Most recruiters would agree that having a diverse team helps companies be more creative and innovative, which help organisations achieve goals faster. You do not need to look into stats to know that a diverse workforce can contribute to better performance.
Having different backgrounds and perspectives from your team can lead to better and more diverse ideas to solve problems and drive innovation. Thus, most companies are now implementing diversity in their recruitment.
Below, check out some of the most effective strategies for recruiting a diverse workforce.
Proactively Offer Accommodations
Proactively offering accommodations will be more suitable for those with disabilities, although it can apply in other situations too. A candidate from an underrepresented group may be more likely to work for you if you prove to them that you’re taking steps to be inclusive and accessible to everyone.
During recruitment, ask if they need special requirements to make the workplace more accessible for them. For instance, you can install ramp access to your building, making it easier for wheelchair users to navigate unassisted. Another thing is to have a sign language interpreter when interviewing a deaf candidate or create an accessible parking space closer to the building.
Aside from asking candidates to indicate on the application form if they require any specific or additional access, find out more about this during the interview process. Try to convey a message that your company values diversity and inclusion. HR should foster a commitment to include people with disabilities at all levels of the organisation and work with partners to provide accessible programs and develop policies to support inclusion.
Audit Your Job Adverts
Before sending out job adverts, take the time to review or audit them. Recruitment materials like brochures, posters, and even websites must include images of people with disabilities. If possible, include quotes from disabled employees who are part of the company. A photo of an employee in a wheelchair can send a powerful message to potential applicants that disabilities are welcome to the organisation.
When creating job adverts, it’s important to note that diversity should not be a one-off initiative. Instead, it should be a holistic and long-term priority that aligns with the organisation’s overall brand. For instance, when someone reads the ad and checks your website, the messaging and imagery should align with diversity. Your company’s brand should support and promote equal opportunities and align well with your job adverts.
The language choices in your job adverts can influence the applicant pool you can attract. If possible, avoid using language that can lead to gender bias. You can also benefit from removing unnecessary jargon. Although experienced candidates can understand corporate language and terminology, studies show that using unfamiliar and corporate language in job adverts is among the barriers to attracting a diverse workforce.
Offer Internships for Young People
Work-based learning opportunities like apprenticeships and internships are excellent ways to explore job opportunities in various industries and find the right career path. And while anyone can benefit from these, they are not easily accessible to others.
Most recent graduates and young people get access to internships due to connections, either through their school or family. However, since most internships are unpaid or have low pay, they often go to those with privileged backgrounds who can afford to work with little or no salary.
Companies looking to attract diverse candidates should consider offering internships to underrepresented young people, such as recent graduates or those in their final year of college. Also, by ensuring these positions pay a living wage, companies can open doors that talented young people may not otherwise have been able to access.
Bringing in people with disabilities, whether for internships or on-the-job training, allows employers to work towards achieving diversity, inclusion, and equity, which can build a pipeline of diverse talents for the future. Research shows that organisations offering internships for those with disabilities are six times more likely to hire a person with a disability permanently than those who don’t apply this practice.
Showcase Your Current Diversity
One of the best ways to boost diversity in recruitment is to organically develop an employer brand that values people from all walks of life. Talk about the importance and benefit of diversity within the organisation and engrain these values into your company culture.
It is easier to imagine yourself being a company that values inclusivity. However, if your current workforce does not act, look, or believe the same way, opportunities to showcase diversity in your recruitment efforts will be few and far between.
When you integrate diversity into your company culture, you can end up with a brand that values diversity. So, encourage your employees to talk about this aspect of your business. Document their experiences and stories, then incorporate them into how you promote your brand as an employer. Diverse candidates will seek employers who value these ideals, and showcasing your diversity is the best way to reap these benefits.
As your strategies broaden your talent pools, resulting in more fresh faces, backgrounds, and perspectives, look for ways to incorporate these new voices into your recruitment branding channels.
Use Blind Interviews
Integrate blind interviews during recruitment. It means blacking out resumes to minimise recruitment bias. But you can apply this strategy during initial conversations with the candidate. The best way to accomplish this is by sending interview questions through text or a particular recruitment platform. Candidates can answer the questions anonymously, or you can ask them to provide a few personal information.
Blind hiring is one way to improve workplace diversity as it allows recruiters to be more objective when assessing a candidate’s knowledge, skills, and ability to succeed while remaining free from biases regarding the applicant’s educational attainment, age, gender, and race.
The goal of blind recruitment is to be free from bias regarding who you will interview further. It can be challenging not to be biased when talking to candidates over the phone or in person, so these strategies are most effective early in the recruitment process.