Insight

How to Incorporate Diverse Hiring Strategies in 2022 - 10 Strategies that Work

Do you run externship programs that give your company early talent exposure? These are fully remote, paid programs where you can engage diverse students from different schools over 6-8 weeks.

Kanika Sharma
February 2, 2022

According to a McKinsey & Company study, employers in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have higher financial returns than respective national industry medians.


The US Census has declared that, by 2040, the majority of the US population will be people of color.


If you are reading this, I am sure that you realize the importance of inclusion and diversity in the workplace. And, here are some stats to prove that you are going in the right direction.


  • Companies with diverse management teams have 19% higher revenues.
  • Diverse companies are 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders in their market segments.
  • 67% of job seekers say diversity is an important factor when considering a company.
  • 85% of CEOs say that having a diverse workforce improved their bottom lines.

I can go on and on with these facts but let me cut to the chase. Here are some strategies that might help you meet your diverse hiring goals for 2022.


Explore Universities Ranking For Best Diversity


If you are looking to hire diverse candidates, there’s no better place than universities with a track record for diversity.


Here’s a list of the most diverse colleges in the West based on student reviews and statistics. This data has been picked from the U.S Department of Education. It considers the geographic, socio-economic, and ethnic diversity of students and staff, including the overall level of tolerance on the campus.


https://www.niche.com/colleges/search/most-diverse-colleges/


You can also target schools that have student bodies with large amounts of underrepresented students. According to NACE, the Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) are the two most common sources for diverse hiring.


Build a Good Employer Brand


So, the most critical question is, have you built your employer brand around D&I?


Your mission statement should be related to D&I and reflect your dedication to it. Not only this but showing your Employee Resource Groups that highlight a diverse workforce, sharing pictures of underrepresented employees, etc., also helps create a strong impression among diverse students.


Your hiring page should share stories of students from colleges and universities you are trying to target. You can also add your diversity commitments on your career pages, social media pages, print materials, etc.


While this is just a tiny part of the more significant transition towards diverse hiring, every step matters.


Questions like, “what is the best part about your company culture?” or “why do people love working in your company?” can significantly help you derive the messaging that your employer brand needs.


Here’s an article by Handshake that explains all the strategies to build a great employer brand.


Revamp Your Hiring Process


According to Aubrey Blanche, the former Global Head of Diversity & Belonging at Atlassian,“When you look at candidates and think you can’t hire someone for a product manager role because they don’t have any product management experience, that’s a problem. People don’t have career paths, and they have growth paths. We need to better think for others about what useful skills they’ve gained from unusual, non-linear experiences. Maybe you got your project management skills from a previous role, or maybe you got it from coaching and organizing your kid’s soccer team.”



It starts with editing your job descriptions that fit a broader set of audiences.

More inclusive job descriptions tend to motivate more candidates to apply. They also perceive the young talent that your company welcomes people from all different backgrounds.


Next, every round in the hiring process directly indicates your company values and culture. So, all your employees must be on the same page. They should make candidates feel comfortable even if they ultimately don’t get selected.


Use gender-neutral language, inclusive language, use nice-to-haves instead of ‘requirements.’


According to a Hewlett Packard Study, women tend to only apply for a job when they meet 100% of the criteria, while it is just 60% for men.


When Harvard Business Review followed up on this, they found that this has nothing to do with women being less confident than men. Women feel that it’s a waste of time if they apply for jobs where they don’t meet the requirements in the JD.


So, more requirements? Less female applicants.


According to the data analyzed by an augmented writing platform called Textio, jobs with a better job description and more language around ‘equal opportunity’ fill 10% faster than other jobs.


If you want to write more inclusive job descriptions, you can look at this ebook for reference.


Communicate Effectively


According to Craig Meaner, the Chairman & CEO of the Home Depot, “Over our company’s history, we have built an environment where we take care of each other, build strong relationships and value respect for all people.

Interpersonal communications are as crucial for inclusivity as your diversity commitments.


You need to ask yourself if you are making changes while communicating with candidates. Are you highlighting your pronouns in your email signature? Are you persuading them to do the same?


In your introductory calls with candidates, are you highlighting how crucial diversity is for you?


Sometimes, a simple ‘we encourage people from underrepresented groups to apply’ works wonders. You need to pass the message that diversity is a priority for you in your brand language to all the candidates.


The way you communicate about diversity inside your organization also makes a lot of difference. Along with the external branding practices, you also need to ensure brand advocates inside the company. It would be best if you made it a point that people want to stay in your organization and recruit others.


