In today’s competitive labor market, finding and keeping the best employees is critical. If your recruitment strategy doesn’t include diversity and inclusion as a key part of the talent acquisition process, it should.
Diversity hiring is not a new concept, but there is still much to be done and learned about it. Every company has its own focus for diversity hiring: whether it’s gender, race, religion, or even sexual orientation.
Implementing diversity recruitment best practices can help you attract the people, knowledge, and viewpoints you need to move your business forward.
Traditional methods for discovering and recruiting diverse people through the door may be tough. Instead, cast your recruitment net in places where different people are likely to congregate.
Target the right individuals, then develop the appropriate policies and values that encourage an inclusive workplace that engages all workers.
What Is Diversity Recruiting?
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Diversity recruiting is looking for people with diverse backgrounds who want to work for your company, implementing plans to increase the number of underrepresented groups in the workforce, and removing any barriers that prevent all applicants from receiving equal consideration throughout the hiring process.
The term “diverse” has historically been associated with “people of color,” particularly African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics. For the sake of inclusiveness, a more modern spin on the notion of diversity has been taken to include other groups such as women, military veterans, and individuals from the LGBTQIA+ community.
The term’s meaning has evolved over the years, from “all persons” to “any person,” reflecting the uncertain history of minorities competing for corporate and government leadership positions, significant income gaps, and workplace prejudice.
It’s a way to find and hire qualified, talented people from different backgrounds who have different perspectives on issues that affect your company.
When you diversify your workforce, you increase innovation and creativity in solving problems or bringing new ideas forward. That makes diversity a success factor when it comes to business performance as well as attracting top talent.
Diversity Recruiting Success Factors
Here are some ways companies can achieve diversity hiring best results through their recruitment strategy:
- Focus on Inclusion Hiring Attributes – Work with an experienced recruiter or consultant who has expertise in this area if necessary so they know how to frame the conversation about what types of attributes will help you achieve diversity hiring best results.
- Focus on Soft Skills – Most companies that have succeeded with diversity recruiting focus heavily on soft skills, such as communication and collaboration abilities to improve teamwork and productivity levels in the company. If your company can be more inclusive and foster a culture of inclusion through its recruitment strategy, it’s sure to bring better talent on board too!
- Be Flexible and Open-Minded – Make sure you’re open to all applicants. Don’t restrict your search to specific criteria or educational backgrounds, even if it may seem like a good idea in the beginning! It can be easy for companies who have been successful with diversity recruiting strategies in the past to become insular over time, resulting in less diverse teams that aren’t as innovative or creative anymore.
- Employers should also consider hiring from various levels of education – not just university graduates but people from other fields too such as vocational schools and apprenticeships.
How To Recruit For A Diverse Workforce
Let’s look at some best practices for diversity recruiting that will help your company hire the best people for open roles.
- Use social media to look beyond your immediate circle of contacts, and engage with skilled professionals who might not be actively looking for a job. Networking is the best source of diversity recruiting ideas. A candidate you are unaware of today may become incredibly valuable tomorrow so don’t underestimate the power of LinkedIn or other professional networks where they exist online.
- Keep an eye on emerging industries through conferences, meetups, and trade shows that attract diverse candidates from all over the world – even if it isn’t directly related to what you do right now. This can help build your talent pool in preparation for future opportunities as new roles arise within your company. For example, many tech companies have found success hiring engineers by attending career fairs at nearby colleges and universities.
- Don’t forget your alumni! Many companies have a strong connection with their alma mater which can be used as an effective diversity recruiting channel to source qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds.
- Think outside the box when it comes to sourcing talent – especially for hard-to-fill roles where you need top-quality, experienced hires quickly. This may mean looking further afield than your local market or even considering virtual employees who work remotely because of personal preference or family reasons.
- Consider hiring a diverse pool of employees for multiple roles. It can be cost-effective to hire one person who’s qualified, experienced and talented in more than one area – rather than lots of people with less expertise or experience. This allows you to quickly fill many positions at once, saving time on the recruitment process as well as reducing costs from advertising fees and other expenses that may not have been necessary had you hired fewer candidates.
- Use internal referrals – ask your existing staff if they know anyone who would make a good new team member. They might just say yes! In some cases, this is preferable because it means there are no “unknown quantities” – since managers already know their current employees personally so understand what kind of person would fit in well.
- Use a job ad that actively encourages diversity to increase your potential number of applicants and remove bias from the recruitment process – for example, by asking people if they have any accessibility needs or disabilities so you can be sure you’re considering everyone when hiring new staff. Include a diversity statement in your job ad to show that you value different kinds of people and encourage applicants from underrepresented groups. This should be brief but clear – for example, “We’re looking for diverse candidates with relevant skills! We believe having a diverse team helps us achieve better results.”
- Offer internships to targeted groups – Internships and co-ops are available at many organizations for people with particular backgrounds. This is a wonderful approach to get future professionals in your field experience while also boosting their career prospects. Make an effort to reach out to schools and community organizations in your region to discover ways to connect with youngsters. Communities frequently have their own initiatives that encourage development, and working together on those efforts is a fantastic method to give back while also gaining from new and diverse talent.
- Blind resumes – Modern Recruiters are increasingly using a practice called “blacking out” any and all personal information from CVs to reduce prejudice in their selection process. Even if it’s not done on purpose, even little details like names, schools, birthdates, and specific locations might contribute to a biased assessment of the applicant.
- Blind interviews – Blind interviews are similar to blacking out resumes in that they eliminate bias, however, they are used to conduct early discussions with the applicant. They may be carried out by sending candidates text-based questions through text or via your preferred recruiting platform. Candidates are not expected to provide personal information when responding to these questions. The aim of this procedure is to maintain a clean slate when selecting people for interviews. Obviously, it’s much more difficult to eliminate all personalities and prejudice while talking with prospects over the phone or in person, therefore blind interviews are most effective early on in the process.
As always, don’t just take our word for it – there are many great success stories out there about how organizations have successfully increased diversity in their workforce through creative ideas that made hiring more efficient and cost-effective too.
Remember, make diversity hiring a priority in your organization. There are many great resources that can help you develop a diverse hiring strategy, making it easier to find the best talent for your company.