How to Recruit a Diverse Workforce

April 4, 2018

Over half of companies are focusing on developing diversity initiatives. Evidence shows that a diverse workforce can improve culture, company performance and better represent the customer. It is, therefore, key to building an inclusive, engaged and productive workforce.

 

Over a third of companies cite the primary barrier to improving diversity is finding candidates to interview. Gone are the days when you post a job advert and cross your fingers in the hope of receiving applications from a diverse candidate pool. However, there are some changes and initiatives that can be embedded into your recruitment processes to find and attract a diverse candidate pool.

 

1. Open new recruitment channels.

 

To reach a diverse pool of people, your sourcing methods need to be varied. For example, if you choose to advertise your positions in the same newspaper, your advert will only be seen by the readership of that particular paper, which is likely to be a specific demographic.

 

Think about who you are targeting, and how to reach that audience. This includes thinking out of the box such as considering building links and partnerships with organisations.

 

Don’t forget about employee referrals. This can be an excellent tool for reaching diverse candidates.

 

It can be tempting to focus on new sourcing techniques but be careful not to forget your traditional methods. There needs to be a mix of old and new or you may be inadvertently discriminating against other groups.

 

2. Benefits that appeal.

 

When you’re crafting your employee benefits package, put yourself in the shoes of the people you are trying to attract. What benefits would appeal and interest that group?

 

Candidates will use your benefits package offering to assess whether your company lives and breathes diversity and how seriously it takes inclusion.

 

Don’t underestimate the value of your benefits packages and the message it sends to potential applicants.

 

3 Reflective branding and marketing.

 

For your marketing efforts to have an impact, they need to reflect the audience you are targeting. It’s essential to manage the impression provided by your marketing and branding to potential applicants.

 

Look at your branding and ask yourself if it gives the message that you welcome and value diversity.

 

Everything used to market to candidates needs to be evaluated. We all appreciate the importance of writing all-inclusive job adverts and job descriptions, but this is the bare minimum required.

 

Companies often invest a large chunk of their budget into the careers section of the company website, but is the site accessible to people with some disabilities?

 

4. Reduce Unconscious Bias.

 

The development and progress of technology and AI has pushed this topic to the front as it promises to reduce unconscious bias in the recruitment process. But, what is unconscious bias and do we all fall foul of it?

 

Unconscious bias can be described as making assumptions, sometimes showing themselves as stereotypes.  These assumptions fuel gut feelings and can lead to incorrect decisions.

 

Typically, we are unconsciously connected with positive emotions for people who are similar to us. If we all try to recruit a “mini-me”, this will prevent a diverse workforce.

 

Methods can be put in place to reduce this. These range from setting out specific criteria to measure candidates against; staff training and tasks such as removing names and personal details from CVs.

 

5. Understand the talent landscape.

 

Focus efforts on techniques to proactively find candidates from diverse pools and create a robust pipeline of diverse candidates. To do this, a thorough understanding of the talent landscape is required.

 

Research the market to gather data and insights that will provide you with the evidence and ability to support your strategies and business planning.

 

Intelligence should be gained on the availability and quality of talent to establish whether your diversity and inclusion programmes are achievable. For example, despite all your best efforts you may not be able to find many diverse candidates for a particular role because that profession may not attract a specific group of people. Having data and insights into the market will help you to identify these areas and shape your strategy to address this.

 

Exacta Research can support your diversity strategy. Our research services identify and find diverse candidates, to introduce directly into your recruitment process. We can provide you with market insights and data of the talent landscape to assist you in your business planning and recruitment strategies. Call us today on 0800 085 6618 for a no-obligation discussion.

 

 

 

 

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