Hire more diverse candidates with these 3 tips

Hire More Diverse Candidates With These 3 Tips

Diversity is a key topic in today's job marketplace. Employers are wising up to the value of a well-rounded workforce, and employees are actively looking for companies that demonstrate a keen eye for inclusion. More than two-thirds of American workers indicate that diversity is one of their top considerations when they're looking for a job, and for good reason. A whopping 87% of diverse teams are better at decision-making. Diversity increases productivity by 35% and contributes to a 19% increase in revenue. 

Now that you're sold on the importance of diversity, here are three impactful ways to pursue it. These strategies will help you hire diverse candidates naturally and create a strong, well-rounded workforce.

Know your candidates

Thoroughly evaluate the job candidates that your posts are reaching with an eye to diversity. Are you drawing in applicants from different backgrounds, or are you noticing some homogeny in the job seekers who respond to your posts? If you're seeing stark similarities in your job candidates, it's likely that your job posting is tailored to too narrow an audience. 

Implicit biases can creep in easily, often without your knowledge. It's important to realize that diversity factors aren't limited to race and gender. It's equally important to have diversity in the areas of:

  • Socioeconomic status
  • Educational background
  • Professional experience
  • Thoughts and beliefs
  • Country of origin

If you're stuck in a rut of believing there's only one "right" path to the job in question, you're blocking the flow of diversity and innovation in the company. If all of your job candidates have the same degree, revisit your job posting and see if you're being too specific about the requirements for the position. Is a marketing degree really the only option, or would your team become better rounded and more creative with an applicant whose degree is in art, statistical analysis, or sociology? Broaden the scope of your requirements to attract a refreshing range of new applicants.

Is there greater diversity at the top of the funnel than at the bottom? If you notice that all of the candidates making it to the interview stage are similar, check up on the process of filtering applicants. You may have implicit and unrecognized biases at play that are blocking qualified applicants from proper consideration.

Streamline your community outreach efforts

Evaluate your hiring process with a keen eye to where you're sourcing applicants from. If you're relying solely on the internet to reach potential candidates, you're missing out on some key opportunities within your community. Make use of prime opportunities to reach out and recruit a diverse range of candidates through:

  • Job fairs
  • Local colleges and universities
  • Local high schools
  • Your state unemployment office
  • Referrals
  • Industry groups and organizations
  • Local newspapers
  • Relevant Facebook groups
  • Social media posts
  • Online groups
  • Streaming services like Hulu and Spotify
  • Billboards
  • Fairs and other local events
  • Hiring agencies

In some cases, your participation in these events may not relate directly to hiring. Simply showing up, shaking hands, and building familiarity with your company is a powerful first step toward drawing a more diverse range of employees to your team.

While you'll need to do the legwork when it comes to setting up booths at career fairs or networking at social events, you don't have to have boots on the ground for every tactic. Our CareerBuilder platform connects you with Broadbean Job Distribution which can funnel your listings through more than 7,000 job sites and social channels. Broadbean reaches more than 180 countries, which is a powerful perk for remote jobs. Even in instances where you're looking locally, you'll find that distributed job listings go a long way toward reaching a more diverse range of job applicants.

Adjust the wording on your job posts

Assess the wording on your job postings and make sure that what you're putting out there is properly positioned to reach a broad range of job candidates. Highlight your company's diversity in your business description and include this in every job post to let prospective applicants know that your business has and is actively pursuing a more diverse work environment. 

"When addressing the job requirements, focus on the tasks that the employee must perform without specifying how they should do the job or where their knowledge must come from."

Highlight company policies that promote diversity like flexible work schedules and days off for a variety of religious holidays. You might miss out on potential hires that are parents if your work hours are too rigid, while providing the option to work from home when kids are sick or out of school for a snow day will open a world of new opportunities.

When addressing the job requirements, focus on the tasks that the employee must perform without specifying how they should do the job or where their knowledge must come from. In many positions, requiring a college degree could cut off some outstanding applicants who lack a degree yet have decades of hands-on experience. Innovation and expansion come from the willingness to depart from the norm and consider something entirely new in your next hire.

These tactics will help you naturally hire diverse candidates without falling victim to the practice of seeking "diversity hires" that are brought on because of their gender or ethnicity rather than despite it. Implement more expansive hiring practices and workplace diversity should naturally follow.

More tips for hiring managers:

Consider ways to attract veterans to your job postings.

Utilize test projects wisely to accurately assess candidates' skill sets before you hire.

Find out whether you're driving potential candidates away from your hiring process before you've had a chance to interview them.

Suss out the truth on your candidates' resumes and make sure you never fall for a lie.

Learn how to build managed hiring campaigns to take the leg work out of reaching quality job candidates.

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