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5 tips to kickoff your diversity recruitment strategy

Most employers agree that a diverse team helps companies be more innovative, more creative and achieve better results from innovation. McKinsey 2019 analysis demonstrates that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams are 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile. As a result, most employers globally are focussing on developing their diversity recruiting strategy. Diversity hiring is when employers design a hiring process that provides an equal opportunity for candidates of diverse sexual orientation, gender, race, and other minority groups to take part in the interview process and get recruited. The goal of diversity hiring is to diversify the pool of candidates that come to the interview process. However, diversity hiring is hard. In today’s article, we will share 5 strategies that you can use to kick-start your diversity recruitment strategy successfully.

1 - Assess your job descriptions

One of the first steps in diversity recruitment is to spend time crafting equity focused job descriptions. Some of the questions to ask include:

  • Are all of the criteria listed necessary for doing this job well?

  • Do any of the criteria reflect typical assumptions about the kind of person you think usually does this job? Or do they reflect subtle biases about who traditionally does this job?

  • Do you provide a way to account for important life experiences that may not show up on traditional resumes but that can indicate likelihood for success in the job?

  • Does the language in the job description subtly reflect gender or racial stereotypes/preferences? “High-powered” “results-driven””action-oriented” “people-person”

  • Do you include and value criteria such as “ability to work on diverse teams or with a diverse range of people”?

Biased language in job description includes: Guys, Craftsmen, he/him/his, right-hand man. Using masculine-coded words like “aggressive” “competitive” “individual” can deter women from applying. Change this language in order to be welcoming to a wider candidate pool. You can use an automated online tool. Consider writing job descriptions with specific demographics in mind in order to help your diversity recruiting strategy.

2 - Implement blind hiring (or use blind resumes)

Blind hiring hides CV details including the candidate’s name, education, address, hobbies, or graduation year. These elements of information can reveal someone’s gender, ethnic background, religion, socioeconomic background and influence a hiring decision. Instead, hiring managers focus on the candidate’s skills and work experience and how it applies to the job. If you are looking to reduce bias in your hiring process, blind hiring is a key step. If you have the budget, you might consider tools such as Blendoor, which obscures names and photos of candidates. If your budget is limited, you might simply filter out specific details with a spreadsheet.

3 - Target diverse hiring sources

To ensure that your talent pool is diverse, source candidates from a variety of different places. Post your job adverts on diverse niche job boards:

Search for opportunities to hire diverse candidates where they typically gather. For example, there are many groups dedicated to women in technology. These meetups could be a great place to meet with female candidates directly. Some recruitment solutions will automatically post new job ads to job boards, social networks, and agencies without the intervention of a recruiter. By doing so, you can ensure that your job ad automatically gets posted to job boards that are focused on diversity hiring. You might start an internal diversity programme, offering internships to candidates from specific backgrounds. This will encourage young candidates to join your team and get work experience. Contact schools and universities in your area to define opportunities to make connections with students.

4 - Reward diverse employees to refer their connections

Ask minority groups and under-represented groups for referrals. Find ways to encourage and even incentivize under-represented groups within your workplace to make more referrals; this will increase the diversity at the top of your candidate pipeline. It’s very likely that members of your team have networks of people with similar backgrounds. By creating a diverse candidate referral programme, you will boost your diversity recruitment strategy and demonstrate that your company values different backgrounds and ideas.

5 - Build a strong employer brand that showcases diversity

A great way to boost diversity in hiring is to create an employer brand that values people who are different. Articulate the benefits of diversity with your teams, get their commitment and implement these values into your company culture and mission statement. Develop an employer brand that is known for valuing diversity, both internally and externally. Invite employees to talk about this part of your business inside and outside the organisation. Share these stories, and incorporate that part of your corporate personality into your employer brand. Diverse candidates seek out companies who truly value those ideas.

Workplace diversity, which is understanding and valuing differences between people of different backgrounds, brings many benefits to the organisation. Diverse workplaces perform better, are more innovative, and more creative. In order to increase workplace diversity, leaders need a system in place. Research has demonstrated that employers can attract more diverse candidates through more carefully worded job descriptions, using assessments, and tapping into new candidate pipelines. In addition, technology can also increase diversity in the workplace with AI-powered software technology to reduce bias. Employers can make a positive difference in diversity hiring by implementing simple and practical strategies.

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