Updated: Sep 20, 2020
Co-written by Florence Zhao, Carmen Yeung, Jack Lam, and Jessica Zhang
“A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.”
— Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet
With the emphasis on diversity increasing, diversity recruitment has become a necessary component for companies. Through this, hiring managers are able to find the best possible candidates while giving all applicants, regardless of background and biases, an equal opportunity. We've compiled the following collection of strategies to help you rethink diversity in your workplace.
Actively Seek Out Diverse Talent
How can you ensure that your company is actively and distinctly searching for diverse talent? The first step is explicitly publicizing your commitment to diversity on your company website, recruitment platforms, job ads, and social media profiles. This could mean displaying Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) statements, workplace policies of inclusion, employee resources groups (ERGs) or testimonials and photos from existing minority employees to attract diverse job seekers—helping others feel valued and respected by your company. In addition, using inclusive language and advertising available positions through diverse, overlooked channels such as niche job boards and websites or forums visited by minorities will make sure that a unique talent pool sees your job postings.
Next, conduct an audit for your past job advertisements. How does the word choice, language and platforms used to impact the types of candidates you receive?
Words such as “ambitious” and “assertive” are gendered connotations that appeal more towards men, while corporate jargon may deter recent graduates or younger candidates with less fundamental knowledge.
Another consideration may be for you to establish and maintain healthy relationships with minority specific educational institutions (such as historically black colleges and universities) and minority-serving organizations. Creating such relationships can lead to strategic sponsorships, networking opportunities, internship programs and events that will give you access to high-achieving underrepresented candidates and job seekers. A diverse candidate referral program where your current employees can refer their connections—many who share similar backgrounds—for bonuses on top of their salary is another method to actively seek out diverse talent.
According to research from Deloitte, over half of the organizations cite employee referrals as their number one source of high-quality candidates.
Towards the end, it would be appropriate to analyze your recruitment and hiring processes—an effective way to limit subconscious biases during recruitment is utilizing blind resumes that hide names, schools, date of birth and specific locations from applications. With technology continuously being innovated, automotive software has made blind hiring even easier. Platforms such as Gap Jumpers, offer blind origin and blind auditions that allow candidates to complete a work challenge to showcase their skills towards a work task which reduces bias when hiring solely from resumes.
Creating a Welcoming Culture of Inclusion
If you’re unsure of where to start when it comes to creating a more inclusive environment at your workplace, we’ve outlined a few possibilities you can take as a starting point. It’s important to note that simply recognizing these possible changes is not enough to create long-lasting change in your workplace.
Examples and commitments of inclusion must be communicated and promoted clearly, especially by those in leadership positions.
Strategies like actively enforcing a zero-tolerance policy for disrespectful and non-inclusive behaviour contributes to a large portion of how your workplace could improve for the better. Other examples that help create a culture of inclusion are:
Investing in diversity training in forms of virtual and in-person lunch workshops, or enterprise-wide assemblies
Creating inclusion councils or groups structured like ERGs will allow similar employees to share and voice their opinions, concerns, and goals.
Yet, the changes mentioned above are simply not enough to create a welcoming culture of inclusion at your workplace. Creating a sense of comfort and security is also a necessary component for the employees and the others at your workplace.
Based on a Harvard Business Review, providing safe spaces for employees such as unisex bathrooms and inclusive meetings, where everyone can contribute to the discussion and all voices are weighed equally, further encouraging a culture of inclusion.
With all this in mind, the most crucial aspect of successfully creating a culture of inclusion requires the act of continuously measuring and revising the changes made at every step of the way. This ensures that these changes are an effective, and long-lasting step in the right direction.
Increase Representation of the Visible Minority Through Innovative Technologies
After seeking out diverse talents and creating a culture of inclusion at your workplace, you might want to ask, “how can we incorporate innovative technology into our workplace to further increase the diversity?” For the past while, we have conducted investigations and brainstorming sessions to compile a list of innovative solutions—here are our top findings and ideas.
As the Artificial Intelligence industry rapidly expands, we noticed that many businesses have begun resorting to existing technologies in hopes of increasing the representation of visible minorities in workplaces. Nevertheless, with decades of AI development, businesses today are including different technologies into their hiring stages to increase the presence of visible minorities through the following strategies:
Anti-bias hiring software like Blendoor and HRx Technology are available to reduce bias and match keywords during resume screening. With anti-bias hiring software incorporated, businesses can prevent unconscious bias that hinders diversity hiring from managers.
Video-based AI like HireVue also exists to analyze facial movements, word choice and speaking voice during hiring. This technology can increase effective hiring, eliminating human biases during hiring stages and increasing workplace diversity.
It is important to note that AI development isn’t error-proof. AI technology should only be used to assist recruitment processes rather than leading.
One strategy we’ve developed is a cloud-based leaderboard for businesses, where employees can complete short, fun, and interactive modules that may include topics such as diversity training and etiquette, and different cultures and fun-language activities. As a source of motivation to participate, you would reward the individuals who've completed the necessary tasks for the day. One's language also plays a large role in their culture and should be shared among colleagues. By implementing Duolingo, a language learning technological app, as part of the strategy to embrace diversity, your business can provide a new method for staff to explore different languages.
Finally, Employee Resource Groups can not only be used to seek out diverse talents, but also host digital forums. This creates the occasion to openly discuss diversity issues, and provides access to diversity resources, management tactics, peer-to-peer networking, and more. Making as many of these resources available for employees will further encourage diversity learning and help increase the representation of minority groups.
In conclusion, by 1) actively seeking diverse talent, 2) creating a welcoming culture of inclusion at your workplace, and 3) increasing representation of the visible minority through innovative technologies, diversity can be expanded and emphasized in the workforce. Together, through understanding why diversity is so important and taking the necessary steps to intentionally implement it in our daily routines, the future of diversity looks promising, with more individuals embracing who they are.