Working together through change: Four ways to recruit with diversity

April 29, 2021 The Cornerstone Editors

The pace of change has accelerated, times are uncertain, and we’ve been given a clear wake-up call about the importance of diversity. As a result, the recruitment landscape has totally transformed.

Currently, figures show that only 12% of companies hold their recruiters responsible for diverse recruiting and 11% of recruiters are evaluated based on sourcing candidates from underrepresented groups – more needs to be done to aid greater diversity in recruitment. The question is, how can you better support your recruiters to do this?

Reflect external diversity internally

First things first, before even looking at increasing diversity within your recruitment, diversity and inclusion must be part and parcel of your organisation’s values and culture. To create a safe place for your employees where they feel they belong, you must define what ‘diverse’ means to you, listen to employee feedback and  outline clear goals and business practices across the organisation to make meaningful change.

These same principles can then be reflected and upheld in your recruitment, ensuring that these internal values are communicated externally.

Flex your DEIB muscle – continuously

Beyond simply being embedded in your company, these values also need to be ingrained in your people through the use of learning and training. Despite this, 75% of companies do not have DEI included in their learning and development. Before, DEI training was (ironically) more marginalised, but diversity is no longer just a question of compliance. All employees, especially recruiters, need to have time to digest diversity content and to undertake that training and learning – and to be able to do so on an ongoing basis. Through this training, you can also help rewire recruiters’ mindsets to find candidates based on the likes of skills rather than experience to aid the creation of a more diverse culture.

It is also important that recruiters are granted the opportunity to review their own behaviour, to relearn their approaches and to confess to errors where they themselves may have been biased. Again, this boils down to creating that safe environment and the conditions where people feel they can admit to these kinds of failures. This can be further aided though your recruitment team itself being more diverse to offer different perspectives and help keep any unconscious bias in check. However, admittedly, recruiting has been called out for notoriously being a predominantly white profession. Be sure to pull on people from other parts of the business and bring them into the hiring process to ensure you have a diverse interview panel.

Digitalise, revisit and conquer

These principles and values then need to be put into practice. Through digitising processes, you can assess your metrics and data to highlight where pitfalls with your recruitment may lie. Is it that people from different backgrounds are not applying for your roles? That they are applying but not getting the job? Or that they soon leave because they are unhappy and there is still an issue with your culture that needs to be addressed?

The likes of blind sifting may not be enough, so review your job descriptions, removing anything that could be possibly marginalising – is that request for an MA really a must?  What are your website and careers page saying? Every data touchpoint with candidates needs to be transparent and they must all be inclusive and interconnected. Think carefully too about the channels you’re using. You shouldn’t presume people’s levels of comfort with certain channels – you may unknowingly be putting candidates off.

Seek feedback

While these first stages may already have encompassed big changes to your recruitment systems and approaches, it is vital to keep reviewing these and making improvements. Nobody likes hearing feedback, especially if it may be criticism, but this is another key means to raise problems or gaps and highlight possible pain points putting candidates off. So, tap into your employees, candidates and anyone who has interacted with your organisation to get a pulse on what you’re doing well and where you could further improve.

Recruiters are currently facing a challenging climate but as we all try to struggle back to some kind normal, it’s more important than ever to continue adapting - and diverse workforces drive innovation. Even if you achieve 50/50 gender parity, if those are not split across different roles then that’s not a win. Changes still need to be made for true diversity.

To help further boost your recruiting resiliency and navigate this new world of recruiting, check out our recruiting hub.

About the Author

The Cornerstone Editors

This article was authored or published by Cornerstone's blog editorial team.

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