You want to make a positive impact on the world, and undoubtedly the social good organization you work for does as well. Hopefully, you’re walking the walk when it comes to your organization’s values—and the best place to start is within the organization itself. If you’re serious about making the world a better place and making your organization the best that it can be, diversity and inclusion need to be a key part of your organization’s hiring strategy.
Not sure where to begin? Check out the eight tips below to get started.
Get Buy-In From Leadership
While it’s important to get colleagues on board and invested in diversity and inclusion, having buy-in from leadership is crucial to move any initiative forward. One of the best strategies is to find a champion in a senior position who can advocate on behalf of the cause. Hopefully, your organization doesn’t need too much convincing to understand the value of hiring women and diverse candidates, but if they do, there’s plenty of research to make the business case for D&I.
Reduce Hiring Bias
Everyone possesses unconscious bias. To reduce it in hiring, it’s important to recognize your own and help others in your organization to do the same. To get started, try Harvard University’s Project Implicit, a group of online quizzes that identify different types of bias.
Hire for Culture Add, Not Culture Fit
Culture fit is a term often used to exclude diverse candidates and is likely to lead to a uniform workforce that looks and thinks alike. Instead of focusing on hiring candidates with similar backgrounds, seek out candidates who bring something new to the organization.
Re-Think Hiring Criteria
If your organization is specifically seeking individuals who attended pricy, well-known schools, they are likely favoring candidates from privileged backgrounds. Find candidates from all backgrounds at schools with diverse populations like CUNY, which counts thirteen Nobel Prize winners and twenty-four MacArthur Fellows among its alumni.
Make Job Descriptions More Inclusive
If you’re seeking a “rockstar” with “killer business skills” who will “dominate” the competition, candidates from underrepresented group–especially women–will be few and far between. Take advantage of online tools that will help you identify the coded language that’s preventing you from attracting top diverse talent.
Consider Company Branding
Is your website full of smiling Caucasian faces? If so, think about what message that’s sending to a diverse candidate. Are you handing out branded beer bottle openers at career fairs? Think about which gender that’s more likely to appeal to (If you guessed men, you’d be right). Be intentional in your branding to attract the best candidates–not just the best white male candidates.
Be Thoughtful in Designing Your Interview Process
Female candidates often go into an interview and get evaluated by a panel of men. Candidates of color are often evaluated by an all-white panel. A female candidate of color often encounters both. Include diverse interviewers in every interview to show your commitment to D&I and to gather other perspectives on candidates.
Understand that Recruiting is Just the Beginning
You’ve started attracting and hiring diverse candidates–congratulations! Now how will you keep them? Have you created a company culture that’s inclusive? Do you encourage affinity groups and promote professional development? Are you offering flexible schedules for employees who need them? Creating and implementing a retention plan will be crucial to keeping your talented and diverse workforce.