What is Diversity Recruitment?

Hiring for diversity is the process of removing unconscious bias from the recruitment process, resulting in a candidate pool that possesses a wider variety of skill sets, educational backgrounds, and experiences.

On the surface, diversity in hiring may sound like a simple concept, but in practice, it’s quite difficult to completely remove unconscious bias from a company’s recruitment efforts.

Unconscious bias is something that is firmly embedded into each human being, and the only way to prevent its negative effects is to fully embrace a variety of hiring practices, as each practice adds another layer of defense against its manifestations.

Here, we’ll cover the benefits that come from constructing diverse work-groups, as well as how your company can develop an effective diversity recruitment plan.

Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace

There are many benefits associated with diversity hiring, a few of which we’ve outlined below:

Improved Company Performance & Innovation

Diversity hiring initiatives have been shown to be a major catalyst that improve both innovation and achievement in the workplace.

While diversity can create awkwardness among individuals who are not accustomed to working in a diverse environment, this tension can lead to better group problem-solving.

Groups that have more homogeneity tend to have more agreement and an unwillingness to challenge ideas.

However, in diverse settings, individuals see interactions with others as potential sources of conflict and friction, which means that there will be more disagreement when ideas are exchanged.

In this “trial by fire” method, new creative ideas are likely to emerge, as this friction will help surface ideas that might not have otherwise been suggested in a group that was more agreeable.

Stronger Company Brand

With nearly 45% of men and 54% of women reporting D&I initiatives being a critical factor in deciding whether to accept a job offer, failing to make diversity a staple of your brand is a mistake that could end up costing your company valuable hires.

It’s in every company’s best interest to make D&I initiatives a part of their brand identity, as it will ultimately provide better access to a more talented candidate pool.

Better Understanding of the Customer

Customers are not a homogeneous entity; instead, customers come from a variety of educational, economic, and ethnic backgrounds.

This creates a problem for companies who have not diversified their workforce, as some customers will ultimately have difficulty interfacing and relating to a company that is too far removed from what they’re familiar with.

However, when customers see that a company’s interests and values run parallel with their own, they will be more likely to engage with that company’s products and services.

Better Talent Pool

When unconscious bias is removed from the hiring process and all employees are judged by their abilities and merits, companies will have access to a larger candidate pool.

With greater access to talent, companies can bolster their recruiting efforts and build a stronger and more diverse team.

How to Hire Diversely

Hiring for diversity can be difficult for some companies to achieve, simply because the goal of diversity is to eliminate something that is almost impossible to identify: unconscious bias.

Unconscious bias is something that permeates every level of the business world. However, despite its prevalence, it’s difficult to fix since it often occurs without our knowledge or consent.

So how do companies hire diversely?

By developing and sticking to a game plan.

While we might never be able to completely eliminate unconscious bias, we can minimize its effects on recruiting with a few key recruiting strategies.

Blind Resume Screening

Blind resume screening is the process of removing all personal information from the candidate’s profile such as their name and photos.

Additionally, items such as the candidate’s age, schools attended, and prior income should also be removed, as they can dramatically influence a company’s hiring decision.

By removing these items from the screening process, companies can evaluate candidates without unconscious biases getting in the way, resulting in a more diverse candidate pool.

Fortunately for companies looking to hire diversely, there are numerous candidate screening tools that utilize advanced AI technologies that can assist with this process.

Construct a Diverse Talent-Acquisition Team

If your company is looking to hire for diversity, it’s a great idea to construct a diverse hiring or recruitment team.

By arming yourself with different perspectives and modes of thinking, your company’s recruitment team will be better able to think outside the box, which should result in better quality candidates.

Modify Wording in Job Description to be More Inclusive

Despite advancements in technology, words will always retain their power to influence and inspire.

Therefore, your company should be careful when writing up the job description for your open position, as the words themselves can sometimes cause qualified candidates to look elsewhere for employment.

While your open position may be one that requires long hours and the ability to handle stressful situations, it might not be the best idea to present the job in this manner. Instead, stick to speaking directly about the skill sets and responsibilities required for the job as well as talking up your company’s brand.

With this strategy, you should be able to attract a larger number of submissions from quality candidates, who may decide—after going through the recruitment process—that it is worth it in the end to work at your company, despite the strenuous nature of the job.  

Source from More Diverse Candidate Pipelines

If during the recruitment process you find that you’re only seeing a certain kind of candidate, it may be time to adjust where you’re looking for new employees.

For example, if your workforce can be described as homogenous, then relying on employee referrals to find quality candidates might not be the best strategy.

Instead, explore 3rd party options such as community groups located on college campuses and other professional networking groups that focus on diversity efforts.  

Reassess Your Company’s Brand

It’s important that your company evaluates any area of the brand’s identity that might cause an individual to question the company’s commitment to diversity hiring initiatives.

For example, if your company’s website features numerous images of employees who fit a specific ethnic background, potential candidates who are not of that background might be discouraged to submit their application.

Additionally, it would be a good idea to re-evaluate all marketing materials to ensure that they are not falling for this sort of diversity pitfall.

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