Hiring diverse candidates is a business priority getting hotter by the day.
The seeds of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) were planted in social consciousness – recognizing inequities and a desire to do the right thing. Today, companies realize diversity delivers results and is integral to their success.
Diverse businesses are more profitable. Diversity of thought and experiences drives innovation. Robust diversity programs help bolster company brands and ultimately arm organizations with a substantial competitive advantage. They are critical drivers for employee attraction, retention, and engagement.
To illustrate these points, look at the data:
- 76% of job seekers and employees say a diverse workforce is an essential factor when they evaluate companies and job offers
- Ethnically diverse executive teams are 33% more likely to outperform their peers on profitability
- 61% of employees believe diversity and inclusion strategies are beneficial and essential
- 38% of consumers are more likely to trust brands with diversity in their ads
At TRANSEARCH, along with having a female CEO, women make up most of our workforce, and about half of our team represent diverse groups. Diversity forms the very fabric of our company culture. We believe in it because it’s who we are.
I see first-hand that diverse teams are more dynamic, make better decisions and deliver a superior client experience. I am certified in diversity sourcing. I’m passionate about DEI, and I see that same passion in our clients, who are proactively looking to build robust talent pipelines by partnering with us to deliver comprehensive, diverse searches.
Therefore, I am pleased to provide four proven strategies to proactively attract and hire diverse candidates and showcase their unique beliefs, orientations, and perspectives.
1. Intentionally search for candidates from underrepresented groups
“Seek, and ye shall find,” is an adage that encapsulates diversity sourcing. To find more women, people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, and other underrepresented groups, you need to really look for and proactively reach out to them. Your sourcing must be laser-focused and skillfully targeted.
We apply research techniques that leverage specific keywords, diversity filters, and much more to help build an inclusive slate of candidates for our clients. For example, adding details to the Boolean criteria like “women in construction” or listing the names of the 100+ historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) will increase the chances of finding more diverse candidates whose competencies and expertise align with the roles you’re seeking fill.
2. Be an active participant in professional groups with diverse members and mandates
I recently attended a leadership forum hosted by Women Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE). Several companies were actively engaged and looking for talent at the conference.
For companies looking to broaden talent pipelines, sponsoring and hosting these events and giving your team the opportunity to participate will help foster a progressive recruitment mantra. It also showcases to candidates that your organization genuinely supports inclusive initiatives, which is a key attraction and retention factor.
As a candidate, by getting involved with minority professional associations like this one or the litany of others that apply to your industry, you’re not only creating excellent networking opportunities; you’re boosting your chances of getting hired. I also strongly recommend highlighting diverse association memberships on your LinkedIn profile.
3. Train team members on unconscious bias
We often carry biased views of groups of people based on their race, age, gender, physical abilities, and other categories without being consciously aware of it. In essence, that’s what unconscious bias is. These biases can affect our hiring decisions and interactions with colleagues, clients, and candidates. You will be happy to learn biases can be overcome. That’s why companies must invest in unconscious bias training.
The training aims to make people self-aware of their biases, understand how they originated, provide opportunities for open dialogue, and give team members practical tools to eliminate these views and make your recruiting processes intentionally bias-free.
4. Set goals, measure results and share them
Just as you set revenue and profitability targets, you should set diversity goals, too, since you can’t manage what you don’t measure. It is essential to have a result in mind to help you develop systems that support DE&I efforts.
Here are some examples of objectives:
- Set a standard. Source 50% of your candidates from underrepresented groups
- Sponsor events hosted by minority professional associations events each quarter
- Get 70% of the company to attend unconscious bias training this year
- Create a DEI committee within your organization.
After you measure results, note your progress and set further targets. Be sure to communicate the findings company-wide. It is important employees see the breadth of your diversity endeavors. Sharing the real numbers demonstrates transparency and illustrates the company truly values inclusion and belonging.
Hiring diverse teams is essential for organizations and their people to be successful. By pursuing the strategies outlined here, you will build a vibrant and dynamic workforce and nurture a company culture that embraces employees, which will make your company “The One” when evaluating competing offers.