According to Arvind Krishna, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, IBM, “As we continue to uphold the values of diversity, inclusion, and equity, we will make IBM a better and stronger company



Keep a Check on Workplace Experience



According to Alfred Kelly, the CEO of Visa, “We will remain focused on ensuring that Visa is a diverse and inclusive environment where different perspectives are valued, and all of our employees feel comfortable coming to work every day to do their best.”


62% of job seekers would turn down a job offer if they feel the company did not value an inclusive and diverse workplace culture.


Students are doing their research and asking questions to their existing employees. They even go to anonymous platforms to ensure everything written in your commitments is true.


So, it's always better to be open about these topics initially. Even if you haven't achieved all the DE&I goals you set for the company, you can tell students that you are in the process.


It's better than giving them false hopes of a culture that doesn't exist.


According to research conducted by Denison Consulting, organizations with more transparent and more aligned cultures also have significantly more engaged employees.


“Inclusion on-screen starts with inclusion in our internal community.” - Ted Sarandos, Co-CEO and Chief Content Officer at Netflix



Strengthen Leadership Accountability


“Our core values, which are based in diversity…[point towards] a long-term journey, and the change will begin at the top.” - Pablo Isla, Chairman & CEO of Inditex.


It starts with ensuring that all leaders (including yourself) must be inclusion leaders. When you are trying to build trust across different identities, you should take accountability for a situation.  


Connect with your employee resource groups and involve the entire team in activities that concern diversity. If there has been an accusation where the senior authorities were held responsible for discrimination, take responsibility and make changes.


Sometimes, when a new intern makes the allegations, you feel that it is about choosing the people working with you for a longer time. But that's wrong. It's not about betraying your loyal employees. It is a constant fight towards racial equality and justice.

"Opinions about leadership and accountability in D&I accounted for the highest number of mentions and were strongly negative. On average, 51 percent of the total mentions related to leadership across industries, and 56 percent of those were negative. This finding underscores the increasingly recognized need for companies to improve their I&D engagement with core-business managers."


Participate in Externship Programs


Do you run externship programs that give your company early talent exposure? These are fully remote, paid programs where you can engage diverse students from different schools over 6-8 weeks.


The students can work on a topic of your choice and present their findings. This helps you widen your talent pool and allows you to assess candidates before hiring them.


For companies, remote externships are an efficient way to offer a work experience opportunity to many more diverse students than it would be possible to reach through a traditional internship. It can cost companies between $6,000 to $7,000 to bring on a summer intern. Not to mention many more resources, such as managing time, that make it challenging to offer multiple spots in an internship program. Companies can use remote externships as a scalable early talent identification tool to assess which candidates merit further investment.


To know more, check out this case study - https://www.paragonone.com/blog/facebook-partnered-with-a-startup-to-give-scores-of-diverse-students-remote-externships-this-summer-we-were-that-startup

“We believe that diversity is important because it is the right thing to do, and it is also important for the business since we need to mirror the diversity of our customers and society.” - Brian Moynihan, CEO, Bank of America


Content, Brand and Marketing


When students search on Google for internship opportunities, they often use the DEI keywords. So, you need to make sure that you have content ranking on Google for these topics.


Companies conduct online events, webinars, participate in interviews, indulge in social media conversations to keep the diversity topic moving.


It is more like subconsciously feeding content to diverse students consistently while they decide.



No Bias While Hiring Candidates


There are recruiting tools that help you make hiring decisions while being conscious of diversity and inclusion. This helps overcome any unconscious bias and make sure that your DEI efforts are more profitable.


These are some of the best tools that help you in the complete process, from sourcing and screening to interviewing and the final call.



Employee Referral Program


Your current employees are your best network. They can help you find people like them who are talented, driven, and represent people of color. This builds the initial trust for both the candidate and the employer because they have a mutual connection.


You can occasionally reward your employees for helping you amplify your diversity efforts. If they post on social media or send a personal message on LinkedIn asking their friends to apply for a job, you’ll get more and better applicants.

That’s it, folks. I hope this article helped you find new ways to supercharge your DEI efforts.


Feel free to reach out at matt@paragonone.com if you want to run a remote externship program that impacts underrepresented and underserved students.

We run remote externship programs (powered by our software) for PwC, Facebook/Meta, Pfizer, National Geographic, Snapchat, Cargill, HP, etc.

The goal is to provide an opportunity to underserved students through professional experiences. We scale these externships to many students while minimizing the impact on manager/HR time at companies.

You can read a recent Forbes article about us here and see a short Yahoo! Finance interview.


We handle everything from recruiting to mentorship and student feedback in the externships. Your team just needs to invest 1 hour/week over 6-8 weeks.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kanika Sharma

Kanika is a growth marketer on some days & copywriter on others. When she is not working on marketing campaigns, you’ll find her in a coffee shop reading a classic.

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