Recruiting for Diversity

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Recruiting for Diversity

Over the last decade, the push to recruit and retain a diverse workforce has shifted the way we work, and rightfully so. In the same time period, studies have shown that diverse teams are more fun to work with, create deeper inter-team connections, solve bigger problems, and produce better results. All of this not only creates a better work environment but also helps the company's bottom line.

Additionally, a diverse workforce can ensure that perspectives from all backgrounds are represented during decision-making processes. This leads to a larger TAM (total addressable market) and broader customer base, as well as better problem-solving and innovation. Leading to a company's ability to pivot to the ever-changing technological world.

So, how can businesses ensure that they are recruiting for diversity? Here are some strategies:

1) Find an internal member of the team to champion diversity recruiting training and hiring strategies. This person needs to be passionate about inclusion, curious, caring, and celebratory of different cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.

2) Get the whole team involved - once you've identified an internal champion, give them the resources to bring the entire team into the conversation. The reason for this is that your team's networks are the closest connections and fastest way to bring in new diverse talent. 

3) Make space for diversity recruiting training -  I believe this begins with hiring curious people. It's hard to get buy-in from a closed mind. So creating space for your team to learn about cultures that are different from their own in a fun and celebratory ways creates space for different perspectives.

4) Invest in a diverse recruiting strategy - This can include targeting college recruitment efforts and working with diversity-focused organizations like historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) or like organizations. Additionally, you could use social media platforms and job boards that target specific populations, such as LinkedIn and SheCodes.

5) Invest in interview intelligence software to identify biases in interviewers so that you can coach them on how to create an equitable interview framework and make objective hiring decisions.

Recruiting for diversity is a vital part of any company’s hiring process. To see the world multi-dimensionally, you must invite diverse perspectives. This involves actively seeking out qualified individuals from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, genders, sexual orientations, and abilities to ensure that all voices are heard.

Diversity and Inclusion in Recruitment

Inclusive recruitment strategies begin long before the job description is written. But the job description is probably the first time a job seeker will interact with your organization and also the first opportunity you'll have to make an impression on them. Writing an inclusive job description is one of the first DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) recruitment strategies you'll need to implement if you want to attract diverse talent.

An inclusive job description should include a diverse range of skills, abilities, and qualities that are valued by your company to drive an inclusive talent acquisition process. It's important to avoid using gender-biased language such as references to "ninja", "rock star" or any terms that could be interpreted as exclusive or non-inclusive.

Once you've written an inclusive job description, make sure that you publicize it in places where potential diverse candidates may see it. This is where you'll begin to build your initial talent pool. Posting your open role on social media networks, networking forums, job boards, and other relevant sites will generate eyes, interest, and hopefully, applicants.

After your job has been posted, you'll want to monitor the response rate and applicant quality, taking note of any patterns that you're seeing. For instance, if you're not seeing enough diverse applicants or feel that the candidates may not be a good fit, it's important to revisit your initial recruitment strategy, job description, and talent pool to see where improvements can be made.

At this point, if you're not seeing a diverse talent pool, you should also look into working with diversity-focused recruiting agencies and organizations to help diversify your talent pool. It's a good idea to tap into existing networks that have access to diverse candidates, such as word-of-mouth referrals from existing employees or collaboration with diversity-focused associations. This will increase your reach and access to diverse talent pools anytime you're hiring in the future.

Diversity and inclusion in recruitment practices can help you build a truly great company where everyone feels warmth, welcome, and celebrated. This is a crucial step if you want to solve the big challenges of any economy. By following the strategies outlined here, you can ensure that your recruitment process is both fair and effective in achieving that goal.

Diversity Recruiting Strategy Examples

Diversity recruiting starts at the heart of the leader. If you truly value your people and want them to have the best experience, you must invest in recruitment tactics that are not only designed to attract the best talent but also create space for new "voices at the table." This term was popularized by Bill Campbell, former Intuit CEO, and long-time executive coach to the founders and CEOs of most of the Big Tech companies whose platforms we use today.

Bill coached Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, Dick Costolo, Sheryl Sandberg, Jack Dorsey, Eric Schmidt, and many others. Many of the most fun, diverse, innovative, and fastest-growing companies on the planet can directly tie their success to Bill's impact on them. That's why they called him The Trillion Dollar Coach. Trillion is actually an understatement - it's more like 10 Trillion today, all because a former football coach from Homestead High in Pittsburgh saw something special in every single person he coached.

