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Diversity is no passing fad. Your workplace should accurately reflect the makeup of society, and we’re talking across all spectrums here (race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic background, education etc.) Achieving greater diversity is not just the right thing to do either, it is also the smart thing. Homogeny breeds mediocrity and that could spell trouble for your bottom line.
So here are some imperative steps to keep in mind when sourcing candidates:
1. Look in the right places
Actively seeking to change requires effort and input. Your first port of call should be expanding your sourcing databases and tools to include job boards and sites that cater for diverse talent specifically. By posting on these forums, you open yourself up to a wide-range of talent that could otherwise have been overlooked. Websites like Diversity Working, Hire Autism and Pink Jobs are examples of this; you want to cast your net in waters that eschew the status quo.
2. Write an inclusive job ad
Job descriptions are a notorious minefield of unintentionally biased language. Even single words can be loaded and are enough to make potential candidates feel unwanted or excluded from a position. Avoid gender-coded words like “rock star” or “guru”, eliminate unnecessary corporate jargon that can put people on the back foot and clearly call out particular benefits that could be attractive to those from diverse positions. It’s always a good idea to revisit job descriptions and tweak them to be clear, concise and more inclusive.
3. Make your commitment to diversity clear on your careers site
There is a power in being upfront. More than ever, potential employees are scouring to find as much information as they can about a company before even applying for positions. That’s why it’s paramount to be completely open about your desire to attract people from diverse backgrounds. Check out how Hubspot and Lyft ensure that their commitment to diversity is crystal clear.
4. Teach yourself how to avoid unconscious biases
Unconscious biases are instinctive feelings that play a strong part in influencing our judgements away from being balanced. Whether we have an affinity with a particular college a candidate went to or champion a certain skill above all others, biases can always seep into a recruitment process. While most biases don’t come from malicious intent, they’re deep seated stereotypes that our brain forms through years of different influences. We need to take time to identify these issues, question the data and leave ourselves open to real change. Read our dedicated blog post here on how to understand and fix your own unconscious bias.
5. Be authentic about your diversity goals
Creating a sustainable, diverse and inclusive talent pool won’t happen overnight. You have to be deliberate and authentic in how you approach diverse recruiting. While it may be painful to address some shortcomings as a company, it’s important to really believe in the change you are trying to enact, and not see it as merely a ‘box-ticking’ initiative. As Soichiro Honda said: “if you only hire those people you understand, the company will never get people better than you are.”