- Sunho Kim
How Diversity Hiring Can Benefit Your Company
Updated: Feb 4
Work culture and environment are determining factors for many people to join a company. Glassdoor conducted a survey in 2020 and revealed that "more than 3 in 4 employees and job seekers (76%) report a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers." Knowing this, many companies emphasize the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in their work environment.
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Benefits of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
A diverse, inclusive environment boosts employees' sense of belonging and engagement, and companies can benefit from these effects. Companies that communicate diversity, equity, and inclusion values to their employees and maintain a diverse, inclusive environment experience improvements in employee productivity, profitability, and brand reputation. According to McKinsey & Company in 2015, "companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians." Not only that, creating a diverse, inclusive environment also reduces employee turnover, saving companies a lot of money. In this blog post, we will discuss how companies can implement diversity, equity, and inclusion values in hiring strategies and decisions.
Diversity goes beyond race, ethnicity/national origin, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation or disability. That is why companies should be mindful of other differences, such as:
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How do companies increase diversity? One way is by improving diverse recruitment and selection. Before beginning the hiring process, companies should assess their current demographic data and compare it with other organizations to see where the company is doing well in practicing diversity and where it can improve. Based on the assessment, companies should set diversity goals. For example, a company wants to hire more women and people of colour, so it sets its diversity goals to hire 10% of women and 15% of people of colour by 20XX. Using the right and appropriate language in a job description can attract more diverse candidates. A good job description will emphasize diversity and utilize inclusive language, such as gender-neutral job titles. Before posting the job description, have someone look over it to check for exclusionary wording in context and tone. Another diversity strategy to implement during recruitment is finding a new talent pool. Sourcing from the same talent pool limits diversity and will likely result in a shortlist of homogeneous candidates. Successful and well-implemented diversity strategies will increase diverse candidates in the applicant pool.
We are inevitably subject to unconscious biases, and it is one of the many reasons companies miss out on valuable candidates. Therefore, companies need to mitigate unconscious biases to scout the best talents. Here are some of the common biases to look out for during interviews:
Horn effect bias
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Companies can reduce bias by implementing diversity strategies during selection. One common diversity-focused approach is blind hiring. During the blind hiring process, companies remove the candidates' demographic information from resumes and applications to avoid biased decision-making. For instance, graduation dates often lead to ageism, so companies block them from resumes. Companies can diversify their recruiting teams by involving underrepresented employees. For example, underrepresented employees can be panel members for upcoming interviews. Panel interviews are optimal for diversity because having multiple interviewers keep one another in check of biases, resulting in fair and transparent decisions. An alternative to panel interviews is peer reviews. After one-on-one interviews, another hiring manager reviews the interviewer's notes on each candidate to spot any unchecked bias the interviewer may have toward the candidates. Having standardized interview questions is an efficient way to ensure the interview is conducted fair and unbiasedly. Interview questions should focus on the candidates' abilities and skills to do the job, and candidates' responses should be evaluated based on interview scorecards or other evaluation rubrics.
Hiring a specific number of underrepresented employees in the organization does not automatically make a company diverse because diversity is not about the numbers. Diversity is an ongoing process that companies should maintain by continuously monitoring and making necessary adjustments. It is a long process, but the transformations it brings are well worth it for both companies and employees.