There are many ways to successfully implement a diversity recruitment strategy. In this video, learn about the various approaches you can employ to be effective.
- Have you ever applied for a job, and as you spent that hour or so it can sometimes take to fill out a job application, you're wondering if your experience mattered? In the back of your mind you were thinking, this is probably a pointless exercise. No? Well, women, candidates of color, veterans, professionals with a disability, non-heterosexual candidates, and older professionals, all struggle with this. They want to know they are being assessed on their skills and not being immediately rejected, because of a particular dimension of diversity.
The act of diversity recruiting isn't really any different than regular recruiting. What is different is the mission and vision, as well as the expected outcome. Diversity recruiting is the active commitment to increase diversity within an organization. It's a concerted effort to overcome the traditional lens we are conditioned to look through, and move toward engaging candidates who are not usually on your radar, for any number of reasons. Each individual step in the diversity recruiting process, impacts your desired outcome as a whole.
Therefore, in order to create a successful process, your steps have to mimic those of the general recruiting process, with deliberate attempts to act without bias. In each of the main steps in recruiting, the job description, your sourcing, screening and interview process, you have to remain aware that bias, discriminatory practices, and unsavory behaviors, all lurk there. And be committed to identifying and overcoming those behaviors. Take the example of a guy with a beard, who is applying for a job.
You assume that no one cares if a guy has a beard. We might care if it's bushy, extremely long, or dyed purple. But, you have a general, run-of-the-mill beard, no one gives it a second thought, right? Unless you're considering running for President of the United States. There hasn't been a single President with a beard in more than a hundred years. Is that a coincidence, or would you say that the people of the United States have a bias towards men without beards? If you could run for President, would you consider shaving your beard in order to have a higher chance of success? Think about that for a moment.
You are highly qualified to be President. You meet all of the criteria. You are in great health and ready to take on the world, literally. But you are spending time wondering if your beard would prevent you from even being considered as a candidate. This makes your sourcing process extremely important, because as a recruiter, you have to overcome the perception in the marketplace that candidates, who haven't traditionally been hired by your company, are actually welcome. You have to actively source, get out and meet people, and let them know your company is interested in a candidate like them.
The CEO is another example. Of the 479 male CEOs of Fortune 500 companies in the U.S., monosyllabic names were most prevalent. Pete was at the top, followed by Bob, Jack, Bruce, and Fred. Is there a bias against men named Jeffery or Thomas? Have they shortened their names to Jeff and Tom, coincidentally? Where does this come into play in the recruiting process? Who is doing your screening? How were they trained? What traits are they told to look for? Simply by being aware of the bias, you may find that more resumes with names like Jeremy or Bartholomew, or even Keisha or Jamal, make it past the screening process.
Let's backtrack for a moment, to what is usually one of the first steps in the recruiting process, designing the job description. It is supposed to attract candidates, but if it contains sexist language, or information that is common only to a specific community, you are inadvertently discouraging candidates from ever applying, thereby, narrowing your candidate pool before you even begin. So encouraging a candidate to apply in the first place, by reviewing and revising your job descriptions, is part of what you have to tackle in a diversity recruitment initiative.
This is why each step in the recruitment process needs to be reviewed and revised, as appropriate. Otherwise, you can be sabotaging your outcomes, before you've even begun.
- Crafting better job descriptions
- Sourcing for diversity
- Impartial interview techniques
- Avoiding common recruiting mistakes
- Following up on candidates
- Reviewing and improving your recruitment process
- Identifying what isn't working
- Attracting candidates using social media
- Updating your company website
- Becoming an employer of choice