How Technology Helps Diversity Recruiting Efforts
This article was originally published in October 2017. It was updated in January 2022 with new information and statistics around diversity recruiting and hiring.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace matter — job candidates demand it, and inclusive teams are more successful overall. 76% of job seekers say that a diverse and inclusive workforce is a top priority when considering job offers. According to McKinsey & Company, “The most diverse companies are now more likely than ever to outperform less diverse peers on profitability.” If you want to increase engagement, productivity (performance is 12% higher at diverse organizations), and even profits (36% higher profitability), diversity recruiting is the answer. Unfortunately, despite these clear benefits, many have yet to implement necessary processes for inclusion and diversity within their workplace. Why? Because they don’t understand how to make it happen.
That’s where technology comes in. Using tools such as an Applicant Tracking System can support more inclusive hiring and recruiting processes. Keep reading to learn a few ways technology can help your organization.
Developing a diverse team starts with your company’s introduction to each applicant: the job description. The language of your descriptions should be clear, to the point, and inclusive. According to Leadership Coach and Workplace Culture Consultant Heidi Lynne Kurter, here are four ways an employer can create inclusive job descriptions:
- Use inclusive language in job descriptions. That means avoiding gender-specific pronouns (e.g. she, her, him, etc.) and gender-coded words, like ‘ninja,’ ‘rockstar,’ ‘competitive,’ ‘nurturing,’ etc. Your job descriptions should also be easy to read and free of jargon. Be sure to get feedback on job descriptions from current employees to reduce and prevent unconscious bias. You can also use a software solution like Textio to examine job descriptions for biased language.
- Be intentional about the job requirements. There are some skills your candidate will need to have in order to do the job proficiently, but job ads with a long list of nice-to-have requirements can deter applications. This is especially true for women, who will generally not apply for a job unless they meet 100% of the requirements. Men, on the other hand, will usually apply if they meet at least 60% of the job requirements. Be sure to include those basic needs for the job, but leave out more superficial requirements. Save those bonus features for making assessment and interview process decisions.
- Clearly communicate that diversity, equity, and inclusion are important values at your company. 76% of employees and job seekers said that a diverse workforce was a top factor in their job search and offer evaluation. Making a commitment to DEI is about more than just diversity recruitment strategies. It’s about taking an honest look at how your company’s policies and processes affect its employees. It’s about truly creating equal opportunity at your organization for candidates and employees whose identities are underrepresented.
- Work to recognize and reduce bias. Our unconscious biases tend to draw us toward people who are similar to ourselves. In order to avoid being influenced by those biases, every individual at your organization should be equipped with tools to help them recognize and reduce those biases. That’s even more important when it comes to talent acquisition and hiring teams. Training and feedback from others can help those involved in the hiring process gain awareness of bias and improve inclusivity.
Be sure to post your open jobs to a variety of job boards to reach the widest candidate pool possible. Additionally, consider implementing screening tests that score applicants based on their performance and merit. Even the best recruiters and hiring managers have unconscious biases. These tools can help reduce and often eliminate those biases.
More inclusive job descriptions are a vital part of committing to DEI. Job seekers only spend about 14 seconds deciding whether or not they will apply based on what they read in the job description. Being straightforward and inclusive makes it easier for applicants to hit “Apply” instead of moving on to the next job post.
Don’t miss out on top talent with job descriptions that alienate. As Hosea Chang, chief operating officer at Hayden Los Angeles, said, “Focus on performance objectives and what a person needs to be able to do and achieve. By doing this, you’ll attract candidates with diverse backgrounds and skills that will become assets to your business.”
“Focus on performance objectives and what a person needs to be able to do and achieve. By doing this, you’ll attract candidates with diverse backgrounds and skills that will become assets to your business.” — — Hosea Chang, COO, Hayden Los Angeles
Collect and Analyze Demographics
Without understanding current demographics, you can’t improve diversity in your workplace. This is where an ATS can help you learn more about your candidates and be more successful in attracting diverse candidates. You can begin to see where your diversity is lacking and work with your recruiters and HR team to develop a diversity hiring strategy in response.
It’s impossible to deny the effectiveness of an ATS: 94% of recruiters and hiring professionals say their ATS has positively impacted their hiring process. They are able to use their ATS to collect, track, and measure data that shows if diversity recruiting strategies have been successful or need improvement. Then, companies can ask questions to improve their hiring practices, like:
- Are the job description and application inclusive and accessible to all?
- Are jobs being posted to a wide variety of job boards to reach the most diverse group of candidates possible?
- Could recruiters and hiring teams be choosing candidates based on personal bias rather than best-fit?
Introduce Internal Diversity and Inclusion Training
Diversity and inclusion training is essential in today’s world. Much of the training focuses on improving your company policies and processes, but the value of DEI training surpasses learning new procedures and defining key terms. DEI training helps your employees recognize their own biases, privilege, and gain new perspectives.
There are more than a few benefits to having these discussions. First, workers who face unique challenges are invited to share those experiences with their coworkers. This will hopefully instill empathy and understanding among their teammates in addition to aiding their ability to work better together in the future.
Diversity and inclusion training is a great catalyst for better inclusivity in a workplace. It kickstarts those difficult discussions and guides them productively. Prioritizing DEI training shows your employees — and candidates — that you are aware of its importance and are actively working to create an inclusive work culture.
It’s highly beneficial to include training like this in the onboarding process. This allows you to demonstrate your company’s dedication to its values during the first few weeks of a job. Plus, 70% of job seekers say they want to work for a company that is committed to diversity and inclusion.
Software like ClearCompany’s complete Talent Management Platform is a powerful tool to aid your DEI work. Evaluate your workforce, demonstrate your commitment to DEI, and reach a wider range of candidates with help from our suite of tools.
Want to see how technology can play an integral part in creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace? We’ve got the resources you need to further your DEI goals, including tips for diversity hiring and a guide to better candidate sourcing. Keep your DEI journey moving in a positive direction by checking out our library of helpful resources.
This article was originally published on the ClearCompany blog by Meredith Wholley.