These days, it’s rare that you land on a career page and don’t see the words “diversity and inclusion.” In recent years, diversity recruiting has become a more relevant and pressing issue. Research tells us that diverse teams contribute better ideas, craft more creative and effective solutions, and ultimately benefit companies’ bottom lines.
But diversity isn’t just about making a company more money or striving for a noble goal. Diversity also matters because it dramatically influences the attractiveness of your company to new job seekers. Glassdoor found that 67% of job seekers say diversity is an important factor when contemplating whether to apply to a company.
Keep reading to dive into what diversity recruiting is, learn even more justification for its importance, and discover 11 tips to be more strategic about your diversity hiring practices.
What is diversity recruiting?
Diversity recruiting is the process of sourcing candidates in an unbiased way in order to grow a more diverse, well-rounded, and competitive workforce. Like traditional recruiting, diversity recruiting aims to hire the best people for the jobs. However, it also puts a greater emphasis on structuring the hiring process in a way that gives all candidates an equal chance of being hired. Companies that practice diversity recruiting attract candidates with various backgrounds, introducing people with disabilities, different socioeconomic statuses, religions, genders, races, and sexual orientations into their workforce.
Why is diversity in recruitment important?
Diversity in recruitment is vital to an organization because of its many ripple effects. First, diversity leads to greater innovation. It’s easy to see how a wider range of inventive and analytical minds can lead to more imaginative, sound solutions to complex problems. A difference in perspectives and cultures helps companies make products that meet a broader range of customers’ needs.
In addition, having a diverse set of leaders in an organization makes management seem more accessible and attainable to diverse hires who are just starting their careers. Diverse managers also tend to drive better productivity and performance among their teams. In fact, BCG finds that companies with diverse management teams have 19% higher revenues.
Top diversity recruiting strategies
Diversity recruiting can really elevate your talent pool, so let’s look at a few strategies to knock it out of the park.
1. Reconsider screening factors and requirements
It’s impossible to source the right talent without the right attributes. Sourcing for attributes that may be broader and more comprehensive than traditional keywords can help you find candidates that no one else is finding. But updating what you’re screening for is crucial to keep diverse candidates in the talent pool. This means making room for marginalized races, veterans, people with disabilities, marginalized genders, and other underrepresented groups in HR searches. It's key to avoid any screening factors that aren't totally necessary to perform the job, so that all qualified candidates feel comfortable applying.
2. Reduce bias through technology
There’s no getting around the fact that humans are prone to error and bias. Technology can help reduce bias in your processes by working off of a set of defined rules, eliminating the need for human interaction in the screening process. However, even machine learning may have bias introduced by the humans who create it, so searching for nuanced attributes beyond specific experience or job titles can expand your talent pool. Some recruiting platforms like Findem even track KPIs and provide benchmarks at every stage of the recruitment funnel to get recruiters closer to reaching their diversity goals. Companies can also leverage technology to pinpoint and remove alienating language in job descriptions and other communications.
3. Use AI for resume reviews
Resume screening can be a drag and opens the door to subconscious (or conscious) bias. Artificial intelligence (AI) can automatically find and move top candidates forward without recruiters' involvement, saving them time and reducing bias in the process. The key is to program algorithms to filter based on certain attributes, experience, and skills. With those criteria in mind, AI sifts through your applicants’ resumes as well as other data sources for parameters you selected and surfaces an objective shortlist of top candidates to reach out to.
4. Increase the number of diverse candidates on shortlists
When a shortlist of candidates only includes one person from an underrepresented group, that candidate is the least likely to be selected. A study published in the Harvard Business Review found that if only 1 woman is in your candidate pool, there’s virtually zero chance she’ll be hired.
Adding more diverse candidates to your shortlist makes it tougher for bias to creep in, and it all starts with generating a more diverse talent pool. As mentioned, platforms like Findem use attributes, instead of keywords, across 100,000+ data sources to find people一something LinkedIn and other common career sites aren't capable of. Showing hiring managers how different attributes change the diversity in your talent pool can help you hone in on diverse, top quality candidates to shortlist.
