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13 Effective Techniques to Advance Your Diversity Hiring Initiatives


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What is one effective technique to advance your diversity hiring initiatives?

To help you advance your diversity hiring initiatives, we asked CEOs and HR managers this question for their best insights. From using a recruiting agency to offering internship programs to targeted groups, there are several tips that may help you improve diversifying your hiring in the future.


Here are 13 techniques for advancing your diversity hiring initiatives:

  • Use a Recruiting Agency
  • Recognize Diversity is Not Just Skin Deep
  • Seek Referrals From Other Employees
  • Be Flexible With Your Job Description and Requirements
  • Include a Diverse Interview Panel During Recruitment
  • Create Company Policies With Diversity in Mind
  • Diversify Your Sourcing Pool
  • Meet People Where They Are
  • Advance Your Diversity Hiring by Using An ATS
  • Hide Names & Other Candidate Info to Reduce Bias
  • Measure Your Success
  • Set Diversity Hiring Deadlines
  • Offer Internship Programs to Targeted Groups

Use a Recruiting Agency

Advancing your diversity hiring initiatives is something that doesn’t happen by accident, but requires deliberate action. However, it doesn’t need to be a struggle. Utilizing a recruiting agency is one of the best ways to diversify your workforce. A recruiting agency can do the hard work for you, ensuring you get the best candidates for the position, while following your desire for a more diverse workforce.

Jon Schneider, Recruiterie


Recognize Diversity is Not Just Skin Deep

The most effective technique is to recognize that diversity is not simply the legally protected classes as defined by the government (race, gender, disability, etc). Real diversity also includes backgrounds, experiences, skill sets, and ways of thinking. Hiring managers have a tendency to want to hire people that act and think like them, and this is where diversity is lost the most. Instead, hiring managers should focus on the needs of the role and how the diversity of the individual will fit the needs of that role. This requires that the managers put their own bias in check and focus on what is truly relevant.

Steven Smith, ApplicantPro


Seek Referrals From Other Employees

When you’re looking for referrals to hire new employees, it’s important to consider the different perspectives your own staff might offer. Yes, you can enhance your diversity hiring initiative by seeking referrals from other employees you’ve already hired. They can provide the different perspectives you need, while also connecting you to candidates who might have otherwise been overlooked or unreachable. Use the diversity you already have to advance it further.

Ryan Nouis, TruPath


Be Flexible With Your Job Description and Requirements

I recommend being more flexible with your job description and requirements. A lot of job descriptions lay out specific requirements, and then label many candidates as “over qualified” or “not qualified.” Finding someone that is exactly the right amount of qualified is hard enough, even before considering your diversity initiatives. When you hire for diversity, you will attract people with an incredible range of experience and skills. Don’t be fixated on your initial job description. When you find someone that will exceed expectations, find a way to work with them.

Melissa Kelly, Virtual Team Building


Include a Diverse Interview Panel During Recruitment

Advancing your diversity hiring initiatives is a commitment to having a diverse group of people in the interview panel during the recruitment stage. After all, it is the first part of acquiring potential talents to join your ranks, so the presence of recruiters from different gender, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds is critical in this step. Not only can you acquire varying perspectives to eliminate biases during the recruitment stage, but you also show candidates of your commitment to diversity. It is a great way to attract and retain employees looking for a diverse workplace, strengthening company culture and its commitment to diversity hiring further.

Nunzio Ross, Majesty Coffee


Create Company Policies With Diversity in Mind

If you want to attract diversity to your company, you need to have policies in place that work for diverse teams. Honor holidays from various religions, have clear and severe penalties for instances of discrimination, and allow flexible schedules for employees’ shifting needs. These are just a few examples of what your company can do to make workers from all backgrounds feel welcomed and given the opportunity to thrive. Remember, it’s one thing to claim that your company embraces diversity, but it’s another thing altogether to enforce rules that actually support those values.

