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Find out everything you need to know about what diversity hiring is, why it’s so important, and how you can measure it.
What is diversity hiring?
Hiring diversity is the process of hiring candidates with a range of different backgrounds and abilities. Hiring diverse groups of people helps build more successful, engaged, and effective teams.
Employers that practice diverse hiring work to eliminate conscious and unconscious biases from their decision-making process. They try to make decisions based on objective criteria instead of personal preferences.
Hiring for diversity gives everyone a fair chance to succeed, regardless of:
- Sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy)
- National origin
- Socioeconomic status
- Citizenship status
The diversity recruiting process leads to diversity in hiring. Both tactics contribute to overall workplace diversity.
Is inclusion different from diversity in the hiring process?
Recruiting for diversity is building a diverse talent pool. Hiring for diversity is reaching into that pool to begin the interview process. Inclusion is the overarching practice of welcoming potential talent, candidates, and existing employees from diverse backgrounds.
Inclusion means everyone is treated with respect. Differences are celebrated, and everyone has a voice. Fostering inclusion is the right thing to do.
Inclusion in the hiring process ensures all potential candidates have a consistent experience. People from underrepresented groups and minority backgrounds are given fair, bias-free interviews. And everyone has an equal opportunity to do well.
Organizations need both workplace diversity and inclusion. To enjoy the benefits of hiring diversity, companies need to foster an inclusive environment for new employees, executives, and everyone in between.
Why is a diverse workforce important within an organization?
Diversity has many benefits for both employers and employees.
83% of candidates say they take an organization’s approach to diversity into account before accepting a role. If you lack diverse talent, you’re missing out on qualified candidates. On the other hand, if your workplace is diverse and inclusive, your current employees will become powerful brand ambassadors to potential future talent.
One of the best ways to drive innovation is to hire for diversity. Diverse teams draw from a broader range of perspectives and experiences. This increases organizational agility and innovation. Teams solve problems faster and more collaboratively.
Diverse companies are often more successful than their counterparts. Research from McKinsey found that companies with higher gender and ethnic diversity tend to outperform their less diverse competitors by up to 48%.
Diverse teams are shown to be more engaged. Engaged teams are happier and more productive, take fewer sick days, and stay longer at their jobs. To increase retention and avoid the cost of turnover, invest in your diversity hiring strategy.
Is diversity hiring legal?
Hiring qualified, diverse employees is important. Diversity hiring is legal as long as you are compliant with existing hiring laws.
It is not legal to hire someone based solely on their race, gender, or their other personal information. This could lead to concerns about “reverse discrimination.” However, it is legal to recruit in diverse spaces, eliminate biases from your hiring process, remove barriers to job access, and offer mentorship programs to underrepresented groups.
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Regulations
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was established in 1965 to protect diverse candidates and employees from discrimination. The EEOC best practice guidelines offer a helpful framework when determining what hiring practices aren’t acceptable.
Anti-discrimination laws protect people based on race, ethnicity, gender, and other personal characteristics. It is illegal to discriminate when hiring, firing, promoting, delivering training, or offering pay and benefits. Diversity hiring helps avoid this kind of discrimination.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The ADA makes it illegal to discriminate against qualified job seekers with disabilities. Companies also must make reasonable accommodations for disabled workers. By removing barriers and any unconscious bias from your hiring process, you can ensure your hiring team isn’t inadvertently discriminating against disabled applicants.
How to measure your diversity hiring goals
The first step to promoting diversity in hiring is to set measurable goals and track them.
- Diversity metrics. Review your company’s demographic data. If your employees are mostly white males, there is more work to do to build a diverse work culture.
- Retention rates. Are employees embracing their work? Do they feel they belong? High turnover is a sign that there is room for improvement.
- Offer acceptance rates. Consider how often candidates accept your job offers. Identify gaps in job acceptance and adjust your hiring process as needed.
- Promotion rates. Analyze promotion patterns across your organization. Are people of color promoted at the same rate as white employees? Are your leadership teams gender-diverse?
- Survey feedback. Do your LGBTQ+ employees feel comfortable at work? Are you supporting employees who are caregivers? Give your employees the chance to share what could be improved or what is going well.
- Pay equity. Track pay rates across your organization. Ensure every employee is paid fairly, especially your female candidates and employees of color.
Collect data at regular intervals so you can assess and make changes where necessary.
Diversity hiring is a team effort
Diversity hiring shouldn’t just be a box to tick, but an integral part of your company’s hiring strategy. Building a diverse workforce isn’t the responsibility of one person or team—it requires a collaborative approach from HR, recruiters, senior leadership, and hiring managers.
With a strategic approach to diversity hiring, hiring teams can work together to build a stronger, more diverse workforce. Using tools like Clovers can help you reach those goals.