If you haven't read the book, "Trillion Dollar Coach," I'd highly recommend it. We can all learn from Bill's example and apply more of his wisdom to our own recruitment strategies. Here are some diversity recruiting strategy examples we've found that create a more inclusive hiring process:

  1. Start by unpacking your own biases - it's hard to build an inclusive workforce if you're not aware of your own biases first. Harvard created a test that I've used dozens of times at several companies to help interviewers identify their own biases - you can take it for free, here.
  2. Leverage people who care. These are your existing networks, employees, groups you're part of, job board, recruitment firms, and software that place a high priority on diversity and inclusion. This can serve as the first step in your diversity-sourcing strategy.
  3. Create an Employee Resource Group or Inclusion Committee - this is a great way to provide resources and support for diverse candidates, as well as educate yourself on diverse talent pools and different recruiting opportunities.
  4. Create targeted job postings - you should tailor your job posts to reach a diverse talent pool by using language that's welcoming and inclusive.
  5. Invest in diversity training - This can be unconscious bias training, interviewer coaching, or the like, but it serves two purposes: one is to create an awareness of the issue within the company, and the other is to help educate those involved in recruitment processes on how
  6. Identify and empower a champion - having somebody within your organization who champions diversity can help you not only drive change but also measure the impact of any diversity initiatives you have in place.
  7. Invest in software or solutions to ensure your DEI impact is a positive and inclusive one. Tools like Pillar's interview intelligence software provide you with interviewer insights that can help you coach anyone who interacts with applicants to be more inclusive and create a better CX (candidate experience).

These are just a few examples of how to incorporate diversity recruiting best practices into your hiring strategy. With the right tools, team buy-in, creativity, and passion, you'll be able to build an inclusive team that truly reflects the world we live in.

Diversity and Inclusion Recruitment Best Practices

Diversity and inclusion recruitment best practices are dime a dozen these days as content is flooding the market targeted toward hiring managers and recruiters who need to "check a box." That's not what we're going to focus on here. Diversity and inclusion in the workplace must come from a genuine love for people, warmth, and a curiosity for it to be authentic. If you're creating diversity sourcing strategies to check a box, they'll seem contrived and won't actually have any long-term impact.

Qualtrics, defined the way people want to feel in the workplace as "designing a culture of belonging." This is one of the best definitions of an inclusive workplace culture that I've seen, and where all of your best practices should originate. This statement accurately defines what companies want to create and at the same time, the way employees want to feel. To achieve this, here are some best practices that you can implement:

1. Start by analyzing your current team - Take a look at the demographics of your organization, and then start to ask hard questions about why certain groups may be underrepresented or not represented at all. Can you identify one key metric that would change this today?

2. Take a close look at your hiring process - Review your current hiring process from an unbiased perspective. Identify any potential practices or biases that could be impacting diverse applicants and create a plan to eliminate those factors.

3. Leverage technology - Utilizing software such as job boards, applicant tracking systems (ATS), video interview platforms, and other tools that will help you identify and eliminate bias and increase diversity in your recruitment and selection process.

4. Create a DEI recruiting plan - Develop a recruitment strategy that outlines how you plan to source, recruit, interview, and hire diverse candidates. Make sure it includes goals for each stage of the process so that you can measure progress toward meeting your DEI objectives.

5. Promote from within - Consider looking internally to fill open roles because current employees are most likely to be familiar with the company’s culture and values. Promoting from within can also present a great opportunity for growth for current employees, which will help build morale and create an atmosphere of inclusion. Close this loop by asking them who they know who could fill their former role.

6. Partner with organizations that focus on diversity - (we've mentioned several of these in the previous section).

7. Track progress - Make sure to track your progress on DEI efforts and measure the impact of any diversity initiatives you have in place.

With these best practices in place, you will begin to see diversity in your workplace increase, as well as improve your candidate and employee experiences. The result of an effective DEI strategy in the workplace is a more engaged and satisfied team, and better problem-solving, and all of this can increase your bottom line. 

Struggling to build a diverse team? If so, you're certainly not alone. Pillar has helped our customers implement diverse recruiting strategies while also reducing employee turnover by over 50% in the last 12 months. Schedule a demo to see how we can help you do the same!