These days we are seeing many of our clients devote more time and resources to diversity in the workplace. Companies that do this successfully tend to follow a certain pattern. They set goals, define what they mean by diversity hiring, communicate the benefits of the program, and take tangible steps to ensure their targets are met.
Step 1: Establish Your Goal
As with any effort to achieve a desired result, the first step is to set a clear goal.
I would suggest choosing a particular role within the organization as well as the type of diversity hiring your organization is looking to improve. For example, this could be increasing the number of minority executives or the number of female plant managers.
Once this parameter is set, then a clear, measurable goal should be established. This could be a percentage increase in the number of diversity employees in the role or even increasing the sheer number of new hires within that category.
Step 2: Communicate the Definition and Benefits of Diversity Hiring
Once the targets have been established, the company needs to define what it means by diversity hiring. It is important that all employees know what it is and what it is not. Diversity hiring is still a merit-based hiring program. It is not hiring to a particular quota. The goal of the program is to get more qualified diversity candidates into the hiring pool.
Study after study has shown that there are pronounced advantages to increasing the diversity within an organization. The company will have more perspectives on pressing issues which leads to better problem solving. Additional perspectives also lead to greater innovation. Moreover, diverse companies tend to have lower turnover. All of this ultimately leads to better results.
As recruiters, we know that when we can expand the top of the funnel, we have more success placing the right candidates. By expanding the number of diversity candidates in play for a role, the company will expand the talent pool from which they have to choose. This will result in an increase the number of diversity hires AND an increase the overall quality of talent coming into the organization.
Step 3: Take Action
In order to reap these benefits, tangible steps must be taken in the hiring process.
A good start is your employee referral program. Your current employees should understand you are looking for more diversity in your hires. Put an increased emphasis on obtaining underrepresented candidates by giving a higher referral bonus for these candidates.
There are also many diversity job boards with a focus on a wide variety of diversity candidates. Select the most appropriate job board for your target hires. Placing an ad there will also increase your diversity candidate flow.
Additionally, many people may not realize the United States is home to over 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). If this is an area targeted in your diversity goals, simply identify the schools with the most aligned programs to meet your needs then partner with the career services centers.
Engaging a good outside recruiter to supplement your efforts can also be a beneficial strategy.
Finally, in diversity hiring companies need to be aware of what their websites and marketing materials look like. These things will drive people to research your company and it is important that the people you are looking to attract are represented in your web presence.
Establishing a great diversity hiring network is not easy. It requires hard work and some creativity in where you go to look for terrific people. However, one thing is clear, increasing the diversity in your organization will have a significant positive impact on your results.
About the Author
Bill Armstrong oversees the strategic direction, expansion, and operations of all our solutions. Under Bill’s leadership Gava Talent Solutions has expanded to providing services for all major industries and countries and has built one of the largest candidate networks in the industry.