Focusing on diversity and inclusion as you build your workforce is not only the right thing to do, it can also bring in bigger profits and strengthen your business processes. According to recent research, companies rated high for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above the national medians for their industry. Those that take the lead in terms of gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to experience better financial health.
How to Hire for Diversity
Here are some tips to attract and hire candidates from diverse backgrounds. They come from a cross-section of experts, including members of the Forbes Human Resources Council:
- Establish a clear, written organizational commitment. Share your commitment internally and externally, and focus on continuous improvement in this area. Make diversity and inclusion a business strategy and align all your operational processes accordingly.
- Integrate diversity recruiting into your employment brand. Use social and traditional media, your careers page and other communications and marketing collateral to spread your message. Ensure an exceptional candidate experience from start to finish. Implement diversity sourcing initiatives that include college recruiting, professional and community associations, news outlets and targeted organizations.
- Reexamine your job descriptions. Job descriptions can have a significant effect on who applies for your positions. They can also suggest the gender makeup of your organization. For instance, in your requirements section, make sure you don’t present a list of “nice-to-have” features. Stick to those that truly are requirements. Women are more likely to apply only when they think they can meet 100 percent of job criteria, while men tend to apply with many fewer. Consider using a tool like Textio to augment your writing to encourage and attract a more diverse pool of applicants.
- Garner leadership support for a cross-functional strategy. As you recruit and build your diverse workforce, involve not only marketing and communications, but key decision-makers across your company. For example, partner with legal to conduct a diversity audit of your hiring practices, and develop unconscious bias training to minimize or eliminate bias in managing diversity hires.
- Build inclusion into methods for strengthening your talent pipeline. Be sure your recruiters are focusing on underrepresented population segments as they complete their sourcing work. This includes your employees: While they can often be your best brand ambassadors, they need to think in terms of diverse referrals. You could even take this a step further and offer increased bonuses for diverse hires.
- Hire for cultural add, not just cultural fit. The intent to hire only people who share your company’s vision, mission and values is important and admirable, but it also can lead to a homogenous workforce that prioritizes like-minded thinking over diversity. To hire for cultural add, target candidates who bring something unique to the table that didn’t previously exist.
- Monitor outcomes. Frequently review you recruiting processes and data to ensure you aren’t accidentally weeding out diverse applicants. Artificial Intelligence can help speed up and automate the recruitment process but can lead to unconscious bias if not monitored closely.
HR Works can help ensure you source and hire for diversity – avoiding any pitfalls and creating the right strategy and steps for ongoing success. Contact us today to learn more.
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