Updated: Feb 18, 2020
Increased workplace diversity improves staff morale, creativity and innovation.
It increases employee satisfaction and delivers improvements across key outputs and performance indicators across the business.
Research has shown that improving diversity has a marked effect on a business brand, showing that customers want to buy from diverse and inclusive businesses.
It is important to embed diversity into recruitment processes.
Many companies have made efforts to improve their recruitment processes, to boost workplace diversity and increase employee satisfaction.
However, many have found it a challenging process, not least in finding ways to build a diverse candidate pool.
HR and Recruiting Managers can become frustrated when, for all their efforts, those applying for positions are from the same cultural and social backgrounds as the current workforce.
This article looks at this in more detail and makes suggestions on 5 ways to build diversity into your recruitment process.
1. Goal Setting
Recruiting to increase diversity starts with a holistic analysis of your organisations current demographics. It includes a baseline measure that assesses the policies, practices and benefits that are available to employees. It measures process functionality.
Understanding the baseline measure of your process, will help you to set specific and measurable goals, which can be modified over tome as you increase diversity.
This allows a recruitment manager to measure efforts and achievements, over time, and analyse the journey towards inclusive recruitment.
Recruiting in the same way as has been done previously will not increase diversity. Simply advertising on diversity job boards will not increase diversity.
The process of recruiting diversely cannot be achieved by doing things as ‘they have always been done before.’
A genuine commitment to build a diverse workforce and embed inclusion is the start of the process.
There has to be a clear understanding of the goals the organisation wants to achieve. Effective recruitment planning must be about more than meeting and exceeding self-imposed quotas. This serves only to increase visible diversity across the organisation.
Diversity recruitment is about developing and retaining diversity across the business. Processes for embedding inclusion, go hand in hand with effective diversity recruitment and must be aligned to your plan.
Merely having a good recruitment plan does not mean that you will have a good retention of diverse staff.
Always ensure that your diversity recruitment goals are SMART and include processes to review and measure progress.
Employers need to start by asking themselves what they want to achieve with their plan.
It needs to be more than simply meeting self-imposed quotas; to maintain a diverse workforce, inclusion efforts must be part of the plan as well.
A good hiring plan doesn't equal a good retention plan.
You can read more about the importance of embedding inclusion into the process in a previous post 'Diversity is Not A Numbers Game'
2. Redefining candidate sources
Relying on your current sources may not net the results you seek. You will need to cast a wider net in order to attract diverse candidates.
Creating strategic relationships with minority ethnic businesses, schools and colleges and community organisations and/or advertising in relevant press or social media groups, can yield dividends when trying to increase diverse candidates.
Having a presence at recruitment, careers fairs etc can be helpful. However, these activities rarely develop a sustained approached to