Best Ways to Build a More Diverse Hiring Pipeline

According to LinkedIn, Diversity and Inclusion are the new trends of recruiting in 2021. Read on to find out the best ways to build a more diverse hiring pipeline…

2020 was not only the year of a pandemic. It was a year of #BlackLivesMatter and #AllLivesMatter. This has led companies into thinking as to how they can make their recruitment process discrimination free and also build a diverse workplace. Diversity, inclusivity and equity are at the center of the executive department of many organizations, who are trying to make their companies more inclusive. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it also makes sense in the present job market. Research shows that diverse workplaces lead to more profitable businesses. Women, marginalized sections and people of color are often underrepresented in leading positions in organizations. Over the past five years, the number of diversity and inclusion roles listed on LinkedIn has increased by 71% globally. This is a good indicator that companies are not only recognizing that diversity, inclusion, and belonging (DIB) are critical to their growth and success, but are dedicating the time and resources necessary to prioritize them. Hence, it becomes increasingly important to inculcate diversity right from the sourcing stage of candidates. This blog tells you the best ways to build a more diverse hiring pipeline.

Companies all across the world are struggling to build a more diverse pipeline. They all face the same problem, lack of diverse candidates in the talent pipeline. Many fields suffer from their own version of the pipeline problem that has plagued the tech industry. A workforce that is diverse is more creative and innovative, research suggests. Companies without a diverse pipeline will continue to hire the same groups of people, which will inhibit growth, progression and their competitive advantage. Therefore, it becomes extremely important to have a diverse talent pipeline. Let us understand the importance of a diverse talent pipeline and how to build a more diverse pipeline.

Benefits of a Diverse Hiring Pipeline

Better Inputs and Solutions

Employees from different backgrounds or with different skill sets can offer a broader range of ideas and solutions. They can also point out things that other members of the team may not be able to notice. The simplest example of this would be a group of men coming up with a marketing campaign for a woman’s product. In this case, a woman’s perspective would be of more help than those of ten men together.

Increased Services offered

With diversity comes a broader range of talents and experience. These could be anything from the ability to speak another language to a cultural understanding that allows the company to deal with foreign clients on a more professional level. Having so much talent and experience to call upon also gives a business the ability to react quickly to unexpected circumstances.

Improved Productivity

Employees that work in an inclusive environment will likely feel happier. And we all know that happy employees are productive employees. Equality in the workplace also encourages employees to try their best safely in the knowledge that regardless of their background, experience, age, or gender, their superiors will appreciate their efforts and there wouldn’t be any discrimination against them.

11 Best Ways to Build a more diverse hiring pipeline

1. Start with an inclusive company culture

In the absence of an inclusive employee culture, a diverse talent pipeline would not be of much use as candidates and employees from underrepresented groups would not be motivated to work in such culture. Gather feedback from your employees and candidates to understand how you can make your company culture more inclusive for people to work in. Finally promote your company culture through your employer brand and recruitment marketing strategies.

2. Give Recruiters all the tools to hire equitably

When companies recognize that they need to do more to diversify their workforce, sometimes they’ll partner with external diversity and inclusion recruitment experts to help them find the talent they need. While this can be an effective strategy in the short term, it may not equip internal recruiters with the skills they need to adopt more inclusive and equitable hiring practices in the long run.

3. Hold a kick-off meeting

Begin the recruitment process for each role with a kickoff meeting to gain an understanding of the role and build an ideal candidate profile. It can be helpful to review a few candidates together to learn what a strong contender looks like. This ensures that you’re evaluating all candidates against the same criteria from the start, creating a more fair hiring process.

4. Use a structured interview process

Take your ideal candidate profile and build out a structured interview process, in which each candidate goes through the same steps and is asked the same set of questions. Incorporate a skills assessment, such as a design exercise or faux sales call, to get a more objective understanding of how each candidate could make an impact at your company.

5. Make hiring managers part of the solution

Beyond training your talent acquisition team, it’s also crucial to train your hiring managers to ensure they’re helping to actively drive your diversity efforts, rather than unintentionally hindering them. After all, it’s no use building a diverse pipeline if your hiring managers always choose to move forward with candidates who come from similar backgrounds. This will require you to have tough conversations with them about what you’re doing and why.

6. Source candidates actively and from diverse institutions

Often, the easiest thing for many companies to do is source talent from local colleges and universities. While this strategy could save time, money and resources, it will result in a homogenous group of candidates in the talent pool. Expanding the search to more diverse colleges and universities can expand and widen the pool and increase the likelihood of finding candidates with a skill set that matches the open positions that must be filled.

7. Use both internal and external help to expand your network

Building a diverse talent pipeline is easier if you have a diverse network. If you don’t, it’s okay to reach out to people, organizations, and groups who can help you make the connections that count. Even a company as big as Netflix needs to ask for help sometimes. Make use of both internal and external help to expand your professional network.

8. Go for diverse referrals

Employee referrals are arguably the best source of hire, but have a tendency to contribute to a homogeneous workforce. Give your colleagues some direction by asking them specifically for candidates from underrepresented groups. For instance, ask, “Who’s the best female salesperson you know?”. This will help filter candidates from marginalized groups, enabling their better hiring.

9. Organize unconscious bias training for your team

Unconscious biases are inherent in all of us, but we can learn to recognize and overcome them. This is a crucial part of building an inclusive company culture, as well as ensuring that diverse pipelines can retain people from underrepresented groups through each stage of the hiring process. Organize unconscious bias training for hiring managers, interviewers, and anyone else who would like to attend and learn.

10. Set diverse interview panels

A diverse group of interviewers may be better suited to identify the unique characteristics that would, or would not, make each candidate a good employee. It can also help the candidate feel more at ease to know they wouldn’t be the only employee from an underrepresented group.

11. Discuss inclusion strategies during interviews

The deciding factor for some employees may be a company’s true commitment to diversity. If employees feel like they will be the ‘only’ in their organization and they will not receive the support that they need in order to thrive, this will make the job and company less enticing to them. Be sure to emphasize the diverse leadership within the company and be prepared to share what diversity and inclusion strides your company has made.

In Short

Getting diverse talent into the top of the funnel is a small part of building a diverse and inclusive company. It is a great thing to have diversity in the workplace. It is a simple step that all talent professionals can take to support the wider community, while diversifying your own network and broadening your horizons. Follow your data closely so you can make more informed decisions, and continue making progress on your organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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Suchismita Panda