How can Recruiters Promote Diversity in the Workplace?

Diversity based hiring is a noble cause for any company or recruiter should strive for. Recruiters around the world are focussing on promoting diversity in their recruiting strategy and workplace.

Most recruiters and managers would agree that a diverse team helps companies be more innovative, creative, and achieve better results. It is intuitively known that diversity recruiting contributes to better overall performance. It makes sense that having different perspectives and backgrounds on your team will contribute to newer and more diverse ideas to help solve problems and drive innovation. It’s no wonder, that recruiters around the world are focused to promote diversity in their recruiting strategy and workplace.

What is diversity hiring? A definition

Diversity hiring is hiring based solely on merit where procedures are free from the hiring biases related to a candidate’s age, race, gender, religion, and other personal characteristics that are unrelated to their job recruitment or performance, basically, similar to the blind recruitment process. The role of recruiters is especially important when it comes to establishing and maintaining a diverse and equal workplace which isn’t easy.

What does diversity in the workplace mean?

A company’s workforce is its lifeblood. Whether your company develops the latest AI technology or engages in doing some non-profit service, the people you hire matter the most. Different people communicate differently and have different ways of synthesizing and interpreting data.

Recruiters must be able to navigate the gender divides, geographic divides, age gaps, and cultural divides amongst many others to establish a diverse workforce. These are the primary categories where most discrimination happens and there are a clear pay and access disparity. Diversity in the workplace is all about bridging these gaps.

The Benefits of Hiring for Diversity

There are many positive benefits that one can get from having a more diverse workforce. Some of the amazing benefits to individuals and employing companies are:

  • Increased productivity
  • Improved creativity
  • Increased profits
  • Improved employee engagement
  • Reduced employee turnover
  • Improved company reputation
  • A wider range of skills
  • Improves cultural insights

What will the company or recruiters benefit from, to promote diversity in the workplace?

Companies should recruit people of diverse backgrounds because they can relate to them on a personal level and will help increase customer service. By having people come from different backgrounds, possess a different language or disability, companies will expose themselves to various capabilities.

For example, if a company recruits an employee who speaks another language, they are able to do business by reaching out to other clients who also speak that particular language. This benefits the employee and the company where they might not have been able to help the clients if they spoke only one language.

An employee with a disability may be more of use of a client who also has a disability where that employee can relate to them in particular and help them identify appropriate goods or services that would best suit their needs.

When employees respect each other and get along in the workplace, it’s amazing how productivity increases, morale increases and employees are more courteous to customers. — Maureen Wild

Steps to execute diversity hiring

The goal of diversity hiring is identifying and removing hiring biases in sourcing, screening, and shortlisting candidates that may be ignoring, turning off, or accidentally discriminating against qualified, diverse candidates. These are some of the ways that recruiters can promote diversity in the workplace.

Step 1: Conduct a diversity recruiting audit on your current hiring process

One of the best ways to hire diverse candidates is to do an audit of your past recruitment ads and strategies and make changes for a broader range of candidates.

You may notice that some of the languages you use are more geared toward a specific demographic of experience level. Try to find ways to be more inclusive in your language to appeal to candidates from different backgrounds.

Step 2: Pick one particular metric to enhance your diversity hiring

Trying to maintain various diversity hiring metrics can be overwhelming. Top firm’s CEOs have set an aggressive goal of diversity parity by 2020 owing to the Black Lives Matter movement. The simplest way to improve your diversity hiring is to pick one metric to work upon.

For example, maybe it’s increasing the percentage of qualified female employees in tech-related roles by 10% within 6 months. Or increasing the percentage of qualified visible minorities on your sales team by 15% within 12 months.

Step 3: Create company policies that appeal to diverse candidates

It’s also important for HR teams to encourage employees to speak up if they think certain policies are hindering diversity in any way. People’s individual biases will be the main factor in how they perceive and navigate the workplace, so it’s important to encourage open and honest dialogue to ensure everyone feels welcome.

Having these company policies in place, and actively promoting them in your sourcing, is a great way to ensure your diversity recruiting strategy is running as it should be.

Step 4: Increase your diversity hiring with your candidate screening methods

If you find that your diversity hiring strategy is bringing in a nice variety of candidates, but you’re struggling to eliminate bias in how you screen them, then you should consider some strategies.

Information like names, schools, date of birth, specific locations, and so on can all contribute to some degree in a biased assessment of the candidate, even if it’s not done consciously. So it is necessary to use some method that will hide these factors. Hence, it is one of the ways how recruiters promote diversity in the workplace.

Step 5: Automate your shortlisting using an ATS

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can be used to impartially whittle down your list to the most high-potential candidates. Use the various screening and filtering tools included in your ATS to find candidates with the most potential and the resume with the best skills.

This technique allows you to completely remove personal opinions about specific candidates from the equation, and only focus on information that’s relevant to the job description. Shortlisting candidates based on the relevant requirements according to the job will help you move towards increased diversity.

In summary

Cultural diversity in the workplace is when organizations are open to hiring employees from all sorts of different backgrounds; regardless of race, religion, and culture. When companies hire and retain a diverse pool of people, it brings benefits to the company as well as welfare to its employees. Think of the human race as a whole, we are a very diverse species that are spread across various parts of the globe, with many different cultures, languages, and beliefs. In this age of globalization, we should learn to focus on ensuring our workforces are diverse and reap the benefits from it.

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Suchismita Panda