We all know diversity is important. And apart from all the reasons we’re familiar with—it’s the right thing to do, it helps everyone feel represented, it reflects the overall population—a growing body of research highlights the profound, quantifiable impact a diverse workforce has on businesses. For instance, recent studies have shown that organizations with diverse teams are not only 45 percent more likely to have reported market share growth in the past year, but also 70 percent more likely to have captured a new market.
But even with the best of intentions and corporate support, many companies still struggle to cultivate diverse workforces. What’s causing the disconnect? A likely culprit is your recruitment process, which could be inadvertently turning off candidates. The good news is, there are straightforward changes you can make that can help your company overcome these obstacles. Here are three of them.
Don’t forget that diverse candidates have unique circumstances, backgrounds, and experiences. That means traditional recruiting processes just won’t cut it.
Take candidate scheduling, for example. Think it’s fine to only offer nine-to-five interview time slots? Think again. Students who work full- or part-time while in school can’t make interviews during their working hours. For the 22 percent of undergrads who are parents, scheduling is never simple or straightforward. Low-income candidates, moreover, are more likely to need flexible interviews. According to ERE, if your team provides non-peak interview hours, low-income candidates don’t have to worry about missing a day of work. These candidates, therefore, are less likely to cancel or “ghost” on interviews.
This is just one example of how you can adapt to be more flexible. Take an objective view of your recruitment process and try to see each stage from the perspective of someone who has a completely different set of circumstances. You’ll probably be surprised at how many opportunities there are to adjust your hiring practices.
Not all candidates get the on-campus-recruitment experience. Only 53 percent of Gen Z, in fact, attend career fairs, so being overly reliant on these events could leave you struggling to find qualified diverse candidates.
You should, instead, devote more resources to different ways of attracting and engaging qualified candidates. If you’re already on campus, this means diversifying—literally—your on-campus strategy by attending diversity career fairs and/or organizations. Organizations like the American Association of University Women or the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations, for instance, can provide a diverse talent pool for your company. Regardless, it’s critical that you let data guide your recruitment efforts: Track and understand where your top candidates are coming from so you can better allocate resources and double-down on strategies that are working.
But don’t only focus on one job sourcing method. You should also use digital job sourcing platforms to find top talent that doesn’t come from campuses your team has traditionally visited. And once you do, remember that you can attract top talent who aren’t familiar with your business by relying on the best engagement driver of all: employer branding.
A diverse job sourcing strategy helps ensure you’re attracting and engaging candidates with different perspectives and experiences to your recruitment process. That’s the kind of environment Gen Z wants, and it’s good for your bottom line.
Remember, a lot of early-career candidates have never interviewed before. There may be aspects of the interview—demonstrating soft skills, in particular—that they haven’t practiced. That’s why personalized interview feedback isn’t just a luxury your team can provide, it’s helping address a systemic problem that disproportionately hurts certain candidates. Another reason you should offer it? More than 94 percent of today’s candidates want it. And the quicker you can send feedback, the better. (In case you’re keeping track, the longest you should wait is four business days.)
Interview feedback benefits applicants and your team, plus it leads to stronger and more prepared candidates. One of the main reasons candidates aren’t passing their first interview round—60 percent, in fact—is a lack of soft skills. Why let that trend continue?
Don’t just settle for understanding the importance of diversity—implement these three changes to create a more diverse recruiting process.