3 Tips for Hiring for Diversity

Diversity is kind of a crazy thing – as it is one of those nouns that can mean so many things to so many people. Is it a goal of numbers? Is it a goal to increase sensitivity? Or more importantly, is it an awareness that developing a culture around valuing diversity makes a company culture richer, more dynamic and ultimately more successful?

Approximately 77% of the U.S. is white, but what does that mean? If a company doesn’t value diversity, isn’t intentional about it, they absolutely can end up with a very un-diverse workforce. So if diversity is important to you, how do you make sure you hire for it?

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Tip #1: It Starts at Home

Before you can even start considering techniques, strategies for recruiting, there needs to be a true understanding of how your company values diversity. When decisions are made, when groups are developed – is there an approach to include as many opinions and points of views as possible? When you look at your organization – at all levels – does your organization reflect that desire?

Think how this will affect your candidate experiences – the annual report, the org charts, the marketing the candidate sees, who is on the board of directors, etc. Asses your current status before you try to improve.

Tip #2: Hiring Managers Need to Understand the Value

At the end of the day, it is the hiring managers who make the decisions to hire. This issue is now becoming more key to some recent SHRM research that has shown that the biggest barriers to diversity efforts in a company are middle managers. Further research shows that one of the major causes of this issue is indifference or thoughts that the organization is already sufficiently diverse. Make sure they understand how much your company values diversity and get them onboard.

Tip #3: The ROI of Intent

Once you have your values set and everyone onboard, now the fun of being a recruiting professional comes into play! Without getting into the answers – as they vary from industry to industry – here are the key questions to ask yourself that will help you craft your answers:

  1. Does your advertising happen in forums that your targets will see?
  2. Do you attend conferences, associations, collegiate programs, sponsor education programs that reflect your approach?
  3. When folks interview – what is the experience like? Who do they interview with?
  4. How are we tracking this? What have we learned from past experiences?

Being critical of your own practices is the only way to get better. Look at ways to improve your diversity hiring and don’t be afraid to change up things that aren’t working. Any experiences to share? Let us know in the comments!

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