5 Proven Steps Every Diversity Hiring Process Needs

JANUARY 25, 2022 3 min read

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By now, you’ve already heard about the importance of workplace equality for company culture, equitable opportunity creation, and revenue. 

What you may not have heard is that many organizations have a diversity hiring process in place that creates more problems than it solves, including:

📉 Restricted talent pools

🗣 Biased communication

🧐 Limited visibility on goal progress

And more. 

Today, recruiters are able to leverage AI-powered diversity hiring tools to overcome these problems, refine their diversity hiring process, and achieve their goals.

hireEZ 4 ways to use diversity & inclusion technology report banner

Yet, employers still have to address inclusivity issues in the workplace that extend beyond recruitment technology. 

As a result, we’re providing ways for you to improve both your diversity hiring process and larger DE&I efforts to ensure that underlying issues surrounding racial inequality are addressed head-on in your workplace. 

Map out organizational needs 

Imagine you’re tasked with building a house. Would you jump right into assembly without checking the quality of your building materials, the accuracy of your blueprint measurements, and the individual and collective goals of your construction team? We wouldn’t either.

In a similar sense, you shouldn’t blindly jump into a diversity hiring process without understanding the capabilities of the tools you have, assessing the gaps in your organization, and establishing short-term and long-term goals.  

Here’s a step-by-step checklist that your hiring team should run through as you refine your diversity hiring process. 

Identify gaps to hire for

Whether it’s teaming up with HR to understand the makeup of your organization or leveraging survey tools to assess workplace culture, it’s crucial that your team has a systematic approach to understanding where DE&I gaps exist for hiring and the workplace. 

For hiring, you will have to look at where diversity gaps exist in your employee base. For example, your team could analyze the makeup of different departments and uncover that 80% of your organization’s sales representatives and 100% of your sales directors are men. 

With this disparity in mind, your team knows that it has to make strides to hire more women sales reps for those positions. It’s important that these gaps are mapped out across the organization – for every role and position level. 

Assess your internal organization 

Next, find out what employees think about your workplace culture. Anonymous workplace surveys are a good place to start gathering employee feedback about the state of inclusivity in physical workplaces, online communication channels, and beyond. 

Identify where your organization falls short in creating safe spaces and speak to underrepresented employees who are least satisfied with your existing workplace culture. 

If you don’t take these steps, your diversity hiring efforts will be caught in an endless cycle of hiring underrepresented talent who are bound to be unsatisfied with your workplace after a certain amount of time.

Seek the market out 

Now that you’ve assessed your organization’s needs, it’s time to answer questions about the talent market. 

How many underrepresented candidates fit your desired search criteria? Which channels provide the most qualified underrepresented talent? How many underrepresented candidates have worked for competitors? What might the average market value of your talent pool look like? 

To answer these questions, your team can leverage an AI-driven tool, like EZ Insights, for real-time candidate data.Whether you’re refining your candidate criteria during an intake meeting or using predictive analytics to inform future searches, understanding the talent market will help your team create the best strategies for filling gaps with underrepresented talent. 

Determine goals and expectations 

At this point, your team should have a comprehensive understanding of organizational gaps and the talent market. With this information on hand, take some time to map out specific hiring goals. Set realistic expectations with your hiring manager, including a timeline to meet goals, the number of people that need to be hired, the budget needed to make those hires, and more. 

By setting individual and team goals, your team will be able to communicate achievements with stakeholders or make adjustments if these goals are not met.

Assess goal progress 

Whether it’s sourcing, qualification, or engagement, your team should strive to have “x-ray vision” for every impactful data point during hiring. It’s not a surprise that manually searching for this data is extremely time-consuming and often leads to inaccurate or incomplete data. Some teams try to overcome this by seeking the help of a data expert, but this practice often leads to data becoming siloed and inaccessible to the rest of the team. 

Diversity Analytics

Instead, teams will benefit from an automated data-collection workflow that tracks and displays key metrics.

Whether it’s the diversity breakdown of your talent pool or the reply rates from diverse candidates during each engagement touchpoint, an automated data dashboard will provide essential visibility for team performance and goal progress. 

