Career Development
May 23, 2022

Diversity in Recruitment: Why it Matters and 6 Proven Ways to Deliver

Yes, diversity in recruitment matters! It’s intuitive that a wide range of experiences and backgrounds make for the most effective companies. True diversity means welcoming people of all races, genders, ages, sexual orientations, religions, and more.

Here are some powerful statistics that prove the importance of diversity:

  • McKinsey reported that, on average, companies with more diverse executive teams are 33% more likely to be more profitable than the competition.
  • According to Glassdoor, 76% of candidates consider the diversity of a company an important factor when looking for new opportunities.
  • One study found that of employees who’ve experienced harassment, stereotyping, or bullying, 40% quit their jobs to work elsewhere.
  • Diverse teams are better decision-makers 87% of the time.
  • Companies with “above-average total diversity” displayed 19% greater innovation revenues than their competition.
  • In more diverse and inclusive work environments, 83% of Millenials are actively engaged at work.

Overall, diversity and inclusion at work lead to more profitability, more engaged employees, increased creativity, and a work environment that encourages employees to stick around. If you want to maximize your business results, focus on diversity in recruitment.

6 Effective Ways Improve Diversity in Recruitment

Let’s break down 6 proven tips for upping your diversity recruiting strategy.

Tip 1: Offer Bias Education and Training

Bias education and training is the most critical step your company can take to promote diversity in recruitment. Whether they know it or not, everyone holds some degree of bias. This can be:

  • Explicit: a person is aware that they view certain groups less favorably.
  • Implicit: a person is not aware of their prejudices against certain groups, but their decisions toward them can still be affected

The first step toward counteracting biases is uncovering them. A great place to start identifying and squashing biases is with an Implicit Association Test (IAT). This will gauge a person’s preferences towards groups based on sexuality, age, disability, gender, etc. Take the test here.

Additionally, offer bias training to your employees and allow them to uncover any they may have. This training will help your employees learn how not to let bias impact their decisions.

Bias education and training is the foundation for all tips to follow. It gives your employees the tools they need to not make decisions out of prejudice and improves diversity in recruitment.  

Tip 2: Carefully Check Your Job Postings

The language you as an employer use in your job postings has a significant impact on the candidates that respond.

One famous Hewlett-Packard internal report found that women tend to only apply for positions where they meet 100% of the criteria, but men will apply if they meet a mere 60%. The implication here is that if you stick a bunch of excessive requirements on your job postings, you’re likely to get far fewer women applying.

Encourage people to apply even if they don’t meet all the requirements (you can write this explicitly in your job post), and keep those requirements to the strictly relevant ones. If you say someone needs 3+ years of experience, make sure you can’t hire someone with only 2 years of it.

Further, cut out the jargon. There are plenty of qualified candidates who may not be familiar with all the industry terminology used at your company. Focus on the essential skills and responsibilities of this job instead.

You should also stick to using gender-neutral pronouns (they/them) throughout your job post so as not to alienate a specific gender.

Tip 3: Diversify Your Candidate Sourcing

Your company can accomplish diversity in recruitment in part by diversifying your sourcing. If you continue to pull candidates from the same sources, the range of talent you come across will stay small.

Here’s a list of commonly used sites you browse for candidates. Although this list is good start, we recommend researching sites that fit your specific goals as each one of them cater to a different candidate pool:

Tip 4: Objectively Assess Candidates

To help eliminate bias, you’ll want to assess candidates objectively rather than relying on someone’s personal opinion or recollection of an interview. Should interviewers have any bias, implicit or otherwise, objective measures help eliminate their impact.

Start by identifying your primary criteria for a candidate. These can be qualities such as being a self-starter or skills such as emotional intelligence.

Create a scorecard and allow interviewers to score a candidate from 1 to 10 based on each criterion. You can also weigh specific criteria if they're more important than others. Calculate each candidate’s total to figure out which people are the best fit for the job.

Source: Hubspot

Tip 5: Offer Internships to Specific Marginalized Demographics

If you’re looking to prioritize diversity in recruitment, consider offering internship positions specifically for marginalized groups. Doing this encourages those specific groups to apply to your company and won’t allow them to be overshadowed. If you find an intern who makes a great addition to your company, you can offer them a full-time position.

Reach out to schools or community groups and make them aware of your internship offerings. These entities often have initiatives to encourage diversity in recruitment and the workplace; teaming up can be a great way to access talented, diverse candidates and build successful minority-only internship positions.

Tip 6: Use Blind Resume Screening

Unfortunately, even the people most careful about their biases can be swayed unconsciously. This may, for instance, cause them to throw out resumes with a more ethnic-sounding name (a well-studied phenomenon).

Considering the conscious and unconscious biases many people hold, using a blind resume system can prevent these prejudices from having an impact. Having candidates leave out their name, address, birth date, schools, or other information that could paint a picture of their identity prevents discrimination before it begins.

Final Word

Diversity and inclusion in recruitment are essential for maximizing your company’s success.

Here at Quest Financial, we focus on deploying a broad sourcing strategy to meet people where they are. This includes connecting with networking groups, community activities, and referral networks to ensure we provide our clients with a diversified slate of candidates for consideration. We also use data analytics to track diversity ratios in the sourcing funnel.

In addition, we work to remove unconscious bias in job descriptions and postings. Quest deploys a skill matching process to eliminate any adverse, unconscious bias when screening candidates.

Need help recruiting a diverse set of only the best talent? Quest Financial would love to help. Learn more about us here.