Diversity job boards have become a popular topic over the past year. The focus on hiring a diverse workforce has exponentially increased and it will only continue. But what exactly is a diverse job board? And how does it work?
A diverse job board is a website designed to support candidates from minority groups such as people of color, people with disabilities, people of all age groups or religions, etc. There are many ways these job boards can support you in your job search if you fall into a minority group. Or if you want to distinguish yourself as part of a unique group.
What are Diversity Job Boards?
Before explaining how use diversity job boards, it’s important to understand their purpose. The intention of a diverse job board is not to exclude certain applicants or employers. Instead, the goal is to provide an equitable opportunity for underrepresented groups. Statistically, minority groups struggle to obtain job opportunities for reasons such as systematic racism or unconscious bias. Another purpose is to highlight employers who are actively working to build diverse teams. Diversity job boards don’t want to take job seekers away from other job boards. They want to add to job search efforts by providing a platform where hiring managers can easily distinguish their abilities and qualifications. Think of diverse job boards as unconscious bias insurance. By using a diverse job board hiring managers are prioritizing diverse candidates and making sure they are not overlooked.
It is also important to recognize that all hiring managers are looking for candidates that are qualified for their positions. The benefit of diversity job boards is that they often specialize in attracting and highlighting job seekers in specific industries like science or tech. Job boards such as Diversity.com, recognize that there are notable disparities within industries which require higher education. And they are trying to fill those gaps.
Why Use Diversity Job Boards Now?
According to one study, 71% of companies say they want an inclusive culture. We also know companies with inclusive practices can generate up to 30% higher revenue than companies without inclusive practices. While this doesn’t necessarily mean companies are actively putting their desires into action, it does mean that there is awareness and conversations taking place. Staffing companies are especially aware of their responsibility and privilege within the recruiting industry, and they are making efforts to improve. One great indicator is whether a company is communicating their efforts. It may sound elementary, but it takes a lot of coordination from multiple levels of an organization to execute inclusive messaging.
Another factor to consider is the benefit of being remote. Being remote can have a positive impact on diversity by decreasing unconscious biases. For companies and candidates that are still interviewing remotely, this is a great way to prevent outdated biases such as how you perform a handshake. Or biases related to clothing choice. It’s still important to dress professionally for a video interview. But, there is less room for error when only half of your outfit is visible. Virtual interviews can also decrease unnecessary interview anxiety and provide a better interview experience for both parties.
How to Use Diversity Job Boards Strategically
Even though diversity job boards are specific to minority groups it is still important to apply the “classic” job hunting tips. For example, make sure your resume and cover letter are tailored to the job you are applying to. Make sure the employer knows you have read the job description. Similarly, create your profile on the diverse job sites if applicable and continuously update your resume or profile. Recruiters are looking for candidates who have recently updated their information because they want to know which candidates are actively job hunting.
Most importantly, if you want to get noticed don’t stop using the traditional job boards. Remember to use diverse job boards as a supplement to the popular sites. You could limit your opportunities if you aren’t searching outside of niche sites.
Do Your Research
Whether you are using a diverse job board or not, there are a few strategies you should consider prioritizing. Research the companies you are applying to. Many boards, such as Professional Diversity Network provide company pages where you can read a company overview, read reviews related to the company culture, and even read a statement about their take on diversity and inclusion. Look for their Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) messaging. Make time to read and evaluate the true meaning behind their word choice. Compare and contrast the messaging from one company to another to determine which one suits you best.
Take it one step further by researching the company beyond the diversity job board website. Utilize Glassdoor or LinkedIn to get a sense of the company culture or to connect with current employees in order to learn about their experience. After all, you are on this site to join an organization that will make you feel welcome. Arguably, the best way to determine the authenticity of a company’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion philosophy is to speak with the employees who are living it day to day. The road to a more balanced society and workplace is improving, but everyone must make sure to do their part. And we must remain persistent.