Incorporating DEI into the Hiring and Recruitment Process
We’ve heard that many of our clients want to incorporate diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) more into their hiring and recruitment process. However, we’ve learned through our DEI work with clients that it’s not a one-size fits all process and can show up in many different ways, including racial diversity, parental status, age, gender, and sexual orientation.
Regarding recruitment, we don’t always have control over the type of diversity our job ads attract. We CAN set up the job ad, recruitment process, and onboarding program to be welcoming and limit barriers for minority groups.
Meanwhile, we must also be sure that we’re creating an internal work environment and culture that supports people once they join the team (the real heavy lifting), which is where the belonging piece comes into play.
Here are a few things we recommend to incorporate DEI into your recruitment and hiring process:
1. Incorporate EEO statements into your job ads.
Even better, create one with a touch of personality and a feel for company culture so it doesn’t feel “copied and pasted.”
Here’s one we love:
“COMPANY is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in our hiring practices and in our experiences as COMPANY employees. We strive to create a mindful and respectful environment where everyone can bring their authentic self to work and experience a culture that is free of harassment, racism, and discrimination.”
2. Review where you’re posting job ads to broadcast to the broadest group possible.
Generally, all job seekers look at the main boards – Indeed and LinkedIn. From there, candidates may also evaluate your website, LinkedIn profiles, company reviews, job ads, etc., to see if you have mentioned your commitment to DEI, actions your company has taken, and plans for the future.
So, there’s more to job ads than where we are posting them. Ask yourself: “Do we have this practice weaved throughout our company information so, when people research us, they feel they can see themselves joining and belonging?
All of these things can remove the invisible perceived barriers to candidates choosing to apply to your job!
To cast the net to the widest group as possible, here are some great boards that can potentially get your job ad in front of a wider audience:
- Handshake (college job board)
- Urban League of Portland
- PDX Women in Tech
- Depending on the role, explore internship programs like Emerging Leaders
3. Reevaluate your job ad to ensure your requirements are accurately displayed and all necessary for success in the role.
Some requirements (degree levels, years of experience, software experience, etc.) listed in a job ad can deter candidates with different life experiences and backgrounds – you don’t want to add another barrier to entry here! Too many requirements may make the job feel unattainable, so stick to only including the most necessary skills in your job ad.
It’s important to remember how stressful job hunting can be for some candidates. An inclusive job ad is a great way to eliminate biases and give all candidates a fair shot at your position.
4. Make a list of your “must-haves,” focusing on soft skills.
Hiring nowadays is all about identifying candidates’ soft skills like communication, teamwork, accountability, etc. Soft skills are innate, while candidates without experience can be taught technical skills throughout their first few months on the job.
Before beginning the hiring and interview process, ask yourself the following:
- “What are the soft skills we need for this role?”
- “How will we explain this in our job ad?”
- “How can we detect those skills in an interview?”
We encourage you to be open to interviewing people with a non-traditional resume or without experience to explore the conversation and their soft skills before ruling them out.
5. Build-out consistent interview steps and question templates.
This will ensure every candidate has the same chance to answer questions and share their skills, so it’s an apples-to-apples comparison.
The interview stage is where biases and tokenism can come into play. And the last thing we want is for a candidate to feel like they’re a “diversity hire.”
From our experience talking with candidates, we’ve often gotten feedback that when candidates are evaluating new careers, they want to be chosen because they’re the best candidate for the position, not because of a specific trait they hold.
So, by creating a consistent process and sticking to it, we respect and honor candidates’ skills. Consistency helps avoid giving them the feeling of tokenism, which can drive the opposite feelings of belonging.
6. Offer DEIB training to the entire team.
It’s a multi-step, holistic process to create an environment where people feel safe applying/joining, being themselves, feeling accepted, like they belong, and aren’t “othered.” As you can see, there are many behind-the-scenes pieces and pre-work within a company to achieve this.
Truly it is a group effort from management, leaders, and employees. To get everyone on the same page, we recommend investing in team-wide DEIB training and setting aside intentional time with the team to focus on this vital topic.
Did you know HR Annie offers a fantastic 3-Part DEIB Series including the following sessions:
- Session 1: Introduction to DEIB
- Session 2: True Allyship
- Session 3: Understanding & Shifting Bias
To learn more about bringing this essential training to your team, visit our Training Page and view our Training Catalog!
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to incorporating DEI into your hiring and recruitment process. Remember that this is just one tiny sliver of a much greater conversation about DEIB in the workplace.
We admire your curiosity and commitment to increasing awareness of diverse hiring. Our True Calling Recruitment team would love to provide support in building this infrastructure within your organization. Contact us to learn more!