(Updated Feb 2023)
Effort towards creating greater equity in recruiting have certainly increased since 2020, but there is still work to be done. As it’s been proven, diverse teams, meaning people of different backgrounds, sexual orientations, ethnicities, religions, ages, and genders, are ultimately more productive and impactful. Due to having a wider range of experiences, diverse teams can exercise out-of-the-box thinking, or bounce ideas off of one another more effectively. If diversity is so desirable, why does it feel so challenging to achieve? In this post, we’ll explore more actionable ways to attract diverse candidates to your company.
We know from ample research that socially diverse groups are more inventive than their homogenous counterparts because they bring a wider range of perspectives, information, and opinions. From this, simply the presence of other group members unlike oneself can push people to consider things from an angle they had never thought about before. If you’re picturing a bustling, ultra-productive collaboration session, one study actually found that we can be more awkward around those different than us, which amplifies the need to diffuse tension, leading to better group problem solving.
It’s not just about ideas and problem solving, either. Diverse teams increase brand credibility and awareness, indicating to consumers that your brand serves all different types of people. However, as diverse as the world is, companies that are not actively seeking and recruiting candidates from a range of backgrounds will unintentionally hire a more homogenous workforce. In a tight technical market that’s highly competitive, like what we are experiencing right now, you can expand your candidate pipeline by coming up with less traditional ideas for securing talent.
We’ll start by saying that when it comes to auditing your company culture, website, and job descriptions, there’s always room for improvement. This is an opportunity to discuss with your team how they would make your organization more accessible and enjoyable for everyone that works there. Something as simple as asking, 'did our job description feel welcoming when you were applying for your current role?' can you a long way. Consider what language could be changed or updated to better translate your policies and ideas around diversity within the organization.
You may be surprised to hear feedback that anything from the photos on your website to the language used in a job description can make a huge difference when someone is considering working for your company. It's all about being conscious of what you're putting out there. According to a survey by Ideal.com, 67% of job seekers use diversity as an important factor when considering companies and job offers. The bottom line? The way you present your commitment to diversity matters; for example, regurgitating legal jargon about being an equal opportunity employer without adding your own spin falls flat for those evaluating your open roles.
We’ll end this brainstorm with a thought-provoking study. Research published by Harvard Business Review found that in hiring situations where only one non-white or non-male individual is on the list of potential candidates, their chances of being hired are practically zero. It’s our nature as humans to reduce risk and avoid deviating from the norm, but this auto-response conflicts with intentionally seeking what’s different. In short, having one candidate with a trait that stands out as different would subconsciously be labeled as more of a risk, and therefore not as seriously considered.
As talent professionals, if we know the odds of a diverse candidate being hire rise drastically with one other diverse candidate in the mix, this is an easily achievable practice that elevates the exposure of and the chance that someone with a different background could be hired. Recruiters and talent acquisition teams can weed out this specific bias simply by offering two or more diverse candidates as a standard practice. Something as small as making sure no one stands out like a sore thumb creates a more even environment for evaluation of those candidates. This anecdote, and others sprinkled throughout this post, indicate that a strong diversity hiring practice comes from small changes that fight bias, plus being consistent about those changes. If done correctly, over time, these ideas can change our approach for finding top talent in a tight job market.
Here at BWBacon Group, we know and live what you are experiencing as an employer or job seeker in Denver, Boulder, Dallas, San Francisco, New York City or any of the other cities we work in. We believe great recruiting starts and ends with understanding people.
If you have any questions about living, working or playing any of the areas we serve, please contact us. We are happy to help. Seize the day, every day, that’s what we say!