Harnessing DEI in Your Recruiting Strategy

Diverse team chats in a business setting over coffee

Over the last few years, many companies have set high public goals for themselves in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Now they must live up to these standards. 

Walking the walk when it comes to DEI goals is core to any recruitment strategy, especially when it comes to the next generation of talent. According to a survey by Gen Z recruiting platform RippleMatch, 75% of job candidates report that they would reconsider applying with a company if they were unsatisfied with its diversity and inclusion efforts.

Execution is critical for an organization’s DEI efforts, and below are ways that companies can put their intentions into concrete action. 

Start with company culture 

DEI doesn’t begin and end with recruitment and simply bringing in new talent pipelines into an existing culture. The right culture needs to be cultivated from within to ensure that all candidates feel welcomed and set up for success. To do this, organizations should take an inventory of the mission statements, training, and goals necessary to create the right conditions for success. 

“The most important thing is intentionality in developing your [diversity] strategy,” Kristin Bond, co-founder of heristic talent management consulting firm, recently said in an interview. “Intentionally ingrains these concepts into your organization’s culture, rather than just trying to sprinkle diversity recruiting strategies on the end as an afterthought that’s going to actually affect your [talent acquisition] strategy to be effective. And it all starts with your mission and values.”

Help employees share your success 

There’s no more powerful marketing message than peer-to-peer testimonials, and that’s especially true of the recruitment process. Potential candidates are looking to review sites like Glassdoor for the unvarnished truth, and that’s where organizations can really shine – or show their lack of follow-through. When it comes to DEI, employers should give their teams the tools to share their voices and elevate their recruitment strategy to help engage diverse pools of talent.  

Optimize your hiring process

Implicit bias can seep into even the most well-intentioned hiring process, so it’s important to watch for red flags and correct for inclusion. For example, studies have shown the name on a resume can influence whether a person gets an interview, based on identical resumes with the exact same qualifications. “Is it absolutely necessary for you, as an employer, to know my legal name during the candidate stage?” she said. Kay Martinez, associate director of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion at the MGH Institute of Health Professionals, raised this issue in an interview with Monster.com. Best practices include screening resumes without names while allowing for applications that include gender and pronoun inclusion to build a welcoming culture. 

Get feedback and improve

Like employee evaluations, organizations can improve through feedback. Surveys of job candidates who have interviewed with the company can show blind spots to fix or success stories that can produce momentum. According to Arc.dev, a helpful interview feedback survey can include questions asking if candidates felt fairly assessed, that they were treated with respect, and if they would recommend someone else to apply for a role in this company. 

Every organization has room to improve when creating, managing, and enhancing DEI efforts. For candidates and current employees alike, it’s important to see intentionality, progress, and a desire to keep getting better. 

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