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Top 8 Strategies For Diversity Hiring To Implement in 2023

January 25, 2023

Diversity hiring is the buzzword in the HR industry, which made companies come up with dedicated diversity reports to boost their employer brand. But is diversity recruitment a critical part of HR or another trend that will fade with time?

Diversity recruitment is the process of hiring people without any bias. This bias could be based on their age, gender, religion, nationality, race, sexual orientation, etc. So, any factor that doesn't directly impact the performance but affects the hiring decision is considered hiring bias. 

For instance, a company drafting their JD for engineers might address the candidate as 'he' throughout the description. This gives the impression that a company wants male engineers and takes an organization a step away from diversity. 

As opposed to popular belief, diversity hiring is not solely about hiring underrepresented candidates or people from minority communities. It is about giving every candidate an honest chance to go through the screening process and get the job. So, the focus is on making the hiring process 'free from bias'. The recruitment should consider factors that impact candidates' performance, such as their soft skills, competencies, applied know-how, etc. 

Companies are understanding the importance of diversity to embrace different backgrounds- socio-economic, education, experience, origin country, etc. They are molding their hiring processes to build a diverse talent pool and workforce. 

But how exactly does diversity hiring help businesses? Today we will discuss the importance of diversity and 8 strategies to build a diverse workforce.

Why is Diversity Important in Recruitment? 

Diversity hiring is more than just a pass-by trend that will lose momentum eventually. It is here to stay, and companies are investing to improve their hiring process to boost their DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity) efforts. But why put so much effort? What are the benefits of hiring people from different backgrounds? 

  1. Tap More Potential Candidates- Diversity hiring means hiring people without bias from different backgrounds with broader skill ranges, experience, ideas, and perspectives. This enables the company to get more qualified candidates with diverse skills and experience to offer. For instance, a person with no educational qualification might be better at coding than a professional coder with a degree. The focus is on skills and potential, and any other factor is irrelevant. 
  1. Innovation- People with varied backgrounds provide a unique perspective to the company. Their diverse experience enables the team to explore innovative solutions and ideas to make products/ services inclusive to enhance brand messaging business complexities. For instance, underrepresented people can offer ideas to and reputation.
  1. Serve Clients Globally- Diversity hiring helps companies to be more empathetic and inclusive in their approach and communication with customers. They enable them to tap different markets and capture more clients globally. For instance, an employee from country origin India will have a better understanding of Indian customers' pain points. Companies can serve happy clients by making services/ products inclusive. 
  1. Safe Environment- A diverse workforce provides each employee with a safe environment to work in. There is not any bias, and each employee receives equal treatment with no threat to their individuality. For instance, it will be difficult for a woman to adjust to an all-men workplace. There will be a constant threat, and she might be isolated at the workplace. 
  1. Employee Satisfaction and Retention- Workplace diversity assures employees that companies prioritize performance and don't run by any bias. This motivates top employees to focus on work and performance instead of spending so much time adjusting to the team. This enables the companies to satisfy and retain employees as the team is driven by performance. A diverse workforce enhances performance by 12% and retention rate by 16%.
  1. Enhance Employer Brand- Well, the chance to improve employer brand is one reason companies invest heavily in diversity hiring. It modifies the perspective of employees and candidates as a company focuses on performance with no bias. It improves the brand image, employees happily recommend candidates, and people are willing to join the organization.

But how do companies ensure diversity in hiring? How do recruiters guarantee a quality hiring process to hire potential candidates? Let us read about the top 8 strategies to adopt and seamlessly build a diverse workforce!

Top 8 Diversity Hiring Strategies To Build an Inclusive Workforce 

Diversity hiring involves setting a bias-free hiring process. But it does not restrict itself to hiring process optimization. It includes planning for a diverse workforce & ensuring a work environment where they can work without feeling excluded or discriminated against. 

Hiring bias is not intentional. It roots deep into the psyche of recruiters and hiring professionals. So, diversity hiring is a process of eliminating all biases and building an inclusive workforce. Here are the top 8 strategies for recruiters to eliminate the bias factor and give each qualified candidate an equal chance.

