Many companies are striving to create a more diverse workforce, and unfortunately, most are failing. According to a Brazen article,
“The American workplace still has a diversity problem. African-American workers are still offered $0.65 on the dollar as compared to white workers, and women make up a mere 18.75% of software engineers.”
Despite this, organizations know that diversity is the key to innovation. In a recent Deloitte study, of 245 organizations and 70 clients surveyed, the research revealed:
“Organizations with inclusive cultures are six times more likely to be innovative, six times more likely to anticipate change and respond effectively, and twice as likely to meet or exceed financial targets.”
It’s proven. Diversity is key, but the problem is finding and retaining it. To help, here are seven things recruiters need to know about diversity.
1. Know your biases
Everyone involved in the recruitment process must be keenly aware of their biases. We all have them. They’re not necessarily negative, but they tend to invoke limited thought. The problem is if you’re not aware of your biases, you can’t control them; they control you. Everyone from the recruiter to the hiring manager, and anyone else involved in recruitment needs to know their biases to ensure they’re actions do not reflect a limiting thought. Check out this free implicit bias test that Harvard offers. It’s a great place to start.
2. You may need to leave your comfort zone
To find different people, you need to look in new places. Recruiters need to know that broadening recruitment sources can help increase the number of qualified, diverse candidates. You can encourage employee referrals, contact alumni networks, and post vacancies in a variety of diverse publications and job boards. To create something new; do something new. The results may surprise you.
3. Don’t rush recruitment
Creating something new takes time. If you’re dedicated to sourcing and building a diverse workforce, vacancies may need to be open a bit longer. In the beginning, you may need to extend your vacancy expiration date. Everyone on the recruiting team needs to understand it may simply take longer to fill positions.
4. Diversity is more than race
Recruiters need to know that diversity is more than race. Diversity can include race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, people who adhere to non-traditional religions, and the whole gamut of other characteristics. Trying to single out one group of people as “diverse” defeats the purpose of diversity. If an organization is open to diversity, it is open and inclusive of all people.
5. Diverse people prefer diverse and inclusive organizations
Retaining a diverse workforce can seem like a chicken or egg process. Do diverse candidates come first or do you need an inclusive workforce to hire diverse candidates? The truth is neither is correct, and it doesn’t matter. Diverse people prefer diverse and inclusive organizations. Put another way, diverse people want to feel comfortable. If your organization isn’t very diverse yet but is accepting and inclusive of different people, you have in fact created a diverse workforce. It’s diverse in mindset, and that is a start.
6. Leadership matters
When any qualified candidate sees a job announcement, they automatically research the company online. Many companies know this and include a lot of stock photography of a diverse workforce, but on the leadership page, it’s hard to show diversity where there is none. Diversity starts in corporate leadership. As diversity becomes a more prominent value in your organization, it’s important to show diversity at all levels within the organization.
7. Standardize your strategy
Lack of standardized recruiting may be hurting your diversity recruiting goals. Due to implicit bias, we all tend to judge other people based on physical characteristics. As a result, anything from a name to the way a candidate wears his or her hair in an interview could cause a negative evaluation. Standardizing the recruitment process can help remedy the unintentional results of implicit bias. Organizations can remove names from resumes during the review process. They can create a resume evaluation rubric to consistently evaluate each resume, and similarly, they can create an interview evaluation rubric to ensure in-person interviews are all evaluated as consistently as possible.
As the recruiter, you’re on the ground floor of your company’s diversity recruitment efforts. Utilize these tips to help you better understand a diverse workforce and more easily source, recruit, and retain diverse talent.
If you’re having trouble meeting your company’s diversity goals, let us help you! At JUMP Recruits, we have in-house talent advisors and consultants ready to help you create a diversity recruitment strategy. With our help, you can expect to see an increase in the number of qualified, diverse candidates you’re able to source.