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Recruiting a diverse team is one of the most powerful ways to generate new ideas, solve problems in interesting and exciting ways, and create a fun and innovative workplace. To help you build a strong and diverse team, we’ve put together the Diversity Recruitment Toolkit. In this article, you'll find the basic elements you need to create an effective diversity recruiting strategy including best practices, checklists, resources, and mindset to make it all work.
The first step to creating an effective diversity, recruiting strategy is to identify an internal champion who is passionate about the topic, organized, and loves people.
The reason your internal champion needs to have all 3 of these things is:
1. Passion - Passion will give this internal champion a reason to rally the troops, push through distraction, failure and overwhelm, and help guide the strategy that keeps everyone on track.
2. Organization - Organization is essential for creating a successful plan and executing it.
3. Love of People - Having someone who truly enjoys people ensures that everyone feels their warmth, support, and belief in them as an individual.
Once your internal champion is in place, the next step is to create a strategy that includes three main components: best practices, a diversity recruiting plan, and technology. This creates a complete ecosystem where your strategy is built around a plan that's supported by inclusive interviewer coaching tools like interview intelligence software, ensuring that it actually works.
We'll talk more about these three things later on in the article, but remember that people are your number one, and also your most costly asset - so to build a truly diverse team, you have to get step #1 right.
Last year, I re-read one of my favorite books on the topic of building great teams. The book is called, "Trillion Dollar Coach," and it follows the life of one of Silicon Valley's greatest team builders, William "Bill" Campbell.
Bill was a master at creating diverse, high-performing teams by finding ways to tap into each individual's unique gifts and strengths. He believed that when you build a team of talented individuals from diverse backgrounds, they will come together to create something bigger than any one person could accomplish on their own.
When asked why he advocated so assertively for diverse effective teams he'd say, "Always invite new voices to the table..." This is why his mentees, some of Silicon Valley's greatest executive teams from Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Apple, continually sought his advice for new perspectives and ideas at being more effective.
He'd say, "When you hire a diverse team, you are creating the opportunity to bring in fresh ideas, different ways of problem-solving, and perspectives that can help drive innovation throughout your organization. The power of diversity is tangible—it unlocks true team potential."
Bill's legacy can be seen throughout high-performance teams all over the world. His mentees were the likes of Sheryl Sandberg, Jack Dorsey, Dick Costolo, Sundar Pichai, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Eric Schmidt, Sergey Brin, and Larry Page among others. Is it any wonder that their companies have become some of the fastest growing most influential on the planet?
If you're still asking, why diversity hiring is important - hopefully that answers your question.
As you can see, in today's workplace, diversity and inclusion in recruitment is essential for creating high-performing teams. A successful inclusive recruitment strategy is the foundation for building a strong team that can work together to solve problems in interesting and exciting ways while creating an inclusive and innovative workplace.
Now that you understand why diversity hiring is so important, it's time to start putting together your recruitment strategy and the best practices for your team to use as a guide.
Here are some best practices for building a strong, diverse team:
1. Establish Clear Goals: Before beginning the recruitment process, set clear goals and objectives as to what kind of diversity you are looking for and why. Whether it is gender, ethnicity, or geographical representation, set realistic targets so that everyone involved knows the goal that you are working towards.
2. Identify Sources for Diverse Candidates: Utilize different sources to attract a diverse pool of candidates. Consider using job boards, recruitment agencies, and professional organizations that focus on diversity.
3. Develop an Inclusive Hiring Process: Review your interview process to ensure that it is fair and unbiased. Make sure all interviewers are trained in unconscious bias and interviewing techniques, as well as provide resources to ensure that everyone is comfortable discussing different topics related to diversity and inclusion.
4. Ensure Equal Opportunity: Put in place policies that provide equal opportunities for all candidates regardless of background and experience. Make sure all employees understand the importance of maintaining a fair and unbiased environment during recruitment, selection, and hiring processes.
5. Monitor Progress: Regularly monitor and review progress to ensure diversity goals are being met. Assess the recruitment process and results so that changes can be made quickly if needed.
