10 Strategies for Building Inclusive Hiring Practices to Increase Workplace Diversity

10 Strategies for Building Inclusive Hiring Practices to Increase Workplace Diversity

Key Takeaways:

  • Workplace diversity leads to increased employee safety in expressing ideas, higher career fulfillment, improved morale, better collaboration, increased productivity, and access to a broader range of skills and experiences.
  • Companies must have clear and realistic diversity, equity, and inclusion goals that align with their values and objectives, focusing on cultivating truly inclusive teams rather than merely meeting diversity quotas.
  • Regularly assess and improve hiring practices, seek candidate feedback, and communicate transparently about diversity initiatives to attract and retain diverse talent effectively.
  • Integrate diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) goals into every aspect of the recruitment process, from employer branding to candidate selection, to authentically showcase the organization's commitment to diversity.

The importance of diversity and inclusion cannot be overstated. Recent studies have revealed compelling statistics, highlighting the undeniable benefits of fostering a diverse workforce. It's no surprise that three out of four employees express a preference for working within a diverse company.

Not only does diversity enrich the fabric of an organization, but it also drives profitability, with companies boasting diverse management teams being 21% more likely to achieve high profitability. The significance of inclusion in the workplace is underscored by findings from Monster.com, indicating that 86% of candidates worldwide prioritize it, and 62% of individuals would reject a job offer if the organization failed to support an inclusive culture.

Beyond mere statistics, a respectful workplace culture fosters collaboration, breaks down barriers, and ignites innovation. However, creating such an environment requires leadership to demonstrate genuine commitment, embody the organization's shared values, and encourage open dialogue. Management teams play a crucial role in empowering employees to voice concerns about policies that may impede diversity.

By fostering an atmosphere of trust and openness, organizations can ensure that every individual feels valued and welcomed, ultimately driving success through the collective contributions of a diverse and inclusive workforce.


The Benefits of Workplace Diversity

Effective leadership sets the tone for a thriving workplace environment where employees feel empowered to share their thoughts, worries, and ambitions without fear of reprisal. Clearly communicated and enforced standards of behavior create a foundation of trust and safety, facilitating open communication. Respectful interactions within the workplace are paramount, alongside other elements like equitable leadership practices, career satisfaction, effective manager communications, and work-life balance integration, all contribute to a positive culture.

There’s no doubt that diversity has its benefits. Some of them include:
Increased feelings of employee safety in expressing ideas and concerns

  • More career fulfillment and less burnout in the workforce
  • Improved morale
  • Better collaboration
  • Increased productivity
  • A broader range of skills and experience on the team
  • Larger and more varied candidate pools

Studies have also shown that, along with positive effects on workplace culture, workforce diversity can also improve a company’s bottom line.

Moreover, fostering diversity brings a broader spectrum of skills and experiences to the team, cultivates greater language and cultural awareness, and broadens candidate pools, enriching the organization in myriad ways.

diversity in the workplace


10 Strategies for Building a Diverse Workforce

Building a diverse workforce doesn’t happen by accident. It takes a concerted effort on the hiring team’s part. Here are ten strategies any hiring professional can use to increase their chances of reaching their DEIB goals.


1. Understand DEIB Goals

Before embarking on initiatives aimed at diversity and inclusion, it's essential for companies to gain a clear understanding of their goals. Mere adherence to diversity quotas falls short; instead, the focus should be on cultivating truly inclusive teams.

There's no universal blueprint for achieving this; strategies must be tailored to align with the specific objectives of the organization. Whether the aim is to enhance innovation, foster a more vibrant company culture, or simply reflect the diverse communities served, goals must be realistic, sustainable, and in harmony with the company's core values.

By adopting a thoughtful, long-term approach that prioritizes inclusivity, companies can create environments where every individual feels valued and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives and talents.


2. Train for Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias is, by nature, often unrecognized by the person holding it. The first step to combating it is to educate the workforce on what it looks like, when it is likely to show up, and how to overcome it when it does.

Companies must make sure that unconscious bias education and training is an ongoing process throughout the company. This isn’t something hiring professionals should be doing just to “check a box.” Instead, they should create a recurring education program so that teams know how to identify and eliminate bias in all forms.


3. Audit Job Ads

Hiring professionals should look at past job ads and job descriptions and try to identify language that may hinder attracting a diverse workforce. Auditing language may include verbiage about physical capabilities (e.g., individuals must be “fit,” “healthy,” or “strong),” religious preferences, gender specifications (e.g., “salesman),” or age requirements (e.g., “new grads).”