Reevaluate Hiring Process 

Your company can miss out on a great opportunity due to loopholes in the hiring process. This could be due to unoptimized JDs, not using inclusive language, and much more. Recruiters can start by using broad keywords and sticking to performance-related attributes. Inclusive language can help boost the application numbers, where your team prioritizes skills and competencies. Additionally, it is advisable to opt for blind resumes and interviews to eliminate bias. 

Another point is to enhance the interviewing process. Interview bias can drive away a qualified candidate and hamper the company's reputation. Assess whether:

  • The hiring team represents diversity.
  • Interviewees are aware of bias.
  • The interview process is standardized and bias-free.

Recruiters can eliminate bias by opting for structured hiring processes. This means that all the candidates go through the same set of questions and the same steps with no bias creeping in, in the same conditions. 

Moreover, they should be given proper feedback and valuable resources to help them succeed. Additionally, recruiters must deploy a strong onboarding process that involves an open discussion about preferred pronouns, dietary requirements, etc. This will help the HR team to accommodate their preferences and provide a pleasant experience.

Deploy Technology 

Technology can be the recruiters’ best friend to help eliminate bias. The hiring process can revolve around various technologies and tools to make data-driven decisions with no subjective bias. The recruiters shall use specific tools to analyze applications and draft inclusive JDs and other HR-related documents. 

One of the crucial steps- screening can go through automation by setting specific criteria and rules. Various tools leverage AI to screen applicants and create a list of qualified candidates without bias. Recruiters can add filters such as experience, attributes, or skills to find the desired candidates.

Create Diverse Talent Pool 

How can recruiters build an inclusive workforce if they don’t have diverse candidates in the pipeline? They need applicants from diverse backgrounds to set a hiring process free of bias. This will require recruiters to tap multiple sources and tweak the hiring process. Here are 8 ways to create a diverse talent pool. 

  • Inclusive JDs & job post
  • Leverage formal & informal networks
  • Network & build relationships with diverse professionals
  • Set & track DEI goals
  • Ask employees for referral
  • Make employer brand inclusive
  • Actively look for networks and online communities to reach diverse candidates
  • Opt for a multi-channel outbound approach: 
  • LinkedIn (LinkedIn groups and other HR professionals) 
  • Colleges
  • Professional associates
  • Virtual Fairs

A multi-channel approach involves sourcing candidates from various platforms and actively engaging with them. This involves sending personalized and creative messages on their preferred channel. It requires recruiters to dig deeper into their experience and diversify communication channels. 

Nurturebox is an end-to-end solution for the multi-channel hiring process, which helps to source and hire candidates by integrating your entire HR tech stack. You can combine all your tools and start engaging with candidates easily from platforms like LinkedIn. This enables recruiters to build a diverse talent pool!

Companies need to make DEI one of their priorities by making the work environment safe with initiatives like accessible workforce education programs, inclusive brand messaging, etc. It is the recruiter's job to make the employees and leaders aware of the importance of inclusivity and build a healthy work environment.

Optimize Job Postings 

Recruiters must optimize their job postings because they are the first interaction point between the employer and candidates. If applicants find the post or JD non-inclusive, they will not apply and create a negative impression of the company. Glassdoor research found that 67% of applicants prioritize diversity when applying to a company.

Start by updating your job postings, marketing material, and other resources shared by the company to make them inclusive. But how to make all the material inclusive? What is inclusive language? Recruiters can start by familiarizing themselves with exclusionary words. For instance, do not use phrases like “strong English-language skill”, which makes non-native English speakers hesitant from applying. Some other examples are:

  • “salesmen/women” replace with a salesperson
  • “he/she” replace with them or ‘the candidate’

Recruiters can employ tools for editing and proofreading these materials. Moreover, they should avoid jargon, racial bias, unnecessary educational background requirements, or qualifications that might not be directly relevant to the position. This applies to both written materials and language used in interviews. The hiring team should be aware of the bias and stick to inclusive language by omitting non-essential phrases and discussing transferable skills related to the job. 

