6 Diversity Hiring Best Practices Every Employer Needs To Know
Most people can agree that promoting diversity in the workplace is important. Still, businesses are largely failing to do so. Racial, gender, and all other types of inequalities are highly prevalent.
More effort is needed to combat such a complicated issue. It’s not easy—but it is necessary and long overdue.
Besides the obvious social benefit, diversity hiring triggers a chain reaction of positive consequences for employers. McKinsey & Company report that diverse businesses outperform their non-diverse competitors by up to 36%. Also, in a study by the Boston Consulting Group, companies with high diversity scores reached an average innovation revenue of 45%, while those with low scores had only 26%.
Source: Boston Consulting Group
With careful planning and execution, diversity is much more achievable. In this guide, we’ll share 6 diversity hiring best practices to assist your business in becoming a safe and welcoming place for all employees. We’ll also introduce you to Workello, a solution that can streamline your recruitment process and pose a solid base for your future hiring goals.
1) Diversity Starts With Understanding
Recognizing the importance of changes is the first step toward making them meaningful. It’s crucial to learn about diversity and inclusion and how we’ve neglected these concepts in the past. More importantly, we need to figure out how to do better in the future.
Although inequality is a systemic issue including many moving parts, it’s the individuals that control the decisions. We’re all under the influence of conscious and unconscious bias. Still, with self-reflection and proper hiring practices, we can curb it.
Besides introspection, education is key. There are many ways to learn—through workshops, seminars, Internet resources, and others. The first step is usually to understand the different terms:
Diversity is welcoming candidates of various backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, physical, and mental abilities
Inclusion is providing equal access and opportunities to all candidates
People often mistake them, but there’s a big difference between equality and equity:
• Believing that everyone has the same opportunities
• Thinking that everyone should have the same opportunities
• Example: Giving all candidates the same amount of time to complete the assessment
• Understanding that, in reality, not everyone has the same opportunities
• Recognizing inequalities and advocating for adequate compensation
• Example: Giving candidates with dyslexia more time to complete the assessment
2) Preparation Can Come a Long Way
To set yourself up for success, you need to plan ahead. First of all, look at your existing practices and notice where diversity is lacking the most. It’s best to examine all stagesof the recruitment funnel, as the problems tend to come from many sources.
Use this information to create an effective diversity recruiting strategy, which will act as a guide on your journey toward building a more inclusive team. Even if you already have a strategy in place, it can likely be improved upon.
Your likelihood of success will increase if your strategy is based on SMART goals:
Specific, with a well-defined outcome
Measurable for progress tracking
Achievable, i.e., small and realistic
Relevant and in line with your company values
Time-bound to increase accountability
To further prepare for your upcoming DEIB recruiting initiative, follow these tips:
Provide training and other knowledge resources for your staff
Create a diverse recruitment panel
Include ERGs in the decision-making
Partner with diversity-related organizations
Research where your target audience is
Set a budget so you’re aware of limitations
3) Measuring Success
Many employers fail to implement DEI because they’re approaching it superficially. They invest in a few workshops and hope for the best.
On the other hand, companies that truly want to see progress meticulously track it. Such a data-driven approach is paramount to achieving success, especially with complicated issues like inequity. In Lever’s 2021 State of DEI Report, only 31% of leaders claimed their companies had adopted this approach.
