3 Reasons Why You’re Terrible at Diversity Hiring—And How to Fix It

By: on March 16, 2018

Hiring for diversity is more than just a feel-good initiative—it’s vital to growth. Two-thirds of job seekers say diversity is an important factor when deciding where to work.

It can also be a significant boon to your bottom line. McKinsey found that diverse companies are 35 percent more likely to financially outperform the median in their industry.

Many companies recognize these benefits, but despite prioritizing diverse hires, they’re failing to see results. If your company is struggling with diversity hiring, here are three likely reasons why.

1. You have biased hiring processes

Individual biases can easily creep into hiring processes when recruiters and hiring managers are left to their own devices. For example, are employees asking applicants for the same role different questions during interviews? Are they using different criteria to measure shortlisted candidates?

Removing a lot of the subjectivity in your company’s hiring processes helps diverse candidates stand on equal footing with other potential hires.

More collaboration in hiring decisions can also eliminate the influence of any one individual. Every shortlisted application should be viewed by at least two people, and every candidate should be interviewed at least two times by different personnel.

Finally, every hiring decision should be a majority or consensus decision—giving an overriding vote to one person is how diversity initiatives often break down.

2. You’re always using the same sources for job candidates

If you’re using the same sources for candidates time and time again, you’re going to hire the same types of people.

Expanding your search to more niche areas can ensure more diverse candidates enter your candidate pool, upping the chances that a diverse hire ultimately happens.

There are a growing number of job sites that cater to minority job seekers. Here are some of the most popular:

  • Jopwell is an online service that specializes in matching minority candidates with the right employer.
  • PowerToFly connects recruiters with skilled female candidates.
  • Piazza Careers can help your company find promising entry-level job seekers from minority groups for STEM positions.

These are just three of many niche sources that can assist you in finding quality diverse talent. Seek these and others out.

3. You’re not making data-driven hiring decisions

Humans are pretty terrible at objectively analyzing data, which is why more and more companies are using software to do this work instead.

Recruiting software with predictive analytics capabilities can help your recruiting teams make more (and better) data-driven decisions. These tools eliminate the unintentional biases of human recruiters, which can lead to more diverse hires.

These platforms work by assessing a company’s current top performers—their skills, experience and personality—to create an ideal candidate model for different roles.

Using data from resumes and social media profiles, applicants are scored based on how closely they fit the model. Race and gender are non-factors; recruiters and hiring managers only see the scores.

The results speak for themselves: Infor looked at 50,000 hires made using their platform, Infor Talent Science, and found that African American and Hispanic hires increased by 26 percent across a variety of industries.

If your recruiting teams are having trouble evaluating candidates purely on their fit for a position, consider adopting technology that can help them make more informed, unbiased decisions.

How to make diversity hiring a priority today

In 2016, Microsoft announced that executive bonuses would be tied to diversity hiring goals. This revealed two key points. One, this issue is incredibly important—not only to internal growth and culture, but also to the public-facing company brand. And two, even companies with size and stature of Microsoft still struggle with diversity.

Improving your business’s diversity is an ongoing and sometimes challenging effort, but it’s worth it. Here are two key ways to understand where your company currently stands and how you can improve:

  • Seek out ways to get a bird’s-eye view of the makeup of your workforce to see where diversity gaps exist. You can use a random voluntary survey of your workers, or a more advanced method like PeopleFluent’s diversity management solution, which automates processes related to diversity progress tracking and reporting.
  • Once diversity gaps have been identified, create realistic diversity hiring goals and communicate them company-wide. Walk the walk, so to speak, and make it known that this is a priority for your organization moving forward, and that everyone needs to be on board to refer awesome diverse talent.

From there, take the steps we’ve outlined above to increase your company’s diversity so you, too can see the growth benefits of a varied workforce. Remember, diversity isn’t just the right thing to achieve. It’s the best thing for your bottom line.

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