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May 27, 2019 5:51 PM

6 Ways to Prepare for a Diversity Recruitment Program

A diverse workforce is one that is made up of people from different backgrounds who may have varying levels of education or experience. The group is a healthy mix of genders, age groups, and may also include those with a physical disability.

For some time now, the idea of a diverse workforce has been gathering steam and with good reason. Studies have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that diverse groups are better in every conceivable way. Take, for instance, the fact that a racially diverse group outperforms a non-diverse group by as much as 35%. Or the fact that teams where both men and women are equal earn 41% more revenue.

It’s stats like these that have convinced many companies to incorporate diversity initiatives into their recruitment efforts. However, it’s not quite as simple as hiring more women or interviewing more people from a variety of cultural backgrounds.
If diversity is looking like it will be part of your next recruitment drive (and it really should be), then it’s vital that you prepare in the right way.

Educate your recruiters and your employees
It’s easy to assume that both your recruiters and employees will understand the importance of diversity in the workplace, but often the opposite is true. For this reason, it’s crucial that you educate your team about the value a diverse workforce can bring to a company. This is not a matter of making up the numbers and hitting quotas for each demographic but a genuine effort to improve both productivity and innovation in the workplace.

Once your recruiters and hiring managers understand the reasons for moving forward with this approach, it’s also a good idea to sensitise your team. This means preparing them to hire and as a result, be a part of a multicultural group that may also include people from different generations or those with limited physical abilities.

Understand the various groups that form a diverse workforce
Hiring for diversity isn’t just about gender or culture; it also encompasses age, experience, physical ability, and even level of education. It’s important that you identify which groups are underrepresented before you put your diversity initiative into practice.

This is not so your recruiters can focus solely on those groups, but so they can ensure that they include people with specific backgrounds in their targeted sourcing.

Make diversity a long-term goal
According to BCG, companies with a diverse management team have 19% higher revenue while inclusive companies are 1.7 times more likely be the leaders of innovation in their industry.

These statistics verify what we mentioned earlier – a diversity recruitment program is not just about making up the numbers. It’s about expanding your talent pool and improving the overall success rate of your hires. This, in turn, leads to more innovation and creativity in the workplace, which, of course, means more profits.

So while it is essential that your recruiters remain aware of their responsibility to include underrepresented candidates in their sourcing efforts, they should never look to hit diversity targets with a deadline in mind. They are still looking for the best person for the role, only now, they’re considering people regardless of their background, age, gender, or physical ability.

Adjust your branding to reflect your approach
It’s not enough to target and include candidates from diverse backgrounds in your sourcing efforts. You’ll also need to make sure that your brand messaging evokes a sense of inclusivity. For example, there’s no point in trying to target female candidates when your brand messaging is male-oriented or fails to highlight the achievements of your female employees.

As we all know, a positive employer brand helps a recruiter immeasurably. And so before implementing your diversity recruitment program, make sure that the marketing department has reviewed its content strategy to align with your new approach. It’s the small things like social media posts that can make all the difference when a candidate from an underrepresented background researches the company.

Eliminate unconscious bias
Unconscious bias is a genuine problem in the recruitment process and one that we should tackle head-on. While your recruiters may have the best intentions at heart, they could subconsciously eliminate certain candidates prior to the interview based on the assumption that they won’t fit in. Yes, hiring for cultural fit is hugely important, but it’s virtually impossible to decide if a candidate will fit in without meeting them in person.

With diversity being the key driving factor behind your campaign, it’s unlikely that your recruiters will allow unconscious bias to affect their decisions. However, it’s worth reminding them that every candidate must have an equal opportunity.

Put measures in place to record and analyze data
It’s crucial that you record every step taken in your diversity recruitment program so that you can properly analyze the data at a later date. Doing so allows you to determine what’s working and what areas you need to improve upon.
For example, if there are very few candidates from a specific group showing interest in a role, try reaching out to one and asking if there’s a problem with your job postings or brand image. It could be an issue with the language used or something a little more complex, but unless you pay close attention to the data, you may not realise you’re missing out on these particular candidates.

At the risk of repeating ourselves we’ll just say that diversity in the workplace is incredibly valuable to a team’s productivity. For this reason alone, it makes sense that you should always look to diversify your candidate pool. However, even with all the prep work we just recommended we understand that implementing such changes in your sourcing efforts can be tough. And that’s where we can help.

At vsource, we take great pride in our ability to combine both artificial intelligence and human intuition in our diversity sourcing services. This is how we are able to quickly identify the right potential candidates to add to your pipeline. If you’d like to know more then go right ahead and book a free no-obligation demo today. Together, we can make sure that you meet your diversity goals while still finding the best candidates for a role.

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