Measure before, during, and after your DEI recruitment efforts to inform future decisions and be transparent about the results. Here are some suggestions, comprised of both outcome and process metrics:
What It Sheds Light On
Percentage of diverse candidates at different recruitment stages
Where the candidates converge, i.e., which parts of the funnel are the most problematic (marketing, screening, interview)
Percentage of job offers to diverse candidates
How candidates from different groups navigate the evaluation process
Percentage of diverse candidates for roles with different levels of seniority
If some parts of the funnel need to be adjusted for different positions
Potential pay gaps
Diverse candidate experience rating
The most critical issues and discriminatory behavior of recruiters
Employee retention and turnover rate
Overall success of the initiative—if many diverse employees quit the company soon after starting the job, that's a tell-tale sign the work environment needs repair
Innovation revenue and profit
Overall success of the initiative—a successful strategy will lead to an increase in productivity and profit
4) Expanding Your Talent Pool
You can diversify your recruitment sources in many ways. For one, combine different job advertising methods:
Look for resume databases and other talent directories
Ask current employees for referrals
Partner with universities and other organizations to gain access to diverse candidates who might otherwise be hard to reach
Consider hiring a recruiting agency specializing in diversity if your in-house team is unequipped for it
One of the key aspects of attracting diverse talent is the language used when reaching out. A job description is often the first contact your candidate will have with your company, so it needs to be appropriate. If it’s exclusive or discriminatory, it will deter candidates from applying.
The same goes for overly specific requirements. Instead of trying to find the perfect candidate, provide training and opportunities to grow, and the majority will be able to thrive at the job.
One Harvard Business Review study indicates that women apply for jobs only if they meet 100% of the qualifications, while men feel confident enough to apply at 60%. See the most common reasons for skipping an offer in the image below:
Source: Harvard Business Review
If you’re struggling to create an effective but inclusive ad, check out Workello’s library of pre-written job description templates that work.
5) Using Technology To Your Advantage
Besides giving us easy access to resources on diversity, technology can optimize the hiring process from start to finish. An applicant tracking system with automation and collaboration features is a must. Having your recruiters manually sift through data will set them up for failure, leaving no time to focus on diversity. Slow and deliberate evaluation is less susceptible to bias.
Some other ways technology can elevate your diversity hiring process include:
Analyzing job descriptions and detecting problematic words
Screening resumes “blindly”, i.e., based on objective criteria only, such as skills
Ranking candidates based on evaluation results
Data analysis and reporting to help you monitor progress
Due to its novelty, AI in recruitment has its downsides. After all, it’s modeled by humans, who are prone to error and bias. Still, this issue can be amended relatively easily, which can’t be said for human cognition and behavior. If properly trained, AI can be much more impartial and consistent than recruiters.
By using Workello, you can streamline every stage of the recruitment funnel—from hiring ad creation to performance tracking. As candidates advance through the pipeline, send automatic updates to their live status pages, keeping them engaged and informed at all times. Assess them with realistic pre-hire assignments designed by industry experts and effortlessly identify the best candidates for any role.
6) The Work Continues Beyond Onboarding
Although hiring ends with the acceptance of the offer, your efforts will have been futile if the employee gets driven away by an unwelcoming work environment. The first step to preventing that is ensuring smooth onboarding.
The 4 most important aspects of diverse employee onboarding are:
Preparation—Let the employee know ahead of time what they’ll be doing at their new job and what they need to do before the first day at work
Transition—Simplify the administration process, provide knowledge resources and training, as well as equipment, accommodation, and anything else they might need
Communication—Offer support, check in on them regularly, and connect them with colleagues and ERGs
Feedback—Give constructive feedback to help them advance and ask for feedback, preferably anonymous
After the employee has settled, continue communicating and providing support. Doing otherwise could spawn an onset of consequences, such as productivity decline, withholding of ideas, not participating in referrals, and many others.
Source: Media Partners
To deem your DEI program a total success, the employees should feel a sense of belonging at work. They should feel comfortable voicing concerns and be their authentic selves. Only then can they thrive, along with the business.
It’s 2023, which means it’s high time employers started embracing diversity and inclusion. Such pressing matters shouldn’t be an afterthought, but rather at the forefront of every business plan.
Of all HR aspects, recruiting might require the most care and effort, since it paves the way for all other elements in the process. If you follow the diversity hiring best practices, you can assemble a truly inclusive workforce and enjoy the numerous benefits that come with it.
In need of a tool that can aid in your diversification journey? Check out Workello, a simple and affordable ATS that you can set up in no time. With ready-made assessments, automatic notifications, and analytics, you have all you need to start recruiting high volumes of candidates. Try Workello for free and see how it can assist you in reaching your diversity goals.
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