How to Improve Hiring Practices for Diversity
Posted on September 8, 2020, by Devyn Hinchee
If you’re faced with diversity hiring goals and you’re unsure where to start, you’re not alone. If you’re looking for how to easily improve your diversity hiring practices, we’re here to support you.
What Does Hiring for Diversity Look Like?
Embracing diversity means celebrating what makes people unique and respecting the life experiences that people have faced. Prior to starting any diversity recruiting or hiring strategy, you need to work within your team to learn. Define what diversity means to you and what changes you can make today to build an inclusive workplace.
There is no one size fits all look to diversity. What is diverse in your industry or geographic area may not be diverse in another. So start by defining what diversity looks like to you and your team. Remember that diversity doesn’t mean just a diversity of races. Demographic diversity is just one step on the path to inclusion. Make sure that you are focused on building a team filled with different races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, educational backgrounds, work experiences, and more to work towards an inclusive workplace.
Steps to Take to Improve Hiring Practices for Diversity
Audit Where You’re At
Everything starts with knowing where you’re at. Take a look at how you’re supporting diverse candidates. How can you make those support systems clear in your employer branding? What are you currently doing to hire diversely? How are you training and working with hiring managers to ensure that they are receptive to diverse candidates?
If you don’t have support systems set up, you need to get to work. Bringing in experts and consultants is a perfect way to establish diversity guidelines within your organization. Blunt conversations are going to happen and they’ll hold a mirror to any flaws your team may be facing.
Update Your Job Postings
When you’re posting about jobs, make sure that you’re posting in the appropriate places. If you’re looking to hire people with more professional experience, post on LinkedIn. If you’re looking to hire new graduates, check out local university career centers and job boards.
In addition to where you’re posting, perfect what you’re posting! Make all job postings accessible to those with disabilities by using alt text. Make your postings welcome to everyone by using gender-neutral pronouns (they/them). There are lots of tools available to check any bias that may be in your postings so now is the time to use them!
If you are ready to change your job postings, Katrina Kibben is an incredible expert who shares a lot of tips on her own blog here.
Don’t Hide from Diversity
Diversity should be celebrated. You need to tackle head-on your own unconscious biases and work with experts to work through them. One of the biggest conversations happening right now is how the phrase “I don’t see color” misses the point. Negating people’s life experiences in favor of seeing all people as equal means forgetting that people are not yet treated equally. As Janice Gassam Asare shared, “If you are conducting training to help individuals move past their racial biases, it’s important to understand that the goal is not to be color-blind. The goal is actually to see and recognize skin color but to control and regulate your innate impulse to make decisions based on such characteristics.”
If we remove personal information from resumes in the process called “blind hiring”, are we not just discounting those life experiences in order to soothe our own fears at confronting our biases?
A strategy called “partitioning” is making its way into the minds of recruiters. Using different methods can be helpful so it’s important to test and see what works for your team to build the most diverse pipelines.
Track the Data
As with any recruiting and hiring strategy, you need to track the data. We’ve said it before: Data-driven decisions are often the difference between random successes and long-term growth.
Pay attention to the journey of diverse candidates through the hiring process. Where are they falling out of the race? Why are they falling out of the race? Where can your team get better at being inclusive and fostering belonging?
It can be difficult to face the story that data will tell you, but it’s an incredibly important step in the growth journey.
Shameless plug: We can help you track that data and make sure that you are welcoming everyone to the roles they could excel at.
This post focused on recruiting and hiring, but remember that the diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging journey does not end with the job offer. This is a long-term cultural shift that requires effort at every step of the way, but we promise, it’s worth it.