A growing number of companies recognize the benefits of making hiring more inclusive. But it’s essential to be deliberate about strategy throughout the entire process, from attracting quality candidates to enhancing employee engagement. Here are five things hiring managers, diversity officers and executives should consider to develop a diverse talent pipeline.
- Consider nontraditional sourcing. At the highest level, employers should look holistically at their recruiting strategy, including how and where they source talent. It’s important to consider sourcing from nontraditional talent pools, like veterans and individuals with disabilities. I’m also seeing employers create programs to encourage a wider range of people to apply. For example, “returnships” — similar to internships, but for workers who took time away for personal reasons — are a popular way to help workers jump start their careers and give them a chance to work on a part-time or project basis. Randstad US also developed the Hire Hope program to help women who are survivors of homelessness, exploitation and human trafficking get career-readiness training and job placement services to re-enter the workforce.
- Edit job descriptions. Employers should update job descriptions to remove biased language around age, race or sex and review their overall tone. HR managers should also approach recruiting-related writing like a marketer would, using compelling language that is reflective of a company’s unique culture. Not sharing core value or culture information in job ads is a missed opportunity, as social media or career page language can easily be tweaked to help prospective employees get a feel for your company.
- Use technology. Employers are increasingly bringing technology into the assessment process to conduct blind resume reviews. For example, our Randstad Innovation Fund invested in Wade & Wendy, whose technology automates candidate communications with a recruiter bot. Beyond improving candidate experience by speeding up the communications process, blind screening is effective at impartially evaluating people’s skill sets.
- Re-think interview practices. Companies should evaluate the interview process to improve inclusivity and treat all applicants fairly. Implementing structured interviews — asking the same questions of everyone and judging candidates on the same competencies — protects employers from risk and minimizes bias. Hiring managers should be mindful of the role cultural competencies and skills play in attracting top talent when developing these questions. Another best practice is to assemble a diverse interview panel to ensure candidates meet with people representing many backgrounds and roles, to help them envision themselves at the company and in a position.
- Think beyond hiring. Employers may create effective plans to bring diverse talent in, but they often don’t make similar efforts around retaining that talent. Internal mentorship programs or employee resource groups (ERGs) are a great way to welcome newcomers into the organization and connect them with established employees to help them adjust to company culture and provide mentorship to grow in their careers.
By hiring diverse people with a wide range of experiences and perspectives, employers are taking a big step toward creating successful, inclusive teams and will see the benefits in the long run.
This article first appeared in The Staffing Stream.