Inclusive Recruiting: 5 Frequently Asked Questions
The call for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) in the workplace is loud and growing louder by the day. But many organizations remain unsure what part inclusive recruiting plays in DEIB, unclear how to start, what good practice looks like, and how to sustain these initiatives in the long run. They have questions, questions that demand and deserve thoughtful well-defined answers. Knowing this, let’s tackle five of those most commonly asked:
What does organizational diversity mean?
This is a big one, and there are multiple avenues one can take. Diversity takes multiple dimensions – age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion or belief, social class, neurodiversity, diversity of experience & skills – name just a few, and goes beyond the differences that distinguish one employee from another. Earlier, I mentioned DEIB, but for some employers, their focus might start with just diversity and inclusion. The acronym doesn’t matter so much as the intent. Objectives tend to be a mix of business imperatives, existing culture, and values, local priorities, moral obligations to provide equal opportunity, and a need to meet legislative or compliance requirements. The relative weight of these factors will drive your organization’s definition, focus and chosen strategy. What we ultimately hope to achieve is a common outlook that recognizes diversity as integral to and supported by all business systems and processes. Korn Ferry does an excellent job of explaining DEI best practices.
How does inclusive recruiting fit into D&I?
Recruiting plays an integral role in shaping organizational diversity. If an organization lacks diversity, it will look to hiring to move the needle. However, if an employer doesn’t have an organizational commitment to diversity and inclusion, it will never be able to recruit, and more importantly, retain diverse talent. As such, the essential ingredients of inclusive recruiting mirror those of an organizational diversity program:
- Clearly outlined Senior leader, hiring manager and recruiter buy-in to diversity
- End-to-end diversity tech stack and processes
- Inclusive job ads, sourcing channels, engagement, selection and onboarding
- Recruiting diversity dashboards and continuous measurement
- Ongoing inclusive recruitment training based on best practices
How do we start to recruit diversely?
As you can see from the list above, different components are involved in recruiting diversely (and inclusively, for that matter). Start by establishing your target goal and the metrics you will use to track your progress. From there, audit your job descriptions, postings, and advertisements to make certain the language in place is inclusive and appealing to a broad candidate base. Once confirmed, consider targeting different channels to increase diversity at the point of sourcing. You’ll want to hardwire this type of thinking throughout the balance of the recruiting process, decreasing bias in screening and interviewing and creating an employer brand that showcases the organization’s diversity. Finally, aim for consistency in each and every candidate interaction.
How do we embed D&I into the recruiting process?
According to Gartner’s research, organizations interested in developing sustainable D&I need to embed it into existing talent processes to ensure application. In practice, that means promoting the adoption of these initiatives at every hiring stage, but busy recruiters don’t necessarily have the time to seek out data. That’s why the easiest way to achieve sustainable D&I is through the implementation of end-to-end diversity recruiting technology. These solutions deliver efficient recruiting experiences with intelligence baked in, engaging more diverse talent faster and more effectively. With insights in place, it becomes possible to understand the breakdown of diversity in applicants and, later, the key attributes that drive candidate selection – knowing this can help inform decision-making and advise future outreach.
How do we ensure the success of inclusive recruiting over time?
Echoing what I wrote at the outset of this piece, McKinsey says the business case of DEI is strong and growing stronger. For organizations keen to prioritize diversity, these programs need to become a core competency of the business that accurately reflects its culture and values. Fostering success over time requires investing in strategies and solutions that promote longevity. That involves setting a baseline understanding of where the organization is and where it wants to go in terms of diversity maturity, democratizing data, embedding inclusion into the operational recruiting process through technology, and driving significant adoption.
When it comes to D&I, DEI, DEIB, you can’t always rely on people to do the right thing. Creating meaningful change at an organizational level takes more than good intentions – you need to build and maintain a strong foundation through technology that nudges employees to make the right decisions, starting with who and how you hire.
Author: Charles Hipps
Charles Hipps is the Founder and CEO of Oleeo, an award-winning provider of innovative