Diversity hiring is a hotly debated topic in the context of DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion). As organizations demonstrate a greater commitment to expanding their talent pool with diverse candidates, the fiercer the battle for said talent gets. If you’re stuck in a rut with your diversity recruitment strategy, our guide may be able to point you in the right direction. Check out our easy-to-follow tips below.
Set diversity hiring metrics
If you’re expecting a ready-made recipe for setting the right diversity hiring metrics, you may be disappointed, since there’s no silver bullet that can work for every organization, team size, domain, and so on.
To set the right metrics to evaluate your diversity hiring efforts, benchmark against competitors, and assess the current situation, you need to first consider your goals.
For example, small and medium teams might have goals like:
- Expanding the workforce diversity share
- Bringing in a greater number of diverse candidates to the recruitment stage
- Representing certain diversity groups
- DEI training (metrics like attendance rate of DEI training, employee feedback, leadership changes, etc.)
All in all, the idea for SMBs is to create a foundation for DEI initiatives. Basic diversity metrics such as the percentage of diverse candidate hires and representation of minority groups is a good starting point to track.
Large enterprises, however, can take their diversity recruitment game to another level. They focus on expanding their diverse supplier and contractor programs, creating diverse council boards, investing in charity programs, and more.
These diversity hiring metrics help you get a wider perspective on recruiting diverse candidates and the success of your efforts:
- Percentage of incoming CVs from diverse candidates
- Diverse hires as a share of total headcount
- Awareness rate among diverse candidates
- Performance rate of recruitment channels to figure out which channels generate the most diverse candidates
- Diverse referrals rate
- Time-to-hire of diverse candidates
- Applicant satisfaction rate
- Recognition of a company in media and ratings
Bear in mind that some diversity hiring metrics may be misleading and won’t provide you with much insight into your recruitment efforts. For example, the percentage of diverse candidates from universities, colleges, and internships is a precise metric that won’t give you a broad picture. On the contrary, if college or university students are your target audience, you might want to dig deeper into this metric.
Detect bottlenecks in your diversity hiring process
Sometimes, it’s hard to spot the barriers hindering you from recruiting a diverse workforce. No matter how committed your hiring team is, you can still stumble upon the common hurdles listed below.
Bottleneck #1: Candidates are not informed of your DEI initiatives
Studies show that for a whopping 67% of job seekers, diversity is a critical point that impacts their company choice.
If you don’t inform your candidates of your DEI policies and of your commitment to building a diverse workforce in the first place, you might end up losing precious candidates.
As a solution, consider revising your job postings and updating resources such as the company website, employee handbooks, or if you have one, a corporate culture brochure. It’s better to stick to numbers: “As of 2021, half of our headcount consists of Black and Latinx people” and facts: “Since 2015, we’ve included DEI training as a compulsory part of our onboarding program to raise awareness and promote a culture of trust”.
Sephora is an excellent example of a DEI-focused company. On their website, they provide timely updates on their latest DEI-related stats and share their commitment to diversity hiring by expanding their line of products with Black-owned brands.
Bottleneck #2: Unconscious bias
Unconscious (or implicit) bias can be hard to spot because it is often subliminally included in shared constructs such as social or cultural traditions. As a result, a person may develop a set of prejudices without even being fully aware that they have. Unconscious bias can appear as prejudice towards age (“Young employees can’t be leaders”), gender (“Women always put a family first”), race, or other identity signifiers, and can significantly impede your diversity hiring efforts.
Established policies against bias and applicant tracking systems (ATS) that automate the candidate screening process allow businesses to eliminate bias at the recruiting stage. You can additionally consider the tips below:
- Conduct blind auditions. Instead of focusing on candidates’ track records and the schools they’ve attended, screen-based on blind audition and skills-based hiring. The idea of skills-based hiring is to eliminate bias and focus on things that matter, such as a candidates’ potential to become an A-team player and their practical skills. This type of screening process fits perfectly into a diversity hiring.
- Use plugins and extensions for bias-free hiring. There are lots of handy tools in the recruiting software market. For example, the Chrome extension antibias anonymizes candidates’ profiles by removing names and photos from their CVs.
- Train your recruiters and hiring managers. Accepting that there is an issue is the first step to solving it. Fortunately, there are plenty of concise and free resources you can employ to train your staff. For example, Facebook released their micro-learning course Managing Unconscious Bias that explains the nature of bias and the types of bias that exist. Google offers the course Raise awareness about unconscious bias with customizable worksheets and presentations so that you can teach unbiased recruitment within your unique context.
Bottleneck #3: Your job description pushes diverse candidates away
Recent research has revealed the concept of gender wording. That means certain words and phrases attract more male candidates, while others are more engaging to females.
Have you ever noticed that some job descriptions abound masculine-coded words like “competitive,” “aggressive,” “ambitious,” “assertive,” and “self-confident”? Studies show that job descriptions with prevailing masculine language push female candidates away, and females decode these descriptions as positions strictly for males – keeping them from applying for these vacancies.
To combat this, you can check your job descriptions with software like Textio that detects bias, masculine-coded language, and other linguistic shortcomings that may turn diverse candidates off. Or you can check in with style guides like Conscious Style Guide for non-biased language examples, useful tools, and educational resources.
Improve your sourcing strategy
Diversity hiring relies on creative sourcing strategies that bring in talents outside good old LinkedIn. You might already have a dedicated sourcing team, but do you work on diversity sourcing specifically?
As a rule, sourcing teams fail to build an effective sourcing strategy because they don’t build the foundation: this includes candidate profiles and sourcing pipelines. For example, a candidate profile provides an understanding of a candidate’s previous background like their education and the communities, and sororities they belong to. This information, in turn, allows sourcing specialists to expand their search semantics and tap into the right audience – like Black or Hispanic women.
2020 was a groundbreaking year. Not only did it teach us to redefine our work styles and ground ourselves, but it also taught us the importance of workforce empowerment and providing equal and inclusive rights.
Diversity hiring is essential to building an inclusive and equitable workplace. Accompanied by workforce planning and people analytics, it can help you build a foundation for long-term talent acquisition and management.
Get in touch with our sales team to discover opportunities for simulating workforce scenarios, predicting your diverse workforce share, and implementing best-fit diversity hiring strategies.