This year, many organizations have upped their game to find and hire more diverse talent. You’ve probably reached out to new candidate sources or posted job ads on a wider variety of websites. But chances are, you’re still not seeing the results you want in regards to your diversity hiring initiative.
In fact, the 2018 Global Recruiting Trends report from LinkedIn found that 38 percent of companies are still having trouble finding diverse candidates. An additional 14 percent find it difficult to get these job seekers to move past the interview process.
This is because diversity hiring isn’t just about finding great candidates from a variety of backgrounds. It’s about showing there’s a place for them at your company. It doesn’t matter how many diverse job seekers you reach if they don’t think they’ll be accepted in your organization.
To truly improve diversity hiring, you need to reexamine your hiring process. By looking at it through the eyes of a diverse candidate, you can see where there are issues that are disengaging these job seekers. Here are three factors to reconsider:
Being inflexible with interview scheduling
There are many types of candidate diversity — far more than race, gender, and sexual orientation. You’re looking for candidates who have different backgrounds and experiences that will improve your organization. Chances are these candidates don’t have a schedule like yours.
Diverse candidates might be single parents. They could be the primary caretaker for an elderly relative. Their current job might mean they work long hours or an inconsistent schedule. So even if you find a great candidate, sending them only one or two options for an interview that fall within your business hours could be an issue. Without realizing it, you’re excluding them from moving forward in the hiring process.
By using one-way digital interviews, however, there are no constraints from conflicting schedules. If it’s the only time available, candidates can record their responses at four in the morning. Then you could review their interview during your normal workday. Candidates will see you’ve taken their unique needs into consideration making them more likely to continue in the hiring process.
Having a non-diverse hiring team
Diverse candidates want to know they have a chance to succeed with an organization. They need to know there are paths in place to help them get where they want to be professionally. If every employee they meet during the hiring process is a white male manager, it will cause doubts about your true dedication to diversity.
Create a diversity hiring team of volunteer employees who want to help with this mission. These employees should come from every level of the organization and be willing to talk honestly about their employee experience.
Then get the team’s feedback about the hiring process. See if there were certain steps or signs that made them worry about the organization’s diversity. For instance, you might not notice in your panel interviews, all the interviewers are caucasian or all the employee testimonials on your career site are from men. These insights will show you how you can incorporate the diversity team into the hiring process.
Not asking follow-up questions
One of the biggest advantages of a diverse workforce is bringing in new ideas. A team can work on a problem for weeks with no progress. But then, bringing in a different set of eyes leads to the perfect solution. Because diverse candidates often have a new way of looking at things, you need to adapt your interview process.
Many hiring professionals ask the same interview questions year after year. You’ve learned what responses are a sign of a good candidate. Yet, always looking for the same answers also leads to hiring the same types of employees.
When interviewing diverse candidates, know that you might get answers you’ve never heard before. Don’t immediately dismiss these as wrong. Take the time to ask follow-up questions. This will give you insight into the candidate’s thought process as well as a better understanding of who they are and of what they are capable.
Having a diversity hiring strategy is a great way to improve your organization. But if you want to attract and retain different candidates, you need to consider how your hiring process looks to them. With this new perspective, you assure diverse job seekers there is a place for them in your organization.