Advertising and recruiting to fill your jobs with a diverse group of people requires two different approaches. In our five tips for creating a killer diverse recruitment program, we include a common yet valuable theme. Each tip drives you toward building a better, stronger, more dynamic team. These tips are not designed for you to “check a box” so that you can state that you’ve made efforts toward building a diverse workplace. These tips will actually help in creating a more diverse and dynamic team, resulting in better organizational performance overall.
1. Company Brand Should Mention ‘Diversity’
Within your company’s mission, core beliefs, and message on your site should be a statement on how diversity in the workforce is what makes your team successful and is important to your business.
Workplace diversity is the collective makeup of your organization and includes the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical and mental abilities, cultural aspects, national heritage, religious beliefs, political beliefs, and (many) other ideologies and associations.
Explain in your company statement what diversity means to you and your business. You will have to personalize this messaging or potential employees, as well as customers, will see right through you. It’s more than just stating that your company prevents discrimination in the workplace. What do you do to make it important and great for your team?
The very best example that we can share is how Netflix presents its team members to onlookers who find their career page. This is the emotional connection you need to succeed at when cultivating your brand to attract a culturally balanced, top talent-powered workplace.
2. Building Diversity & Recruitment Ad Postings
Once your brand is better balanced with diversity attributes seen within, then we can turn to how and where you recruit for talent. This step has two parts to it. The first is how you write your job ads.
Ensure that you mention in the introduction portion of the ad that speaks about the company, that the organization is made up of and is propelled by a diverse team of people and ideas (note, only make statements like this one if it is accurate). Mentioning diversity within the ad, in a way that is meaningful to your organization, is essential to telling the story of your workplace, what it values, and how it operates.
The second part of advertising your job openings involve where you post your recruitment ads. Monster, Indeed, Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, and so on, are all really good recruitment vehicles to use. However, if you are focused on building a diverse workplace, you have to include culture, gender, and at times race-specific resources to put your opportunities in front of the audience that you are attempting to court. Consider posting on some diversity job boards, like Diversity.com.
This can be a strong defense against workplace racism as your recruitment, hiring, and initial on-boarding practices set the tone for the entire hiring team—that inclusivity is essential for collective, organizational success.
3. Encourage Diverse Employees to Refer Their Networks
If you find that your organization has really strong employees who represent minority groups or a diverse segment of the population, these are the networks that you want to tap to continue your employment of diverse, highly skilled employees.
One strong suggestion that we have is to offer an employee referral bonus that encourages employees to recommend that their cohorts in their professional and personal networks check out your organization. Referral bonuses can range from $100 to $5,000 based on a number of details pertaining to the position and length of employment of the referred team member.
4. Inject “Diversity” Within Your On-Boarding Program
Once you have hired your new team member, your on-boarding process needs to include the full welcome of your organization, which should have what the mission or core beliefs of the organization are. Remind them right off the bat that yours is a company made of diverse and dynamic team members and that it is the secret source to the organization’s success.
One way to successfully perform this important impression is for HR and senior leadership to spend time with new employees. They should address how diversity within teams, departments, leadership, and locations (if your company has multiple sites) is cultivated, specifically to balance out the work community and to bring the best, most creative ideas and concepts to the table for consideration. This is how you win the hearts and minds of your new team members.
Your approach to diversity must also be authentic and genuine. If your attempt at creating a diverse work team and brand is only for surface or disingenuous reasons, or because it is the in-vogue thing to do, don’t bother. Employees and customers will spot any insincere attempt and more than likely won’t stick around.
5. Harness the Use of ‘Blind’ Resume Reviews and Pre-Interview Testing
Finally, we know that biases are not always explicit or intentional in nature and that many of our biases are subconscious. Ways to avoid bias include blind resume screening, which is where resume reviewers see limited identifying factors about the candidate (excluding their name, college or university names, graduating year, or photos). In some cases, this also excludes seeing employment gaps (which can be addressed in the interview process) and so on.
This practice can be easily accomplished by blacking out this identity-specific information on the resume, CV, and cover letter. If the interviewing process moves through HR to your hiring supervisor, then this stage can be managed by the HR team. Their role will be to blackout the aforementioned data and pass it on to the supervisor who views skills, experience, and overall fit for the job. The two teams (HR and the hiring supervisor) combine forces during the interview stage, along with whoever else is invited to interview candidates.
