DEI Recruiting Strategies: Transform Your Workforce

Connor Keppel

Powerful DEI Recruiting Strategies

In today’s workforce, organisations are recognising the importance of building inclusive teams that reflect their employees’ diverse values and perspectives. And if you’re a recruiter, it’s time to familiarise yourself with recruiting for DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion)!

This article will show you how DEI in recruitment works, with strategies, best practices, and insights to guide your way to top talent!

Embracing Diversity in Recruitment for an Inclusive Workforce

Diversity, equity, and inclusion-focused recruiting has skyrocketed in recent years. A diverse workforce brings numerous benefits, including improved employee retention, increased productivity, and enhanced innovation.

And DEI in recruitment involves creating a fair and inclusive hiring process where candidates from all backgrounds have equal opportunities.

What Is Diversity Recruiting?

Diversity recruiting refers to intentionally attracting and hiring candidates from diverse backgrounds.

It involves actively seeking out individuals who hold a range of characteristics, including race, gender identity, ethnicity, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, among others.

Diversity recruiting goes beyond ticking boxes; it aims to create a level playing field for all applicants and combat recruitment bias and discrimination.

Recruitment’s Role in Workplace DEI

In essence, recruitment is the gateway to introducing new talent into the organisation. Adopting DEI principles in the hiring process ensures you are building a diverse workforce from the ground up.

Why Is a Diversity Recruiting Strategy Important?

It’s not enough to “try.” Without a plan, we’re planning to fail, and a diversity recruiting strategy keeps the organisation aligned on what truly matters. Plus, organisations will experience a plethora of benefits, including:

  1. Expanded talent pool: Access a broader range of skills, experiences, and perspectives, so you harness untapped talent and introduce fresh ideas.
  2. Enhanced innovation: A diverse workforce unites individuals with different backgrounds and experiences, meaning your teams will be more likely to challenge the status quo, think outside the box, and come up with creative solutions to problems.
  3. Improved employee retention: When employees see that their organisation values diversity and promotes an inclusive culture, they feel valued, and there’s nothing like a sense of belonging to increase employee satisfaction and retention rates.

DEI Recruiting Best Practices

We often speak to our partner recruiter agencies here at Allsorter, and they swear by the following practices:

  1. Establish buy-in from leadership: DEI efforts need to start at the top. Leaders should demonstrate their commitment to diversity by supporting and promoting inclusive hiring practices.
  2. Review and update job descriptions: Ensure that job descriptions are inclusive and free from biased language. Use gender-neutral terms and focus on the essential skills and qualifications needed for the role, rather than unnecessary requirements that may exclude qualified candidates. Resume reformatting tools like Allsorter allow recruiters to remove candidate information (such as contact details) that could allude to bias.
  3. Diversify sourcing channels: Expand your sourcing channels to reach more qualified candidates—partner with organisations that enhance opportunities for underrepresented groups and attend job fairs at diverse universities.
  4. Train recruiters and hiring managers: Provide training on unconscious bias and inclusive hiring practices to recruiters and hiring managers, so you mitigate bias during the hiring process.
  5. Establish diverse interview panels: Include individuals from diverse backgrounds in the interview process to offer different perspectives and reduce the impact of bias.
  6. Implement structured interviews: Use a structured interview process with standardised questions to evaluate candidates objectively.
  7. Create a welcoming and inclusive candidate experience: Pay attention to the candidate experience throughout the recruitment process. Ensure all candidates feel valued, respected, and included – regardless of their background.
  8. Measure and track diversity metrics: Regularly track and analyse diversity metrics to assess the effectiveness of your DEI recruiting efforts.
  9. Promote employee resource groups (ERGs): Suggest the formation of ERGs within your organisation, so employees from underrepresented groups can connect, support each other, and contribute to the company’s DEI initiatives.
  10. Partner with diverse suppliers: Extend your commitment to diversity beyond the hiring process by partnering with diverse suppliers.

