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recruitment Diversity

Where Diversity Meets Qualified - How To Build A Candidate Pipeline with Qualified AND Diverse Candidates

September 23, 2021

Diversity talent is no longer just a box that hiring managers can check when submitting job descriptions to their talent acquisition teams. Not only is discrimination based on race, gender, ethnicity, or religion illegal, many states now require employers to submit information on their workforce diversity.

No one argues the merits of diversity hiring, but that does not mean diversity recruiting is a simple process. Attracting diverse candidates that are still qualified presents a few challenges, and there are still ethics to consider. Read on as we discuss just a few of our best practices at IQTP when it comes to finding diverse AND qualified candidates.

We must consider ethics when it comes to finding qualified diverse candidates. It is essential that recruiters strive to remove any potential bias when sourcing. Additional best practices around diversity recruiting involve: creating clear and concise job descriptions, consistent communication, and re-thinking your sourcing, interviewing, and hiring practices.

The process starts with removing bias, but there is still a lot that recruiters and companies can do to adapt their talent acquisitions processes for diversity sourcing, interviewing, and hiring.

@IQTalent says that when you focus on creating a #HiringPipeline built around diversity and inclusivity, you’ll attract and hire more #qualified candidates:Click to Tweet

What is Diversity Recruiting?

Recruiters and talent professionals have started using new engagement strategies as diversity, equity, and inclusion have become normalized considerations for growing companies. Beyond staying compliant with the law, companies can benefit from diversity hiring in other ways.

  • Diversity within the workforce can attract a wider customer base, thus benefiting the bottom line.
  • A survey of UK employees conducted by Glassdoor showed that 72% of job seekers consider the diversity of their potential employer when deciding where to apply.

The goal of diversity hiring is to increase the number of employees from underrepresented populations in leadership positions, certain job categories, and even in some industries that are nearly absent of any diverse workers.

Diverse candidates are defined not only by their gender, age, race, religion, sexual preferences, or veteran status. Diverse can simply mean different.

Diversity hiring seeks to recruit diverse candidates based on merit as well as providing special consideration to reduce any potential bias towards their personal characteristics that have no bearing on job performance.

What Are Some Diversity Recruiting Best Practices?

As with most processes, diversity recruiting is constantly changing and adapting to changes in legislation, job trends, etc. That being said, we’ve discovered a few proven strategies that can serve as a great foundation for developing diversity recruiting practices that will provide qualified and diverse candidates.

The three Diversity Recruiting Best Practices discussed below include:

  • Removing Bias from the Hiring Process
  • Expanding Sourcing, Outreach, and Interview Strategies
  • Employing Consistent Communication

These best practices are only a few of several initiatives hiring teams and recruiters can use to promote diversity hiring. Removing bias and re-evaluating current recruiting and hiring practices can pave the way for more comprehensive diversity hiring measures down the road.

1. Design A Hiring Process That Removes Bias

Removing bias is not as simple as wishing it away. Sometimes people have unconscious biases they are not even aware of. A big step towards combating potential bias throughout an organization is offering company-wide unconscious bias training. This training can help provide the foundation for removing bias, but it is only the first step.

In addition to unconscious bias training, companies can further solidify their commitment to diverse hiring practices by reviewing their current workforce and identifying specific areas or departments where diversity would have the biggest impact. Aggregating this data efficiently allows hiring managers to create and monitor diverse hiring goals.

2. Expand Your Approach to Sourcing and Interviewing

The next step toward effective diversity recruiting involves reviewing the entire recruitment process. There are specific strategies that can be employed throughout the hiring cycle. Diversity hiring starts with diversity sourcing, is then supported by outreach, solidified by clear and concise communication, and reinforced by consistent interview practices.

The first hurdle to diversity recruiting is building a diverse pipeline. To do this, it may be necessary to step outside of traditional sourcing and talent acquisition practices. Research indicates that a company's growth can be hindered by hiring from the same or similar groups of candidates.

In order to build a more diverse pipeline, recruiters and hiring managers need to expand beyond local universities and professional groups. By targeting diverse schools and using websites, online job boards, and various social media channels, recruiters can increase the scope of their candidate pool. Referrals from diverse employees are also highly valued.

@IQTalent knows that like everything else, #diversity recruiting changes continuously. Stay updated on the latest best practices and trends with advice from their latest blog:Click to Tweet

After reviewing sourcing and recruiting practices, the next step toward finding qualified, diverse candidates involves re-evaluating outreach and interview practices. The more diverse these approaches, the more potential for a diverse pipeline and candidate flow.

Outreach does not need to be confined to email or even LinkedIn messaging. Diverse candidates can often be reached via other social media platforms or via mobile recruiting strategies. With regard to interviews, the most important thing is to develop a set of questions and not to deviate from them. Any adaptation could result in unconscious bias.

3. Re-Define Over-Communication as Good Communication

Another important consideration for adapting diversity recruiting and hiring is to consider the importance of communication. Through great communication, we can foster a positive experience for all diverse candidates, but it’s also an area where recruiters often fall short.

Check out these three important aspects of communication that need to be considered with diversity recruiting:

  • Crafting clear and concise job postings that include every necessary skill and qualification. 
  • Consistency. Using automated workflows can ensure no candidates are left in the dark.
  • Updates. Even no news is news. By taking time to update candidates during lapses in the process, diverse candidates are less likely to fall through the cracks.

Communication channels should also be considered. Email is not the only way to engage candidates, and sometimes using social media or other forms of communication can make all the difference.

The goal of diversity recruiting is to find every qualified candidate who may be a potential match for an open position according to experience, education, and expected salary. Diversity searching is not done to discriminate. It is done to promote a more inclusive and dynamic workforce.

By reconsidering the entire talent acquisition process, qualified diverse candidates have a much greater opportunity to fill roles that in the past they may have been overlooked for. This has immense potential to improve the performance of the companies that bring them on.

By: Tim Fedorko, Senior Associate at IQTalent Partners. 
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