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Diversity has become an increasingly important topic in the business world and diversity hiring goals (DEI) are a major focus. A diverse workforce can bring many benefits to a company, including fresh perspectives, new ideas, and different ways of approaching problems.
However, creating a truly diverse workforce is not always easy. There are a number of challenges that need to be overcome, including unconscious bias, a lack of diverse talent pools, and a lack of understanding of how to create an inclusive environment that supports diverse hiring practices.
Unconscious bias is one of the biggest challenges in diversity hiring. None of us would like to admit that we have biases but we all do. Many are under the surface so we are not aware of them (which is why they're unconscious). These biases can lead us to make decisions that are not in the best interest of the company or the individual.
One way to combat unconscious bias is through education and training. If we can become aware of our own biases, we can learn to control them and make better decisions.
An invaluable resource for becoming aware of your own biases is this test. Created from a collaboration between Harvard University and Project Implicit, this test will help you understand attitudes, stereotypes, and other hidden biases.
Another way to overcome this challenge is by using diverse hiring tools such as blind resumes (where all identifying information is removed), or diversity assessment tests.
In addition, interview intelligence software with semi-structured questions as prompts to be asked of every single candidate will eliminate subjectivity and create a more objective result.
This means that every candidate will be asked the same questions so they're measured on their response, not the interviewer's feelings.A good practice would be to create a diversity hiring checklist.
This checklist should be accessible to everyone in the company, especially those who are interviewing.
The checklist should include things like:
Links to your Implicit Bias test and HR training.
DEI goals and desired impact.
Example job posts that include inclusive language.
Identify role criteria and eliminate anything that reflects bias.
Keep a list of platforms that offer diverse talent pools and post open roles to those platforms.
Create a sheet of comments that are "red flags" and questions that are off-limits to ask candidates.
Create candidate scorecards that can measure candidates' qualifications objectively.
By following these steps, you include your team in creating a diverse workforce of top talent.
Some of these are givens:
Objectively measuring candidates will help you identify the most qualified individuals, no matter their background.
Utilizing diverse talent pools will give you a larger pool of qualified applicants to choose from.
But the most important practice is to talk openly with your team about your DEI goals and why they're important to you.
Training your team is easy when you have a mission behind your goals. Most employees are equally passionate about DEI and will help you achieve this mission in any way they can.
If you're working towards a more diverse workplace, continue the conversation with your team and let them know what they can do to support your DEI initiatives.
One of my favorite books, "Trillion Dollar Coach," tells the story of Silicon Valley's most legendary mentor, William "Bill" Campbell.Campbell coached Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Eric Schmidt, and Sundar Pichai from Google, Steve Jobs from Apple, Jeff Bezos at Amazon, Jack Dorsey and Dick Costolo at Twitter, and Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook.
Quite a legacy.
He used to say when asked why diversity hiring is important, "because you invite new voices to the table."
And that is really what it's all about.
When you have a diverse workforce, you have different perspectives and opinions coming together to solve problems.
You might not always agree with those perspectives, but they will make you think about things in a different way and help you come up with creative solutions that you wouldn't have thought of before.
Including different voices also helps you avoid groupthink, which is when everyone in a group agrees with each other without really questioning the ideas.
Groupthink can lead to bad decision-making because it doesn't allow for dissenting opinions.
So, if you want to make better decisions and come up with innovative solutions, you need to have a diverse workforce.
Moreover, studies have shown that companies with diverse workforces are more profitable.
This is why diversity and inclusion are important in recruitment - not only is diversity hiring the right thing to do, but it's also good for business.
If your organization is not currently meeting it's DEI goals, there are a number of things you can do to improve diversity hiring.
First, you need to make sure that your recruitment process is fair and that everyone has an equal opportunity to apply for roles.
This means eliminating any bias in your job descriptions and making sure that your application process is accessible to everyone.
Next, you need to make sure that you're using a diverse set of platforms to advertise your open roles.
There are many job boards and websites that cater to underrepresented groups, so make sure you're utilizing them.
You'll also need to have honest conversations with your team about why diversity is important and what they can do to help.
Most people want to do their part to make their workplace more diverse and inclusive, but they might not know where to start.
If you educate your team and involve them in the process, they'll be more likely to support your initiatives.
Finally, coaching interviewers to remove bias and make better hiring decisions is paramount.
The candidate experience during an interview process will tell them a lot about your culture, so it's important to make sure that they have a positive experience.
If you're not sure where to start, Pillar offers ebooks and blog posts to help you on your journey, and there are many resources and training programs available to help you improve your diversity hiring.
LinkedIn Learning has Learning Paths and Courses on the topic.
Once you've made a commitment to diversity and inclusion - you can continue to build an inclusive workplace where everyone feels like they belong.
Companies that embrace diversity hiring are growing in number. It all starts with a company culture that values inclusion. From there, companies put policies and processes in place to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to apply for jobs and be interviewed.
This means that diversity and inclusion in recruitment have been at the heart of innovation for years.
Here are some of the top diversity hiring companies in tech:
As they implemented diversity hiring programs and policies, these companies have seen an increase in the number of applications from underrepresented groups.
This has led to a more diverse workforce, which has in turn led to more creativity and innovative solutions.
This means that many of these companies have been able to approach problems in new and innovative ways that gave them an edge over their competitors.
They've become the entrenched incumbents leading in a world of lean scrappy startups.
So, if you're looking for a company that's progressive and values diversity to learn best practices from, these are some of the top companies to research.
Diversity in companies is a slightly different conversation.
Mapping out a career path for each employee is important to help with promotion from within. This also gives a better understanding of what an employee’s goals and objectives are.
Setting clear expectations and coaching employees to achieve them is a fundamental way to help with career development. Providing employees with regular feedback is a key aspect of this process.
Oftentimes, individuals are not included in the conversation about what the next steps in their careers should be. If you are a company leader, make sure that you’re having these conversations with all employees.
When an organization understands its workforce, it can better plan for future talent needs. Part of this is succession planning where organizations identify high-potential employees and create a plan for their development.
This helps to ensure that there is a continuous pipeline of qualified individuals to move into leadership roles as they become available and those open roles are backfilled with diverse candidates.
Succession planning should be part of an organization’s overall strategy and not treated as a separate initiative only to be revisited when a team member leaves.
There should be alignment between an organization’s business goals and its succession plan.
Organizations should also have a plan for what to do when an employee leaves. This includes having a system in place to document an employee’s knowledge so it can be passed on to someone taking over their role during the transition.
This is especially important for critical positions or those with a high level of specialty.
Hiring and promoting top talent is a vital part of winning the current war for talent.
If you're currently making changes to your hiring process and would like to decrease employee turnover by as much as 50%, Pillar's interview intelligence software uses AI to analyze behavioral data to identify the top 10% of candidates for every role, so you can be sure you're making the best possible hiring decisions and increasing your DEI impact.
Schedule a demo today!