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How to Bring Diversity to Your Organization

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LightWork® Software

Evaluating and improving your recruitment process can make a huge impact on the types of candidates you attract. There are several strategies to improving diversity within companies. Regardless of which path you choose, embedding inclusive best practices into each step of the recruitment process is key. From job descriptions and photos on the website to training hiring managers about bias awareness, be sure to address each layer of your recruitment activities with a mindset toward inclusiveness.


5 Steps to Recruitment Diversity


  1. Audit your Careers and About Us pages.

“Work hard, play hard” is not a culture. Instead, consider highlighting some of the more inclusive values and benefits your company offers. Use gender-neutral language and descriptive words that would appeal to applicants from a variety of backgrounds. Not sure how your current pages and practices measure up? Ask employees what they think by soliciting ideas or conducting a survey. You may also consider a post-interview survey for candidates to learn how your recruitment process was perceived and how it can be improved.


  1. Write better job descriptions.

Stop describing what a candidate should be and start describing the jobs to be done. Language that focuses too much on personality traits and not enough on the role and responsibilities may discourage diverse candidates. In addition, listing too many specific requirements can dissuade candidates who may be more than capable of doing the job.

We probably have all heard by now that women only applied for a role when they believe they met 100% of the criteria, while men apply when they felt they met just 60% of the requirements. This assertion mentioned by Sheryl Sandberg in her 2013 book Lean In opened the discussion about improving diversity in the recruitment process. Behavioral research conducted on the differences in the way men and women conduct a job search focus not just on the words used to describe the position, but also words used to describe applicants for the position.


  1. Start an open dialogue about biases.

We all have biases. Unconscious or not, the most important thing we can do is acknowledge and check those biases. Start an open dialogue with hiring managers about how to avoid bias during interviews. Our subconscious often equates stereotypical images to the real deal. But, matching a stereotypical profile for a described position with job applicants doesn’t have anything to do with the quality of work an individual can deliver.

 Asking “does she feel like a leader to you?” doesn’t help discover whether or not someone has leadership experience or qualities. Have tough conversations about what “culture fit” means at your company and how hiring through that lens can build a team of people who all look and think the same—which is the opposite of diversity. 

 According to Glassdoor, 45% of people think that hiring managers are in the best position to increase diversity when compared to human resources or the CEO. Reasonably so because they are in the position to determine a person’s qualifications and ability to fulfill the job’s requirements.  


  1. Diversify your talent pipeline.

Studies show numerous industries often fail to hire talented young people from less advantaged backgrounds because they primarily recruit from a small pool of elite universities and hire those who fit in with the culture. Casting a broader net should provide a more diverse group of candidates. Additionally, with the rise in work from home opportunities, geography in many cases is no longer a limiting factor for available candidates ‘in your market.’

 Explore social media platforms like Medium, LinkedIn, or Quora for users with a passion for sharing their knowledge on a specific industry or topic. Diversity doesn’t mean just gender or ethnicity, it also includes age and experience. Learn more about the availability to employers who hire individuals from certain targeted groups such as veterans. Attend networking events outside of your usual community or industry, meet new people, and tell them you’re hiring! Now more than ever, there are virtual networking opportunities to meet people from across the country.


  1. Audit Your Job Descriptions by Asking:

 Are the stated requirements actually necessary to do the job, or are they just our preferences? Requirements should be just that: requirements.

 Can we evaluate people from different educational backgrounds? Is a Bachelor’s degree needed to do the job?

 Would we consider a candidate with less experience? If so, can we remove or reduce the number of years required?

 Is the candidate’s past company size, industry, or job title relevant? Or are we just looking for specific skills we associate with those experiences?

Human Resource professionals now, more than ever, need tools to improve and enhance their recruiting and hiring efforts. Employing a recruitment software solution such as LightWork® Recruit and Onboarding can increase your success in the marketplace. It is a powerful and flexible applicant tracking and recruiting software with quick and easy set-up and implementation. 


LightWork Recruit allows HR to post openings to job boards and social media and track applicants through the interview process. It works to improve your online reputation and streamline procedures. Once an applicant is selected for hire, LightWork’s module assists with the administration and compliance concerns of onboarding a new employee. It also covers tax credit processing. Attracting and hiring top-level talent has never been easier or more efficient than with LightWork Recruit and Onboarding. To learn more about the value of a centralized recruit system, click here.


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