5 Ways to Recruit for a Diverse Workforce

Recruiting for a diverse workforce requires a proactive approach. Here are five strategies to consider when aiming to recruit a diverse talent pool:

  1. Expand your reach: Look beyond traditional recruitment channels and tap into diverse talent networks. Engage with professional organisations, community groups, and online platforms that cater to underrepresented communities.
  2. Build relationships: Develop partnerships with organisations that focus on diversity and inclusion. Collaborate with them to attract a diverse pool of candidates and leverage their expertise in reaching underrepresented talent.
  3. Review your employer brand: Assess how diverse candidates perceive your clients’ organisations. Analyse their website, social media presence, and job descriptions.
  4. Offer internships and apprenticeships: Consult your clients on the ways internships offer valuable work experience to individuals with an underrepresented background while creating a pipeline of diverse talent for future full-time positions.
  5. Invest in employee development: Demonstrate commitment to the growth of your employees by offering training and advancement opportunities so diverse candidates see your clients’ organisations as thriving career opportunities.

How to Implement DEI-Centric Recruiting

You won’t just consult your clients on DEI recruiting as a recruiter. You’ll also have to make sure that you walk the talk.

  1. Assess your current practices: Conduct a thorough assessment of your current recruiting practices. Next, identify problem areas that may be hindering diversity and inclusion. This includes reviewing job descriptions, sourcing channels, interview processes, and candidate evaluation methods.
  2. Educate and train your team: Provide training and education on DEI principles and unconscious bias to your recruiting team.
  3. Set diversity goals: Establish measurable diversity goals and regularly track your progress. This will provide a benchmark for analysing the success of your DEI-centric recruiting efforts.
  4. Integrate DEI into your recruiting brand: Highlight your agency’s diversity initiatives, employee resource groups, and inclusive culture.
  5. Collaborate with stakeholders: Involve key stakeholders (such as hiring managers and leadership) in the DEI-centric recruiting process.

How Technology Can Help You with DEI

Technology can play a significant role in strengthening DEI efforts in recruitment. For example…

  1. AI-powered resume screening: Use AI-powered tools like Allsorter to screen resumes and remove potential bias from the initial screening process. These tools can help identify qualified candidates based on skills and qualifications rather than demographic information.
  2. Diverse sourcing platforms: Explore online platforms and tools that specialise in connecting employers with diverse talent pools. These platforms can help you reach candidates from underrepresented groups and expand your talent pool.
  3. Data analytics: Leverage data analytics to track and measure the effectiveness of your DEI recruiting efforts. Analyse diversity metrics, like applicant demographics and hiring outcomes, to identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions.
  4. Virtual interviewing platforms: Virtual interviewing platforms enable remote and flexible candidate interviews, which can help overcome geographic barriers and increase access to a more diverse talent pool.
  5. Online training and education: Use online training platforms to provide diversity and inclusion training to your recruiting team and employees. These platforms offer accessible and scalable solutions for educating your workforce on DEI principles.

How to Measure Diversity Recruitment Progress

Measuring diversity recruitment progress is crucial to evaluating DEI effectiveness. Here are some key metrics to consider when measuring your progress:

  1. Representation: Track the representation of diverse candidates at each stage of the recruitment process, from application to hiring.
  2. Candidate sources: Analyze the sources of candidates to determine if your recruitment efforts are reaching inclusive talent pools.
  3. Hiring outcomes: Measure the diversity of new hires to assess the success of your diversity recruiting efforts.
  4. Retention rates: Monitor the retention rates of diverse hires compared to the overall employee population to evaluate the inclusivity of your workplace culture.
  5. Employee feedback: Gather feedback from employees, particularly those from underrepresented groups, to understand their experiences and identify areas for improvement.

Empower Your Workforce through DEI-Focused Recruiting Strategies!

Incorporating DEI principles into the recruitment process is vital for cultivating inclusive and diverse workforces. And while the benefits are clear, your clients may need a little help implementing the changes not just in their recruiting process – but company-wide.

Start implementing DEI principles for yourself, and then consult your clients on the best ways to continue developing sustainably and fairly.

Soon enough, you’ll have plenty of fantastic talent to recruit and retain!