5 proven ways to increase diversity hiring
Hiring for diversity doesn’t happen by accident. Left to their own devices, most companies will simply replicate their current workforce, whatever that means for them. It’s only natural for Managers, Directors, and Executives to want to surround themselves with that which is familiar – to do otherwise requires concerted effort, strategy, and self-awareness.
That’s where the Diversity Hiring Checklist comes in. This checklist has worked for us and for the companies we work with. If you follow it carefully, it will help you quickly boost your diversity efforts and start to effect real change:
The Diversity Hiring Checklist
1. Create an original diversity statement
It doesn’t need to be complex, but it does need to be unique to your company. Retire the old ‘we are an equal opportunity employer…’ adage and replace it with something short and genuine. This is what’s worked for us:
We actively support and promote people of various backgrounds, from race, religion and gender to geographical area, university, lifestyle and personality type. Proven Recruiting is minority-owned, majority women, and is a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion in the broader community.
Once you’ve come up with this 1-2 sentence statement, append it to all job posts and feature it prominently on your website. It won’t only attract more diverse applicants, but it’ll motivate them to choose your company over competitors.
2. Audit your job posts
The job post is likely the first impression a person will have of your company. While a diversity statement is a good place to start, the words you use throughout the post will subconsciously motivate some people to hit ‘apply’ – and others to click ‘next.’
Bias can creep into our lexicon without our knowledge, inserting itself in our choice of words or expressions. Read what we have to say about the Job Post Gender Decoder and how it works here.
3. Interview at least two diverse candidates for every role
Harvard Business Review says the likelihood of hiring a diverse person is statistically zero if the person is the only diverse applicant in your candidate pool. Given the opportunity to interview multiple diverse people, your hiring panel is much more likely to select a diverse person as their final choice.
As always, this strategy only works if all interviewees are qualified for the role. If you are pushing diverse candidates through the process, only to have them feel demoralized and eventually fail on the job, then you are doing more harm than good to your diversity efforts.
4. Train upper and middle management on the moral AND business case for diversity & inclusion
Deloitte’s Human Capital Report finds that 38% of executives say the CEO is the primary sponsor of a company’s D&I strategy – but this isn’t how it should be. From Directors and Managers to front-line workers, it’s important that every person feel invested in the success of your D&I strategy.
Hold a series of lunch and learns, share what your company is doing to advance D&I, and educate all levels of the organization on how D&I can help to reshape your culture and improve your profitability.
5. Include diverse people on your board of directors and executive leadership teams
California recently legislated that a minimum number of women sit on all public boards (Bill 826), an excellent step for diversity.
Whether or not your company is headquartered in California, including diverse individuals on your board will ensure that decision makers are sensitive to the needs and challenges of various factions of your workforce.
Plus, a diverse leadership team will signal to job seekers that they have opportunities for growth in your company
BONUS: Celebrate diversity and inclusion in your workplace
What’s the point of putting all this effort into attracting more diverse talent, when you’re just going to forget about them once they accept the offer? The work doesn’t stop once you’ve hired a diverse workforce. In fact, Harvard Business Review identifies ‘inclusion’ as a key weapon in the fight against attrition.
Make a point of acknowledging, honoring, and celebrating different cultural traditions. Create lunches and support ERGs to make your workers feel understood and valued.