5. Take language seriously
Candidates pay attention to how you market and portray your brand. The language you use in job descriptions, marketing materials, and interviews can accidentally alienate diverse candidates if you’re not careful. For example, you might think remarking on a female candidate’s outfit is a compliment, but doing so may make her feel awkward and automatically turns attention to her clothes rather than her skills or experience. Train your hiring managers and interviewers to avoid those situations, and use tools like Findem to personalize your written outreach.
6. Use technology for blind resumes and blind interviews
Removing a candidate’s name or face in a resume screen or interview lessens the chances of unconscious bias due to race or gender. Companies can also remove where candidates went to school, where they live, and their graduation year to promote a more objective screening process solely based on the candidates’ skills and experience. Blacking out resumes and interviews can be tough to do manually, so you’ll likely need software that can anonymize resumes or collect answers to screening questions via text. If you want to take this a step further, move beyond resumes and keyword search by using Findem to discover who candidates are with a digital profile compiled and verified across people data sources, which eliminates bias that comes from reviewing resumes.
7. Ensure company policies are equitable and inclusive
Company policies that are inclusive and equitable attract more diverse candidates; increase their interest in a position; and promote diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging within your company. One of the best workplace policies to focus on is flexibility. For instance, working parents or people caring for ill or elderly family members value a flexible schedule. Knowing that they can get their work done on their own time will make them feel more empowered to work for your company. Millennials also prefer workplaces that prioritize a fantastic work/life balance. But these are just a couple of examples. You could also introduce more community-focused events, offer time off for religious holidays for a variety of religions, and more.
8. Increase training to reduce bias and increase inclusivity
Anti-bias and diversity training are necessary steps to becoming a more inclusive company. Don’t equate that to boring online training sessions. Incorporate interesting, fun activities and involve your workforce. Ask leaders in your organization to speak in front of each department or consult an external group to host engaging workshops. A robust DEI training program will help your hiring managers, interviewers, and staff create a safe space for new employees to flourish.
9. Work with diverse employees to reach their networks
Diverse employees who are happy with your organization are an excellent resource. Tapping into their network might surface more diverse candidates. Of course, diverse employees will only be willing to make introductions if you maintain a work environment that fosters psychological and physical safety. Show them that you care by supporting causes that are important to diverse employees, asking them for feedback, and celebrating the successes of diverse employees on social media. To reach similar candidates to top performers without relying on the labor of those employees, you can use Findem to create a search profile of attributes for success that you might not have considered.
10. Use internships wisely
Don’t forget about the value of specialized internship programs. Set up your internships to target diverse candidates. Make a point to recruit students from schools and community groups with which you don’t typically partner, pay your interns, and offer flexible scheduling. If you can entice the right talent to apply, internships are an incredible way to show diverse talent the opportunities they might have to join your company upon graduation.
11. Recruit from places with diverse candidates
You’ll have a hard time boosting your diversity metrics if you’re not searching where diverse candidates hang out. Actively seek out new, specialized online networks; find universities or community colleges that teach the types of candidates you want to hire; and ask around to discover community groups with members who might be an asset to your organization. You can narrow your search by using tools like Findem that identify locations with a higher percentage of diverse candidates to host recruitment events or participate in job fairs.
Improve your diversity recruiting today
Although recruitment is just the first step in the hiring process, it’s one of the most important steps in improving diversity within an organization. Recruiting is the first touchpoint candidates ever have with your company, and you need to make it count. Looking for the right talent in the right places is critical to producing and sustaining a diverse workforce, but doing that is easier said than done.
Findem can help. Findem was created with diversity recruiting in mind. With just a few clicks, recruiters can define the attributes they’re looking for, source top candidates, and prioritize diversity for outreach. Plus, you can tailor outreach precisely to candidates’ interests without including any biased or off putting language. Best of all, Findem monitors diversity metrics at every stage of your talent funnel, revealing the best channels for recruiting diverse talent. Learn more about how Findem can improve your diversity recruiting by visiting our solutions page.