How to Achieve a Diverse Workforce Through Recruitment

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According to some research, 57% of employees  say that their company could do more to promote diversity in the workplace. 

But, according to that report, 41% of managers say that they’re too busy to take the time to focus on diversity and implement initiatives to promote that culture. That’s where recruitment comes in. 

According to Linnea Bywall, the head of people at Alva Labs, companies tend to focus on the wrong things when it comes to diversity. Instead of trying to solve problems in-house, they should focus on their recruitment strategies. 

However, it’s easier said than done. Keep reading to learn about how you can advance your business by having a more diverse workforce. 

The Current State of Diversity in the Workplace

With the Great Resignation hitting many companies, some employees are leaving specifically due to a lack of diversity. Even 75% of senior executives  said that they would leave a company to go to a company that favors diversity. 

Many companies are struggling to implement diversity initiatives and cultures, but some don’t realize they’re skipping the first step. 

According to Bywall, recruitment is the first and most important step to achieving diversity in the workplace: 

Traditional processes give too much room to subjectivity and bias, failing to judge all candidates on objective grounds. Now is the time for employers to transform the way they hire, and tear up the existing, archaic rulebook full of limitations and biases.

“Recruiting BIPOC for C-suite positions is essential to making employees at all levels feel represented and safe at work. Many businesses pay lip service to inclusive hiring processes, but, as these statistics show, people of color still often feel marginalized once they’re hired.

“The recruitment process is the first, but not the only, step that needs to be addressed. The effort must then go beyond the hiring process and into making sure all workplace practices are entirely inclusive. Without such measures, any attempt to create an equal workforce will be an uphill battle.”

Benefits of Diversity

Many companies wonder whether or not it’s worth it to implement diversity at their company, but Bywall argues that it’s necessary:

“Change is happening so fast, and if you can’t find new edges due to diversity in thinking, there’s no way that you can keep up. To be able to grow your business and be relevant, you need diversity for that factor.”

The statistics are even able to back that up. According to one report , having cognitive diversity can drive a business’s innovation up by 20%. In addition to that, having a racially diverse team can increase your performance by 35%.

A diverse company can be a great way to retain existing employees, especially during the Great Resignation. You’ll draw more employees in when you have a diverse workforce. They’re more likely to stay if they feel like they’re in a diverse, progressive company. 

Having a diverse workforce is also great for your brand. When a company states that you’re focusing on diversity and follow that up with action, they’ll be more likely to attract the top talent. Doing this also makes the company more competitive. 

How to Achieve Diversity Through Recruitment

To start recruiting more diverse candidates, you may have to go back to your recruiting processes and change your approach to talent acquisition.

For the best results, everyone on your human resource management team should be on the same page and be able to implement your new diversity recruitment strategy.

Try Something New

To start with, you might have to go outside of your comfort zone. Many recruiters may realize they have a “candidate comfort zone” without realizing it. This is when they find candidates from the same places, but this can result in a lack of diversity at the company.

Instead, your recruiters should source potential candidates and talent from various avenues to have a more diverse range of employees.

For example, you might want to recruit job seekers from job fairs, colleges, networking events, and online job boards. Try and post your job openings on boards that are known for their diverse audience.

Hire the Right Recruiters 

If you have open positions for recruiters, take this opportunity to fill the job with a great recruiter who will be passionate about finding and hiring diverse candidates.

You can hire an in-house recruiter who works for you full-time, or you can hire an external recruiter who can fill open positions for you on an as-needed basis.

To find a diverse workforce, you should find specialized recruiters who can hire for specific industries. These recruiters will have access to a more diverse and specialized applicant pool.

Use Technology to Remove Bias

Even with good intentions, the best recruiter is still subject to underlying biases. One study  measured the response rate for applications, and researchers discovered that white candidates got 250 responses, but black candidates only received 230.

To avoid something like this at your company, use technology to eliminate the chance that these biases could creep in and affect your diversity recruitment strategy.

To start with, you can use an applicant tracking system. Tracking all your applicants in the ATS can help ensure that you’re compliant with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You can use this to track your diversity and see if you’re not receiving diverse candidates.

Some ATS systems can also write unbiased job descriptions that you can post online.

You can also use AI-powered software that will use the latest technology to help match the right candidate to the perfect role. This software will focus on finding the people with the best talents rather than unconsciously deciding based on demographic factors, like race, gender, or age. 

The software helps companies have blind review recruitment processes and find genuinely qualified people for the role.

Learn More About Using the Recruitment to Grow Your Business

These are only a few tips on using recruitment to focus on diversity and grow your business.

If your business isn’t as diverse as you’d hope, try focusing on recruitment before creating internal initiatives. Once you have a good, diverse workforce, you can start implementing those initiatives.

If you need help recruiting diverse candidates, get in touch with us today ! We have all the tools you need, like on-demand recruiters and candidate-matching software to help you fill all your open roles.

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By Alyssa Harmon