5 Best Practices To Attract, And Retain, Diverse Talent 

A diverse workforce is vital in today’s environment. A wider talent pool can give your business a competitive edge through varied creativity and greater cultural awareness. Diversity brings different views and perspectives, which can help a business grow and stand out from competitors, who might not be able to operate beyond their niche.

Seeking diversity in your company shows clients and potential business partners that you are an inclusive, forward-thinking organisation. Diverse companies are 70% more likely to capture new markets and are more likely to hit financial goals. This can be important for fostering relationships and raising the company’s reputation.

Consider employing these practices in your recruitment strategy to attract diverse talent.

Why Is Workplace Diversity Important?

Attracting diverse talent is suitable for any business or organisation. A culture of acceptance shows your company is a great partner and helps you find employees in places your competitors might not be looking. Promoting diversity in the workplace also enables you to retain workers — something that is even more important in recent years.

In addition, a company that promotes diversity can also increase employee efficiency. More workers with different insights can lead to trying new solutions and participating in employee-led programs to foster a community.

A culture of diversity can lead to higher morale in the office and better job satisfaction. This can prompt good reviews on websites like Indeed and Monster. Great reviews from your employees will attract more diverse talent to your company and help you develop a great professional reputation.

Eliminating bias in the workplace is an ongoing challenge. There are different levels of discrimination, both conscious and unconscious. People naturally gravitate toward people that look and act like themselves while avoiding others that seem too different.

Bias based on looks and how people act is unfortunately common in many workplaces. Companies that want to foster diversity should encourage employees to work together regardless of race, gender, appearance or life choices. So here are five best practices that can help attract and retain a truly diverse workplace talent.

Show Your Company Culture Promotes Inclusivity.

Promoting a culture of inclusivity has numerous benefits. It sends the message that your company accepts candidates from all walks of life — drawing more potential hires to you. About 76% of job-seekers stress the importance of a diverse workforce when evaluating companies and offers.

Diversity in the workplace means promoting a culture of inclusivity in the company. It requires treating all employees fairly regardless of ethnicity, gender, culture, and life choices. Encouraging diversity creates a work environment that accepts different points of view. About 57% of workers want their employers to be more diverse, and in the 21st century, this can be a huge asset that sets your business apart from the competition.

Johnson & Johnson is one of the best examples of an inclusive company. It has set several initiatives to promote diversity, such as aiming to have 50% of its workforce be women by 2025.

Set Goals to Avoid Bias.

Refraining from restricting yourself to just one category of candidates can give you a larger pool of potential hires. However, recruiters must be aware of how they think of diversity. Unconscious bias affects most people, whether they know it or not.

HR professionals should set goals for their recruitment strategies that help avoid unconscious bias. These targets should be challenging but achievable so your HR team can have an example of how to recruit with diversity in mind.

A good example would be rewriting job descriptions to include language indicating a diverse culture. Use wording emphasising skills candidates need and avoid terms like “native” and “aggressive.”

Another good practice is to write job descriptions that avoid mentions of race, religion or gender. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission offers a set of guidelines to employers wishing to prevent discrimination in hiring. These mention that race, religion and gender should not be a factor in employment decisions. Instead, job descriptions should focus more on skills, education and work experience than personal background.

MasterCard is one company that has made great leaps in diversifying its workforce. It takes great pride in its diverse employees – with over 39% being women and 42% being people of color. It also has initiatives to include supplies from various groups.

Improve Your Sourcing Process.

You should also ensure your recruitment process is conducive to finding diverse talent. Analyse your strategies and locate areas for improvement. Establish key performance indicators around diversity so everyone on your team can contribute to a work culture of inclusion.

Setting goals for your sourcing team can also help reinforce these improvements. A good example would be setting a target to proactively source several candidates from underrepresented groups for every role.

Similarly, you can set up training for your staff on how to avoid unconscious bias. Consistent education and reminders can go a long way in making HR professionals remain aware of bias so they can take active steps to prevent it.

Another good way of looking for diverse talent is varying your sources for candidates. If your business uses resource groups, ask them for more varied referrals. You can also find job boards focusing on diversity hiring and include your company. Look outside of your usual talent pool to see who you might find.

Keep a portfolio of different resource groups and job boards and pull from various talent pools based on your initiatives. Some resources might also have bias, but you have the control over which ones to choose from.

Progressive Insurance has made it a point to source candidates from diverse backgrounds without bias. Its goals include doubling the representation of people of color in leadership roles.

Use Modern Recruitment Tools.

Automated recruiting tools are becoming more common as the 21st century moves forward. Artificial intelligence can make your recruiting strategy more efficient and help eliminate bias. You can set AI tools to any parameters to include diversity, helping your team find candidates in places they might not have thought of looking before.

Eliminating bias in AI programs is actually much easier than doing so in humans. AI simply runs on the data that it’s fed; you can provide it data on the types of candidates you want to include. If the AI system seems to show any bias, the solution is simply tweaking the data. However, be mindful that the people who have programmed the automated system also could have had unconscious biases while creating it; AI systems created by diverse engineers are often the best choice to avoid accidental AI bias.

Experiment with multiple kinds of AI recruitment tools by inputting data and see if you get the results you are looking for. Try different ones until you find what’s right for your needs.

AI tools can find passive candidates interested in a new role but not actively looking. This can help widen your selection pool and get in contact with potential hires you otherwise might have missed. You can market your operation to people who may not have heard of your company before and show them what you have to offer.

Chatbot and AI writing tools can also help eliminate language in job descriptions that can sound non-inclusive. You can also use them to communicate with a more diverse pool of candidates by removing potential language barriers.

Companies such as Magellan Health and Brother International Corp. use AI recruitment tools effectively. Studies show that using chatbots and CRM increased their conversion rate by 86% and doubled the time people visited their websites.

Assess if Your Employees Are Giving Referrals.

Modern technology has made developing recruitment strategies much more accessible, but there’s still something to be said about word-of-mouth. Promoting referrals within the company is an excellent way to attract new talent and spread the news about your workplace’s inclusive culture.

Referrals are a tried and tested method of recruiting. Studies show that 84% of companies use employee referral programs and that referred employees are 18% more likely to feel satisfied with their positions. However, the success of such programs depends on how happy your current employees are with the workplace culture.

Seeing if your employees are giving referrals is also a good way to gauge their satisfaction. Determine who is giving out the most referrals and who is not. Are white males singing your company’s praises while women and Black men are relatively silent? If so, take this information to heart. This can give you an idea of improvements needed in your workplace culture to promote diversity and equality.

Accenture is a company that has gone to great lengths to encourage diversity in its workforce. It rewards employees for referring diverse candidates and supports suppliers like The Consortium.

Get Started on Your Strategy to Recruit Diverse Talent

Attracting diverse talent to your company can be a considerable advantage over competitors with a less inclusive workforce. It makes your business more attractive to employees, clients and potential partners, helping you stand out in a sea of competitors.

However, eliminating unconscious bias in recruiters and your hiring strategy is essential to conveying a culture of inclusion. Setting goals for your HR team and using modern tools can help you remove bias and attract more diverse talent. Position your company as inclusive and open to attracting diverse talent and offering more to workers, partners and clients.

Author: Zachary Amos – Features Editor, ReHack Magazine

Photo credit: Diva Plavalaguna

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