Sourcing Diverse Candidates is a Top Priority
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are a top priority for business and HR leaders in 2022.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are a top priority for business and HR leaders in 2022. This is confirmed by multiple studies that have been published in recent months from The 2020 Deloitte CEO Survey, JobVite Recruiter Nation Report and Smart Recruiters The State of Internal Recruiting.
Challenges in diversity recruitment
To meet those goals most organisations are going to have to re-examine their sourcing and recruitment processes with serious commitment and increase their budgets which have remained unchanged for ten years.
Research from Gem Recruiting Trends indicates that 49% of talent acquisition professionals find their greatest challenge is “finding more diverse candidates to interview”. Sourcing diverse candidates is going to be a top priority for 2022.
To make that piece more effective most people involved in the hiring process will need a significant mindset shift.
4 key steps to sourcing diverse candidates
1. Identify diversity gaps
Many companies create diversity hiring strategies without a proper understanding of their real needs. Never has the phrase “if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it” been more appropriate. At this point, all businesses need to look at the composition of each piece of their organisation and identify the cultural make up. They then have to identify the characteristics of the dominant group and ask who they can hire to enrich their culture.
2. Create inclusive job profiles
One of the most important starting points is to formalise the measurable competencies for each role and to make sure they are realistic. Inflated profiles restrict the number of applicants, but also discourage more diverse candidates from applying. Women in particular self-deselect if they don’t match 100% of the requirements.
A Hewlett Packard internal report found that men will apply for a job when they have 60% of the qualifications.
Data-based decision-making will help reduce unconscious bias which creeps into every hiring process. This will help eliminate the much-talked-about unwritten codes around hiring decisions that are not universally known or practised. Sending thank you emails and taking notes in an interview are two topics that generate acres of online opinion but should not be a factor of any final selection – unless the roles specifically require those competences.
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3. Fish where there are fish
Creating an effective sourcing strategy is one of the most challenging elements to identify and attract diverse candidates. Many organisations use LinkedIn to track down top talent, but with a gender networking gap, (43% of LinkedIn members are women) they are less likely to find female candidates on the platform.
Equally, referral schemes are also found to mitigate against female candidates or people of colour .
All organisations will need to create new partnerships in different areas to their usual pipeline feeders.
4. Manage Unconscious Bias in Candidate Assessments
If you have a brain you have a bias. All of us make assumptions around people and role requirements without even realising it. We have opinions around unusual sounding names, postcodes, age, previous employment, and gender, all of which need to be brought out into the open and managed with transparency.
It’s also important to be more inclusive in candidate outreach. Women in particular are more cautious about engaging in a hiring process. Cold calls and pitches without personalisation tend to fall on stony ground. Sourcers may need to be more flexible around the timing of screening calls and should make sure their own personal brand is pristine and visible. No one wants to take a call from a hidden number from a recruiter with a dodgy LinkedIn profile with no picture.
This is only the beginning
If diversity is a fact, inclusion is an action. Sourcing diverse candidates and enhancing your talent pipeline is only part of the process. The idea of creating an inclusive culture doesn’t stop when the contract is signed. This is only the beginning. Every piece of the employment experience has to be intentional to make sure that the new hire is correctly onboarded because belonging is a feeling.
How your organisation makes your employee feel on a daily basis is now of the utmost importance.
Tackle these issues head-on with our Managing Unconscious Bias in your recruitment processes.