Diverse recruitment practices for hiring managers

by Feb 6, 2020

7 tips for implementing more diverse recruitment practices

Use these tips for more diverse recruitment practices, so that you don’t fill your workplace with the same old candidates every time. 

Just two weeks into the new decade and already managers have contacted us looking to implement more diverse recruitment practices. Interestingly, the questions did not come from HR. Hopefully this means that individual managers are becoming more aware of the value they can add by leading inclusive and diverse teams.

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Here is a list of some basic considerations to make your recruitment processes more diverse:

1. Audit your team

Make a realistic assessment of your team. What patterns and commonalities, if any, do you see? Look at gender, race, education level, personalities, language skills, age, sexual orientation, physical ability etc. Reflect on communication style and personalities. What demographics, perspectives, personal qualities and experiences are missing in your current team, and what elements would add particular value. If you have a “go for it” gung-ho, extrovert, risk taking team, perhaps now is the time to incorporate more measured and thoughtful personalities. Do your team have the same academic backgrounds? Consider the value of mixing that up.

2. Secure the buy-in of HR

Most HR and recruitment functions understand the value of diverse recruitment processes. But sometimes tried and tested channels and processes are less time-consuming and generally easier. If you state your goal as the hiring manager that you want a more diverse slate, then that is the first step. Find out what your HR function is doing to increase the diversity of your organisation and how that matches (or misses) your needs. Discuss a possible strategy with them that could produce a wider range of candidates. The more managers who press for this the better. Diversity and inclusion is a business issue. That makes it your issue.


3. Evaluate the job profile

Most job profiles tend to be inflated. There is some unwritten notion that managing a highly qualified team reflects better on the manager than one with fewer qualifications. This is not the case at all. In an era of AI, many roles which were traditionally assigned a higher workplace value may soon be defunct. It’s important to make a realistic assessment of the skills that are really required for your job and which ones are part of a copy paste job from a profile dating 10 years.

4. Select your recruiter

Many organisations have worked with the same recruiters for many years. Most don’t check the sourcing strategies they use that will attract diverse candidates. One client complained that they wanted to recruit women, but their head hunters (both male) said there were none on the market who were open. This generally means that their whole strategy needs to be reassessed and you may need to change your head hunter.

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5. Network referrals

Over 80% of jobs are not advertised and network referrals fill a lot of the jobs instead. This tends to mean “mini-me” hiring practices. Instead, review your own network and create a strategy for extending your reach. Work with your HR department to see how they can add to this by seeking out focus groups for specific, under-represented groups if they are not doing this already.

6. Diverse interview panel

Make sure you have a diverse interview panel with people from varied backgrounds and with different personalities if you can. If you are just starting out, this may not always be possible. You could possibly bring in people from other areas to evaluate non-technical skills. Also make sure you have a system of “nudges” and “interrupters” in place in your process to manage any biases. If you can arrange unconscious bias training for your interviewers that would be even better.

7. Candidate evaluation

Make sure your interviews are structured and you use the same selection criteria for each candidate. It goes without saying that there should be no questions related to child care, relationships, marriage etc. It seems basic, but it is still going on. Direct your questions towards positive screening – what can this candidate offer, rather than what they lack. Consider what skills they can acquire on the job or as part of an onboarding process. Double check for unconscious biases related to “cultural fit.” What does that mean in your organisation and why? Can the candidate add value with their difference.

As diversity and inclusion becomes more mainstream, the more individual hiring managers who push for diverse recruitment practices the faster we will see change.

Contact us at 3Plus to find your top female talent.

Dorothy Dalton Administrator
Dorothy Dalton is CEO of 3Plus International. A specialist in diversity and bias conscious executive search, she supports organizations to achieve business success via gender balance, diversity and inclusion. She is CIPD qualified, and a certified coach and trainer including digital learning.
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