Not to beat a dead horse, but diversity in the workplace is essential for creating high-performing teams. We've seen examples of this in the SaaS space over the past decade, but once you have the team, you must create a strong organizational culture to maintain a competitive advantage in today's business environment.
Diverse hiring practices can be lost as new layers of your organization are added, which is why it's important to stay focused on a clear goal and adhere to the diversity hiring best practices you began with. With the right foundation in place, you will be able to create an inclusive environment that encourages collaboration and innovation at your organization.
Recently, we've seen the emergence of a new term in the world of diversity hiring. "Diversity hiring is discrimination." There's a debate over how far to push inclusive hiring practices and the potential unintended consequences of such a strategy.
Regardless of where you fall on this debate, it's important to remember the core goal - to create equal opportunity and a great company culture where everyone can thrive. This doesn't mean you hire less qualified people (positive discrimination), it means that you remove any obstacles or biases that may prevent candidates who've been disadvantaged from reaching their full potential.
This is an important distinction, and it's something you need to include in your diversity hiring checklist and inclusive hiring training.
When putting together your diversity hiring checklist, what inclusions are a must? Here are a few to get you started:
1. Establish realistic diversity goals as part of your recruitment strategy. If your team is made up of more than 90% of individuals with one or more common traits, seek to create a strategy that increases diversity hires by 10- 25% of all new candidates each month. Try to increase this number until you've reached your diversity hiring goals.
2. Utilize diverse sources to attract a wide range of candidates. We love job boards and online course providers for this. There are great places to find diverse groups of people who are well-qualified for your open roles - and the secret is, most of them know about each other, so if you ask for good referrals, you can grow your network of diverse candidates sources quickly.
3. Review and revise your interview process to promote an inclusive environment. Make sure all interviewers are trained in unconscious bias and interviewing techniques, as well as provide resources to ensure that everyone is comfortable discussing different topics related to diversity and inclusion. This is where interview intelligence software like Pillar can make all the difference.
4. Ensure equal opportunity policies are implemented across the organization. Put together a plan that provides equal opportunities for all candidates regardless of background and experience. Train managers on how to effectively implement this strategy and empower your internal champion to provide resources to the entire team.
These are just a few of the things you can include to create an excellent hiring strategy and leave a huge DEI impact.
Effective diversity recruiting strategy examples generally share the same core characteristic. Curiosity.
We have to ask ourselves the right questions, like:
• Are we casting a wide enough net?
• Are we truly dedicated to creating an inclusive workplace because we love it, or because we're trying to hit the metrics in our checklist?
• How can we improve our DEI practices and eliminate bias in our recruiting process and work as a whole?
• What support systems do we need to put in place to help integrate diverse people into our culture?
The reason curiosity is vital is that humans don't ask good questions about things they're not interested in.
There's a great story about the Wright brothers building the first airplane. They were up against a fierce competitor by the name of Sam Pierpont Langley. Sam was well-connected, raised the equivalent of millions of dollars in government funding, and had a massive team of engineers and scientists at his fingertips.
The Wright brothers? Just two guys, working out of a bike shop.
But they were curious. They kept asking questions and exploring possible solutions, and when faced with failure, they found the strength to get back up and try again. In the end, their curiosity paid off as they became the first people in human history to build an object that sustained flight.
Sam, on the other hand, saw the Wright Brothers' victory as his failure and quit. He was more driven by the fame and prestige of the discovery than the curiosity of flight, and he'll go down in history as the person who, despite having every resource available to him, lost the race for flight to two uneducated brothers who worked on bikes.
Diversity and inclusion recruitment best practices are the same way. If they don't come from the heart, they're contrived, and they often fail. Inclusive recruitment strategies should always start with curiosity and the burning desire to create a better working environment. This is especially true when making big changes, like overhauling an entire recruitment strategy. It's not just about numbers; it's about creating an equitable space for everyone - and that takes work, dedication, and most of all, curiosity.
If you're currently looking for a platform to help you grow your DEI Impact, book your demo of Pillar today. We'd love to show you how we've helped our customers create inclusive hiring practices and increase DEI hires while also lowering costs and employee turnover. Schedule a chat with someone from our team so we can show you how it works.