Workplace diversity is more than just a buzzword at HR workshops around the country. Job seekers are increasingly citing a company's inclusivity as a key evaluation factor when weighing competing job offers, with more than two-thirds of respondents to a recent Glassdoor survey noting this as a critically important component of their considerations.
When it comes to millennials, who are by far the largest cohort of the job-seeking public, that number rises to more than 80 percent. If you are not motivated by these numbers or the obvious "feel-good" factor that goes along with creating a more diverse workplace, keep in mind that greater heterogeneity at work leads to improvements such as faster problem-solving, increases in productivity and even 2.3 times the cash flow of less diverse companies - that's right, real bottom-line benefits can be achieved through diversification.
Chances are, however, that your current recruiting process is currently set up to bring in employees who more or less mirror your current workforce. The easiest, most effective and longest-lasting way to break this paradigm is by employing technology to assist in your recruiting process. While managing diversity with the help of technology does not replace the application of old-fashioned techniques to enrich your candidate base, the addition of these tools to the mix can provide a dramatic influx of diverse candidates into your process in a short period of time.
Begin at the beginning
How closely are you examining the language you are using in the job postings you are crafting? It could be that you are unwittingly self-selecting your applicants. For example, you may be using words like "competitive" and "determined" that have been shown to draw more male applicants, or "collaborative" and "cooperative" that typically trigger more women to apply. Tweaking your listings is as simple as running them through a simple web-based screen.
Alternately, the amount of experience you are requiring may be off-putting to some candidates you are trying to capture. Consider allowing applicants themselves to use technology in service of diversity by providing online portfolios or certification from MOOCs as experience equivalencies. These candidates can be as eager and ambitious as those typically in your pipeline; they may just need the opportunity to break in and actually acquire that experience.
Widen your pipeline
Once you have refined your pitch, enrich your company's diversity by growing the number of diverse recruits who reach your pipeline. Referral recruiting software tools, in particular those that leverage employee referrals, are an effective way of achieving this goal. Both full-featured and completely configurable, with a wide variety of features to recommend them, these packages offer the capacity to effortlessly pinpoint diverse candidates from within your employees' networks. Some work on a structure of rewarding your employees for assisting in the referral process; others even have a gamified framework to encourage participation.
Institute blind screening
No efforts to cultivate inclusivity in your recruiting pipeline are complete without blind screening. Even the most enlightened, well-intentioned hiring managers are unaware of unconscious bias; fortunately, technology can help with this, too.
- Use AI to make a first pass through résumés. You can engage it to learn from your existing database of employee CVs and apply characteristics of successful applicants, such as their experience and education, to those of job seekers to see who matches up.
- Employ software to remove applicants' names and other identifying information (address, age, college or university attended) from their résumé. The goal of this technique is to enable a simple objective identification of a candidate's skill set.
- Begin the interview process with a phone screen to extend your "blind" process. While hearing a candidate's voice will obviously tell you some things about him or her (gender, for example), there are still many judgements you will be unable to make - and that is a good thing. The recruit will have gotten this far into the process on merit alone. Use a VoIP tool to set up a meeting on the computer where the prospect can walk you through work samples as you talk.
Technology's role in fostering diversity is only one of its many strengths in managing compliance in the workplace. Our dynamic and powerful cloud-based HR solution empowers you with modern tools and templates based on industry best practices, as well as risk mitigation from federal and state experts.
Regardless of how much technology you incorporate into the hiring process, however, at the end of day, you will still want and need to have a good old-fashioned face-to-face interview with your candidate. There's no substitute for this phase of hiring. Once you have used some or all of these tools to augment your company's system, though, you should find that the resulting candidates are much more representative of the population at large, more representative of the rich warp and weft of the fabric of everyday life. It's this fabric, interwoven with many different fibers, that will make your workplace strong.