Best Practices for Hiring a Diverse Workforce

To hire a more diverse workforce, you need to start by taking a step back and looking at your hiring process from start to finish, from advertising an open position to onboarding. You need to look at everyone who will come into contact with the job candidate to ensure they are all working together to convey an open and inviting environment. Here are some areas to look at.

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  1. Salary

It’s been a common practice for employers to ask candidates for their salary history during job interviews. They use it often to determine the salary for a new hire, simply bumping up the pay from the person’s previous job. But this is not a good practice in general and especially if you are looking to increase diversity in your workforce.

First of all, if you want to hire good people, you need to offer competitive salaries, regardless of what the person made at his or her last job. It should be based on the responsibilities of the position. This is particularly important if you want to attract minority workers, who often are underpaid.

  1. Company Culture

When recruiting job candidates, a business needs to highlight the company culture, which may help to attract a more diverse group of people. For example, you can list the different types of benefits it offers, such as paid time off, support for pregnancy or adoption, parental leave policies, disability leave, and other support services.

Employees of different ages, genders and backgrounds will all have different needs, so focusing on what you offerthese different groups may help increase diversity.

  1. Flexibility

You certainly need to have a minimum set of standards when hiring. But too often companies only consider people who have qualifications that fit the job description exactly. This eliminates many good candidates and it has a stifling effect on diversity.

You should cast your net wider, maintaining more flexibility when it comes to related experience. When hiring, you need to think not just about skills and experience but forming a team of diverse personalities and backgrounds. It is this diversity that will help the team perform better because the exposure to different viewpoints and perspectives will spark creativity and innovation.

When evaluating experience, look beyond the amount of time a person spent in a job to the value of the work they did, what they accomplished, what they learned, even if their tenure was not as long.

The same is true for education. Rather than requiring a specific set of educational credentials, companies should be willing to consider a combination of education and experience. This again allows for a broader reach and a more inclusive approach which will improve diversity.

Companies need to bring consistency to their hiring practices, focusing on a core set of skills and knowledge for each position. This focus will help to reduce more subjective judgments of hiring managers from creeping into decision making, the kinds of judgments that are more likely to be influenced by the biases of the interviewers, whether they are conscious of them or not.

These prejudices may undermine your efforts at diversity because they may be discriminatory against certain people or groups.

  1. A Group Approach

The group of people interviewing job candidates should itself be composed of people with diverse backgrounds. Hiring managers need to consult with a range of people in the company to get a variety of viewpoints and feedback on candidates. This too will help to winnow out hidden bias.

Hiring for diversity may take longer than it did before. If you’d like some help, contact the Helpmates branch nearest you to learn more about our own recruiting practices.

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