Besides fulfilling the law and moral obligation, most employers understand the benefits that a diverse team brings to any business. From boosted creativity and innovation, better decision-making, maximized profits and lower employee turnover, businesses are willing to equip the workplace with individuals drawn from different backgrounds and experiences. However, building a diverse team is easier said than done. To get there, you need to streamline the hiring process with the aim of removing recruitment obstacles that hinder the commitment to create an equal, diverse and inclusive team. Here are 8 deliberate and practical measures that you can use to improve your recruitment strategy to position yourself to attract and hire diverse candidates purely on merit basis.
Have goals and targets
Practically, it would be very hard to improve your diversity recruitment strategy successfully if you have no idea of what you want to achieve. Before everything else, it is good to define clearly what diversity should look like in your organization. Do you want your workforce to include more women in managerial positions? Do you want to hire more younger people, or your workforce lacks older people who can teach a thing or two to the team? Whatever your goal is, start by auditing where you are in those roles. Then decide the percentage that you want to increase each metric by. In addition, determine the key performance indicators to measure progress.
Diversify your candidate sourcing
Every recruitment process starts with sourcing for candidates. If you can manage to have people drawn from diverse groups and backgrounds apply for positions, then you are a step closer to achieving your diversity goals. Here is what you can do to ensure applications from a diverse range of individuals:
- Reword your job ads to be more inclusive. This means eliminating language that appears to appeal to a certain demographic. However, if your goal is to improve a certain metric, then you can write ads that are targeted to that particular group.
- Place your job ad where these candidates are. For instance, if you want more women in tech, target groups where they congregate. It is also helpful to post your ad on diverse platforms where many people can see it.
Work on attracting diverse applicants
It is a candidate’s world where job seekers first audit employers before deciding whether to work for them. If you are to attract diverse candidates, then you have to prove that your organization is a place where they are accepted. Before you go out there, you need to create a culture that values diversity. Then showcase these values in all your communication channels including your website, social media and in the community. Developing a diverse employment referral program where your diverse employees refer people from their networks to open roles is also a good way of attracting diverse applicants. In addition, offer internship roles to individuals from targeted groups.
Implement ways to eliminate unconscious bias
Implicit bias is a major hindrance to hiring diverse candidates. This is because most recruiters tend to prefer candidates who appeal to them for a certain reason and dislike others based on their beliefs and experiences. The best place to start is by creating awareness about unconscious bias to your team. This way, your recruitment team can be more aware of their own biases throughout the recruitment process. Other ways to reduce the effect of unconscious bias include:
- Define the skills, qualifications and the general profile of the ideal candidate
- Use predefined criteria of analyzing the skills, personality and qualifications of the ideal candidate
- Use psychometric testing to focus only on characteristics that affect job performance
- Use blind resumes and interviews
- Have a recruitment panel that features a diverse range of people
Automate the shortlisting process
If you don’t already have an applicant tracking system, then it is time that you get one in place. ATS is an invaluable tool when it comes to filtering candidates who make it to the next stage in the hiring process. The system uses AI to score and sort candidate resumes based on how they align on predefined parameters of each role. This is a good way to ensure that resumes are analyzed without a human opinion involved.
Apply ‘the two in the pool effect’ strategy
If your hiring process focuses on diversity in each stage, then there is a likelihood of having diverse candidates in the shortlist. If this is not the case, however, then you have to apply this strategy. This is where you intentionally and strategically place a proportional number of candidates from a certain group in the shortlist. The argument here is that if only a single candidate from a certain demographic makes it to the shortlist, then the odds of being chosen for the job are minimal. When there are several of them, then the playing field is more even.
Measure and report progress
The only way to know whether your diverse recruitment strategy is working is by measuring progress and results. Use your key performance indicators to determine whether you hit your goals. Remember to be honest and authentic about it. If you are still lagging behind, identify areas that need improvement for future hires.
Outsource the hiring process
The hiring process can be overwhelming, and adding the diversity and inclusivity aspect makes it even more daunting. You can save yourself the trouble by outsourcing the entire process to a third party. Companies around the world are choosing to use the services of PEOs in hiring and managing employees for the benefits they bring. PEOs have developed extensive networks that enable them to reach many people. By using a professional international PEO, you can be sure of a global talent pool that can raise the odds of having diverse candidates in your team.
If you are focused on hiring diverse people for your organization, you are right in finding ways to improve your hiring strategy. The above tips ensure that you deliberately make choices that favor diversity in every stage of the hiring process. If you find it daunting, outsourcing the recruitment process to a PEO services provider is a strategy that promotes diversity in hiring as well.