Ensuring diversity in a workplace is two-fold: you need a diversity initiative and you need a strategy to recruit diverse candidates; the latter, without the former, is insufficient. Across industries, talent leaders are reporting that building diverse teams has been a top hiring trend in 2020. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are critical components to creating a fair, productive workplace. Unfortunately, finding diverse candidates to interview is one of the biggest barriers to improving company diversity. It’s imperative to prioritize fairness throughout every step of the hiring process and that begins with ensuring underrepresented minority talent is included from the very beginning of the recruitment process.
Recruiting underrepresented talent means approaching non-traditional candidates. These candidates may be found in places your company is not used to looking; for example, it may be worth checking out universities and institutions that have historically served Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, and/or female students. Tap into community organizations and professional organizations that serve LGBTQI communities, veterans, and other populations less frequently represented in the tech field.
Our minds make decisions intuitively, before we’re aware of it. We may all like to think that logical arguments drive our decision making, but in fact there’s unconscious activity going on inside our brains that affects our judgements and decisions. Those tasked with hiring must first confront and work through their unconscious biases. In the hiring process, unconscious bias happens when you form an opinion about candidates based solely on first impressions. Or, when you prefer one candidate over another for a reason unrelated to qualifications for that position; for example, simply because the one candidate seems like someone you’d easily hang out with outside of work.
It’s also important to be aware of what we consider and value as indicators of a candidate’s success. Does it matter if they went to an elite university? Is their management experience important? How important is experience at other notable technology companies? Try to consider only information relevant to the job. While we may implicitly form opinions based on their name, an image, or their gender – be sure to weigh only information truly relevant to their qualifications for the job.
An inclusion approach to hiring considers not just how a candidate will fit into your company’s culture but how they can add to that culture. Culture-add employees bring a different point of view that can make a positive impact on an organization. Consider how your company can make a candidate successful by embracing the new and different they contribute. An inclusive onboarding experience accommodates and supports all of your new employees, not just some of them. With inclusion on the forefront, you invite each person to feel seen during their onboarding experience. They receive the support they need to get settled and ultimately are able to contribute more fully.
Recruiting diverse candidates is not necessarily more difficult than recruiting generally, but it does require companies to be very intentional about sourcing, screening, and hiring candidates. Hiring intentionally can take more time as you’re developing new pipelines and building up the parts of your culture and brand that would attract diverse candidates. This is where Integress can help.
At Integress our recruiting culture prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion so that your company can pick from the very best talent. We not only recognize the value that diversity brings to a workplace but know how and where to find such talent. We work nationwide as a boutique technical search firm specializing in identifying talent for the tech world. To find out more on how we can build diversity, equity, and inclusion within your company through intentional, strategic recruiting, contact us now here.