How to Hire for Diversity: 6 Best Practices for Diverse Hiring

Having a diverse staff is no longer optional in today’s business world. Not only do customers judge a business by the staff they see representing a business, but prospective candidates want to know more about the company with which they’re interviewing to be sure they align morally. Being diverse is a critical piece to business success, but with proactive and fair hiring strategies, you can put diverse hiring practices in place that work for every hiring manager. PandoLogic has done the research to give you some of the best tips on diverse hiring that will work.

Build An Effective Diversity Hiring Plan

Evaluate Your Current DE&I Hiring Strategy

To start building your strategy, you’ll need to analyze your current processes. What does your staff currently look like? Is growth stagnating? Maybe you’re revisiting the same problems and not finding any new solutions. Does each member of your team feel valued and included? Be sure to start fresh with the data you collect from investigating where your business is now to move forward.

Does Your Current Hiring Strategy Attract Diverse Candidates?

To quickly fill roles and stop disruption to customers, many businesses rush the hiring process. In that rush, the opportunity to make your team more diverse can be left by the wayside. That extra time and steps are easy to ignore, and without realizing it, you’ve created a team of people who are more similar than not. Similar people have similar ideas and problem resolution, and without an array of people from different backgrounds and ideologies sharing their thoughts, questions, and opinions, you’re missing out on opportunities to identify new strategies and solutions for your business.

Is Your Talent Pipeline Warm with Diverse Talent?

What does your talent pool look like? Is it being fed with people who all come from the same location, went to the same school, or have the same socioeconomic background? Do you have any candidates with disabilities, or do you look at varied age ranges to avoid leaving out more seasoned or older people? This is a good time to consider where you are sourcing your talent and what you can do to mix it up.

Tips for Reaching and Hiring a Wider Range of Diverse Candidates

You can’t get different results by following the same old protocols, so you need to find your gaps and focus on ways to fix them. Creating a consistent hiring process allows you to hire fairly and equitably without alienating those who do not get selected. Embedding the steps below into your revamped DE&I hiring strategy will help ensure you succeed in creating a more diverse work environment.

Expanding Your Candidate Pool

Consider what you look for in an interview. If you’ve got a specific type of person in mind, you may be subconsciously eliminating anyone who doesn’t fit that profile. Think outside of the box.

Promote your job listings in different areas, such as new schools, job boards you haven’t tried before and ask your employees to refer their friends. You can widen your pool of candidates with just a few additional steps. Be accessible to candidates. Answer questions when you can. Be transparent and candid, and if someone isn’t chosen this round, you’ve strengthened your relationship to a point where you can reach out to them in the future if another suitable position becomes available.

Using AI to Automate the Hiring Process

Explore your options with AI software platforms. There are platforms built to automate the hiring process, including helping you advertise jobs, collect applications, organize where each candidate is in the process, and encouraging messaging within the platform to keep all the communications in one place. PandoLogic is a fully autonomous recruiting platform that gets more intelligent the more you use it, making each subsequent candidate search that much more accurate in less time.

Rewriting Your Job Descriptions

If your old job descriptions continue to attract the same type of people, it goes to reason that changing it up will attract new types of talent that come from new backgrounds. Use inclusive, gender-neutral language rather than tech-speak that can discourage people who are possibly reaching upwards a little out of their comfort zone. Candidates want to improve their careers when they look for a new job, and corporate language can work against their confidence by making them feel inadequate. You can avoid this by appearing approachable and accepting of everyone.

Remove Unconscious Bias from Your Hiring Process

No one wants to think they’re biased, but the reality is, we all are in some way. We tend to lean towards hiring people we’d enjoy socializing with, and not hiring people who we can’t relate to in a friendly manner. Removing this bias requires that we consciously attempt to hire from different backgrounds and base our choices on who is most suited for the actual work, removing the “I could hang out with this person” emotion. Listen to your candidates as they speak, getting to know them on an individual level.

Change How You Review Resumes

Now could be a good time to blindly review resumes; this presents you with just the facts you need to consider someone doing a specific job. If you see a resume with a lot of years of experience on it, you may unconsciously disregard them due to their presumed age; this would prevent your company from benefiting from someone with a different approach and set of skills. Where they live or what college they went to can also unknowingly sway your decision, as not everyone has had the same advantages as others, and those differences wouldn’t impact their skill set.

Have a Required Interview Process for All Hiring Managers

Being fair starts from the beginning, not giving higher credence to where an applicant’s name and information comes from. All hiring managers and Human Resource teams can utilize the same steps, keeping all candidates on the same level playing ground until the final decision is made. This could start with a phone screening, then move towards a Zoom call, and then perhaps an in-person visit before finalizing the decision. If everyone follows these same steps, no one is seen as having preferential treatment or facing bias based on their background. Everyone has the same advantages when required to complete the same steps. This also helps you to make more fair comparisons between candidates.

Add in solid key performance indicators, developed by including feedback from each hiring manager and your HR team. Monitor their usage and step in as necessary if someone’s diverting from the approved plan.

Lastly, make your hiring team as diverse as possible. This ensures people of different backgrounds and with different values will be able to review candidates. Make sure they feel comfortable in giving their feedback and that they feel heard. Inclusion must happen in all levels of your workforce.

Diverse hiring doesn’t have to be difficult. It just requires companies to be honest and fair, hiring the best people for the job by considering everyone with the right skills, or with skills you can build upon. Removing bias or sameness opens your talent pipeline to qualified candidates, which equates to happier employees and increased staff retention. Your workforce will better reflect your customer base and improve your customer service, and in turn, your business will reach a new level of success.

If you’d like to take a closer look at how PandoLogic can get you on the path toward a more diverse staff, reach out for a free demo. Our accurate candidate targeting software can save you a lot of time and build a talent pool for use now and in the future.

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