Achieving greater diversity in the workplace is not just a noble and compliance-related goal. We hold diversity and inclusion meetings weekly and ensure our resourcing/pipeline strategies are aligned with our business and culture objectives – We believe we have the ability to serve as engines of change. – Oliver Lee-Stevens, Managing Director
At OP, we believe If your company supports a diverse, inclusive environment, you’re more likely to have happy employees and an engaged company, which yields better customer service and a stronger brand.
What else are we doing to make a change for equality?
1. Examine bias during the interview process.
Strengthening diversity in your workplace means helping your interviewers and hiring managers understand common biases that may influence their hiring decisions. Confirmation bias, for instance, is the tendency to embrace information that confirms one’s existing beliefs while rejecting information that challenges them.
This bias and others can cause hiring managers to make poor or non-diverse hiring choices based on the unconscious assumptions they make about their candidates. Assisting employees and leaders in evaluating their potential biases is a great first step toward promoting a culture of open-mindedness, diversity and inclusion.
2. Ensure the hiring committee represents diversity.
Tackling the question of bias among your interviewers is just one step in the process of building a more diverse, inclusive company. Creating a diverse hiring committee can yield a thoughtful, intentional hiring process that is open to a wider variety of people.
Build a hiring committee that represents a variety of positions (entry-level, middle management and company leadership), ages (baby boomers, Gen Xers, millennials and Gen Zers), cultures, beliefs, backgrounds, genders, strengths and personalities.
3. Highlight your company’s diverse culture through outreach.
When communicating with potential candidates, emphasize the diverse culture you’re working to build in your company. If your company supports causes that encourage diversity, include that information in your communications where applicable.
Millennials and Gen Zers are attracted to companies that value social responsibility, diversity and inclusion, so if you want to recruit and retain these younger generations, it’s crucial that candidates understand your company’s stance on diversity. In fact, 69% of millennials and Gen Zers said they’re more likely to want to stay at a company for five years or longer as opposed to an employer that didn’t prioritize diversity and inclusion.
4. Assess candidates’ skill sets first.
As part of your company’s hiring process, screen your candidates’ skills through a small trial project. This gives interviewers and hiring managers a chance to form their opinions based on skill and execution.
5. Ask all candidates the same questions.
If you follow a skills test with an in-person interview, use the same set of interview questions, asked in the same order, for every candidate. Assign weighted scores to the questions and compare candidates side by side.
6. Participate in diversity job fairs.
Recruiters spend a large amount of time attending and meeting candidates at job fairs. While you’re likely to meet a wide variety of people at standard job fairs, you can broaden your company’s outreach by participating in job fairs that are tailored to a diverse candidate base.
7. Connect with organizations and meetup groups in your area that draw underrepresented candidates.
Attending networking events and meetups for diverse or underrepresented candidate groups will help you broaden your contacts and open new doors for strong referrals. These events may also help you gain additional insights into hiring issues affecting specific groups and help you consider how to address those issues in your company moving forward.
8. Build a pipeline of diverse candidates through targeted networking.
Building one-on-one relationships with career professionals who belong to underrepresented groups is a strong long-term strategy for successful recruitment. Beyond in-person meetups, leveraging your social and personal networks to meet new candidates will help you build a more diverse pipeline.
9. Encourage your interviewers to participate in diversity training.
Your workforce originates from the managers who make hiring decisions. Diversity training is imperative for company employees at all levels, but it’s particularly important for interviewers and hiring managers.
10. Align with a recruitment partner that focuses on matching diverse employees with the companies who need their talents.
A recruitment partner such as OP that specializes in matching a diverse candidate base with the right companies could help your company find, recruit and retain more diverse candidates.
No matter which strategies you employ to make your workplace more inclusive and diverse, the returns will be worth the time and energy you invest.