Inform and strategize searches

Diversity hiring has unique challenges (and solutions) for every market segment, industry, and role. 

diversity sourcing struggles for business in 2021

To overcome time-consuming sourcing and restricted talent pipelines, small business and mid-market recruiting teams can leverage AI-driven talent sourcing. Instead of manually jumping across social media sites, job boards, and professional platforms to find qualified candidates, recruiters can conduct targeted searches for diverse candidates across multiple sources with AI Sourcing. The result is a larger talent pool with quality candidates that would otherwise be overlooked during manual searches.

While enterprise recruiters will also benefit from AI-driven talent sourcing, they must continue carrying out internal assessments to assess and improve their biggest diversity hiring challenge: workplace culture.  

Mitigate bias and increase inclusivity 

Do you know if you or your team has any explicit or implicit biases? Here’s an activity we encourage you to try. 

We’ve listed a few common biases that may affect your hiring process. Take a few minutes to discuss these biases with your team and see if you can spot them in your team’s daily hiring decisions. 

Common bias during recruitment

Discussing these biases and identifying them beyond hiring is crucial for creating a hiring process and workplace culture that prioritizes inclusivity. For a comprehensive list of biases, read our Managing Bias eBook

Unfortunately, every human is prone to bias, which means that technology is necessary for vetting the hiring process, spotting bias, and removing it from the hiring process. 

In this Forbes article, hireEZ CEO Steven Jiang explains how this technology can strengthen communication, especially for:

📝 Job descriptions: The language of these descriptions can dramatically impact the number of underrepresented applicants. Tools, like Datapeople, help companies vet their job descriptions for non-inclusive language. 

🤝 Email engagement: Assess analytics to monitor the drop-off percentage of diverse candidates at each touchpoint to observe where language may need to be revised.

For existing employees, it’s important that employers consider ways to monitor biased communication and support open communication channels for any employee to voice concerns they have about the workplace. 

Employers might consider utilizing DE&I tools, like Allie, to help identify non-inclusive comments or remarks made within office communication channels. Read our eBook for a comprehensive list of tools transforming DE&I. 

While these tools are helpful for addressing immediate issues of bias in the workplace, employers will have to continue investing in bias training, employee resources groups, safe communication channels, and other areas in order to deal with issues of racial inequality, bias, and maltreatment head-on. 

Create outreach candidates can’t ignore

As employer competition and talent scarcity increase, recruitment teams will have to find new ways to stand out to talent. While the go-to solution is personalized outreach, underrepresented candidates require a candidate experience that’s even more unique. 

To ensure that outreach messages resonate with candidates and encourage them to believe in the organization, recruiters will have to craft outreach that:

Put empathy and human experience first

During the pandemic, underrepresented talent faced the brunt of pandemic-induced unemployment. Ensure that you and every recruiter on your team are aware and informed about the unique experiences that each underrepresented candidate may be going through. This keeps your communication purposeful, mindful, and most importantly, people-driven and not job-driven. Candidates today have many choices to consider in their job search, and the values of an organization plays an increasingly big role in influencing career choices, especially among underrepresented talent who are subject to workplace bias and discrimination.

Give equal attention to initial emails and every single follow-up

While automated engagement has made it easier to sequence follow-ups, gain email insights, and engage with multiple candidates at once, teams still have a responsibility to give their attention to responses. In other words, showing a candidate that you care about them includes getting back to them in a timely fashion, paying attention to their concerns and needs, and communicating with authenticity – not a “one-size-fits-all” approach.

Track, measure, and improve

A quality hiring process, especially one centered around diverse talent, will have a system for collecting engagement data and answering your team’s biggest questions (i.e. Which sequences or templates perform the best for underrepresented candidates of a particular position? Where is the biggest fall-off for underrepresented candidates during the engagement process?).

Not only will these metrics help you build a database for future engagement with underrepresented candidates, but they will indicate where improvements need to be made for current and future hires.  

Onboarding and beyond

DE&I progress doesn’t end when an underrepresented candidate is hired. Those same company values of inclusivity that were showcased during the hiring process must match the employee experience, otherwise, companies will risk losing those quality hires. 

While DE&I tools aid diversity hiring in many areas, organizations will have to go beyond to address issues head-on to create a culture of inclusivity that extends beyond technology. 


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