Recruiting for diversity is a critical aspect of building a diverse and inclusive workforce. In today’s increasingly global and diverse society, organizations that prioritize diversity and inclusion are well positioned to attract and retain top talent, improve innovation, and enhance overall organizational performance.
There are a few effective strategies to employ when an organization recruits for diversity.
Start with a diverse job posting
The first step in recruiting for diversity is to start with a job posting that is inclusive and welcoming to all candidates. Use inclusive language, avoid generic or racially biased language and highlight your commitment to diversity and inclusion. This can help attract a more diverse pool of candidates from the start.
Expand the candidate pool
One of the biggest barriers to diversity in hiring is a limited candidate pool. To expand your candidate pool, consider posting job openings on job boards and websites that cater to underrepresented groups, partnering with community organizations or schools and attending career fairs that target diverse candidates. It is also important to tap employees and their networks for referrals.
Now that many companies are hybrid or fully remote, employers can look outside the usual geographic area for potential employees. However, it is critical for companies to follow the local, state and federal guidelines when employing this hiring tactic.
Remove biases from the hiring process
Unconscious biases can impact the hiring process and limit diversity. To address potential biases in the hiring process, use objective and consistent evaluation criteria, such as skills, experience and qualifications. Also, consider using blind resumes, where hiring managers review the application without seeing the candidate’s name and identifying information.
Hiring for a culture fit is important, but it can, unintentionally, encourage a homogonous workplace. When a company has a diverse team, values will often align, provided the organization clearly defines its mission and goals, but the perspectives and approaches to business may differ between team members. These unique viewpoints add to the company’s culture and spur innovation.
Ensure diversity on hiring committees
Hiring committees should be staffed with diverse employees to ensure different perspectives and experiences are represented in the hiring process. This can lower the risk of unconscious biases and promote inclusive decision-making. Company leadership should ensure the hiring committee includes individuals from different departments, backgrounds and levels of seniority.
Use structured interviews
Structured interviews use a standardized set of questions and evaluation criteria to assess candidates’ qualifications and fit for the role. A standardized approach can help reduce the impact of biases and promote objective decision-making. When interviewing a candidate, the interviewers should focus on the candidate’s skills and experience rather than personal information or characteristics. This tactic allows companies to find the best fit for the open position.
Provide mentorship and support
Once talent is recruited, provide mentorship and support to help them succeed in the organization. That may include pairing them with a mentor or a support group that shares similar experiences or backgrounds. It can also involve providing access to training and development opportunities for the entire organization, which promotes a culture of inclusivity and respect.
Recruiting is a critical aspect of building a diverse and inclusive workforce; however, it is the first step in a much longer process of creating an organization that retains the new hires. By expanding the candidate pool and becoming more intentional in recruiting efforts, organizations are off to a great start to attract and retain diverse talent and promote a culture of inclusivity and innovation.
Jill Chapman is director of early talent programs with Houston-based Insperity, a provider of human resources offering a suite of scalable HR solutions available in the marketplace.