How To Find and Hire More Diverse
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Originally Posted On: https://www.rampedcareers.com/blog/how-to-find-and-hire-more-diverse-talent
Examine the most successful, sustainable businesses, and you will likely find that they hold diversity and inclusion as a top priority in how they function and who they employ. Modern awareness of deep-seated issues with racism, gender inequality, and prejudices has spurred a positive change for many organizations. Diversity and inclusion in the workforce don’t just protect underrepresented groups from being excluded or treated unfairly, it also strengthens the company on a deeper level. As a result, many business owners work hard to build a more diverse team. Nevertheless, building a diverse talent pool can be difficult. Several challenges exist, and things like unconscious bias can get in the way of making the best hiring decisions. Below is a look at the true value of hiring diverse talent, the challenges that can disrupt the process, and key strategies to find and hire more diverse individuals.
The importance of diversity and inclusion in the workforce
While diversity is often defined as ethnic or racial diversity, diversity can be a more broad term that is used for being inclusive to people of all genders, age groups, sexual orientations, backgrounds, physical abilities, and more. In any form, the population has grown increasingly diverse over the past several decades. Unfortunately, individuals that belong to often underrepresented groups still face unfair biases and challenges when it comes to careers and employment. You don’t have to look far to find proof that these challenges still exist. A few examples:
- Women are significantly outnumbered by men in leadership positions
- As of 2021, only 5 Fortune 500 companies were led by Black CEOs
- Almost half of the employed adults in the U.S. and 3 other countries have experienced or witnessed discrimination in the workplace due to gender, race, age, or sexual orientation
Building a more diverse workforce is incredibly important for business owners for multiple reasons. This benefits people from groups that can face unfair challenges but can also bring profound benefits to the organization.
Diversity drives innovation and creativity
Diversity means a healthy balance of people from all backgrounds bringing a colorful range of skill sets, talents, and perspectives to everyday operations within a business. In the broader scheme of a business, this means a stronger team that can be more innovative and creative. Key metrics prove the value of diversity for the company as far as innovation. For example, one study found that companies rated as above-average in terms of leadership diversity had 19 percent more in innovation revenue than companies that had less diversity in their leadership.
Diversity creates a more inclusive corporate culture
Building a diverse workforce is a must if your company prides itself on having an inclusive corporate culture. If you want the company culture to feel inclusive of all people, that can only occur if the people that make up the workforce are not all from similar backgrounds or groups. Diversity has grown to be extremely important for job-seekers—three out of four state that they look at the diversity of the workforce as an important attribute when considering a job offer.
Diversity means benefits for end customers
Regardless of the industry, having a diverse workforce can benefit the end client or customer. When a company is made up of people who bring cultural awareness to the proverbial table, that company is better capable to serve a broader range of customers. Further, customers from underrepresented groups sometimes build brand affinity for companies that have people on their team that have similar backgrounds or outlooks.
Key strategies to recruit more diverse talent
1. Assess the existing company culture
A well-fostered culture of diversity and inclusion in an organizational setting can take time and training. Professionals recommend:
- Making sure leaders within the company have inclusive attitudes
- Requesting employee feedback to get bottom-line insight into where things could be improved
- Creating a safe space within the workplace for employees with more diverse statuses or backgrounds
Recruiting more diverse candidates to fill open job positions is only the beginning. If you want these more diverse individuals to feel comfortable as part of the workforce, the company culture must feel both empowering and embracing. Otherwise, these talented individuals may be hard to retain. Therefore, assessing the existing company culture is a critical place to start the road to bringing in more diversity.
2. Examine the workforce and establish goals for diversity
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) says that any DE&I (diversity, equity, and inclusion) initiative should start with a deep effort to combine data on the existing workforce. In other words, examining the current demographics of your workforce helps to identify key concerning areas. For example, if the bulk of the workforce is currently White/Caucasian, older, males that speak only English, this would indicate a severe lack of diversity. From gathering this data and comparing it to the demographic data of the local population, you could gain a clear understanding of how your workforce compares to the demographics of the general population. And, you can start to etch out goals for building a more diverse team.
3. Address current practices impeding diverse recruitment
Take a hard look at company culture and unconscious biases that could exist if you recognize you have a difficult time building a diverse workforce. Different impediments may need to be addressed in different ways. For example, the unconscious biases of a single hiring manager can mean less diversity and inclusion with new hires. Therefore, setting up an interview board that is made up of a diverse group of individuals that have equal say in hiring could be the solution.
4. build ideal candidate profiles and adhere to structured processes for interviews
Get a good perspective on what the ideal candidate looks like for the positions you need to fill. Look at the role and decide what skill sets, personality traits, and backgrounds would be most suitable. This helps you develop clear criteria to use as you evaluate candidates for a position and helps to create a more equitable hiring process. Instead of hiring managers deciding if a candidate is a right fit on the fly, they will have a clear list of boxes to tick off along the way. On the same note, having a well-structured interview framework to follow helps to eliminate unintentional bias. Each candidate that is interviewed will be asked the exact same questions and go through an identical process. Therefore, there will be no differentiations in evaluation because some candidates were asked different questions than others.
5. Expand your recruitment reach to be more inclusive
Do what you can to expand your recruitment reach to a more diverse group of potential candidates. You can post job ads and hope the more diverse candidates find the listing, but you can also be more proactive in your search efforts by putting job ads before underrepresented groups. For example, you could sponsor organizations that support professionals who are often underrepresented or work with a university with primarily Black or Asian students to offer positions to graduates.
6. Make sure job listing are inclusive in form
Job descriptions should appeal to all candidates the same, regardless of their race, gender, disability, background, or status. Wrongly worded job descriptions can turn away highly qualified prospects. Unfortunately, individuals from underrepresented groups you aim to add to your workforce can be most affected if non-inclusive language is used. Further, using non-inclusive language can affect the overall number of applicants. For example, certain words are considered male and female-coded. Removing male and female-coded words from job listings was found to boost the overall number of applicants by 30 percent in one study. This indicates that simply not using gender-neutral language could easily turn away people of certain genders, which would be problematic if your aim is to create a more gender-diverse workforce. Making blatant errors with inclusive terminology is an easy mistake to make in a job description. Consider how many job listings state the applicant must be “a native speaker of the English language” or must “possess the ability to stand for long hours.” The former automatically alienates anyone who speaks fluent English but is not native to this country. The latter alienates anyone who relies on a wheelchair.
7. Remove non-essential information from submitted resumes
“Blind” resume evaluation means evaluating resumes based purely on employment background, education, and skill sets. All other non-essential information is removed from the resumes before they are evaluated. For example, personal information like name, address, and even the names of educational institutions may be removed. Something like a name could imply a certain ethnicity or an address could indicate socioeconomic status. This is done to negate unconscious, instantaneous judgments based on information that has no bearing on the most important attributes of a candidate.
Find diverse talent with the Ramped Advantage
If you are looking to build a more diverse team, Ramped can help. More than 63 percent of professionals at Ramped are self-identified as being diverse, and we can help you find the best talent for your team as quickly as possible. Ready to start hiring?
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