Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) has grown as a critical business initiative over the last several years, with organizations across all industries making a stronger effort to recruit more diverse talent, ensure equitable opportunities for advancement and nurture an inclusive work environment.
When a company is more diverse, equitable and inclusive, it benefits in multiple ways, including:
- Productivity. According to a recent report by Momentive, companies with diverse management teams have 19% higher revenue and are nearly twice as likely to be leaders in their industry.
- Reputation. When a company’s workforce reflects the diverse society we live in, it signals that your organization understands, accepts and values differences among people.
- Reach. With a more diverse set of backgrounds, skills and experiences on your team, your company is better positioned to engage with a wider variety of markets and communities.
If your organization wants to increase the diversity of its workforce, you need to reexamine your hiring strategies to recruit more diverse talent. This requires that your team make some internal as well as external changes to your company culture and outreach. Here are some tips to get started.
Internal Changes: Account for Bias and Foster Inclusivity
Before your company starts recruiting for more diverse talent, you need to do the work to ensure your workplace is a safe and inviting space for any and all individuals. One key to creating an inclusive environment is to learn more about unconscious bias and take the steps to identify and account for where bias is happening in your organization.
Unconscious bias is exactly what it sounds like: a reinforcement of stereotypes we make without even realizing it. This could show up when you read a resume and make assumptions based on the person’s name or age, or sitting with an interviewee and finding it difficult to connect because of your age or gender gap. If you aren’t properly trained to identify and account for unconscious bias in your recruiting and interview process, it will be an obstacle to your goal of improving diversity.
One way to address unconscious bias in your recruiting process is by reviewing and updating job descriptions with more inclusive language. For example, you may have heard the statistic that men will apply for a job if they meet 60% of the qualifications while women only apply if they meet 100% of them. Review the requirements you have listed and consider which ones are actually necessary.
Additionally, your job descriptions should:
- Avoid gender-coded words – even terms like “data ninja” or “accounting rockstar” can have masculine coding
- Emphasize your commitment to diversity with a formal DEI policy
- Call out inclusive benefits, like parental leave and floating holidays
External Changes: Engage with Diverse Communities
Even if you put a lot of time and resources into developing a more inclusive work environment, it doesn’t mean you will automatically attract more diverse talent – this isn’t an “if you build it, they will come” situation. If your organization wants to have a more inclusive hiring process, it needs to change its recruiting strategy.
A more inclusive recruiting strategy can include:
- Attending job fairs in a variety of communities
- Connecting with professional organizations and networks where diverse members congregate
- Placing job advertisements in a greater demographic range
- Partnering with universities to connect with students in different communities
- Offering internships to candidates from the diversity of backgrounds you’re seeking
Increasing the diversity of your workforce might also require your organization to increase the radius in which it typically recruits. By working with a corporate relocation partner, you can entice prospective hires from across the country and around the world to join your company by making it easier to relocate with a paid moving service.