Recruiting for Diversity: Why It Matters and How to Do It Right
In today’s rapidly changing global marketplace, diversity in the workplace is more important than ever. Recruiting for diversity brings numerous benefits, including increased creativity, better decision-making, and a broader perspective.
However, achieving a diverse workforce can be challenging, as organizations often grapple with unconscious biases and old-school hiring practices.
This blog post will delve into the value of diverse team building, discuss strategies for successful diversity recruiting, and provide answers to frequently asked questions on this topic.
Benefits of a Diverse Workforce
A diverse workforce can benefit an organization in several ways:
- Enhanced creativity and innovation: When people from different backgrounds and experiences come together, they bring unique perspectives that fuel creativity and innovation. For example, a 2018 study by Boston Consulting Group found that companies with diverse management teams reported 19% higher innovation revenues than those with less diverse teams.
- Improved decision-making: Diverse teams are better equipped to evaluate different options and make more informed decisions. A report by McKinsey & Company revealed that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability. That’s why companies focus on diverse team building.
- Increased employee engagement and retention: A diverse and inclusive environment in the workplace can have significant positive impacts on the organization. By actively recruiting for diversity, companies can create a more dynamic and vibrant workforce.
- Broader market reach and understanding: A diverse workforce can better understand and cater to the needs of an increasingly diverse customer base. A 2020 Catalyst report found that companies with diverse workforces were better positioned to succeed in global markets.
Strategies for Successful Diversity Recruiting
1. Inclusive Job Descriptions
Creating inclusive job descriptions is essential to attract diverse candidates.
Here’s how you can make your job postings more inclusive:
- Use gender-neutral language: Replace gender-specific pronouns (he, she) with gender-neutral ones (they) and use titles like “Salesperson” instead of “Salesman.”
For example, AT&T changed its job title from “Retail Salesman” to “Retail Salesperson” to encourage more diverse applicants.
- Avoid unnecessary requirements: Stick to the essential qualifications and skills for the position, and avoid including requirements that may inadvertently exclude diverse candidates.
For instance, if a job requires excellent communication skills, consider whether fluency in multiple languages is truly necessary, or if it could be a “nice-to-have” attribute.
2. Diverse Candidate Sourcing
Attracting diverse candidates requires broadening your sourcing efforts:
- Leverage diverse job boards and networks: Use niche job boards like DiversityJobs, Hire Autism, or RecruitMilitary, which cater to specific underrepresented groups. Additionally, engage with diverse professional organizations on social media to share job opportunities.
- Partner with organizations focused on diversity: Collaborate with groups like the National Urban League, the Society of Women Engineers, or UnidosUS to connect with diverse talent. For example, Google partners with organizations like the National Society of Black Engineers to tap into a diverse candidate pool.
- Use talent cloud platforms: Cloud platforms provide access to a global pool of software developers, thereby increasing the diversity of applicants based on geographical location, culture, and experiences. One such platform is Ellow.io. They leverage the power of AI + humans to connect companies with pre-vetted, diverse talent. With its smart sourcing and matching algorithms, it provides access to a global pool of software developers, thereby enhancing the diversity of your candidate sourcing.
3. Reducing Unconscious Bias
Address unconscious bias in the hiring process with these strategies:
- Implement blind resume reviews: Use tools like Blendoor or Talent Sonar to anonymize resumes, hiding candidates’ names, photos, and other identifying information. This approach can help reduce bias based on gender, race, and age.
- Train recruiters and hiring managers on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI): Offer DEI training programs that focus on recognizing and addressing unconscious biases, fostering empathy, and promoting inclusive behaviors. For example, Starbucks closed over 8,000 stores for a day to conduct anti-bias training for its employees.
4. Diverse Interview Panels
Ensure fair assessment of candidates by creating diverse interview panels:
- Ensure representation of different backgrounds: Assemble interview panels with members from various departments, genders, ethnicities, and ages. This approach can help reduce individual biases and promote a more inclusive evaluation of candidates.
- Encourage diverse perspectives: Train panel members to actively seek out and consider diverse viewpoints during the interview process. Encourage open-mindedness and create an environment where all panel members feel comfortable sharing their opinions.
5. Employee Referral Programs
Boost diversity recruitment through employee referral programs:
- Incentivize employees to refer diverse candidates: Offer bonuses or other rewards for successful referrals of diverse candidates. For example, Intel offers double the referral bonus for successful hires from underrepresented groups.
- Foster a culture of diversity and inclusion: Communicate the importance of diversity to employees and promote inclusivity at all levels of the organization. Encourage employees to refer candidates from diverse backgrounds and create a workplace where everyone feels welcome.
Tracking and Measuring Success
To evaluate the effectiveness of your diversity recruitment efforts:
- Establish diversity recruitment metrics: Set measurable goals, such as the percentage of diverse candidates in the hiring pipeline or the number of hires from underrepresented groups. Track these metrics over time to gauge your progress.
- Continuously evaluate and improve strategies: Regularly assess the success of your diversity recruitment initiatives and make adjustments as needed. Seek feedback from employees, candidates, and partners to identify areas for improvement and continually refine your approach.
For instance, if you notice a lack of diverse applicants, consider revisiting your job descriptions or candidate sourcing methods to pinpoint potential barriers.
- Benchmark against industry standards: Compare your organization’s diversity metrics with industry standards or competitors to identify areas where you may be lagging. This comparison can provide valuable insights and help you set realistic, achievable diversity goals.
- Leverage employee feedback: Conduct regular employee surveys and hold focus groups to gain insights into the effectiveness of your diversity and inclusion initiatives. Employees’ experiences and suggestions can help you identify areas for improvement and develop targeted strategies to address them.
- Implement diversity and inclusion training: Provide ongoing training and development opportunities for employees at all levels, including workshops, seminars, and online resources on diversity and inclusion.
This continuous learning approach can help to foster an inclusive culture and ensure that diversity recruitment efforts are embraced throughout the organization.
- Celebrate diversity successes: Share milestones and success stories related to diversity recruitment and inclusion initiatives, both internally and externally. Celebrating achievements can help to raise awareness, reinforce the importance of diversity, and inspire further commitment to creating a more inclusive workplace.
By implementing these strategies, your organization can successfully recruit for diversity and foster an inclusive environment that enables all employees to thrive.
Remember, diversity recruitment is not a one-time effort; it requires an ongoing commitment and continuous improvement to make a lasting impact.
By remaining dedicated to fostering an inclusive workplace, you will not only create a more vibrant and innovative organization but also contribute to a more equitable society.