Creating a diverse work environment starts with inclusive hiring practices. Great candidates can get skipped over during the hiring process if you are not protecting against biases. There are ways to bias-proof your hiring process and allow the best candidates to get in the door.
Start with the Job Listing
Job listings should be neutral and avoid language that may cause a great candidate to opt-out of applying. You also should limit the number of qualifications to a core, essential list. According to Forbes, women will often only apply to jobs when they meet 100% of the qualifications. Men generally apply if they meet only 60%.
Create “Blind-Audition” Situations
Unconscious bias is a very real thing. Even the most self-aware individual can fall prey to relying on stereotypes to "fill in" information about a candidate. Creating "blind-audition" situations are a great way to promote diversity in hiring.
Assessing skills without knowing who the candidate is can allow your team to focus on finding candidates with raw skill and aptitude, without premature judgements. Using “blind-audition” scenarios in your hiring process will allow the best candidates to get further in the hiring process before you meet them.
Not only can this method help you find the best candidate, it also speeds up the hiring process significantly. You'll be spending less time meeting and screening candidates.
Areas to Create Blind-Audition Scenarios
- View resumes without names listed. White sounding names recieve 50% more callbacks for interviews than ethnic-sounding names. Women are often perceived as having lower technical skills. Hiding names on resumes helps you objectively assess a candidate's past experiences and skills.
- Use pre-employment tests that assess skills critical to the job. These tie hiring decisions to validated science, rather than gut feeling and instinct.
- Enlist the help of Artificial Intelligence. HireVue can use AI (artificial intelligence) to evaluate candidate responses to video interviews. As candidates record themselves responding to interview questions, AI assesses the candidate according to the role's actual performance metrics. This provides a valid, bias-free success indicator. You can then take top scoring candidates to the next stage of your hiring process having already completed one round of interviews.
Expand Your Network
If you’re relying heavily on current employee referrals, and your current work environment is fairly homogeneous, you may be hurting your chances to increase diversity in your talent pool. Share job listings where they will be seen by a diverse body of people. Make efforts to attend networking and community events that cater to a diverse range of job seekers.
Commit to Promoting Diversity
Put your company out there as a safe space that is committed to providing a culture friendly to diversity. For this to work, you’ll need to put your money where your mouth is. A big part of attracting and retaining talent is creating a culture and environment that is safe and friendly for all people.
- Take courses or provide training for employees on diversity sensitivity.
- Have a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment and take reports of sexual harassment seriously.
- Offer time off for religious holidays and obligations.
- Implement family-friendly policies. Your company might consider parental leave, flexible schedules, or adding lactation rooms.
By continuing to promote diversity after hiring, you’ll not only improve retention but you will also attract other great candidates.