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Hiring Diverse Candidates: The Steps Your Company Needs to Take

Diversity hiring isn't a passing fad — it's a smarter way to do business in the global market. A diversified workforce is more than just an item to be checked off form your employer branding list — it a real competitive advantage. According to research, diverse companies have 19% higher revenue (Boston Consulting Group) than non-diverse companies. They are also 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders in their market (Josh Bersin) and are 70% more likely to capture a new market ( Harvard Business Review). However, merely recognizing that diversity is both essential and valuable isn't enough. Here are ten easy ways to make your recruiting process more inclusive:

1. Recruit from diverse talent pools and partner with advocacy groups.

In order to hire diverse candidates, you need to consider widening your talent pool. Proactively sourcing and adding veterans, differently-abled people, second-chance candidates, LGBTQ+ people, people over 40, and other diverse populations are great ways to find new talent for your organization. Getting in touch with local business and technology groups for people of color and LGBTQ+ employees can be extremely helpful. They can often offer insight into what diverse candidates are looking for and help spread word of any positions you are looking to fill.

2. Advertise your jobs and companies through diverse channels.

Make an effort to reach diverse candidates by placing your job ads in magazines, websites, and forums that are visited by underrepresented groups or are dedicated to minorities.

3. Leverage diverse job boards.

Post your job ads on diverse niche job boards. Diversity Working, the largest online diversity job board, is a great place to begin. You can also utilize more targeted job boards such as Hire Autism, Hire Purpose, and Recruit disability to reach more targeted populations.

4. Offer targeted internships and scholarships.

Create and offer internships and scholarships to people from underrepresented groups. To reach students who may be interested, contact minority organizations on colleges and ask for their help in promoting your internships and scholarships among their members. Creating an internship-to-full-time-position path is also a great way to retain talented young diverse professionals.

5. Highlight diversity on your career site.

It's vital that diverse job seekers feel as though they are welcome at your company. Highlight your company's commitment to diversity on your website and social media pages by listing it as one of your top values. Make sure you include photos and quotes from your diverse employees as well!

6. Emphasize diversity in your job descriptions.

Go beyond the standard "equal opportunity employer" phrase. Find creative ways to encourage diverse employees to apply for your open job positions. A simple sentence of encouragement could make a difference to a diverse candidate. In addition, including diversity and inclusion keywords can help ensure your listing reaches a diverse audience, and an appealing title can encourage candidates to learn more. However, keep your description short and focused: too many requirements can seem daunting to potential applicants. Instead, emphasize the benefits that candidates will gain if hired. It is especially vital to mention inclusive policies such as parental leave for all, all-gender restrooms, and accommodations for differently-abled employees.

6. Ask for diverse referrals.

Explicitly ask your existing employees for diverse referrals. Offering innovative employee referral bonuses to your employees who recommend candidates from underrepresented groups is an excellent way to reach a wider audience of diverse job applicants.

7. Introduce a diverse interview panel.

One of the benefits of collaborative hiring is avoiding unconscious biases. Thus, make sure that your interviewing panel includes a diverse selection of your employees. Ensuring that your interviewers have a wide range of experiences and backgrounds makes it far less likely that a candidate will be ruled out because of an interviewer's latent biases.

8. Teach your recruiters about avoiding biases.

Introduce and implement diversity and inclusion training to educate your recruiters on diversity issues. Organize diversity training that focuses on preventing bias in recruitment and highlights strategies to recognize unconscious attitudes before they affect the hiring process.

9. Create diversity recruitment videos.

Creating a recruitment video dedicated to the topic of workplace diversity is a great way to personalize your message about diversity. Interview your CEO and employees and ask them to share what a workplace diversity means to them. You can also ask employees to share how innovative benefits and policies have benefited them as members of diverse groups.

10. Showcase your company's diversity practices on your blog and social media sites.

Finally, writing about diversity is a great blogging idea for your company's career blog. Not only is it a great way to show solidarity with social movements and use your company's platform for good, but it also lets potential employees know that your organization is friendly to people from diverse backgrounds.

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