Diversity recruitment can be an important strategy to growing your company's bottom line. Research from McKinsey & Company found that gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to outperform their competitors, while ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform competitors. So, diversity can actually be a strategic advantage. How can companies design recruiting programs that help promote diversity throughout the organization – and attempt to capture the maximum benefits from this initiative?
Establish a Baseline Understanding of Non-Discriminatory Best Practices
It's important to examine whether your company has a clear non-discrimination policy in place which encompasses all employment related practices, including the hiring process. Companies need to invest time to establish standardized practices during the hiring process, including the manner in which resumes are screened as well as which questions are being asked in interviews. This area can be particularly concerning, as some questions can elicit information unrelated to the individual’s qualifications for the position and possibly information related to a candidates membership in a protected class. Relying on this information in the hiring process can be the basis of legal action. It is important to create a clear recruiting/hiring policy, audit your existing process for any issues, and provide rigorous training on these issues to attempt to mitigate exposure to problems.
Develop a Sourcing Strategy Aligned with This Goal
Many companies have carefully designed sourcing strategies that make it easier to identify and attract the best talent. Take for instance AT&T, which places so much value in this that it has adopted a tagline of "Bringing the best talent to the table from every background." One recruiting tactic that some companies use is forming college recruiting and talent partnerships with schools that have a diverse student base. Others sponsor events such as Women in Tech “hackathons” (where groups of people, typically male, but in this case female, gather to collaborate on computer programming) that help demonstrate the company's interest in diverse recruiting, while also capturing the interest of diverse potential candidates.
Consider Internship and Talent Development Programs
Another strategy that many companies use with great success is sponsoring internship and talent development programs to build relationships with diverse talent. Whether you're offering interns a summer job or placing recent hires in a talent development rotation, these programs can provide an easy way for diverse workers to see what it's like to work at your company and how, if hired, they may be able to make important contributions there.
Incorporate Diversity Into your Branding
For companies that are thinking of increasing their diversity recruiting, it's helpful to look at your branding materials. If your brand materials feature employees or even stock images, what do those people look like? Are women or older workers featured in these pieces? Does your branding reflect that your workplace includes people of diverse backgrounds and ethnicities? Often, simply introducing diversity into your branding can help potential recruits imagine themselves working for your company. Carry this throughout, from videos to online collateral and social media.
Focus on Diversity with your Recruiting Team
Another area where it's beneficial to cultivate diversity is on your recruiting team. When a diverse recruiting team attends an event, it can help send a message about what your organization values. It may also promote a safe space where candidates can explore issues of diversity recruiting and hear these recruiters' own experiences in the workforce.
Incorporating diversity recruiting into your company's hiring values is a smart idea. As research has shown, a range of perspectives and experience profiles can give you a strategic advantage and help your company outperform your competition. By taking a closer look at sourcing strategies, brand messaging, and how your company discusses diversity, you'll be well on your way to a more inclusive and diverse workforce.