“We just don’t know anyone.”
“We didn’t get any diverse applicants.”
“We’re not interested in checking off a box or just meeting a quota.”
These are common refrains when asked about the progress of hiring underrepresented groups into an organization. But is there any truth to them?
For small and medium-sized companies, often, their network is the first place they go when they need to fill a position. And if everyone who currently works there is from a similar background, and their network is made up of people from similar backgrounds, how can one ever hope to find a substantial number of applicants from underrepresented backgrounds? And further – how can one ensure they’re not subjected to bias in the hiring process?
This article will cover more broadly what equitable or inclusive hiring is, why it’s important in the modern workplace, and which equitable hiring practices HR professionals should implement. It will also cover how HR technology and recruiting software can:
Equitable hiring, also referred to as inclusive hiring, is the active recognition of what diversity can bring to the workforce – and the intentional effort to cultivate it through hiring practices. It aims to level the playing field for applicants – and remove bias and discrimination from the current hiring system in place.
In short, equitable hiring:
There are a number of HR software solutions that can help you eliminate outdated and biased hiring practices.
One such solution is HireVue. This video interviewing platform helps you assess candidates based on their skills and qualifications, rather than their appearance or background. This eliminates the need for biased interview questions or hiring practices and helps you find the best candidates for the job.
Another great solution is Greenhouse. This recruiting software has tools that help you build a diverse and inclusive hiring pipeline. It allows you to track your hiring progress over time, identify areas for improvement, and measure the impact of your diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Both HireVue and Greenhouse are great tools for supporting a more equitable hiring process. They help you remove bias from the hiring process, identify talented candidates from all backgrounds, and measure the success of your diversity and inclusion initiatives.
When it comes to hiring, diversity and inclusion are critical for two main reasons.
From a performance and business standpoint, diversity – and inclusive hiring practices – are critical. It can increase and improve productivity, innovation, and bottom line – as well as build retention and attract new talent through positive branding and reputation. This often trickles down to the clients and customer base and creates a more holistically inclusive and welcoming work environment. In other words, by investing in equitable hiring and in diversity and inclusion practices more broadly, employers are investing in the performance of their people and their organization.
A recent study by McKinsey found that companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity were 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians. And those in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15 percent more likely to have returns above their national industry medians.
Equitable and inclusive hiring is a key component of building diversity & inclusion in any given workplace. After all, launching an inclusion initiative for a workforce that is largely similar and then bonding over that fact won’t get you the outcomes you’re looking for – whatever those may be. To truly be diverse and inclusive, you must ensure that you’re bringing diverse people into the fold from the very beginning.
When everyone feels welcome and included, they are more likely to be productive and innovative. This is good for business and for the world as a whole.
Equitable hiring practices are critical in today’s workplace. They ensure that all candidates have an opportunity to be considered for a job, regardless of their background or identity. Yet according to Gartner, only 36% of DEI leaders report that their organization has been effective at hiring a diverse workforce. Implementing the following practices can help your organization eliminate outdated and biased hiring practices.
One way to improve your hiring process is to create better talent pipelines. This involves deepening the candidate pool and strengthening the employer-candidate network and connection. In short: If candidates don’t know the opportunities that exist, they can’t apply in the first place.
You also should ensure that all potential candidates have information about or are otherwise prepared for what your hiring process looks like. What is being assessed? How many interviews will there be? Will there be any form of assignment and if so, what’s the estimated time for completion? This helps avoid giving some people an insider advantage while leaving others at a disadvantage.
You need to review how you write your company’s job descriptions and improve the earliest candidate touch-points. Consider the following:
Many employers don’t necessarily think about these things but they are some of the earliest interactions that a potential candidate will have with an employer – and they help to shape the brand. If these early touch points aren’t speaking to a broad audience and if they’re not being disseminated across diverse groups, those candidates will never get the opportunity to apply.
When it comes to hiring, it’s important to be consistent with best practices for diversity, equity, and inclusion. This means treating all candidates in a fair and equal manner, regardless of their background or personal characteristics. It’s also important to create a controlled environment where all candidates are evaluated equally.
Consider, for example, one candidate who strikes an immediate rapport with the interview over a shared hobby, and the interviewer deciding not to ask them any of the typical interview questions. In contrast, a second candidate is strictly rated and evaluated on a list of specific criteria. Make sure that all candidates are asked the same questions.
DEI should be top of mind when coordinating with your team. By ensuring that everyone involved in the hiring process is aware of and understands the importance of DEI, you can create a more fair and equitable hiring process for all candidates.
One way to do this is by training interviewers on how to assess competencies fairly and without bias. Interviewers should be aware of the different ways in which they might unconsciously discriminate against certain candidates. For example, they may be more likely to ask female candidates questions about their family life or child-rearing plans than they would a male candidate.
Training interviewers on how to avoid these types of biases is just one way to promote DEI during the hiring process. Other ways to ensure inclusive hiring practices include:
When it comes to hiring, creating a diverse interview panel is one of the best practices you can follow. This is because it allows for different perspectives and backgrounds to evaluate potential candidates. Diverse interview panels can help identify qualities that may be missed if the hiring process was conducted by a smaller, more homogeneous group and create a well-rounded view and highlight different qualities in candidates.
Another great way to promote hiring equity is by conducting group interviews. This allows for different voices to be heard and can help identify potential candidates who may have been overlooked in a traditional one-on-one interview setting. Ideally, group interviews include at least two members of underrepresented groups.
When building your hiring strategy, it’s important to keep in mind that there are often qualified candidates who don’t fit into the traditional mold. Therefore, it’s important to be open to hiring someone who can influence or add to the company in a new way. Hiring managers should reflect on the following questions:
To create an environment in which all individuals feel respected and valued, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, or ability. You need to actively hire employees who embody your company’s DEI-related values. Recruiters and hiring managers should ask job candidates questions about their experience with diversity, equity, and inclusion during the interview process in order to gauge their understanding of these concepts and how they might contribute to a DEI-focused organization or team.
Here are a few DEI-focused questions you can incorporate into your interview process.
As an HR software solution, GoCo can aid in creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive hiring process. Here are some of the ways in which GoCo can help:
With GoCo, hiring managers can easily start the onboarding process, send digital offer letters to new employees and empower empowering them to enroll in benefits on their own. Additionally, hiring managers can use GoCo’s pre-boarding checklist to ensure consistency in the hiring process. This helps to eliminate any bias or outdated hiring practices.
GoCo also has an extensive and expanding range of features in support of DEI. These features include expanded pronoun functionality, anonymous workflows/suggestions, and the removal of legal sex from onboarding. With these features, hiring managers can create an equal hiring experience for all applicants.
If you’re looking for ways to promote hiring equity in your organization, or if you’re interested in learning more about how HR technology can help with equitable hiring practices, we encourage you to take a tour of GoCo. Our team is passionate about creating an equal hiring experience for all applicants and our extensive features in support of DEI reflect that commitment. With GoCo, hiring managers have everything they need to create a diverse and inclusive workforce.