Diversity Recruiting: Ideas to Help Employers Sidestep Bias

diversity recruiting strategiesHiring diverse talent is not only the moral and fair thing to do, it is likely to improve the bottom line of your business.  Recent research from McKinsey & Company found that racially diverse companies outperform companies that lack racial diversity by 35%.  By hiring a workforce that is diverse in areas such as gender, age, race and socioeconomic status, you bring so many different ideas and perspectives to your business that can only benefit your employees and the success of your company.  By hiring diverse talent, you are also likely to reach a broader range of customers.

But too many companies fall short in their diversity recruiting strategies, which is evident by the fact that in the United States, 95% of CEOs are white males.  For more diversity recruiting statistics, check out our infographic below, and read on for diversity recruiting ideas and strategies:

diversity recruiting ideas

This isn’t to say that you should sacrifice finding the right candidate just for the sake of diversity.   But it’s likely that many recruiters and hiring managers have either unconscious or conscious biases that are coming into play at various stages of the recruiting process.  Here are some diversity recruiting ideas and strategies that can help ensure you are giving your candidates and your company a fair shot:

1)  Take a look at what your company is lacking

To know how to improve diversity in your recruiting process, the first step is to take a look at what your company is lacking, and at what point in the recruiting process your candidate pool is becoming limited.  Bias can start in the sourcing stage, screening stage or interview stage.  For example, if you audit your recruiting process and find that your hiring managers’ social media searches are shutting out certain racial groups, you will know that you need to start changing the way they search to ensure a wider racial spectrum of candidates are included.  If you don’t have enough women included in your interviews, you can pinpoint the problem at that stage.

2)  Plan ahead with your hiring efforts

If you are always waiting for a position to be vacant at your business before you look for candidates, your hiring managers are likely to feel more rushed and make more biased hiring decisions.  One of the diversity recruiting ideas that ensures you are getting a broader view of potential candidates is to develop a pool of future talent.  Network with a wide range of professional connections, and if you find that you are lacking specific genders, racial, religious or socioeconomic groups in your candidate pool, make an extra effort to build relationships with organizations and institutions outside of your typical connections.

3)  Pay attention to wording and requirements in job postings

One of the diversity recruiting ideas likely to attract a wider range of talent is to remove any unnecessary requirements in job postings.  For example, you may be shutting out younger talent by requiring too many years of experience, or candidates of lower socioeconomic status by requiring more education than necessary.  Also, gender bias in job advertisements has become a common issue.  Studies have concluded that there is certain verbs and adjectives that are more appealing to women, and other language that is more appealing to men.  Most of the time, hiring managers aren’t even aware that the language in their job ads is the reason they are lacking female or male candidates.

4)  Consider blind hiring

Many times one of the problems that keeps companies from hiring more diverse talent is unconscious bias hiring managers have when sorting through candidate profiles.  They may have a preference for specific colleges, or judge a candidate based on their name or where they live.  One of the diversity recruiting ideas that can ensure candidates are selected based on their talent alone is to use software that removes personal information from candidates’ profiles.  That way your hiring managers are making decisions based only on factors necessary for the job.

5)  Balance out your candidate picks for interviews

If you are looking for more racial, gender or age diversity at your company, make sure you have a diverse selection of candidates for interviews.  A study from the Harvard Business Review found that when there was only one woman in the candidate pool during interviews, statistical chances of a woman being hired were much lower than they should be.  The same concept was used for having only one person of a particular race or ethnicity in a candidate pool, with similar results.  But if there were 2 women instead of one in the candidate pool being interviewed, the chances of a woman being hired was a whopping 79.14 times greater.  This number goes beyond what would be expected as a result of probability.  This is because if you have, for example, only one woman or one African-American in the candidate pool, they tend to be viewed as a “token” candidate and overlooked.

This discovery presents one of the simplest and most effective diversity recruiting strategies: take a look at your interview panels and make sure they aren’t dominated by one race or gender.  You don’t need to have a completely even balance in your interview panels, but have at least more than one candidate of a specific race or gender to ensure a less biased selection.

Author: Jessica Cody

Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.

Diversity Recruiting: Ideas to Help Employers Sidestep Bias
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Diversity Recruiting: Ideas to Help Employers Sidestep Bias
Here are some diversity recruiting ideas and strategies that can help ensure you are giving your candidates and your company a fair shot: 1) Take a look at what your company is lacking 3) Pay attention to wording and requirements in job postings…
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