9 Ways To Improve Your Diversity Hiring Strategy

Connor Keppel

This article will explore the concept of diversity hiring, its importance, and list practical strategies to help your team improve its diversity hiring efforts.

When deciding where to work, 76 % of job seekers say that a diverse workforce is a priority. That’s more than 3 out of 4 potential candidates! 

By prioritising diversity in their hiring strategy, recruiting agents can promote an inclusive workplace culture – all while gaining direct access to a culturally-rich candidate pool.

What Is Diversity Hiring?

Diversity hiring is the intentional practice of recruiting and hiring candidates from diverse backgrounds based on their skills and qualifications. It aims to reduce bias and unfair practices associated with age, race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation – because none of those attributes impact job performance in any way. 

However, for a lot of companies, “diversity hiring” and “DEI” are nothing but buzz terms they can capitalise on. Sonali Shah, Chief Product Officer at Invicti, agrees.

“Companies often tie themselves to the DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) conversation because they know it improves their perception as an employer brand. Realistically, it’s a much smaller sub-section actually delivering on DEI to drive real, lasting progress,” she told Forbes.

If you want to go beyond the buzz and drive real value to your clients, you’ll need to understand why diversity hiring matters, as well as how to apply it to your recruiting strategy.

The Difference Between Diversity And Inclusion

The difference between diversity and inclusion is simple:

Diversity is about having a diverse workforce with different types of people. Alternatively, inclusion is about cultivating a workplace where everyone feels safe, welcome, and can do their best. 

Both terms are intertwined: diversity is about who is in the workplace, and inclusion is about how people are treated and included in the same workplace). 

Diversity means welcoming different kinds of people, while inclusion means ensuring each of those people is treated fairly and included in the workplace.

Why Is Diversity Hiring Important?

In short, embracing diverse talent can drive better business outcomes. Besides, of course, encouraging a safer and more enjoyable workplace for all employees.

A Boston Consulting Group study looked at companies with diverse management teams and found that, on average, they enjoyed a 19% increase in revenue compared to their less diverse counterparts as of 2018.

McKinsey has been examining diversity in the workplace for several years, and its research confirms that companies with diverse workforces perform better financially.

Here are even more reasons why diversity hiring matters:

It broadens your candidate pool: By sourcing candidates from diverse backgrounds, organisations can tap into a wider, potentially overlooked talent pool. This can result in attracting highly skilled pros with unique perspectives and abilities (a crucial step when hiring passive candidates!)

It can improve decision-making: Diversity in the decision-making process helps mitigate groupthink and biases, leading to more well-rounded and informed decisions that consider a wider range of viewpoints.

It can improve customer understanding: A diverse workforce better reflects the diversity of customers and clients, enabling organisations to understand and cater to their needs more effectively.

It enhances employee engagement: Employees feel valued and respected when they work in an inclusive environment that celebrates diversity. This, in turn, leads to higher levels of engagement, productivity, and retention.

9 Recruiting Strategies To Increase Diversity In The Workplace

1. Create Inclusive Job Descriptions

Crafting an inclusive job description is a critical first step in attracting diverse candidates. Consider broad demographic appeal when describing benefits, and make sure to edit the post for inclusive language.

Here are a few extra tips:

  • Beware of gender-coded words! Gender Decoder is a useful tool you can use to see if your job contains gendered words.
  • Avoid jargon. Research from Canva found that 38% of job postings featured confusing jargon words and phrases.
  • Don’t restrict candidates to being “native English speakers”. This prevents qualified professionals who may be fluent in the language (even if it’s not their first language) from applying.
  1. Expand Your Talent Pool with Diverse Hiring Sources

Think beyond traditional hiring sources and explore avenues that reach a diverse range of candidates.

Engage with minority advocacy groups, attend career fairs focused on underrepresented communities, and consider posting job openings on minority-centred job boards. These include Diversity Job Board and Professional Diversity Network.

3. Establish Diverse Hiring Teams

Ensure that your interview panels include people from diverse backgrounds. A mix of interviewers brings unique experiences to the discussion and helps candidates feel more comfortable, also helping eliminate biases in the evaluation process.

This understanding helps recruiters accurately assess the qualifications, skills, and potential of candidates who represent diverse groups.

4. Implement Structured Interviews

Structured interviews ensure consistent evaluation by using standardised questions and criteria. They focus on assessing qualifications and performance based on predetermined standards rather than relying on personal preferences or “gut feelings,” which are often the sources of unconscious bias.

5. Leverage Technology For Anonymisation

Anonymisation removes identifying information (such as names, ages, and other personal details) from resumes and applications. Resume reformatting tools like Allsorter allow recruiters to remove bias-inducing candidate details from CVs. This way, qualifications and skills are their only judging criteria. 

6. Prioritise Diversity In Talent Development Programs

Invest in diversity and inclusion-driven programs and initiatives within your organisation. Offer mentorship opportunities for underrepresented employees, provide training on unconscious bias, and establish affinity groups to foster a sense of belonging. By nurturing an inclusive culture internally, you can attract and retain diverse talent across the board.

7. Monitor Diversity Hiring Metrics

Regularly track and analyse diversity hiring metrics to measure the effectiveness of your strategies. Monitor the diversity of your candidate pool, hiring rates, and retention rates of diverse employees. Identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to ensure continuous progress towards your diversity hiring goals.

8. Foster An Inclusive Company Culture

An inclusive company culture should stand shoulder-to-shoulder with your diversity hiring efforts.

To build an inclusive company culture, promote open dialogue, offer diversity training for recruiters, and implement policies for equal opportunities. By actually implementing what you stand for, you can better attract and retain diverse talent.

  1. Celebrate and Communicate Diversity Success Stories

If your social media platforms, recruitment videos, and other advertising materials lack diversity in representation, you may unintentionally discourage underrepresented candidates from applying.

You should also highlight the success stories of diverse employees to showcase the positive impact of diversity hiring. Share these stories internally, on social media, and on your website to demonstrate your commitment and inspire others.

Reach Your Recruiting Goals With Diversity Hiring

Diversity hiring is crucial for recruiting agencies aiming to attract top talent. By embracing a diverse and inclusive culture, recruiting teams can drive profitable outcomes for both their agency and their clients’ organisations.

It’s time to make diversity hiring an integral part of your recruiting strategy!