Diversity recruiting has become an essential part of companies’ recruitment efforts across the United States. The number of employers with formal diversity recruiting efforts in place between 2016 and 2021 increased by an overwhelming 32% to 88%.
This powerfully demonstrates that employers understand the value of diversity recruiting in a successful hiring program. Going into 2023, paying closer attention to diversity can be instrumental in strengthening employee relations, morale, and company culture.
Younger employees are growing more concerned about working for a company that aligns with their values and considers their input on how to enhance the company culture and business operations.
This commitment to inclusive hiring practices can have a significant impact on the candidate experience and company culture as a whole. As the first impression that applicants gain about your organization, the candidate experience is critical to ensuring that diversity recruiting efforts result in successful hires.
Additionally, by infusing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) values into the fabric of the organization, employers ensure that the company culture improves as well.
Technologies that are at the core of several HR processes today, such as an applicant tracking system (ATS) or recruitment CRM, are crucial in helping employers understand if their hiring practices are allowing them to reach their diversity recruiting goals.
At each stage of the hiring process, teams can make sure that the technology supports them in providing candidate experiences that reflect an inclusive culture. Integrating tools into a human resource information system (HRIS) will also make it easier for HR teams to manage the entire employee lifecycle and identify issues that may undermine diversity goals.
As recruitment teams rely on these tech solutions more, they will be able to measure and report on the results of their diversity recruiting efforts much faster than with manual recruiting tools. Combined with a candidate and new employee surveys, teams are capable of collecting more quantitative data to gauge whether their hiring tactics are having an impact.
YOU MIGHT LIKE: Promoting Diversity and Inclusion through Your Recruitment ATS
The push to increase diversity within organizations is not a new initiative. However, diversity recruiting regained the attention of employers over the past couple of years as a way to attract and retain employees, increase profits, and demonstrate their company’s commitment to social justice. A survey conducted in eight countries by Heidrick & Struggles found that 93% of executives across industries believe that DE&I matters more than it did at the beginning of 2020.
This is likely in response to the global publicity surrounding recent racial justice issues - in the United States especially. Companies such as Snapchat, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, and Adidas have all made pledges to increase the percentages of employees from underrepresented communities in their organizations. These employers understand that their customers and potential employees want to see action behind their words of solidarity with social justice causes. This even extends to the public demanding greater transparency around diversity recruiting activities. The Corporate Racial Equity Tracker is one resource that continually aggregates publicly-available information about companies’ progress in this area.
Prioritizing diversity recruiting practices helps to attract candidates who also value inclusive workplaces and retain employees from underrepresented communities. In fact, employees are 5.4 times more likely to stay in their job with a company that cultivates an equitable, inclusive environment, according to Great Place to Work. Once diversity is embedded in the fabric of company culture, it will be a primary consideration in every aspect of the business.
Employers’ motivations for committing to a diverse workforce are not entirely altruistic. Organizations such as those listed above are focusing their efforts on improving DE&I and paying more attention to diversity recruiting over the long term because of the benefits they can expect to see in their business.
According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), enterprises with “equal employment opportunity policies and gender-inclusive cultures'' are 60% more likely to have improved profits and productivity as well as an “enhanced reputation, greater ease in attracting and retaining talent, and greater creativity and innovation.”
With a strong connection between comprehensive DE&I programs and positive business outcomes, it is easy to see why employers are putting more effort into diversity recruiting. Yet, many of these initiatives have resulted in failure. Poorly planned programs have led to “diversity fatigue” and feelings of exhaustion, skepticism, and isolation after lackluster results. Any perceptions that DE&I programs are disingenuous will threaten to erode progress.
Simply checking the box to fill a quota as a strategy for diversity recruiting is no longer a sufficient approach. Neither is speaking about the need for diversity without taking tangible steps to fix the issue internally.
As professors Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev note in an article, “companies are basically doubling down on the same approaches they’ve used since the 1960s—which often make things worse, not better… It’s more effective to engage managers in solving the problem, increase their on-the-job contact with the female and minority workers, and promote social accountability—the desire to look fair-minded.”
As customers, employees, and potential applicants attach greater importance to engaging with companies that reflect their values, diversity recruiting will be a key focus for hiring teams. These five steps will be essential to set organizations on the right course.
Utilize existing tools to assess the current program and determine if today’s approaches are contributing to a more diverse workforce - or if refinements are needed. It is also essential to revisit DE&I programs to ensure that they still align with employees’ and potential applicants’ expectations of their employers.
Review the metrics and goals, making updates as needed. Then measure regularly to understand whether the goals are being met. A program with clear objectives tied to business outcomes will be easier to measure in the long term. From a hiring perspective, this means looking at diversity recruiting activities from the job posting and candidate sourcing all the way through onboarding and the employee’s first year. With recruitment technology like an ATS, obtaining data is simpler and more streamlined than manual processes.
Once companies have implemented a DE&I program with clear hiring metrics and goals, the next area to address is any issues that may prevent your hiring teams from reaching their goals. These issues can include unconscious biases in the hiring process as well as structural inequities within the organization.
These issues can work against diversity recruiting goals if candidates from underrepresented communities drop out of the interview process in large numbers or leave their position after a short tenure. Before new hires are brought into the organization, it is essential to resolve these issues.
Recruitment technology can also make it easy for hiring teams to pinpoint whether sources like niche job sites, professional networks, or referrals are responsible for contributing the most employees from underrepresented groups. Once those sources are identified, the hiring team can focus their diversity recruiting efforts on the places that yield the best results. An ATS can aggregate applications from select sources to help recruitment teams streamline their activities and focus on applications from sources that historically have yielded the best results.
The job post is critical to diversity recruiting efforts because it is an important opportunity for companies to define their values and outline their company culture to potential candidates. The wording of listings has the potential to widen or narrow the applicant pool as dramatically as the candidate screening process.
Certain word usage, such as “aggressive” or “warm,” can come across as gender-coded and should be avoided. The same is true of words that exclude older professionals, individuals with disabilities, and people from underrepresented ethnicities and religious backgrounds. Monster found that women tend to apply to jobs when they meet 100% of the criteria, whereas men will apply when they only meet only 60%.
Solutions like an ATS or recruitment CRM are becoming more integral to the day-to-day activities of hiring teams. In addition to shortening hiring processes, these recruitment tools allow teams to apply parameters to candidate sourcing to reduce bias and ensure that candidates are selected for their skills.
The inclusion of AI, which replicates repetitive human actions, has made recruitment technology more powerful and enables hiring teams to focus on more worthwhile activities like building relationships and displaying the company culture to candidates during the interview process. The AI recommendations can be refined to focus primarily on a candidate's skills and other more useful parameters that humans may overlook.
Leveraging technology to support diversity recruiting plans can be a highly effective way to ensure that the team’s metrics are being met. If you are interested in sharpening your hiring capabilities in 2023, recruitment technology can be the foundation of those efforts.
Start a 14-day free trial of Manatal’s ATS to see how recruitment technology can supercharge your diversity recruiting activities in 2023 and beyond.