Companies with workplace diversity are 33% more likely to outperform their peers, according to McKinsey and Company. Over the past decade, more and more businesses have put focus on diversity initiatives, with about 98% of companies reporting a workplace diversity program.
To improve workplace diversity—including gender, ethnic and cultural diversity—both effective strategies and effective implementation are necessary. Here are five diversity recruiting tips for 2022.
- Don’t just look in the usual places. A key to finding a diverse group of applicants is to look in a diverse range of places. As Recruitee.com pointed out, “Don’t rely on the same sources over and over again when seeking out new candidates. Focusing on only the sources that you know best can result in a talent pool of similar candidates and a lack of diversity. Instead, seek out opportunities to source diverse candidates where they typically hang out.” That might mean reaching out to professional organizations specifically geared toward certain underrepresented groups, or engaging people on social media in your field who are advocating for diversity.
- Start with the people you know. If you already have people in your organization who represent communities you want better represented, go to those people to see who they might know. A feature on BetterUp made the point, “Be where the people are,” and suggested, “Ask employees for recommendations and referrals from their networks.” By starting with those in your immediate sphere of influence, you can gradually work outwards based on referrals and recommendations.
- Get rid of bias. As careful as you might think you’re being, there might be language in your job descriptions, your recruiting materials, or your job interview questions that subtly signal bias—and it could prove off putting to the very people you’re looking to attract. As a Forbes contributor wrote, “Research from behavioral science shows that the most effective ways to weed out bias are by adopting standardized hiring processes, objective hiring criteria, neutral language, avoiding overstuffing, blind evaluations, a diverse set of evaluators, and structured interviews with score cards.” The article went on to note, “By creating rigid procedures that apply to all job applicants, you eliminate the room for improvisation that leads to favoring in-groups at the expense of others.”
- Start with internships. Often, companies and organizations will find some of their best new employees through intern programs. Internships bring in prospective young employees who are attracted to companies through their majors and initial work goals — and colleges and universities are typically invested in their diversity recruiting initiatives looking to bring in a wide range of people. As Recruitee suggests, “Reach out to schools and community groups in your area to determine opportunities to make connections with students. Often, communities will have their own programs to encourage growth, and teaming up with those initiatives is a great way to give back while also benefiting from new and diverse talent.”
- Make hiring commitments. While you don’t need to create “hiring quotas” per se, particularly if you run a smaller company, you also need to make sure that you’re making some hires that reflect the diversity you’re seeking. If you’re interviewing a number of people to give the impression that you’re looking to become more diverse, and then you’re hiring the very types of people that you’ve just been hiring all along, then you’re not truly becoming more diverse.