With Corporate Social Responsibility as priority for many businesses in 2021, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) are top of mind for workforces everywhere. For those who are less familiar with diversity recruitment best practices, knowing how to connect growing commitments to business operations can be complex. Diversity recruitment is a hiring strategy. It’s purpose is to engage underrepresented races, genders, sexual orientations, ages and/or other cultures to grow greater community at work. Making a concerted effort to source talent outside of traditional networks can be an actionable way for organizations to express DEI progress.
However, inclusion goes beyond recruiting. Attracting the skills and qualifications you seek is one thing. Retaining the diverse talent and experience you’re investing in is another. It requires a sense of belonging at work. Large-scale DEI initiatives are often influenced through Change Leadership and evolving Corporate Commitments. Still, there are many ways to leverage existing resources and more effectively diversify your talent pool. To optimize your future strategy, you must first understand current hiring practices.
Diversity Recruitment Best Practices to Hire & Retain Dynamic Talent:
1. Become intimately familiar with people, processes and trends
To understand where you are going, you must have a solid understanding of current hiring procedures. Take an audit of your processes. Then, carefully analyze the data and culture you collect. What exists today? What’s missing for tomorrow? In addition to assessing your recruitment efforts, you want to evaluate talent retention strategies. Are there any specifics you can garner from onboarding feedback? Or, when you review exit interviews, are there any noticeable trends? The most important step to assuring diversity recruitment best practices, is to become intimately familiar with the successes and pitfalls of your People Operations.
2. Determine short and long term goals
Once you know where you stand, determine what metrics can be improved upon. Categorize your findings. Determine what resources are required for each to achieve lasting success. Perhaps you need more people, expertise, time or technology. Create a timeline and outline each project. Once you identify the most immediate goal, detail the project work. Then, continue building and chart the next most reasonable objective(s). By mapping out each step, in chronological order, you can measure goals and track progress.
To avoid overwhelm, it’s best to start small. For example, if you want to increase the percentage of qualified females in I.T. roles, you can quantify the improvement by saying you’d like to improve diversity hiring by 5% within 9 months. If you’re not confident in your diversity recruitment best practices, consider partnering with an expert team to support your efforts. The ROI of hiring and retaining diverse talent long-term is well worth any initial investment.
3. Remove the potential for biases
You may be surprised to discover that you have biases. However, we all do. Even technology has algorithmic biases. Whether conscious or unconscious, bias is something that we must consciously remove. That requires awareness, continual learning, and optimized recruitment processes. When sourcing, screening and shortlisting qualified candidates, removing the potential for biases is critical for hiring success. After all, unintended biases could keep you from attracting the diverse talent your business needs. To uphold diversity recruitment best practices, even if you are working with a 3rd party, here are a few ways you can check your hiring biases:
Expert Talent Assessment:
Personality assessments help to inform hiring managers prior to an in-person introduction. These tests do not show significant differences for personalities from one culture to another. It can be a valuable way to screen applicants and improve workplace diversity.
To “blindly” review candidate information, personal and other culturally identifying information is removed from an application prior to review. The goal is to guard against any potential for bias. For example, an address or school could fuel preconceived stereotypes. Even when unconscious, these notions can prevent an impartial assessment of a candidate. Studies even show that having a name that’s hard to pronounce can limit opportunity due to unconscious bias.
More Diverse Options:
Research demonstrates that having more than one minority candidate in the final stages of interviews is necessary to achieve diversity goals. For example, with only one female candidate to choose from, statistics show that she has no chance of being hired. Adopting a “Rule of Two” can better assure diversity recruitment best practices.
4. Communicate Inclusivity
Whether you are broadcasting a message internally or externally, your words matter. It’s vital you use inclusive language. Pay attention to the vocabulary you choose when describing the people and work at your company. Are they globally inclusive? Think about common phrases and/or industry lingo used within a job description. Phrases like “man hours” and “blacklist/whitelist” can make your company sound outdated.
Another thing to consider when advertising open roles, is the required education. If a college degree is not an absolute, make sure your description includes “or equally qualifying experience.” By indicating your openness to varying socio-economic backgrounds, your talent search can improve considerably. Lacking a formal education does not necessarily mean that a candidate is not qualified. There are many alternative paths to qualifying applicants for entry level roles.
Diversity recruiting best practices require connection, openness and balance. It’s both an art and a science. For this reason, you may choose to work with a 3rd party expert who can add more value to your efforts. A strategic partner can help you prevent unconscious and conscious biases through expanded networks, personality assessments, blind hiring and dynamic talent pools.