5 Signs Your Diversity Hiring Process is Broken – And What to Do About It

Why Care About Diversity Hiring?

Attracting, recruiting, and retaining a diverse workforce isn’t just a nice thing to do. According to the World Economic Forum, research shows a direct correlation between high-skilled, diverse talent and an increase in the level of innovation and economic performance.

Consider this: If everyone in your organization looks, thinks, and acts similarly… how might this impede your ability to

  • Innovate?
  • Serve your customers?
  • Expand to new markets and customers?

You might be reading this and thinking, you don’t need to convince me, I am already a champion for diversity hiring.

But get this — according to a study by Harvard, even recruiters who stated they wanted to hire diverse candidates (specifically gender and racially diverse) did not show a preference toward these candidates. The recruiters hiring for STEM fields rated women and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and other People of Colour) significantly lower than white males. In order for a woman or BIPOC candidate to get the same rating as a white male with a 3.75 GPA, they had to have a 4.0 GPA. Also, they found that having an internship from a prestigious university boosted the scores for white men by 50% more than the exact same internship on a woman or BIPOC’s resume.

5 Signs your Hiring Practices Are NOT Inclusive:

(and what you can do about it…)

Diverse candidates aren’t applying – this can be for many reasons. Consider what schools you’re recruiting from and how socioeconomic bias is coming into play. Look at the representation in your marketing materials, your sourcing strategy, and the language in your job description. For example, do you use masculine or culturally insensitive language such as “ninja”, “hacker”, “guru” or “rockstar”?

Diverse candidates are applying, but they are screened out, or drop out after the interview – this could be because of bias, inequity, or other sourcing issues. It could also be that the candidates are sensing your workplace might not be inclusive. Consider creating a diverse hiring team, and auditing your ATS (Applicant Tracking System) for built-in bias.

You rely heavily on employee referrals – don’t get me wrong, employee referrals can be a great strategy. It reduces recruitment costs and typically results in a higher rate of accepted offers and retention. However, if your company is lacking diversity to begin with, you may be excluding diverse candidates. Make sure your employees are educated on DEI and expand your sourcing through niche job boards, sourcers, or better yet organizations that offer all-inclusive services (learn more about working with us on diversifying your process and ensuring equity is a part of every step here).

Your interviews are informal – you might lean toward conversational interviews allowing multiple people on the team to meet with the candidate to see if they would be a good fit. This introduces bias and can rely heavily on “feelings” instead of assessing legitimate knowledge, skills, and abilities to do the job. Structured interviews that focus on the job requirements will help diverse candidates be seen for their potential rather than how similar they are to you, or your current staff.

Your selection process is overcomplicated – first, this introduces more room for bias. You might think that you need to really “test” your candidates by having multiple rounds of interviews and even take-home assignments. But, you will lose out to top talent (especially diverse talent) if your competitors have a simpler, streamlined, (and thus more inclusive) process. Consider this: 95% of hiring is done to fill existing positions, not new ones (Source: Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics). This is because recruiters and sourcers are actively finding people on Linked In who are already employed (therefore more objectively qualified) and enticing them with attractive offers and a less painful interview process.

Even if you are interviewing candidates who don’t have relevant experience or are unemployed, the research doesn’t find that a more intense selection process produces a stronger candidate. Your resources are better used in properly onboarding your new hire to ensure faster productivity and retention.

Prioritizing the candidate experience and simplifying recruitment has many, compoudning effects like reduced costs, higher retention, and building a more solid, qualified pipeline to meet your current business demands, and for the future.

Whether you’re an executive leader, an HR professional, or a job seeker looking for the green flags that tell you a company is a right fit, we’re here to help you break in, move up, and disrupt the status quo in tech. Changing the face of tech to be a more inclusive, diverse industry will change the future of our world. Diversity starts with us.

Schedule a call with Alexandria and Jasleen to review your hiring process and create more equity and inclusion.

Find a community of diverse job-seekers who are supporting each other on the road to disruption.