The benefits of having a diverse and inclusive workforce have been well documented. We know organizational diversity is good for business with positive effects on revenue, but it can impact more than just your bottom line. In fact, one study shows that organizations with inclusive cultures are:
- 3X as likely to be high performing
- 6X more likely to be innovative and agile
- 8X more likely to achieve better business outcomes
Building an inclusive culture means creating a workplace where everyone feels valued and heard. You can help gauge your company’s culture by asking questions such as this:
- When hiring recent college graduates, do we only recruit from a few core universities?
- Do we source talent from a wide variety of communities, channels, and locations?
- Are our employees encouraged to bring their authentic, whole selves to work every day?
- How are promotion and advancement decisions made by leaders?
Truly fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion means addressing these answers and embedding inclusion recruiting practices across all activities in your company — from sourcing, interviewing and hiring to how (or who) you advance or promote.
Here are three strategies to make sure diversity and inclusion remain at the forefront of your recruiting process.
Tip #1: Train yourself to identify and check biases
As recruiters, we’re all looking to find the best candidates to fill our open roles. But despite our best intentions, we all encounter moments when we, or our hiring partners, make quick decisions that can, unfortunately, expose unconscious bias — judgments or assessments of people and situations without awareness or intention. A first step in helping to combat bias is to make yourself aware that they exist.
Data shows that employers spend an average of 6 seconds reviewing a resume. And within that 6 seconds, bias has the potential to surface without our even realizing it. A few common examples I’ve encountered include:
- Academic pedigree – Overreliance on GPA, academic history or accomplishments as a signal of intelligence or competency for a job
- Gender – Belief that job seekers of certain genders are a better fit for specific jobs because that job has historically been filled with a specific gender
- Company pedigree – Prioritizing past company pedigree as a measurement of a job seeker’s ability and competence for a job
So how can you overcome, or eliminate, bias the next time a resume comes across your desk or you have an intake meeting with a hiring partner?
- Gather objective search requirements in your intake meetings with hiring managers or clients
- Build inclusive searches that are focused on skills, competency, and knowledge
- Rely on consistent structure, standardized questions, and criteria when screening job seekers
Although there is a lot of software (free and paid) out in the market today that can help in this area, those tools don’t fully eliminate bias. While anonymizing and hiding certain job seeker attributes is a step in the right direction, you cannot overlook the need to train yourself as well as your hiring partners on how to identify and check biases from the start.
Tip #2: Widen your recruiting net
Where are you focusing your sourcing efforts? Are you narrowing your search to one specific country, state, city or ZIP code? If so, you could be limiting your ability to identify amazing talent from underrepresented groups. Research shows that today’s workers are moving for their careers more often than anything else — with 45% of people relocating for a job offer they couldn’t resist or long-term prospects.
But you’re not alone in determining which geographic locations may help you widen your recruiting net. Resources from PEW Research, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and US Department of Veteran Affairs can help expand your search by focusing your sourcing efforts in geographies that have a high density of underrepresented communities. Once equipped with this insight, you can make strategic decisions about not only how you prioritize your location strategy but also how you manage your job advertising spend.
More and more companies today are also offering incentives to recruit people outside of their area. To attract the talent you’re looking for you may want to consider offering a relocation bonus to new hires who have accepted your offer and are moving for your company. Working remotely is also supported and encouraged by many companies. Almost three quarters (72%) of companies with remote-work policies say they make workers more productive.
Tip #3: Focus on long-term partnerships
Sourcing candidates isn’t just about finding them. It’s focused on fostering and growing relationships over a period of time. Partnerships with external organizations can serve as a way for you to access and engage with a specific community while offering a high touch experience.
At Indeed, we’ve built partnerships with a number of organizations — Catalyst, Anita Borg, Afrotech, ALPFA and Out & Equal, to name a few — that have provided us with the opportunity to access talent from specific underrepresented groups. To promote and improve inclusion in the workplace we maximize our partnerships in a variety of ways, including sourcing candidates who are members of their community, recruiting at their conferences and identifying opportunities to sponsor their local events that promote inclusion in the industry.
Many partnership opportunities exist beyond the ones I’ve mentioned above. Once you’ve found a partner organization that’s the right fit for your company and aligns to your goals, it’s important that you are thoughtful about with whom and how you invest your time to ensure you are setting yourself up for long-term success.
Sourcing is primarily focused on driving top-of-funnel activity. By examining this critical step and implementing a few key tactics — identifying and checking your biases from the start, widening your recruiting net and developing long-term partnerships — you’ll ensure that diversity and inclusion remain at the forefront of your recruiting process.