In response to the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, many companies were quick to voice their support for and commitment to social change. And while some companies have made clear changes to improve diversity in the workplace, others have been criticized for making statements that were more performative than substantive.
In this blog post, we’ll explore what diversity hiring is and why it matters, explore diversity hiring best practices, and share five strategies for improving your diversity hiring process at every stage of the candidate journey.
Diversity hiring refers to a recruiting process that is specifically designed to reduce biases related to a candidate’s age, race, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, or any other personal characteristic that has no bearing on job performance. With a special focus on eliminating the biases that could hinder qualified candidates from being hired, implementing hiring practices for diversity ensures candidates are evaluated exclusively on merit.
By purposely considering job candidates from a variety of backgrounds and taking steps to ensure hiring practices are fair, inclusive, and free from barriers and biases, employers can create a level playing field that gives everyone an equal opportunity to compete for a job.
Diversity hiring is not about hiring people from a variety of different backgrounds just for the sake of meeting DE&I metrics. Rather, it’s about implementing hiring practices that eliminate unconscious biases in the recruiting process that prevent qualified, diverse candidates from being considered and eventually hired.
Humans are instinctive creatures. And while our instincts have evolved to protect us from danger—think woolly mammoths and saber-toothed tigers—relying on them in the hiring process leads to bad hires, discriminatory hiring practices, and a lack of workplace diversity.
Unconscious bias can be found in all aspects of the recruitment process. Unfortunately, these biases prevent companies from achieving and realizing the benefits of a truly diverse workforce. Diversity recruiting seeks to overcome the unintentional biases we all carry that cause us to form opinions about a candidate or make hiring decisions that are not based on job-related qualifications.