DIVERSITY HIRING (n.)
Hiring practices based on merit with special care taken to ensure procedures are free from biases related to a candidate’s age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and other personal characteristics that are unrelated to their job performance.
(Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)
Even today, when great strides have been taken to ensure inclusion in the workplace, some PR and HR professionals hear “diversity hiring” and think “ensure we hire people of different gender, race, creed, culture, religion and persuasion.”
Actually, it is about the work needed to make that happen.
Implementing diversity hiring practices means removing any barrier that hinders equal footing for people of different gender, race, creed, culture, religion and persuasion. Companies that are dedicated to building a more representative workplace are rewarded, as McKinsey reported in its study, “Diversity Matters.”
- Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.
- Companies in the bottom quartile both for gender and for ethnicity and race are statistically less likely to achieve above-average financial returns than the average companies in the data set.
Diversity and inclusion do matter in the workplace. With that in mind, how do you achieve it? How do you make a workplace more open, available and welcoming to a melting pot of society before you begin hiring?
Here are five ways to help figure that out:
- Resumes without perspective. If a recruiter is responsible for handing over resumes to the team for interviews, what difference does a name make? The interviewer must ask their name when you meet; that happens, anyway, in most business settings. But there are names or educational backgrounds that can create some sort of bias. If a recruiter knows that may be an issue at early screening stages, “blind hiring” redacts this info on all resumes and hands over just the experience – the meat of the resume on which most decisions are made. A name that you can’t spell correctly the first time or a college that is a rival to yours really do not matter when seeking the right candidate for a job.
- Leads help. Most medium to major markets have multicultural or multifaceted professional organizations. Smaller markets may have a student group at the local college that fits the bill. Recruiters know to reach out to professional organizations and universities as a resource in the community. Are they proactive with those groups – calling them for leads, asking for help to create a place of diversity in the community? Show your purpose, and those organizations will gladly fill in your blanks.
- Understand diversity. Many recruiters believe hiring a diverse workforce means finding more women and people of color. To a point, they are correct. But diversity also means considering skill sets, culture, personality and passions. Those internal attributes create more inclusion and diversity in a company. Once a sourcing team understands the full picture of diversity and inclusion, change in the workplace can truly begin.
- Referrals matter. Most organizations have an employee referral bonus or incentive program. When a dedicated team member recommends a potential candidate, those referrals should be given an express route to the top of the pile. And if the people doing the referring represent the diversity you seek, odds are the people being referred will, as well.
- Audit the team. When an HR director announces something like, “We are dedicated to hiring a diverse workforce,” it is usually a reactionary claim due to someone noticing that everyone at every level looks like the Stepford Wives. To combat that, audit your own workforce. Federal contractors and private employers with 100 or more employees are required to file EEO-1 reports on their workforce’s race, ethnicity and gender. Those numbers alone will reveal where the gaps are. Consider auditing your numbers even if you’re not required to report. Additional data found in this audit can show the effect of employee retention on diversity.
In summary, your organization should reflect the community it serves. Be sure your company spans age and gender, race and creed, culture and orientation. With that mix, you will have varied perspectives and assorted ideas. All of these things together should provide the corporate melting pot you are seeking.
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