So You Want Your Team To Be More Diverse? Start With Your Recruiting

Whether you have intended to or not, conscious and unconscious decisions happen in the hiring process well before an all-star candidate is hired, screened, or even found. Acknowledging these biases early and checking them at the door will ensure a more diverse team, starting with the recruiting process.

Today, job candidates seek more than competitive rates, benefits, and fun company culture. They are also searching for financial stability, promise of growth, and inclusivity within a team that has a range of education, background, and experience.

As businesses and organizations aim to attract the top talent in 2020 and beyond, workplace diversity and biases, or lack thereof, must be acknowledged and considered a priority. To have a diverse team, you must make a conscious effort to ensure your recruitment process is as free of biases as possible, especially those that are unrelated to employee performance. 

Not sure where to start? Here are a few steps to adapt your recruiting strategy and build out a more diverse team: 

1. Audit Your Job Postings

 Before you hit submit on your job posting to find your next all-star candidate, take a close look at your previous job descriptions. Is some of the language geared towards a specific experience level or demographic? It’s okay to have outlined a specific set of responsibilities and duties for a certain role. However, there may be a few lines in your job posting that you could change to speak to a broader range of applications. By simply refreshing your word choice, it may lead you to more candidate diversity. 

Additionally, consider widening the range of experience or education you are seeking to further extend your talent pool. A candidate might just be shy of 5 years of experience and may consider your role if you specify your flexibility in previous education or experience. 

2. Widen Your Network

To truly invest in diversity hiring practices, you have to shake up your tried-and-true methods — including trying different avenues to find new employees. After all, if you tend to use the same platform to post your latest listings or search for a candidate, you can’t be surprised if you  get the same selection of talent each time. 

For example, say you typically search for college or university graduates only through job fairs or professional connections. Although this may be a surefire way to get dedicated applications each time, why not look for candidates from different schools or extra-curricular groups or organizations. This can also apply to professional networks or associations with specific interests: women in technology, public relations, digital, business, and more. 

3. Rethink Your Screening and Shortlisting Processes 

Making snap judgements is no way to start the hiring process. At every step, it’s important to check your biases and actively work to think of and implement diverse strategies —  especially in the early stages of the recruitment process. 

When it comes to screening potential new hires, reframe your mindset when looking at their qualifications, experience, and skills set. To further reduce your inherent bias towards names, locations, or appearances, consider utilizing anonymous resume systems (blind resumes) or opt for phone interviews. 

Additionally, make an active effort to ignore your digital biases during video interviews. Acknowledge that many prospective candidates may be working or job hunting remotely, and their video background is not a reflection of their skills or performance.