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7 Actionable Tips for Diverse, Equal, and Inclusive (DE&I) Hiring

Companies worldwide are considering diversity, equity, and inclusiveness (DE&I), whether by compulsion or conation.

For instance, DE&I posts and company updates on LinkedIn quadrupled in 2020. Over half a million employees and over 100,000 companies posted about DE&I in June 2020 alone.

If you’re in the biz in 2023, chances are you will also dabble in the DE&I game. It only makes sense to do so.

Continue reading to learn more about the TA strategies that impact sourcing at the root and bring real-life changes in the workplace.

What are Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion in Hiring?

Diversity, equity, and inclusion in hiring refer to talent acquisition that aligns with an employer's DE&I goals in the workplace.

Upon successful implementation, DE&I hiring should represent a wider pool of candidates from all walks of life, gender, sexual preference, age, physical and cognitive ability, and similar human measures.

Please note that diversity, equity, and inclusiveness are not interchangeable; each manifests differently in a workplace. Some organizations add more adjectives to the DE&I, such as belonging, allyship, and similar words.

Does it mean incorporating diverse candidates or employing more people from underrepresented groups lead to a genuinely DE&I workplace or improve business?

No. Instead, experts opine the ultimate success of the DE&I workplace will manifest only when organizations are willing to change the power dynamics and work to make a workforce conducive to creativity and skills and where everybody is empowered, heard, and included.

7 Tips for Beginning the DE&I Hiring Journey in 2023

Data suggests HR professionals, TA teams, and job seekers are all aligned with the goals of DE&I in workplaces in terms of employers’ intentions and candidates’ expectations. Taking the first steps for diverse, equal, and inclusive hiring only makes sense.

Here are seven effective strategies you can adopt and begin your journey to DE&I hiring:

1. Audit the Readiness for DE&I+ Workplace

“I want a woman of color who has experience handling big leagues of marketing and content.”

That is what an experience-focused and potentially misplaced DE&I hiring ideology sounds like.

As a recruiter and hiring manager, you must be clear with yourself and the team about the purpose of hiring diverse candidates. This is the first step in enabling a DE & I+ workplace.

Organizations hire diverse candidates for all sorts of reasons. But not all of them genuinely benefit the organization and the candidate in the short and long run.

For instance, some organizations will partake in the trend of DE&I hires but won’t have a consciously conducive workplace for candidates of diverse backgrounds to flourish. The result could be churn, bad reviews, and financial loss.

In the same way, organizations may hire diverse candidates to tick a box in the checklist:

  • A woman of color in the reception
  • South Asian full-stack developer
  • Candidates with different abilities for ground roles
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer candidates in the marketing team

Organizations may hire candidates from underrepresented groups to strategically place them in an open office because it looks diverse.

But such scenarios may not reap any extra benefit–neither for the candidate nor the org - because the organization’s micro-culture is not ready to adapt the change.

Ponder on your organization's culture and assess how ready it is to adapt to diversity; how is the power structure organized to include diversity, and how much are the stakeholders willing to reform to make the workplace inclusive and diverse if it is not already?

2. Start Blind Resume Reviewing

Most hiring managers reportedly rely on intuition and mental synthesis of the information on a resume to make hiring decisions.

Relying on mental synthesis increases the chances of unconscious biases.

The way out? Hide trigger points of biases while reviewing resumes, also known as blind resume review.

Blind resume review involves proactively hiding the elements in a resume that can trigger a conscious or unconscious bias during the screening.

Information like the candidates’ gender, ethnicity, race, details on educational institutions where they studied, and other subjective things can trigger unconscious biases.

Instead, the recruiter should rely on the candidate's merit reflected in their years of experience, communication skills shown during interviews and written assessments, and professional achievements to determine candidacy.

3. Write Inclusive Job Descriptions (JDs)

A Harvard study found that women were less likely to consider a job description laced with male stereotypes in narrative and diction.

Unconscious bias in JDs could appear in syntax and phrases. At worst, it could reflect a specific preference for a particular group while giving an impression of eliminating other groups in undertones.

For instance, using “native English speakers” for someone who can communicate professionally and effectively in English could unknowingly express a preference for a particular race in some regions.

