By Renee Walrath
Diversity hiring is a practice being implemented and embraced by more and more companies. Diverse workplaces have an array of advantages including higher employee engagement, increased profitability, and higher levels of employee retainment. Workplaces saying that they value diversity is no longer enough, as actions speak louder than words.
By definition, diversity hiring is hiring based on merit with special care taken to ensure procedures are free from biases related to a candidate’s age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and other personal characteristics that are unrelated to their job performance.
However, so many other things fall under the umbrella of diversity hiring. Anything that makes one individual different from the next counts as diversity. This can be the way they think, the tools they utilize, the languages they speak, or simply anything that makes the workplace more unique!
For companies who have not always practiced diversity hiring, it can be difficult to implement, but far from impossible! These tips will help any company take the first step towards hiring more diverse candidates.
Inclusive job alerts
An excellent place to start when trying to implement diversity hiring is to take a look at the job post and its description. Candidates are assessed against the criteria specified in the job description, so they take it into great consideration before applying.
The job alert may be the first time an individual comes across your company or brand so leaving a positive impression is key. This means the job description should be inclusive and free of any and all words that may signal this job is meant for a “certain type of person”. Examples of words to steer clear from are “energetic”, “dynamic”, “outspoken” or even words that may make the job come off as masculine. Doing this can increase responses by 42 percent.
Additionally, some companies include a disclaimer regarding their status as an equal opportunity employer. This can be a good idea to get the point across. It doesn’t even need to be a set disclaimer, using words that signal inclusiveness and talking about your companies morals can go a long way.
Mitigate unconscious bias
According to Psychology Today, bias is a tendency, inclination, or prejudice toward or against something or someone. While every single person in the world has some biases and not all bias is bad, it becomes an issue when people fail to combat them. This is especially true in interviewing processes.
Being closed-minded in interviews can not only limit the potential to diversify the workplace, but it can also limit the progression and success of a company. Having fresh, unique ideas is an effect of hiring unique candidates. Plus, passing up a candidate due to pre-existing bias might mean passing up the candidate who has the skills to complete that 6 –month project that has been dragging on.
Accepting that there is bias within a company is the first step to targeting it. By knowing specifically where the bias lies and being accountable for it, steps can be taken to prevent it.
Blind hiring practices
Blind hiring practices are one of the easiest ways to target the issue of bias in the workplace and increase diversity hiring. When identifying details are removed from a candidate’s profile, all bias can be removed too.
Removing people’s names and details of education or graduation date, bias based on gender and age are both removed, and the candidate is judged solely on their qualifications.
Scorecards can be another great way to implement diversity hiring. This changes the interview process from qualitative to quantitative. Having scores for candidates eliminates the chance of leaning towards a candidate because there was that “gut feeling”. Scoring people on specific categories and a set scale also ensure that everyone is being compared on the same basis.
By Renee Walrath