In the last few years achieving workplace diversity has become a top priority for many employers. The first step in building a diverse employee base is to obviously hire more diversified candidates.
By recruiting from a range of backgrounds and cultures businesses gain access to a wide variety of viewpoints and perspectives. Companies with staff from a broad range of backgrounds have been found to outperform those with a less diverse workforce. (Robert Walters)
According to a recent survey, 57% of recruiters say their current talent acquisition strategies are specifically designed to attract diverse candidates. (SHRM)
On the flip side, an industry survey found that 67% of active and passive job seekers considered diversity an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers.
So, how do you go about attracting, recruiting and hiring a more diverse workforce? Here are a few simple tips to help expand your talent pool.
1. Take care when writing and designing your external advertising - and where you post them too
If you want to attract a more diverse candidate pool, the language you use in your job posting makes a big difference. A lot of people when writing job ads now include an ‘equal employer’ caveat at the end, in the small print. But this isn’t enough. By the time a potential candidate has got down this far, they may already be turned off or disengaged. The words you use matter.
A study on job copy postings found those using more masculine associated language like ‘ambitious’ and ‘dominate’ was less appealing to female applicants. Something as simple as swapping the word ‘manage’ for ‘develop’ is likely to increase the number of female applicants. Also, consider wording your adverts in an inclusive way that explicitly states your interest in attracting a diverse talent pool. Be clear on what is essential for the job role. Concentrate on skills and talents rather than qualifications and/or experience to attract the widest possible audience.
In terms of media choices, to increase the number of diverse candidates in your talent pipeline, take advantage of specifically chosen media to advertise your vacancies. Sometimes, several adverts in niche, targeted press and media could be more effective than one generic, mainstream advertisement.
Reach more diverse candidates by placing your vacancies in magazines, websites and forums visited by underrepresented or minority groups.
2. Offer policies and benefits that appeal to diverse candidates
Research has found that one of the best workplace policies to attract diverse candidates is flexibility. Younger candidates put more emphasis and credence in work/life balance. Flexibility also allows you to draw talent from candidates outside of your usual commuter belt. Offering work from home options and flexible hours not only helps you attract more diverse candidates, it helps employee retention.
Most job ads will touch on benefits but make sure you are highlighting your more inclusive benefits such as, paid parental leave (including adoption and foster parents), childcare subsidies, sick pay, paid religious holidays etc. in order to attract the right candidates.
“Good work on diversity and inclusion can be undone by benefits that do not align with diversity.” - PriceWaterhouseCoopers
- Make your website appealing to a wide range of candidates
Your website is the ‘shop window’ of your company. In most instances your website and social media will be the only things that candidates have to judge you on (not forgetting Glassdoor) and decide whether you are the right company for them. Ensuring that your website and social media is as inclusive and appealing as possible is of great importance. You can do this by utilising inclusive language (as we have spoken about previously) and diverse imagery. Candidates are more likely to interact with media that reflect themselves and their culture and values, so it is important that they feel considered and represented.And, it may seem obvious but you should also highlight your company’s dedication to diversity on your careers site by showing it to be one of your top values and commitments.