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5 Strategies to Increase Workforce Diversity and Inclusion

It’s time to take diversity and inclusion seriously. How you prioritize, practice, and ultimately, prove that you are committed to D&I will significantly impact your brand and business now and into the future. Just look at the statistics. When it comes to overall revenue, diverse management teams boost revenue by 19%, and having gender-diverse executive teams perform significantly better – they’re 21% more likely to outperform on profitability. Additionally, diverse companies see a 2.3 times higher cashflow per employee.

The buck doesn’t stop there. Diverse and inclusive companies see a 35% increase in employee performance, and are 70% more likely to innovate and capture new markets.

In addition, 67% of job seekers focus on diversity as an important factor when considering companies and job offers, and over 50% of current employees want their workplace to do more to increase diversity.

How do we eliminate hiring bias and increase workplace diversity and inclusion in the hourly workforce? What tools or technology can we use to increase diversity and inclusion?

Outwardly emphasize your company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion to candidates

A lot of companies slap the “equal opportunity employer” boilerplate statement at the bottom of their job descriptions – this just doesn’t cut it anymore. You must give serious thought to your company’s stance and policies surrounding diversity and inclusion and then document them. Be sure to involve a diverse group of employees – across your brands and locations – in the process. You’ll want to make this front and center in your job marketing and outreach in order to attract the widest possible range of candidates to apply or express interest. What things can you do?

Create a dedicated Diversity & Inclusion career page that includes your D&I policies, an authentic video from your CEO or HR Executive reinforcing your company’s commitment to D&I, spotlights from a diverse set of employees sharing their experience and successes, and, if you’re willing, the goals that you’ve set in this area. In addition, add your diversity and inclusion policies to all your job description pages and location pages along with a link to this page and even your video. Lastly, be sure to make your job postings available on diversity-centric job boards and community sites.

Here is a great example of the statement that Hilton Hotels is publishing on their open positions:

Equal access to programs, service, and employment is available to all persons. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship status, ancestry, age, marital or veteran status, physical or mental disability, arrest record, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state and local laws. We will endeavor to make a reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of a qualified applicant with a disability unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of our business. If you believe you require such assistance to complete this form or to participate in an interview, please let us know.

Write Inclusive Job Postings

If you want to attract a diverse applicant pool, create job postings that are carefully written to appeal to all audiences. For example, studies show that gender-coded or masculine words (ninja, guru, dominate, rockstar, etc.) significantly reduce the amount of women applying to your open jobs, even though this bias is typically unconscious. Think about getting feedback on your job descriptions from a diverse group of employees before posting them.

Blind Your Resume Screening

A study done by the University of Wisconsin found that resumes submitted by people with African American-sounding names were 14% less likely to receive a call back for a job than resumes submitted by people with white-sounding names. Another study found that, when women and men submitted blind applications for a job, a woman’s likelihood of being hired increased by 25-46%.

In theory, removing a candidate’s name from a resume or application entry helps recruiters make decisions free from unconscious biases of the applicant’s race and gender. To take it a step further, try removing other personal information such as school names, graduation year, and even addresses.

Standardize your Interviews

Especially in a decentralized organization, where hiring managers work outside of a corporate office, it’s important to standardize your interviews, and give each candidate the same opportunity. Standardizing your interview questions via hiring guides and distributing them to every hiring manager ensures that all candidates will experience the same, bias-free questions that focus solely on the skills and aptitude required to excel in the job.

Educate Your Employees

There are countless off-the-shelf training courses available today. It’s essential to educate your recruiters and hiring managers on diversity and inclusion, and how they can contribute to a more diverse workplace. Grab a training course, upload it to your talent management system, and make it a required read or watch for your hiring managers.

Onboarding new employees is another opportunity for education. Add your diversity and inclusion policies to your onboarding process and require each employee (new and existing) to read and acknowledge them.

 

There’s no question we all need to make steps towards inclusive, diverse working environments – from the top down. Having a range of backgrounds, ethnicities, races, genders, and orientations fosters innovation in business, better business performance, and drives better decisions. Not to mention, it’s just how business should be done. See how TalentReef’s tech stack enables service industry companies to substantially reduce bias in their recruiting and hiring processes while creating a diverse, inclusive workforce optimized for success.

Tim Leonard

A proven software visionary and entrepreneur, Tim is the Chief Strategy Officer of TalentReef, where he is passionate and focused in leading the company's product innovation and strategic roadmap.

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