5 Proven Strategies to Increase Diversity in Tech!
More women are studying tech than ever before in the USA (HackerRank Study), there are educational programs being sponsored by corporates for minorities, some of the top-tier companies have even launched community development programs, but the challenge of diversity still remains difficult to master. While we are on the right track in terms of developing the correct roadmap, we need to divert more attention to basic issues like unconscious bias and racial discrimination.
After talking with many diversity hiring experts our team has zeroed on these 5 strategies that can help your firm hire more diverse talent in the future.
1) Follow these 3-Steps to Address Unconscious Bias in Your Organization
Unconscious bias is the biggest challenge that organizations face. According to a study by Tech Leavers candidates from minority groups are more likely to quit their jobs in tech than their counterparts. The reasons can vary from workplace discrimination, not being treated fairly to getting limited access to opportunities. Implementing these 3 steps can help you remove unconscious bias from your organization, both in the pre-hiring and post-hiring phase.
- Blind Interviewing: Hide the names of all interviewees from the resumes before they are forwarded to the hiring manager. Only list the necessary information like education, past experience, projects, skill-sets, etc.
- Same Interview Questions for Every Candidate: Ask the same interview questions to all candidates who are applying for a similar role. Make sure the questions are diversity friendly and don’t reflect any type of preference for a particular type of candidate.
- Have More Women and Minority Employees in the Hiring Process: Have a diverse recruitment team which includes women, employees from minority communities, etc. Have an open debate on the credentials of the candidates before making the final call.
2) Ask for Diverse Referrals from Internal Employee Networks
Referrals have always been one of the most trusted sources of qualified candidates and they work in diversity hiring too. Introduce extra rewards for diverse referrals but also make sure that you don’t give preferential treatment to these referred candidates. While asking for diverse referrals from your employees highlight the importance of a diverse team and also explain why you are promoting diversity recruitment so that you don’t alienate them.
3) Use Diverse Sourcing Channels to Prepare a Robust Pipeline
When preparing a diversity hiring strategy it’s important to use different sourcing channels. Tell your recruiters to not only look at the usual channels (job boards, LinkedIn, etc.) but explore different channels to prepare a pipeline of diverse candidates. Some of the sourcing channels that produce qualified tech candidates are:
- Tech Platforms and Forums: Use platforms like Github to find the best developers from diverse communities. You can also use forums like Tech Spot to find the candidates with the most right answers.
- Start-up Networks: Use Angel List platform to find diverse candidates who are willing to work in the start-up environment.
- Tie-up with Diverse Recruiting Agencies: You can also collaborate with diverse recruiting agencies to prepare a pipeline of candidates belonging to different job roles and locations.
There are many more platforms (minority hiring, community development, etc.) that promote diversity in tech so instruct your recruiters to spend some time exploring them.
4) Diversity-Friendly Job Descriptions
Job descriptions have a huge role to play when it comes to promoting diversity in tech. Over the years gender-bias job descriptions have pretty much become acceptable and you have to be extra careful in crafting diversity-friendly job descriptions.
- Only Ask for Skills that are Necessary: Make sure your job descriptions are concise and only ask for skills that are necessary. Many times we go overboard with our expectations and also write skill-sets that aren’t aligned with the job role. This prevents many women candidates to apply for these job roles.
- Avoid Gender-bias: Mentioning common phrases like ‘He should be a hard worker’ or ‘We are looking for a Male candidate’ can reflect negatively on your brand image when it comes to promoting diversity in tech.
- Don’t Use Jargons that Reflect Bias: Avoid using words like dominating, born leader, superstar candidate in your job descriptions. These types of jargons prevent many candidates (especially women) from applying to different jobs.
Writing effective job descriptions is a must-have when it comes to preparing a diversity hiring strategy that is focused on improving your brand image.
5) Sponsoring Minority-targeted Events and Programs
Sponsoring minority events and programs is not only a great way to increase diversity in tech but also attract many good candidates. Sponsoring events like Women in Tech, Girl Geek Dinners or collaborating with local meet-up groups is a great way to attract potential new candidates who can’t be found on job boards. Another great way to project diverse-friendly image is by sponsoring hackathons or coding challenges at various college campuses around the USA.
Diversity in tech starts with the right frame of mind and an achievable plan with the right resources. Before you start anything, make sure your organization is trained to understand issues like workplace diversity, discrimination, equality at work and much more. Only when there is basic knowledge about the topic at the grassroots level can a significant change take place in the schema of things.
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