posted by Evan Creech-Pritchett on August 31, 2023

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Human Capital Management is a critical aspect of the architecture and engineering (A&E) industry, as it plays a pivotal role in attracting, retaining, and developing skilled talent to drive business growth. The 44th Annual Deltek Clarity Architecture & Engineering Industry Study highlights key challenges and initiatives related to HCM in the A&E sector. In this blog, we will touch on some findings regarding HCM trends to understand how A&E firms can enhance their HCM strategies to stay competitive and succeed in today's dynamic market. 

Focus on Developing and Cross-Training Existing Staff  

With staffing challenges persisting and the cost of new hires on the rise, A&E firms must shift their focus towards developing and cross-training their existing staff. The Clarity study indicates that the number of firms reporting more open positions in 2022 fell compared to the previous year. To encourage this trend, these professional services firms are increasingly turning their attention to internal talent development to meet project demands effectively. 

To address this challenge, these professional services firms should invest in robust training and development programs that empower employees to acquire new skills and take on more responsibilities. By cross-training staff, A&E firms can create a more versatile workforce capable of delivering projects across different disciplines and specialties. Additionally, these efforts boost employee satisfaction and reduce turnover, leading to a more stable and productive work environment. 

Finding the Right Solutions and Tools for Talent Acquisition 

Acquiring the right talent is an ongoing challenge for A&E firms. This year’s Clarity study highlights difficulties in finding time and budget to select the best technology solutions that can identify and accelerate candidate selection. To address this issue, professional services firms like architects and engineers should explore innovative talent acquisition tools and techniques to widen the candidate pool and streamline the hiring process. 

Furthermore, implementing an efficient applicant tracking system (ATS) can help manage job postings, track candidate applications, and streamline the recruitment workflow. Also, leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics in talent acquisition can provide valuable insights for identifying qualified candidates and predicting their potential fit within the organization. 

Offering Competitive Compensation 

In a competitive talent market, A&E firms are facing increasing pressure to offer attractive compensation packages to attract and retain top talent according to the 44th Clarity report. The cost of new hires is rising, and employees are seeking competitive pay and benefits to align with their skills and experience. 

To remain competitive, these professional services firms should regularly review their compensation structures, benchmark against industry standards, and consider geographical variances in salary offerings. Moreover, investing in compensation management tools can facilitate data-driven decision-making and ensure that salary offers are competitive and fair, reducing the risk of losing potential candidates to competitors. 

The Availability of Good Candidates 

Based on this year’s Clarity study, while the turnover rate has stabilized, the availability of qualified candidates remains a challenge. A&E firms should focus on nurturing and developing existing talent while seeking external candidates to fill open positions. Upskilling, cross-training, and offering career development opportunities are essential to position firms for growth. 

Furthermore, creating a strong employer brand through targeted employer branding initiatives and robust employee value proposition (EVP) can help attract diverse and skilled candidates. These professional services firms can additionally leverage their existing employees as brand ambassadors to promote the company culture and highlight growth opportunities within the organization. 

Building Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Programs  

The 44th Deltek Clarity study emphasizes the growing importance of DE&I initiatives in these professional services firms. Many A&E firms acknowledge the need for DE&I programs but are unsure about how to measure and implement them effectively. 

A&E firms should start by conducting a DE&I assessment to identify areas for improvement and set specific goals for enhancing diversity and fostering a more inclusive workplace. Creating an inclusive work environment requires ongoing efforts, including diverse hiring practices, inclusive leadership training, and regular monitoring of DE&I metrics to measure progress. 

Learn More about HCM Trends from the 44th Deltek Annual A&E Clarity Study 

As seen from the findings of this year’s Clarity report, Human Capital Management is a critical factor in the success of architecture and engineering firms. By focusing on developing existing staff, implementing effective talent acquisition tools, offering competitive compensation, nurturing good candidates, and building robust DE&I programs, these professional services firms can position themselves for growth and stay ahead in a competitive market. Additionally, leveraging technology and data-driven strategies can further optimize HCM efforts, leading to improved employee satisfaction, reduced turnover, and overall business success. As the A&E industry evolves, firms that prioritize and invest in their human capital will be better equipped to tackle challenges and seize opportunities for future growth.  

For more details on HCM Trends from the 44th Clarity Study, read the entire report. 

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