Companies around the world are realising they have to get it right when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
But the diversity journey can be difficult. LinkedIn research shows that while 77 per cent of talent professionals say DEI is very important to the future of recruiting, less than half say hiring managers are being held accountable for interviewing a diverse slate of candidates.
Making your hiring practices more equitable can have a big impact on company culture and your bottom line. So where do you start when you want to get serious about building a more diverse pool of candidates?
Lydia Abbot, a LinkedIn content marketer, editor and storyteller, shares some great tips in 38 Ways to Make Real Progress on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), which are summarised below.
Expanding your candidate pool
As a starting point, Abbot recommends taking your leaders along for the ride. Just saying you want more diverse hires sounds great, but you won’t make much progress without enlisting the support of senior executives.
From there, she says it’s important to take time to source a diverse group of candidates, and focus on skills instead of universities – otherwise you risk missing out on desirable hires from underrepresented groups.
Partnering with organisations and institutions that have DEI programs can help widen your employee pipeline. And language counts, so watch your words in your job listings. Gender-coded language like “dominate” or “rock star” might dissuade women from applying, and listing too many job requirements can be a turnoff for candidates from underrepresented groups. If your workplace doesn’t sound inclusive, good candidates will likely steer clear.
Fighting unconscious bias
It’s also essential to check your bias when sourcing candidates. We all have inbuilt biases, but you can’t mitigate their effect if you don’t acknowledge them. It’s important to make a concerted effort to take names, faces, addresses and other irrelevant details out of the equation when making hiring decisions.
Building diverse interview panels is also important. Firstly for the perspective, but also so job seekers see you’re committed to a culture of diversity and inclusion.
Creating a workplace where everyone feels welcome is also essential. Offer your employees outlets to regularly share their stories and make diversity discussions part of doing business.
And aim to build a retention plan that works. This can involve connecting employees to mentors, creating targeted leadership programs, making the path to advancement clear to everyone, and creating a succession plan that includes diversity priorities.
The key to retention is communication. This can be relatively informal, but some companies use predictive analytics to identify women and employees from underrepresented groups, who appear likely to resign. They then hold ‘stay interviews’ to learn about their concerns.
To further assist recruiters and hiring managers in improving their diversity efforts, LinkedIn Recruiter is rolling out new features that can help elevate your DEI strategy.
You can find tips on how to source more inclusively, how to create a more gender-balanced candidate pool and how to reduce unconscious hiring bias.
By leveraging these resources you should be able to get the right mix of people in the front door and keep them with learning, engagement, and performance tools.
Chat to a LinkedIn Talent Consultant here to assess your business needs and future-proof your hiring strategy.