Best Strategies for Recruiting Diversity

By Victoria Robertson on July 17, 2020

When recruiting for an employment opportunity, more often than not, employers tend to segregate certain candidates, simply by the words that we use and the ways they advertise the job they have available.

When it comes down to it, recruiting diversity requires an active change to the way that you recruit, and one that relies on open-mindedness and adaptability.

While there are plenty of ways in which you can recruit diversity, the below six strategies are a great starting point.

Photo Via Pixabay

1. Showcase Corporate Culture

Corporate culture is, and always has been, a big deal in terms of recruiting potential candidates. The first thing a person will do when spotting an opening in your organization is research that organization.

It’s one thing to say you are a diverse workforce, and another entirely to have that diversity showcased on your corporate website, in your social media postings and beyond. Basically, the more emphasis you place on your diverse workforce, the more likely you are to get diverse applicants.

2. Remove the Personal Aspect in Interviews

Part of the reason that many organizations struggle to bring in diverse candidates is personal bias. During an interview, the personal aspect should always be removed. While it’s common to look for “cultural fits,” that’s not the end all be all, and it’s certainly not doing you any favors in terms of diversity.

Cultural fits typically mean that an individual falls in line with the rest of your workforce, which means there is little to no diversity. In removing that aspect of an interview, you get unique ideas and perspectives, while also judging a candidate on their qualifications above anything else.

3. Work on Wording Job Descriptions Differently

If your job descriptions lean hard on clichés and made-up job titles, you’re less likely to get diverse applicants, as they tend to shy away from such descriptions.

Think of it this way: if you are using the same description, you’re going to continue pulling the same candidates, and your workforce will lack the diversity you’re looking for.

In wording your job descriptions, remove the clichés, focus on the job, qualifications and responsibilities, and let your corporate culture shine through in a way that’s not clichéd. That is how you’ll pull in the diverse pool of candidates that you’ve been looking for.

4. Expand Educational Qualifications

One of the most limiting factors in reading through resumes is judging an individual’s educational background. For years, those without college degrees (even with more experience than other applicants) are passed over for those with Ivy League degrees, that attended your alma mater or even that didn’t attend a community college.

The bottom line is that if you’re limiting candidates based on their education, you are missing out on some great finds.

Education is important, but it isn’t everything, and shouldn’t limit who you interview. Privilege is a very real problem, and the more you limit your search to those that “fit the educational background,” the less diverse you will find your workforce is.

5. Develop a Diversity Team

Again, simply claiming you are a diverse workplace and actually showcasing your diversity are two different things. As such, you should put your money where your mouth is.

Every organization, if you don’t already, needs to have a diversity team, dedicated to ensuring your company adheres to the standard it sets. This team should be comprised of individuals across departments of varying races and genders, and should converse regarding changes to implement.

Diversity is more than a quick policy here and there; it’s a series of standards that need to be set, changed and adhered to, all of which won’t be done if a team of individuals isn’t taking on that responsibility.

6. Referrals Aren’t Always Best

Last, but not least, do not rely on referrals. Referrals are great in that they get you new candidates with little to no advertising. However, referrals tend to be similar to the person referring them, which means that you are not getting any diversity through referrals.

While you don’t need to cut them out entirely, you should consider the weight you give referrals over other candidates of similar merit that have more diversity to offer.

Ask for referrals on occasion, but rely on your recruiting tactics to ensure you are pulling in a variety of candidates.

Recruiting a diverse workforce requires active changes in the way you promote job opportunities. The above six strategies are a strong starting point, but you are encouraged to research beyond these strategies in order to recruit the diverse workforce that you’re looking for.

Recruiting diversity is about more than simply claiming you support it, but rather walking the walk, placing an emphasis on diversity in ways that other organizations are only beginning to.

Times are finally changing, so make sure you are an employer that’s well versed in bringing in diverse candidates.

By Victoria Robertson

Uloop Writer
University of Illinois
Victoria is a dedicated writer who graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She currently writes freelance pieces for various sites and works in Marketing for Myndbee Inc., promoting their current mobile app, Picpal.

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