Company leaders recognize the need for diversity, with 69% citing it as an important issue. When your workforce is diverse, your organization benefits. For gender diversity, the top quartile of companies is 15% more likely to achieve financial returns that exceed the median for their industry. When it comes to ethnic diversity, that number rises to 35%.

However, even if a company announces that increasing diversity is a goal, that doesn’t guarantee their success. Without a strong strategy, most organizations won’t see a meaningful change in the composition of their workforce.

Luckily, there are things that companies can do to improve their results. Here are some tips that can help you ramp up diversity hiring.

Review Your Employer Brand

Your employer brand gives candidates clues about your company’s culture. By reviewing your current branding, you can see if your message aligns with your diversity initiatives or if it is giving people a different impression of your organization.

If you want to increase diversity, you need to paint a comprehensive picture that showcases how much you value having a diverse workforce. This can include showcasing employees from a range of backgrounds and discussing policies or cultural elements that relate to inclusion. Since 59% of job seekers research companies on social media, examining your employer brand there and making changes as needed is often the right place to start.

Make Your Job Ads Inclusive

Some word choices in vacancy announcements can hinder your diversity goals. For example, using gendered terms like “he” or “him” when describing your ideal new hire gives the impression that you are looking for a male candidate, even if that isn’t your intention. Similarly, specific descriptors, like “high-performance culture,” “ruthless,” or “work hard, play hard,” can be off-putting to women.

A variety of terms that may be used to describe a role can potentially be culturally insensitive, as well. Using “ninja” or “guru” to describe your ideal candidate or as part of the job title can be offensive or, at a minimum, culturally insensitive.

When you create a job ad, work to make it neutral. Eliminate gendered terminology and anything that could be viewed as gender or culturally insensitive, ensuring those who read your announcement aren’t put off by your language choice.

Shrink Your Must-Have List

While a man may apply for a job if they have a minimum of 60% of the stated requirements, the majority of women won’t. If a female candidate doesn’t have 100 percent of what is on that list, they may assume they won’t be selected, even if they could excel in the job.

If you want to increase the number of female candidates, shrink your must-haves list. Consider what is genuinely essential from day one when it comes to skills. Eliminate arbitrary experience metrics (like X number of years) or use ranges instead of hard lines.

Broaden Your Recruitment Sources

Often, you can find more diverse talent pools by exploring recruitment sources you’ve overlooked previously. If you want to increase diversity, connect with advocacy groups that work with different demographics, such as community or educational organizations. Additionally, explore niche job sites, particularly those that focus on women or minorities.

Adjust Your Screening Process

If you want to make sure that diverse candidates aren’t eliminated early in the recruitment process due to conscious or unconscious bias, consider adjusting your process. If you use artificial intelligence (AI) tools to perform initial resume screenings, every applicant who meets your criteria will be put on the shortlist.

Similarly, blind resumes can make a difference. With this approach, all personally-identifying information (such as names, ages, addresses, or other details that could indicate an association with a specific demographic) is removed before a hiring manager reviews the resume. This allows them to focus on skill and experience alignment.

Embracing a standardized interview process can also be useful. When you use this strategy, you make sure that every candidate faces the same interview questions. Additionally, an assessment rubric is designed in advance, creating a system for gauging how qualified each candidate is using an agreed-upon method.

Ultimately, all of the tips above can enable you to improve your hiring strategy and ramp up diversity. If you’d like to learn more, the staff at Cloutera can help. Contact us to discuss your diversity hiring goals with one of our skilled team members today and see how our inclusivity expertise can benefit you.

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