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August 15, 2019
Fact Or Fiction: 3 Diversity Hiring Myths Debunked
Alex Csedrik

There are a lot of false claims about early-career diversity recruitment that are continually perpetuated. Research, thankfully, creates a clear delineation between fact and fiction.

So, what’s true and what isn’t? Here are three diversity hiring myths debunked, so you’re supported with facts to build your fully represented organization.

1. Hiring Diverse Talent Means ‘Lowering The Bar’

This notion that a varied staff means lowering the quality-of-hire is misinformed. The Center for Talent Innovation (CTI), in fact, proved as much: Companies with heterogeneous workforces are more likely to outperform their homogenous counterparts quite significantly in both market share growth (by 45 percent) and new markets captured (by 70 percent).

The CTI recommends that teams feature 2-D diversity—where leadership team members feature traits that are both inherent (ones that you’re born with, like race) and acquired (ones that you gain through experience, like speaking a foreign language because you’ve lived in another country).

As an example, think about candidates with less financial means. According to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, close to 70 percent of all college students work. However, the disparity between how much higher-income students work compared to their lower-income classmates has effects on GPA. Sixty-one percent of those who work less than 15 hours per week maintain a B average or higher, while 47 percent of students who work more hours have a C average or lower. One’s need for more income shouldn’t equate to businesses devaluing them.

Several top companies understand this. Accenture, LinkedIn, and Tesla have not only removed GPA as a hiring requirement, but also stopped requiring a resume! Instead, they test cognition and emotional capabilities for cultural fit. Are three of the top companies in the country “lowering the bar?”

2. Top Talent Is Only At The ‘Top’ Schools

Lower-income undergraduates are affected by not only their need to work, but also which institutions they attend. According to the Pew Research Center, both minority and low-income students have increased enrollment in private, for-profit colleges, public two-year institutions, and minimally selective and open-admission four-year colleges and universities.

Why does this matter? Top talent isn’t only attending your core recruitment schools. These diverse candidates may have had extenuating circumstances that made an institution’s admission requirements unachievable; perhaps they were unable to afford the tuition of selective colleges (and didn’t want to rack up additional debt to attend).

It’s up to you to find top talent beyond your traditional sourcing methods, and utilizing job sourcing platforms (like WayUp!) makes it easier than ever before.

3. We Hit Our D&I Hiring Goals—Our Job Is Done

Organizations often think that once they hit their diversity hiring quota, they can sit back and relax. Not so fast: A key element of D&I is representation in management. If employees can’t see opportunities for professional growth, then they will exit the company stage left.

Diverse workers want to feel supported—and embraced—by their organizations. An effective way you can accomplish this is a mentorship program. According to Heidrick & Struggles, 74 percent of minority employees participate in a formal mentorship program. This gives your early-career staff members experienced guides for both personal and professional growth.

Fact or fiction is occasionally blurred. Now that these three hiring myths are debunked, you can clearly see why it’s critical to create a multi-dimensional diverse workforce—using some of these methods.


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