DEI & Virtual Recruiting

Diversity and Inclusion in Recruitment: 5 Tips for Better Outcomes

May 11, 2021 - Valery Caputi Lopez

As organizations work to make progress in creating more diverse, inclusive, and equitable organizations, it’s important to take a look at your recruiting strategies. From working to avoid implicit bias in your hiring practices to educating everyone who participates in your hiring process on your organization’s DEI definitions, policies, and standards, it’s important to take a close look at your recruitment and hiring process through a DEI lens.

That's why we've compiled this handy list of tips to equip you to help hiring managers, recruiters, and any other team members who participate in your company's hiring process get on the same page when evaluating potential candidates from all walks of life.


Tip 1: Train Hiring Managers on Implicit Bias

Hiring managers are typically the key decision makers in the hiring process. From identifying the initial staffing need that kicks everything off to interviewing and choosing the best candidate for a given role, hiring managers ultimately want to select the "right" person to work for them and join the company at large. But it’s important to make sure your hiring managers are trained on understanding and identifying implicit bias, and to put checks in place to ensure that it isn’t driving their decision making (intentionally or unintentionally!). That’s why the role of comprehensive and regular training for hiring managers and recruitment staff cannot be understated in order to mitigate or eliminate unconscious bias in hiring practices and give every candidate a fair chance to qualify for future interview rounds. The more mindful hiring managers are about their individual biases, the better equipped they’ll be to spot and stop them in their tracks.

Tip 2: Review Job Descriptions & Requirements to Avoid Bias and Boost Inclusivity

  • Have an objective reviewer scan it for bias signals
  • Make sure language is inclusive (avoid gendered requirements, notes on appearance, etc.)
  • Make sure job descriptions use inclusive language and describe benefits in an inclusive way whenever possible (ex: discuss partner benefits, parental leave rather than maternity leave, etc.)

By simply getting a few more trained eyes on the candidate job description before it goes live, you can weed out gendered, ableist, ageist, or loaded statements that would inadvertently exclude many qualified candidates from your search. But written materials alone aren't the only place in which problematic language may occur, leading to our next point!

Tip 3: Curate & Refine Interview Language

What's in a word? Answer: a whole lot of trouble if hiring managers aren't careful. And during the twists and turns of a live interview process, people have been known to say the wrong thing at the wrong time, either out of habit or in the heat of the moment, from time to time.

While recruiters enjoy the benefit of daily practice talking to potential candidates on an regular basis, hiring managers only need to interact with job candidates as often as they need to fill roles on their specific teams, and that can vary widely between departments and companies. So it’s important to close any knowledge gaps that may exist in terms of what constitutes appropriate vocabulary, to avoid having a company rep to make a faux pax while talking to a job seeker.

That's why it's absolutely vital that HR consistently train active hiring managers on acceptable (i.e, not racist, sexist, ableist, discriminatory, or inflammatory) terminology in order to promote a consistently welcoming and inclusive interview process for everyone. Creating an opportunity for people to ask questions with a trusted company resource about what can be a tricky or difficult subject to navigate can go a long way in helping your hiring managers.

Tip 4: Reach New Talent Pools with Virtual Hiring Events - And Invite Hiring Managers!

Did you know that virtual hiring events are a great, cost-effective way to broaden and diversify your talent pool? Not only can you easily attend a variety of virtual hiring events that target new candidate pools, you can also host your own virtual hiring events, such as targeted career fairs, or even events hosted by company employee resources groups, to connect new talent to your organization. Consider inviting hiring managers to attend these virtual hiring events as a representative of your company to build relationships with potential candidates.

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Although some hiring managers may have been accustomed to an in-person driven hiring process, over the past year, the widespread adoption of virtual call platforms and event platforms has made virtual connection a part of almost everyone’s role. Equip your hiring managers with tips and best practices for connecting and interviewing virtually so they can partner with your TA team on attracting top talent that diversifies your organization.

Tip 5: Standardize Decision Making

To further eliminate bias, train hiring managers to look at job candidates through a more objective lens as part of their decision-making process. Did the candidate fulfill all the needs of the role? Check. Do their salary expectations fall in the specified range? Check. Did they seem knowledgeable in their topic of expertise? Check!

By standardizing part of the interview process via HR-vetted checklists and requiring different hiring managers to justify hiring decisions against those parameters, your staff will be able to present a more unified and objective front when evaluating candidates and your entire company can start building a more inclusive and equitable hiring process from the ground up.

To learn more, check out our actionable tips on increasing diversity in the workplace and how to diversify your recruiting pipeline.

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