Make Inclusive Company Policies 

Company policies impact the candidates that apply and employee retention. If the company policies do not accommodate diverse candidates, they will not apply, which can impact a company's diversity. Inclusive policies attract more candidates and promote DEI within the organization. Recruiters can openly discuss with the employees their needs and establish policies to promote healthy work-life balance. They can collect feedback and consciously build an inclusive work environment. 

Leaders should embrace diversity and set an example for team members to create an inclusive culture. Company resources like branding materials, career sites, social media channels, and employee-generated content must promote diversity. Further, the company can take community-focused initiatives such as events, holidays, etc., to accommodate diverse employees. 

However, This doesn’t imply offering a biased advantage to any candidate and valuing everyone’s contribution equally. Every employee should get standard perks regardless of any bias. For instance, equal parental leaves for both mothers & fathers or spousal benefits for same-sex couples. 

Leverage Internships 

Companies can leverage colleges, universities, and community colleges to expose themselves to a diverse talent pool. However, the company must provide them with opportunities and flexibility to extract real value. Interns can provide companies with qualified, talented candidates who are committed and come from diverse backgrounds.

Recruiters can start by offering students mentoring programs. Here they connect interns and junior employees with mentors and seasoned leaders across the organization who act as guides, advisors, and support systems. They can help them with career and future advancement by enhancing their confidence and competencies. This initiative can help in employee retention and create a competent, talented team.

Employ A Diverse Hiring Team 

What if your hiring team needs to be more diverse?

Your hiring team is the biggest indicator of whether the organization is inclusive. Recruiters must employ a diverse team of interviewers with different backgrounds. They can offer different perspectives and help the company to get the most qualified candidate by removing any bias. Additionally, the hiring team should be trained to recognize biases that lead to unfair hiring decisions. Moreover, consider asking for volunteers to assist in the hiring process. 

Another way is to establish a feedback system. This involves the hiring team sharing feedback and telling the candidates why they were not selected. This will ensure that the team has tangible reasons to reject a candidate and that no subjective bias is hidden. 

Start To Build An Inclusive Workforce With Nurturebox 

Building a diverse team can be easy. Recruiters need a definite plan and strategy to skyrocket diversity hiring efforts. 

First, they audit the current diversity status. It involves measuring the diversity in the current talent pipeline, workforce, and departments. This step gives them a clear idea of how they should proceed. They can identify the prioritization areas and set realistic goals for diversity. 

Secondly, they set diversity hiring goals based on an audit from the previous step. This is necessary to measure the effectiveness of the efforts and set clear expectations for the hiring team. Recruiters must choose metrics such as the number of female workers, the number of underrepresented workers, the retention rate, etc. 

Based on these metrics, they can set goals to increase the number of qualified female candidates for IT roles by 10% in 6 months. Recruiters should deploy specific KPIs by asking themselves questions such as:

  • How many underrepresented candidates are successfully on-boarded? 
  • What is the percentage of female employees in the firm? 
  • What percentage of workers are disabled?
  • What's the employee turnover rate, and why do they leave? 
  • Are managers satisfied with the new hires? 
  • How many candidates have reported HR for racial or sexual discrimination?

All these questions serve as a good starting point for setting goals. Moreover, recruiters can refer to competitor firms to analyze their efforts and take inspiration from them. It is important to measure competitors' strengths and weaknesses and capitalize on them.

Finally, aim to build a database that including diverse candidates. Recruiters can leverage their talent relationship management (TRM) software, ATS system, etc., to create the list. Further, they can ask employees for referrals and engage in diverse communities. The aim is to tap into multiple sources to reach the maximum number of qualified candidates. 

Nurturebox can be your helping hand in creating a diverse candidate database and building a diverse workforce. It is the ultimate tool to source and hire people by integrating your HR stack and engaging in passive hiring. 

Start by simply downloading our chrome extension and head to LinkedIn. We help you keep track of all the conversations, build a list of desired candidates, and send messages right from the extension. You can do it without switching between tabs or doing any admin work. Hiring is easier with Nurturebox! 

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