We’ve discussed why things such as diversity and inclusion are so important in the workplace, and we’ve talked about how you can improve diversity factors within your own team. But what about your current hiring practices? After all, experience and brand start at the beginning of the candidate funnel; when they first interact with your company. In fact, 75% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before even applying for a job.
This means diversity should be evident throughout your website, social channels, and of course within the job descriptions themselves. Here’s how to make this happen:
Audit Your Brand
Before getting started you need to understand what your brand looks like from an outside perspective. Hopefully, this is something that you already monitor on a regular basis to ensure that what the public sees reflects your company’s values. From this, it’s important to learn your key objectives and goals based on what you have evaluated. Here are a few pointers on what you can look over:
- Careers Website. Does this area of your website represent diversity? It should! Look for diversity in your photos and in your verbiage. Ensure that you are not catering too much to words like “he” or “his”, and likewise “she” and “hers”. Your word choice needs to be generic. Additionally, showcase what you have to offer. When candidates come to your website they don’t want to just apply and leave — they what to know about your company! Tell them what makes you inclusive and different than the competition.
- Social Media. Just like your website, social media also needs to reflect your company as well as represent your audience accordingly. Remember, you are trying to attract individuals from different backgrounds. Create a way for potential applicants to easily picture themselves within the company and the position at hand by providing a glimpse inside the lives of your current employees.
Now, you could be looking through your processes and thinking there’s no need for improvement. But, the truth is 57% of employees think their companies should be more diverse. That’s why ensuring that you are catering to those you are looking to hire (whether it be coders, managers, gender-specific, etc.) is so important. Put yourself in their shoes and focus on where you need to improve because there WILL be something to improve on no matter how polished you feel your system is.
Create a Diversity Hiring Policy
A lot of companies promote things like diversity and inclusion. However, how many actually have a policy? If a candidate searches your website for a diversity document will they find anything? Surprisingly, the answer may be no. In fact, according to a SHRM report, a full one-fifth of the Fortune 1000indicated their organizations have very informal diversity efforts with nothing structured at all. On the bright side, this means you aren’t alone, but the policy still needs to be visible. Without a clear understanding of what your company has to offer and what you are trying to do to be more diverse and inclusive, candidates may be less inclined to apply. Once you create an understanding of your goals and objectives, you need to form a proper policy and action plan that will help you implement and achieve those goals.
Here are some other benefits of a great diversity policy:
- Improves both attraction and retention
- Narrows minority gaps
- Expands your talent pool
- Improves your overall reputation with both candidates and customers
Additionally, your diversity document should include the following:
- A statement concerning your company’s commitment to diversity
- An outline of the working environment
- Descriptions of your values and mission
- List objectives and policies that are in place to ensure a diverse and inclusive environment
Get more information on how you can create your own diversity document for your company!
Evaluate Your Interactions with Candidates
So you have audited your existing diversity initiatives and created a diversity and inclusion hiring policy. Now you need to evaluate the screening process and interview process to make sure bias isn’t skewing your hiring process. What are some ways to ensure that you have a fair process for screening candidates from every background?
- Candidate Screening: Use an intelligent recruiting system to help screen candidates through an applicant tracking system to reduce selection bias.
- Assessments: Look at the different assessments the candidates must take and note that everyone should be required to take the same tests. Your assessments need to focused on the exact characteristics and skills needed for the job at hand and tailored to what is expected of the candidate.
Create a structured interview process.
This includes questions and topics of discussion. However, having a structure doesn’t always mean that you’re fool-proof.
Here are 4 interview biases to watch out for:
- Stereotyping. Don’t let societal thoughts or impressions get in the way of you noticing a great candidate.
- First-Impression. Don’t judge a book by its cover. It’s true that candidates should look professional and ready for the interview. However, don’t dismiss someone just because they wore an ill-fitting suit or accidentally put on too much perfume. Get to know them before forming an opinion. You never know what they’ll be able to professionally contribute to your business.
- “Similar to me”. Train hiring managers who interview candidates to look for more than just similarities. Someone’s exact skillset or alumni status should not dictate their hiring capabilities. Instead, pay attention to what makes the stand out from other candidates. What do they have to offer to both your company and your team?
- Contrast. Don’t hire based on past candidates. Every person interviews differently and you may have a weaker candidate right after a stronger one. Even if they are both equally qualified it can be difficult not to choose the candidate who conducted the interview a bit better. Instead, look at everyone as an individual and eliminate them based on experience, skill and overall conduct. Being shy or soft-spoken shouldn’t automatically disqualify anyone.