How To Recruit Diverse Candidates and Build a More Inclusive Workforce
Diversity seems to be the talk of the town nowadays. Still, most of it feels empty. While some efforts have been made, most of them weren’t successful. People from minority groups are still largely underrepresented and discriminated against.
For instance, according to Statista’s 2022 report, the unemployment rate among African-American people in the U.S. is twice as high as it is among those who are White.
Besides the lack of opportunities, marginalized groups have to deal with pay gaps. Harvard Business Review found that women earned 11% less in 2022 than men, even when they shared the same position and seniority level. Minority groups are also less likely to occupy high-level and leadership roles—not to mention the bias and discrimination they have to face every day.
We have to do better. And to achieve that, we need to educate ourselves on diversity and the best practices surrounding it.
In this article, we’ll explain how to recruit diverse candidatesand make your company a more welcoming place for them. We’ll also briefly discuss Workello, a solution that can help you keep up with your candidate pool and streamline the hiring process.
Why Diversity Matters
When we say diversity, we usually mean the whole DEIB package:
Diversity—Including people of various ethnicities, age groups, genders, sexual orientations, mental and physical abilities in your organization
Equity—Treating all individuals fairly, i.e. providing them with equal access, opportunities, and compensation
Inclusion—Making every employee feel safe and welcome in their work environment
Belonging—Encouraging each employee to be their authentic self and celebrating the differences
If your business is lacking in any of these aspects, your diversification efforts won’t work. Although it may be difficult, achieving diversity is a must. After all, human rights are non-negotiable.
Diversity hiring can also bring numerous advantages for employers:
Stats That Back It Up
Companies in the top quartile when it comes to ethnic diversity financially outperform their competitors in the bottom quartile by 36% (McKinsey & Company)
Innovation and creativity
Diverse companies on average have a 19% higher innovation revenue and a 9% higher EBIT margin (Boston Consulting Group)
Improved brand reputation
88% of survey participants agreed that a diverse company is a better-performing company (DNV)
Employees in diverse organizations work 12% harder, they’re 19% more likely to stay with the company, and collaborate 57% more effectively with their teammates (Changeboard)
Check out some more results from McKinsey’s study below:
Source: McKinsey & Company
1) Develop an Effective Diversity Recruitment Strategy
Before you make any changes, you need to come up with a solid diversity recruiting strategy. The first step is to educate yourself and your team on the subject of diversity. Form a diverse panel of recruiters to assess candidates. Also, support any employee resource groups (ERG) that might emerge.
Your strategy should be data-driven and contain clearly defined:
Responsibilities for each team member
Indicators of success
Below you can read about the most common mistakes employers make with DEIB strategies and their more appropriate alternatives:
Attend a workshop or seminar one time and call it a day
Be consistent, work on yourself, and implement profound changes
Place all the responsibility on a single person or group of people
Include everyone in the process, especially leadership, and provide training
Do it all by yourself, especially if you’re not experienced with DEIB
Partner with diversity-focused organizations and experts, and seek guidance
Make a few changes and hope for the best
Set attainable goals and measure progress
2) Use Different Outreach Methods
To source diverse candidates, you should expand your recruitment efforts. The more methods you combine, the better. Depending on the country or industry you’re targeting, some might be more suitable than others.
Research where your target audience is to identify the best job boards to post on. Here are some options to consider:
When it comes to job ads, they should be transparent and use inclusive language rather than discriminatory terms. If possible, avoid specific qualifications and consider loosening the criteria to make diverse candidates encouraged to apply.
Workello can make this stage of the process much easier. It has a collection of expert-made job descriptions ready for you to use. Additionally, it generates a unique application link, which you can include in the ad. Regardless of the channel, it redirects applicants to a destination of your choice and allows you to uniformly collect all data.
At this stage, discrimination is usually most evident. As a last resort, candidates from marginalized race groups tend to “whiten” their resumes, removing any indicators of their ethnicity. The method seems to be working. One study put it to the test and found out that the scrubbed resumes were twice as likely to receive interview invitations.
To ensure equal treatment, you need to figure out how to evaluate candidates objectively, without the influence of unconscious bias. Here are some suggestions:
Try blind resume screening, i.e. hide the name, gender, image, and other indicators
Focus on skills, aptitude, and motivation rather than background
Take pre-hire assessment results with a grain of salt, as some tests might not be successful at assessing people from diverse groups
Use assessments to identify areas for improvement and provide training rather than imposing strict selection criteria
Form a diverse panel of recruiters and make sure they all get a say
By leveraging automation and an applicant tracking system like Workello, you can evaluate a high volume of candidates with minimal effort. Workello’s assessments are crafted by industry experts. They mimic real-life tasks, allowing you to get a sense of how the applicant might manage on the job.
4) Ensure a Smooth Candidate Experience
Another way to make diverse candidates feel welcome at your company is by providing a positive candidate experience. Check out 4 suggestions on how to achieve that, which are applicable in all cases but especially important when recruiting diverse candidates:
Simplify the process—A long and complicated application process will likely deter any candidate, especially if such an experience is new to them
Offer support—Assign a contact person who the candidate can direct their questions and concerns at, and provide language and accessibility options
Build trust—Make sure they’re heard and know that they’re heard to make them feel more comfortable and help them do their best
Communicate—Keep them updated on their status and if they end up being rejected, give feedback so they can learn and improve
With Workello’s automated responses and job portal, candidates are always in the know. They can find all information in one place, including their application status, assessment results, expected timeline, and more.
5) Onboard With Care
The work doesn’t end once the candidate accepts the offer. You should know how to recruit and retain a diverse workforce.
To help with onboarding, provide the new employee with resources and support, especially if they aren’t fluent in the language. Assign them a mentor they can refer to in case they have any questions or run into issues. Establish clear expectations from the get-go, but ensure some degree of flexibility, especially in the beginning.
According to Gallup’s 2022 State of the Global Workplace Report, only 21% of workers are engaged at work and 33% feel like they’re “thriving in their overall wellbeing.” Also, more than half of employees have witnessed some form of discrimination in the workplace. Besides being disheartening, such issues reflect poorly on business performance, as they lower productivity and revenue, and increase employee turnover.
To make your business a more welcoming place for diverse employees, create a positive work environment by:
Promoting and rewarding achievements
Being transparent and honest about pay and your DEIB efforts
Offering constant support, especially to marginalized groups
Asking for feedback and improvement suggestions
Encouraging discussions around DEIB
Providing all employees with opportunities to develop their skills
6) Audit Progress
The only way to know if your DEIB initiative was effective is through constant monitoring and measuring. Doing so allows you to identify the bottlenecks at every stage of the process and develop an appropriate improvement strategy.
Here are some common metrics to consider:
Demographic representation at all levels of seniority
Employee job satisfaction
Number of reported discrimination incidents
Financial performance, innovation, and decision-making
Now that you understand how to recruit a diverse workforce, you can begin planning your DEIB program equipped with knowledge and empathy. It will likely be a difficult and lengthy process, requiring immense self-reflection and adaptability. Still, with the correct attitude and approach, your diversity recruitment strategy can be a triumph and bring numerous advantages in the long run.
By using Workello, you can ensure a simple and bias-free recruitment process for your diverse candidates. Focusing on skills, identify the best candidates for your business and keep them engaged with personalized status pages. Try Workello for free and let it handle the most mundane tasks, while you aim your attention at improving DEIB and other crucial matters.
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