How to Hire a More Diverse Workforce

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In 2020 there are 37 female CEOs in Fortune 500 companies. Less than one percent, three to be exact, are non-white. There are nine (18%) female governors in the continental United States, twelve if you count the territories of Guam and Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. Obviously, there are not enough females in leadership roles, nor enough BIPOC, but it’s not because there is not enough qualified talent out there. It’s because we are unconsciously biased about who we hire. 

Companies are 47% more likely to have gender targets for representation at senior and C-Suite levels than at junior levels of management within an organization. For middle management, employers need to ensure that recruiters, as well as hiring managers, are trained to identify bias and barriers to the applicant selection and interviewing processes.  

What can you do to hire a more diverse workforce in the corporate world?

  1. Seek out resumes with colleges that cater to specific minorities. This doesn’t mean you’re hiring college grads in junior roles. You can easily find an executive that went to an all black or all female college, for example.
  2. When scanning resumes don’t look at the name at the top when looking for a skill set.
  3. When interviewing, look for culture add, someone who can bring something new and positive to your organization, rather than culture fit.
  4. Have multiple levels and groups interview the candidate to get different perspectives. 
  5. Take a look at your team, what skill set or perspective are you missing? What would round it out? Seek out those skills and perspectives.

In the essential or hourly workforce, 90% of hourly workers do not have a resume. Almost 70% of essential workers do not have a college degree. So how can you reduce bias and increase diversity?

Tips for recruiting a more diverse hourly workforce

  1. Don’t limit your recruitment to young people. There are plenty of adults (over 58% according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics) who are seeking hourly work. 
  2. Advertise your job postings in places that are dedicated to minorities or underrepresented candidates.
  3. Make your application form lightweight by splitting up your form into multiple sections. This will also increase your conversion rate by 15-20%, according to Fountain
  4. When scanning applications don’t look at the name when scanning for experience or skill set.
  5. Make sure your application is mobile-first. Not all qualified applicants have access to a computer or laptop, but nearly 80% own a smartphone. 
  6. Include video interviewing as an option for those who may be limited for time by their current work, childcare, or commuting schedule.
  7. As your workforce becomes more diverse, encourage employee referrals to continue creating a more inclusive environment.

    Small changes in the way you hire talent can help pave the way for a more future diverse workplace. Diverse workplaces broaden perspectives and studies show that diverse workplaces rake in more revenue than those that aren’t. If you are tired of reading these types of statements rest assured, women and other minorities are tired of writing about it, too. Actions speak louder than words. You can’t invoke this type of change overnight. But you can set goals so that your organization looks different in 2021 and beyond.

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