Diversity Efforts Can Make or Break Your Hiring Process

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Diversity and inclusion (D&I) are imperative for business success. A diverse and inclusive company culture has been proven to positively impact organizations’ bottom lines, and D&I is something jobseekers expect from their next employer.

As the Black Lives Matter movement continues, there is increasing pressure for organizations to adopt better D&I programs across the nation. Throughout May and June, job search engine Monster.com conducted a series of polls to get a pulse on jobseeker sentiment toward organizations’ D&I efforts.

Key findings from the poll are highlighted below.

Key Findings

Most notably, the majority of jobseekers (62%) would turn down a job offer if they feel the company did not value an inclusive and diverse workplace culture. 

Yet, a majority of employers (78%) have never been asked about the company’s D&I efforts during the interview process. When it comes to the D&I discussion, Monster says that employers are split—half (50%) sparked a conversation with employees about race, diversity, and inclusion, with the other 50% staying silent.

Of those who have had conversations, 78% plan to provide help, resources, or training for employees on racism and diversity. Additionally, over half (67%) of employers believe their company offers sufficient resources for members of minority groups.

While employers may claim their D&I efforts are up to snuff, the Monster poll reveals that they could be doing just a little bit more in that area. Monster found it is very important to the majority of employees (70%) that companies be transparent about the diversity of their workers.

When asked what the most important step was for a company to take to demonstrate its commitment to diversity hiring, over a third (36%) cited transparency on the diversity of its employees, and a fourth (25%) noted having an HR team dedicated to D&I hiring.

The likelihood of employees’ working for a company increased for nearly two-thirds (62%) of employees based on a company’s response to the Black Lives Matter movement. Of those, the increased likelihood was due to a positive company response for the overwhelming majority (86%). Alternatively, for the employees whose likelihood decreased (38%), over half (55%) noted it was because the company remained silent.

Monster also found that jobseekers are watching how potential employers respond to social issues. Candidates think companies should balance their response to the Black Lives Matter movement with internal company policies (D&I) and external initiatives. However, they express skepticism about the authenticity of some external messaging. Employers, on the other hand, are more likely to think it should be handled internally. 

So now that you know where jobseekers stand on D&I, how can you work to create a more diverse and inclusive culture? Monster makes these suggestions:

  • Use gender-neutral language in your job advertisements. “If candidates assume the role is more suited for the opposite gender, you might be missing out on qualified candidates,” says Monster. “The best way to avoid this common mistake is to avoid words that are typically understood to be coded for a male or female audience.”
  • Avoid gender and racial bias. According to Monster, to avoid bias, “consider eliminating requirements that are not essential. If the position is one where training can easily be provided, don’t ask for experience on software. Generalize areas where transferable skills are okay, and clearly outline which qualifications are required and which are preferred.” Be sure to correct any language that could be seen as “implicit bias,” such as:
    • Using phrases like “strong English-language skills,”
    • Requiring candidates to be “clean-shaven,” which can exclude candidates whose faith requires them to maintain facial hair (it also indicates the position is for men only), and
    • Avoiding “cultural fit” and focusing on “value alignment.”
  • Avoid age discrimination by winning over older candidates. “Some best practices for avoiding age discrimination include making sure your employer branding reflects a wide range of the age of workers at your company. Also, don’t ask for GPA or SAT scores—it implies that only recent grads are being considered,” Monster adds.
  • Be inclusive of disabled workers. “Let applicants know your workplace welcomes and values all candidates with phrasing like: ‘Ability to complete tasks with or without reasonable accommodations,’” says Monster. “Instead of writing ‘Access to your own vehicle isn’t always necessary,’ try ‘Access to reliable transportation,’ which is more inclusive to people with disabilities.”

D&I is no longer a trendy “perk” to attract top talent; it’s a business necessity. If you want your business to succeed, you need diversity of thought from a diverse group of people, and that starts with your hiring process. As Monster’s poll shows us, you need to showcase your D&I efforts at every stage of the hiring process. Be sure to keep these tips in mind, as well!

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