In the same way, using terms that typically favor men, such as “aggressive,” “guys,” “competitive,” “workmanship,” “drive,” and “action-oriented,” can reflect a male preferential undertone.

To reverse the vices, ensure that your team consciously writes JDs with inclusive language that is careful about what it communicates, to whom, and how others perceive it.

Terms like ‘interpersonal skills,’ ‘communication skills,’ ‘patience,’ ‘efficiency,’ and similar terms may sound more inclusive to different groups of people and make them feel represented.

Tools like Grammarly have the built-in capability to spot unconscious biases in diction and syntax.

Moreover, you can cross-check your JDs using tools like Textio and Gender Decoder to spot and omit unconscious biases in JDs.

4. Improve Candidate Experience during Hiring

A recent KPMG study found that businesses that invest in employee experience outperform their rivals in terms of profitability by four times.

Employee experience begins with recruitment.

You can improve the hiring experience of diverse candidates by reviewing the entire hiring strategy from start to finish.

Ask these questions:

  • Is my hiring team inducted with the DE&I goals of the organization?
  • Is it easy for diverse candidates to find job openings?
  • Once they find our job ads, how easy is it to apply?
  • Do I have a JD that is written in inclusive language?
  • Do I have a diverse, equal, and inclusive conscience while screening the resumes?
  • Do I ask questions that focus more on the candidates' skills and workability during the interview?
  • Do I have an inclusive-forward and diversity-minded team to determine which candidates to proceed with for the final hiring rounds?
  • Do I offer an offer letter that considers the employees’ diversity and clauses of inclusiveness in alignment with the DE&I goals?

Good communication is a crucial determiner of good candidate experience during hiring.

You can use SaaS tools that automate communication at preset hiring intervals and keep the employees posted at different stages of the hiring funnel.

5. Use Non-conventional Sources of Talent Acquisition

How about drifting from the regular job boards and talent networks to hire diverse candidates?

For instance, many candidates representing different groups will work outside the network you usually hire from.

For instance, QR Codes can be an excellent strategy for hiring passive and organic candidates.

“QR codes can be used in various ways to reach out to potential candidates who might not otherwise be aware of a job opening,” Chris Wainwright, Director of Marketing at Canadian HR platform Humi, tells me in an email.

“This type of recruitment has several advantages. First, it allows companies to target specific groups of people they want to attract to their organization.

Second, it is a relatively low-cost way to reach potential candidates.

And finally, it provides an easy way for candidates to learn more about a job and express their interest in applying.”

Platforms like Beaconstac are global leaders enabling HR and TA teams to deploy GDPR-secure, static, and dynamic QR Codes to reach diverse candidates in unconventional places.

6. Build a Talent Community

A talent community includes candidates in the different stages of the hiring funnel.

These candidates are not necessarily qualified to join as employees during inclusion in the community.

But you include them in the community to enrich their professional skills by exposing them to like-minded people with more experience in the field from your organization.

The candidates in the community mingle with experienced peers, learn about the company culture, acquire new skills, and receive updates relevant to their growth.

Once a new opening is relevant to the candidate's skills and experience, they may apply and have higher chances of success since they were nurtured in the community for some time.

7. Begin Candidate Experience Survey

Employers can harness emails or QR Codes to deploy candidate experience survey forms and gather valuable feedback on what is working and what is not.

You can ask questions about the hiring process and get insights into their feelings while being screened:

  • Did they feel represented in the hiring rounds?
  • Did they face any unpleasant experiences during the procedure?
  • Were they communicated with the utmost respect?
  • How was their overall experience during the hiring process?
  • Do they accept the company’s decision in case of rejection? If not, then why?
  • Did they face any issues while applying for the job opening?

The best part about survey forms is that it reflects the employer’s concern about the experience of the candidates-hired or not hired.

These were some of the most actionable DE&I talent acquisition tips you can employ and kick-start your journey to hire an inclusive workforce.

It is worth considering that even with a DE&I roadmap drawn, policies, and strategies in place, many organizations still need help to attain the goal.

DE&I in hiring is an org-wide commitment, and all team members must be on the same page to succeed in the mission.



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