How to Improve Your Diversity Hiring Practices

Supriya Saxena

Supriya Saxena

Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: February 24, 2021

Workplace diversity and inclusion have become a priority for recruitment departments. Companies have stepped up to achieve greater diversity in the workplace. In fact, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that only 57% of recruiters have strategies to attract diverse candidates.

Having diversity in your work culture is not a compliance-related goal. But its sudden rise is attributed to the collaborative structure of modern organizations.

Recruiters are trying to adopt diversity hiring practices. There are many benefits to it, particularly that it opens room for plenty of smart, capable, and diverse candidates ready for the job.

Looking for Recruiting Software? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of the best recruiting software solutions.

Every organization argues that it is a pipeline problem and they can’t find good people now. But is there a slight chance that unconscious biases are interfering with your diversity hiring strategy?

This article will share some of the best diversity hiring practices to achieve inclusion in your workplace. But first, let’s understand this basic concept of diversity recruiting.

What Is Diversity Recruiting?

When thinking of diversity, it is often described in terms of race or gender. But in modern times, diversity is a much broader and inclusive concept.

Not just demographic factors but education, experience, skills, and expertise too define diversity.

Simply put, diversity recruiting is actively seeking out candidates who are from diverse backgrounds. While creating a recruiting strategy, talent acquirers are more inclusive in their process and concerned about removing obstacles preventing them from allowing candidates from having equal opportunities during the hiring process.

However, the question is, why is diversity hiring important?

The Importance of Diversity Culture

Having diversity in the workforce promotes different perspectives that can be quite useful in solving customers’ various problems.

Here is a glance at the benefits of promoting diversity and inclusion in your work culture.

1. Promotes Innovation and Creativity

Josh Bersin’s research found that inclusive organizations are 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders in their market.

This is because employees are exposed to multiple perspectives, which leads to a productive brainstorming session. It opens doors to various possibilities.

2. Promotes Better Decision Making

Another significant advantage is that it leads to better decision making results.

A study revealed that companies with diversified cultures outperformed individual decision-makers up to 87% of the time.

3. Promotes Employee Engagement

When you have diversity in your workplace, your employees feel valued and accepted for who they are.

Besides, employees try to understand each other’s cultures, thereby promoting engagement.

All these things have direct implications for your employee turnover rate. Happy employees tend to stay longer in the company, avoiding going through a hiring process again.

How to Increase Diversity Hiring in Your Workplace

The best diversity hiring practices is all about identifying and removing potential biases in sourcing, screening & shortlisting, and selecting candidates that may be accidentally (or subconsciously) discriminating against diversified, qualified candidates.

Let us look at some of the best diversity hiring strategies that can work in your favor.

#1 Increase Sourcing of Candidates from Diverse Backgrounds

The first step to building a diverse team is to source and attract candidates from various backgrounds. But how?

Here are some of the strategies that you can deploy to find diverse talents.

1. Post on Various Job Sites

If you want to expand your reach, you need to post your openings on various job sites. Posting on the same source time and again will only find the same types of people.

Also Read: Effective Talent Management Strategies in 2020

Look for talents in unlikely places. For instance, there is a story about a founder who posted job opportunities in daycare centers. This was a way to target people who had a lot to offer. The founder knew that those women professionals would have a lot of flexibility to offer.

That’s why one must expand the search to more niche areas that can help find diverse talents.

2. Rephrase Your Job Posting

A job description is something that can either attract or turn off candidates from applying. Besides, it is the breeding ground for all the bias.

When writing the job description, you need to disregard unnecessary criteria that can promote bias. For instance, writing a description that expects candidates to have a set number of years of experience and coming from a tier-1 university will limit you to a certain group of people.

To avoid this, you can even add a disclaimer that will encourage people not matching the job specs to apply as well.

Similarly, don’t write a job description that appeals to only one group of people, such as men or females. If you use too many masculine-type words, such as ‘dominant’ or ‘competitive,’ these words are seen as positive traits for men but might turn off female candidates.

Words like ‘loyalty,’ and ‘passionate’ are some of the words that appeal more to women. So make sure your specifications are well-balanced.

#2 Increase Diversity Hiring in Your Candidate Screening

When you limit your screening to certain criteria such as prior company and university, it often decreases the diversity in your candidate pipeline. Your diversity recruiting strategy should include the following practices:

1. Conduct Pre-Hire Assessment

Companies that use a pre-hire assessment have actually had a diverse workforce. Rather than combing through resumes to review the past experiences of the candidate, you can evaluate candidates by asking them to give skills tests or skills assessment. It helps minimize bias by providing equal opportunities to every applicant.

Tools like applicant tracking systems (ATS) and other recruiting tools can help you conduct skills tests. These tests could be about problem-solving, programming, coding, or other categories based on the job requirement being posted.

2. Practice Blind Hiring

Another significant diversity hiring practice includes implementing blind hiring to minimize unconscious bias.

As the name suggests, bling hiring is a technique that anonymizes personal information about a candidate from the hiring manager. Thus, recruiters can only assess candidates based on their skills and capabilities alone.

The best way to conduct blind hiring is by deploying recruitment software. The system anonymizes resumes by removing names, gender, school, and other irrelevant information that might hinder diverse recruitment.

3. Standardize Your Interview Experience

Comparing two top-notch candidates is hard enough in itself. Besides, research in Harvard Business Review revealed that when the final candidate pool of two has only one minority candidate, they have virtually no chance of being hired.

To remove any subconscious bias, you need to set up a standardized interview procedure. You can avoid this complication by preparing a standard set of questions to ask each candidate.

If you ask different questions to each interviewee, it will only get more challenging to evaluate.

Determine a scale to score every response and, while evaluating, systematically compare candidates’ answers for question 1, question 2, and so on.

These scores will help recruiters determine which candidate should move forward.

#3 How to Select Candidates to Increase Diversity in the Workplace

Now that you have shortlisted your candidates, it’s time to make the final decisions. But how do you ensure that you remain completely unbiased?

1. Create an Interview Panel

Collaborate with more interviewers to lessen the influence of just one recruiter.

It is recommended that every shortlisted applicant must be evaluated by at least more than one person. In fact, create an interview panel that constitutes recruiters from diverse groups of team members in terms of seniority, background, gender, and more.

A diverse interview panel will ensure that the decision is free from the bias of a single person.

2. Make Data-Driven Decisions

Use data and facts to evaluate your candidates. In this technology era, you can use HR software that can help you make informed and unbiased decisions.

HR software comes equipped with intelligent capabilities that can help your team make data-driven decisions. The tool eliminates the unintentional biases and works by assessing a company’s current top performers to create an ideal candidate model for different positions.

Also Read: How HR Departments Can Use Tech to Improve the Recruitment Process

Wrap Up

Even before beginning your recruiting process, conduct a diversity hiring audit on your current hiring process.

Assess the diversity strength of your current hiring process, and identify the loopholes in your existing system. Analyzing your present data will give you an accurate picture of how to move the needle.

Tell us, what are the challenges in your diversity hiring, and how you plan to overcome them?

Supriya Saxena
A logophile by heart, Supriya loves to research and write about the latest technology and trends. She believes that writing is the best medium to influence people in a positive way and has 3+ years of writing experience.

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