Diversity Hiring: Guide to Successfully Hiring Diverse Employees

JANUARY 25, 2022 3 min read

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Sourcing top talent today is already tough. But when diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives are added to the mix, recruiters and sourcers often say they have a tougher time finding and hiring diverse employees. 

According to hireEZ’s 2021 Recruitment Outlook Report,40% of recruiters struggle with diversity hiring because it’s a time-consuming process. However, only 7% say that there’s a small talent pool for sourcing. 

It shouldn’t have to be difficult and time-consuming to source for diverse talent, especially if there is already such a large readily and available talent pool for employers to tap into. 

There are many channels and resources for recruiters and sourcers to build a talent pool of underrepresented candidates. 

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This guide will break down the necessary steps for hiring diverse talent and remaining intentional in your recruitment strategy.

While reviewing this guide to hiring underrepresented employees, ask yourself these questions…

⭐️  Do I understand the needs and challenges of underrepresented candidates and employees? 

⭐️  Does my team have the resources to answer critical questions that underrepresented talent have while learning about my organization? 

⭐️  What bottlenecks does my team have in implementing any of these steps?

With that said, let’s dive into all the things you can do to recruit smart, skilled, and diverse talent.

Evaluate your current hiring process

First, conduct an audit of your existing hiring process. It’s probably not your favorite activity and you will be tempted to ignore it. However, your initial effort is bound to reveal process and practice flaws that will need to be fixed.

Use blind hiring methods

During your audit, you may have come across biases affecting your candidate pipeline. To overcome those biases, use blind hiring methods, such as anonymized resumes. Evaluate applicants for their skills and potential, free from biases about their gender, race, or education level.

Use recruitment software for targeted sourcing & outreach

To build a high-conversion strategy, sourcing and outreach must be tailored and personalized to the candidates that you want to reach. You can use tools like EZ Insights to learn more about the top schools, companies, job titles, years of experience, and locations of underrepresented groups.

If you notice a higher percentage of these candidates in a particular location or school, you can focus your efforts there. You can even analyze top companies these candidates go to and review how you can offer a similar experience at your organization. 

⚡️  For more tips on hiring diverse employees, watch our interview with SourceCon speaker, Kevin Walters, onHow Recruiters Can Be an Ally.”

Keep teams in check with visible & accessible data

To make the most of the insights your team uses, keep track of data and metrics so you can improve on existing processes at any time. This is also a great way to assess what you might be doing wrong in your job descriptions, sourcing process, or your email outreach. Our customers use hireEZ’s Diversity Analytics Report to analyze the amount of diverse talent they are sourcing, qualifying, and engaging. For example, if you notice that reply rates among Black or African American candidates are decreasing, you may want to revisit your emails for any non-inclusive language that could be disrespectful to those candidates. 

Affirm your commitment to equal opportunity employment 

Most employers with at least 15 employees are covered by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) laws. Make sure you’ve clearly stated that your company is an “Equal Opportunity Employer.” Although including the phrase is not the law, the EEOC pointed out that by including it in job postings and your website’s careers section, you’re pledging not to discriminate and encouraging a diverse set of individuals to apply.

Encourage referrals from diverse employees

Encourage underrepresented employees to refer their friends. This will show prospective candidates that your company is a satisfying and inclusive place to work for underrepresented groups. Since these individuals have been recommended by your own employees, it will also introduce higher-quality talent into your pipeline and speed up the hiring process. 

Keep current employees happy

Before discussing referrals, make sure employees feel comfortable with your company culture and HR policies. If you spot something wrong, escalate the issue to leadership. Remember, word of mouth travels fast, especially when it’s bad. Besides, potential hires are reading reviews on sites like Glassdoor to decide if they want to work for you.

Offer flexibility where possible

If there’s anything the pandemic has shown us, it’s that our collaboration tools are making it easier than ever to get work done remotely and just as efficiently. Flexibility appeals to parents, women, millennials, and Gen Z talent. Granted, some jobs will require onsite work at all times. But wherever possible, mention in the job posting that there’s room for a flexible work schedule.

Train hiring managers to be objective

Organize workshops to educate everyone involved in the hiring process on how to identify and drop their biases when evaluating potential hires. For example, research at the Stanford Women’s Leadership Lab shows there are two small but powerful ways managers can block bias: first, by closely examining and broadening their definitions of success, and second, by asking what each person adds to their teams or what the researchers call their “additive contribution.” 

Get started with a full list of biases to discuss with your team. Access the list with our free ebook, Managing Bias in the Recruitment Process.  

Add class to your diversity criteria

The subject of class tends to be awkward. But it’s an important factor to consider from a business standpoint. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Class migrants have unique skills that people who grew up economically privileged may lack… class migrants who are CEOs have increased risk-taking sensibilities to propel them further up the corporate ladder.”

View it as “culture add” instead of “culture fit”

Often, you’re trying so hard to fit an otherwise brilliant candidate into a culture mold that you forget to realize that their being different is irrelevant. If a candidate turns up at an interview wearing an outfit that’s different from what their team wears, it doesn’t make them a less desirable hire. A disabled candidate who requests flexibility for frequent medical appointments should not be seen as less committed to their work.

Talk about your Employee Resource Groups

Do Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) in your company do a good job supporting and empowering diverse employees? Prioritize sharing and talking about ERG activities in your external communications like your social media accounts and your website. If there’s a group for black female engineers and you post pictures of a summit they organized, you’re not just attracting black female engineers to apply to your company but also demonstrating to all other candidates that you value and promote diversity and inclusion. This is also a great way to motivate employees and leadership to stay active and excited about holding ERG-led discussions, events, and initiatives. 

Put these steps to work

You don’t need to do every single thing on this list to ensure diversity in your hiring. The best part about this list is how customizable it can be to your needs, so pick and choose what fits. Take into consideration your company size, budget, and overall hiring and diversity goals to create a hiring strategy that focuses on bringing the best out of your future diverse employees. 

Remember, diversity hiring should not be about you or your organization. It’s about building an equitable environment for them to grow, thrive and succeed. 

To learn how hireEZ supports diversity hiring goals with data and insights for you and your team to act on, read what our customers are saying and talk to our team today.


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