Recruiting Strategies for a Diverse Workforce
Workplace diversity has become a top priority for corporate leadership and, therefore, recruiters. Simply put, workplace diversity is when a workforce consists of many different types of people including different ethnicities, genders, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation among other attributes. It also includes people with differences as subtle as being an extrovert or introvert. A recent study conducted by SHRM found that 57% of recruiters report their talent acquisition strategies are designed to attract diverse candidates. A diverse workforce reaps tremendous value and benefits to an organization.
A 2017 Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study identified diversity as a key driver of innovation, finding that diverse teams produce 19% more revenue. For companies in which innovation is the key to growth such as in the tech industry, this finding is particularly noteworthy and demonstrates that diversity isn’t just a goal for many businesses, it is an essential part of generating business and being successful.
Increase Diversity in Sourcing Candidates
To have a more diverse workforce, you must increase the diversity in the pools from which you draw candidates. Review your job postings to ensure you use language that appeals to a broader range of candidates from different backgrounds. For example, words like “lead” and “decisive” may not be perceived as welcoming as “join” and “collaborative.” Reach out to diverse groups in the forums in which they congregate. For example, if you seek technologically savvy women, find online women in technology groups. Be proactive and go after the candidates you want, rather than waiting for candidates to come to you.
Your existing employees can be an excellent source of diverse talent through their connections with friends and family. Establish an employee referral program in which employees receive compensation for referrals who are hired as employees. When rolling out the referral program, be clear in your messaging that the company seeks talent from all backgrounds and life experiences. Talk it up at staff meetings and through electronic communications and get employees excited about the program. You can save on recruitment costs and generate goodwill and camaraderie among employees along the way.
Artificial Intelligence technology in your applicant tracking system allows you to screen resumes for specific skills and experience in a completely unbiased manner. AI can also be used to minimize the halo effect, another common bias in recruiting. The halo effect occurs when we assume that because someone is good at one activity, they will be good at others. In the workplace, this can occur when we like a candidate and then assume they will be good at the job. Chatbots, a form of AI, can interact with candidates while ignoring their race, gender, age and other personally identifying characteristics that may be used to give preferential treatment to, or discriminate against a candidate.
Use ATS to Shortlist Candidates
Most applicant tracking systems have screening tools that allow you to create a shortlist of candidates based solely on those with the best skill set for the job. These parameters should be defined by your well-written job description for the position. By relying on your ATS to create your shortlist, you can completely remove any personal opinions or biases from the selection equation, only focusing what is actually required to perform the essential functions of the job.
This technique can move you towards a more equitable and diverse workforce.
Diversity Recruiting for Success with Smart HR
Whether you want to explore applicant tracking systems, incorporate artificial intelligence into your recruitment strategy, discuss diversity initiatives or broaden your applicant sourcing pool, Smart HR can help. Smart HR consultants possess industry-specific recruiting experience and can help you implement strategies for a diverse workforce that will grow your business. Smart HR can also help you with those hard-to-fill positions. Call us today.
This blog is part of a series dedicated to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.