They should also ensure job ads are inclusive and free of this type of language to attract a variety of candidates from different backgrounds. Tools like The Gender Decoder or Textio also help detect subtle bias and ensure inclusivity in job descriptions as much as possible.

employer branding


4. Target Sources Where Diverse Candidates Congregate

To enrich the talent pool, it's vital to cast a wide net when sourcing candidates. Avoid depending solely on familiar sources when searching for new candidates. Instead, diversify the company’s approach by exploring new sources and avenues where diverse candidates are likely to congregate. By venturing beyond familiar territories and seeking out opportunities in diverse communities, hiring professionals will expand their candidate pool and foster a more inclusive hiring process.

One way to figure out where great candidates are hanging out is to create candidate personas. For example, a hiring team may want business-minded professionals who value learning and professional development. Knowing this may lead the hiring manager to determine that those types of candidates utilize LinkedIn. An exercise like this can help hiring professionals understand where the target audience prefers to congregate and lead to new and better sources of potential talent. 


5. Create Company Policies That Appeal to Diverse Candidates

If hiring professionals want to build diverse teams, their company policies must reflect inclusiveness. It’s important to audit hiring policies, practices, and initiatives to ensure the company is building a culture that is fair to all employees and where everyone’s identities and ideas are welcomed and appreciated.

Auditing the employer value proposition and employer brand every six to twelve months can help with this. Doing so helps indicate whether efforts connect with employees and candidates and yield results in a more diverse candidate pool. If not, it will help determine what needs to be done to better align with the target audience.


6. Involve Diverse People in the Hiring Process

Creating a diverse team isn’t about just hiring people from underrepresented groups. It’s about making sure those people are seen and heard in the places where it truly matters. One of those places is company hiring decisions. Having diversity in the hiring committee ensures hiring professionals can get feedback, perspectives, and opinions from different types of people who may see things differently than them.

To achieve this, hiring professionals can create a collaborative hiring process that includes employees from various departments who can help evaluate whether a candidate would be the right fit for their team. Additionally, they can get feedback on the process itself from this collaborative panel, allowing employees to voice their opinions on who else should be involved in hiring at the company.

inclusive recruitment marketing


7. Consider Using Blind Resumes

Blind hiring is becoming increasingly popular among hiring professionals around the world. Bling hiring involves “blacking out” personal information on resumes, including names, schools, dates of birth, and location.

The hope is that eliminating this information will help hiring professionals avoid discrimination and unconscious bias when evaluating applicants. While research on this tactic has been somewhat limited, some studies have shown that the practice can help increase the number of diverse candidates selected for interviews. 


8. Create an Inclusive Career Site

Statistically, 61% of job seekers visit a company’s website before applying. Many companies use this statistic to their advantage by creating career sites that help potential applicants learn about open roles and opportunities. However, it’s critical to ensure these websites are accessible to everyone.

According to SHRM, digital accessibility means designing a site so that people with disabilities or sensory impairments can use it. To accomplish this goal, the hiring team should consider including transcripts and closed captions for video and audio files and using dyslexia-friendly fonts. 

They can also try presenting content in different formats, such as offering audio versions of written articles or downloadable information sheets that cover information contained in a video. When developing a career website, the website development team should adhere to web content accessibility guidelines, as this will ensure ADA regulations are followed at all times.


9. Survey Candidates to Measure Results

Though not a conventional strategy, hiring professionals may want to consider offering a short survey to candidates who move on without accepting a position at the company, whether involuntarily or by choice. These candidates can provide the hiring team with valuable insight into how the process makes candidates feel and whether candidates believe they were treated fairly.

Surveying candidates can help improve the employer brand by showing that the company truly cares about all candidates. It can also help hiring professionals know where to focus their efforts when it comes to improving the hiring process.

employer brand strategies


10. Ensure Diversity Efforts Are Ingrained Into the Recruitment Process

Hiring professionals who want to build diverse teams must ensure that goal is baked into every part of the recruitment process. They can add it to employer branding materials to authentically showcase a diverse workforce and tell the world about company-wide diversity initiatives.

Above all, it’s crucial to maintain honesty about how the organization still needs to improve and what the hiring team is doing to continue to pursue and support diversity, equity, and inclusion. This will help companies attract the right candidates and maintain a diverse workforce that helps move the company forward.

Once hiring professionals have solidified practices and policies, crafting a campaign to communicate the company's values to the world effectively is essential. These initiatives showcase the company's unwavering commitment to DEIB and demonstrates transparency and accountability in advancing diversity efforts.

Creating and fostering an employer brand that focuses on your values and focuses on diversity is essential in today’s marketplace. Reach out to Recruitics to see how you can take action to expand DEIB efforts and create a more welcoming culture!

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