Pre-interview screening works much the same way. All pre-screened candidates for a job class are tested utilizing an appropriate tool for the job that they are being considered for (e.g., a math or basic accounting principles test for finance-related positions). Without any relevance to personal traits or background, candidates answer questions that either further qualifies them or removes them from the process.
Diversity within the workplace has two prongs to it. The first is the idea that your team should generally reflect society-at-large, specifically the customers you have and the community you serve. The second prong is that workplace diversity also speaks to the mindset and behaviors within the workplace and that, partially due to your diverse team, your workplace is free from explicit biases, related comments, and actions of discrimination.
Why a Diversity Recruiting Program Is Important
One of the reasons that workplace diversity is receiving so much attention these days is that it is a long-overdue acknowledgment that our world is made up of many different people who all have a unique and special view of human nature.
The outcome that we are realizing is that there are tangible, measurable benefits within the workplace when teams develop and cultivate their diverse workplace. Statistics have shown that building a diverse workforce can be a game-changer for an organization. There are many beneficial attributes of having a diverse team and workplace, some of which are:
- A culturally diverse team cultivates a wide range of solutions to challenges. Diverse teams also make decisions faster than individuals and enjoy a 60% improvement in the outcomes decided upon.
- Companies that are gender-diverse in nature are 15% more likely to outperform their competitors.
- An organization with increased cultural awareness is able to utilize that skill set to better-align with its customers across the globe.
- Employees, generally, feel more comfortable “being themselves” within the workplace, which enhances employee retention over the long term.
- 85% of CEOs report that a diverse organization that promotes equality leads to increased bottom lines.
- Executing a diverse recruiting program results in a more diverse company of employees, which, in turn, significantly enhances the attraction of a diverse pool of candidates. Glassdoor reports that 67% of job seekers say diversity is an important factor when considering jobs and the companies that they reside in.
- Culturally diverse companies tend to have a culturally diverse leadership team. Organizations that actively maintain a diverse management team enjoy 19% higher profits.
Two Examples of Companies With a Successful Diversity Recruiting Strategy
We want to offer a couple of resources to study as you consider assembling your own diverse recruitment strategy. You will quickly notice that there are multiple ways to complete this task successfully. The goal is merging a healthy model with your brand and culture, making it authentic and sustainable over the long term.
One of the keystone examples of an awesome diversity program that we refer to again and again is L’Oreal. On its career page, it reads, “By embracing diversity, sustainability, innovation and well-being in the workplace, we lay the groundwork for you to achieve great things!” This empowering statement communicates a dynamic and inclusive workplace that anyone would want to be a part of.
L’Oreal’s recruitment strategy is based on the knowledge that its products are for all people around the globe; thus, its workplace needs to reflect its global customer base. This is achieved through multi-country recruitment strategies that encompass several diversity-focused websites and networks and leverages its current workforce to further gain diversity in its new hires.
The magic of Airbnb’s diverse recruitment program is centered squarely on its mission statement, which is, “Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere.” It expands upon this mission statement by targeting a diverse network of employees to make this mission come to light. Airbnb’s 2020–2021 diversity commitments are the following:
- 20% of Airbnb’s board of directors and executive team, collectively, will be people of color by the end of 2021.
- While setting a short-term goal is important, Airbnb wants to plan with the long-term in mind too. By the end of this summer, Airbnb’s teams will determine specific recruitment and retention goals to be met by the end of 2025.
- Each member of Airbnb’s Executive Team will produce and share with their teams a detailed diversity plan in the months ahead that will outline how they plan to meet these goals. Company diversity data is currently shared internally on an ongoing basis with teams.
Airbnb outlines a commitment, posted for all to see, that diversity is not only a part of the company’s mission and goals for the future but that its specific goals for recruitment and retention for diversity will be shared with everyone, so accountability is a part of this process.
Diversity recruiting is actively recruiting a wide variety of candidates across race, ethnicity, gender, and other aspects and hiring from that pool to create a diverse workforce. Although the most qualified candidates still get hired, the applicant pools are more diverse and unique than if standard recruitment efforts were solely employed.
Summarizing this dynamic topic of diversity recruiting is difficult. There is a lot for all of us still to learn as it relates to creating and sustaining a diverse, inclusive workplace. The tips in this resource, though, will point you in the right direction. If you exercise at least one of these strategies earnestly, you will see results that your organization will benefit from. Put forth the effort to implement a diversity recruiting strategy and you will succeed.