Johannes Larsson,


Diversify Your Sourcing Pool

With the spotlight on recruiters to produce diverse candidate slates, the number one question I get asked as a diversity consultant is how to effectively advance your diversity hiring initiatives. The answer is to diversify your sourcing pools. Creating partnerships with organizations that are outside of the typical sourcing initiative such as local churches (all denominations), women’s shelters, community centers and local chambers of commerce can help an organization tap into talent that otherwise goes unnoticed. Creating mutually beneficial partnerships with these communities is the key to successfully adding this technique to your current DEI plan.

Lekeshia Hicks, Lekeshia Angelique Consulting


Meet People Where They Are

In the past 10 years, so many digital platforms have appeared to connect the workforce to diverse candidates. One effective technique to advance your diversity hiring initiatives is to meet people where they are. If you’re looking to connect with diverse early career talent, utilize effective tools like WayUp or Handshake. On Slack, you can connect with community groups like HireBlack and OutinTech. On LinkedIn, create a list of HBCU, MSI, or AAPI institutions and spend time sourcing specifically from those lists. In this day and age, there is no excuse for recruiting teams to not be able to attract, identify, and hire qualified, diverse candidates. Get out there, do the work and meet people where they are so that you can help build a winning hiring strategy built on diversity and inclusion.

Jim Leahy, DailyPay


Advance Your Diversity Hiring by Using An ATS

Everyone has implicit biases that can impact how we see others, even if we don’t realize it. For this reason, it’s vital for hiring managers to use an ATS in the hiring process. Applicant tracking software has resume parsing capabilities that can search for specific educational qualifications or skills, ignoring things like ethnicity and race, appearance, and name, which can trigger an unconscious bias in a hiring manager that could impact a diversity hiring initiative. An ATS alone can’t overcome implicit biases, but it can help ensure that all qualified applicants are seen by the hiring manager. Hiring managers do also need to learn to identify implicit biases so that they can be overcome. It’s also a good idea to look over job listings again to make sure that the wording isn’t gendered or otherwise biased.

Dave Rietsema, Matchr


Hide Names & Other Candidate Info to Reduce Bias

Blind hiring has helped us make great strides in our DEI hiring initiatives, as we hide irrelevant information from our resumes and applications during the screening process. Our team has naturally become more diverse as we handpick our candidate shortlists without knowing their names. But it doesn’t stop at hidden names; we also hide their gender, address, college name, or graduation date. During hiring, these big factors can cause unintentional bias regarding gender, age, race, and income. We assign our applicants by number, and the first time we learn these more personal details is on interview day.

John Li, Fig Loans


Measure Your Success

If you really want to advance your diversity hiring initiatives, you need diversity recruiting metrics. If you aren’t measuring your success, you won’t be able to really improve your techniques. You can also implement anecdotal data: ask female applicants for feedback, for example. You want to understand the experiences of women and other marginalized groups so that you can provide a better experience for them to obtain career opportunities at your company.

Ely Khakshouri, Retrospec


Set Diversity Hiring Deadlines

More important than making the right decisions is to follow them up with necessary actions. If you’ve decided to introduce diversity hiring initiatives in your organization, the first thing to do is identify goals and match them with appropriate deadlines. In establishing goal dates, you ensure that every milestone that precedes the meeting of these goals is worked out in time and with the necessary effort. From transforming content for job postings to showcasing your improved diversity policies, there are several steps that prove vital.

Azmaira Maker, Ph.D., Aspiring Families


Offer Internship Programs to Targeted Groups

Offering internships and career readiness programs to targeted diverse groups is an effective diversity recruiting technique. This gives a chance for underrepresented students to have the experience and gain the qualifications they need in order to join the industry. Another benefit of this strategy is that internship and mentorship programs have high rates of eventually siphoning apprentices into the company, which is a huge win for the company’s recruitment strategy.

Mark Liu, iMarku



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