An ardent supporter of diversity and inclusion, you can often see Jaipreet Singh share laughs, coffee, and work with people of diverse backgrounds around the office. He believes that diversity and inclusion go beyond numbers and goals. It lies in the value system.

Currently working with Infojini Consulting as Associate Vice President, he heads the staff augmentation projects and assists the company fine-tune its talent funnel and attract the right talent with the latest branding and sourcing strategies. As a sourcing expert, he has closely collaborated with many organizations and helped them optimize their diversity recruitment funnel in the past.

When asked, what diversity hiring means to him and what he thinks companies should do differently to attract a broader pool of talent. Here’s what he said.

1.  Audit Your Organization Diversity

Audit Diversity Hiring Plan

Once you have understood what diversity means to you, the next is to audit the current dynamics and constitution of your organization’s diversity. Companies often commit the mistake of following general assumption-based diversity hiring goals without understanding their exact needs.

Performing diversity audits and people analytics gives you a data-backed approach customized to your workforce needs. In place of diversifying for the sake of it, gain specific insight into the kind of diversity your organization actually demands. It helps you determine the gaps and provides you the ways to diversify your talent pipeline.

For example, after conducting a diversity audit one of our clients realized they had a good balance of gender diversity. In fact, their female workforce outnumbered their male workforce. Surprisingly, after digging deeper, it came to the surface that they had no members from the LGBTQ+ community in their workforce. Which meant only two things: either they did not receive enough applications from the LGBTQ+ community or biases interfered with the process.

As a result, we were asked to put special emphasis on the lgbtq+ community while sourcing candidates for their projects and understand the reasons if they don’t make it to the workforce.

Read More: 4 Reasons Why Your Company Needs a Chief Diversity Officer

2.  Implement Bias-free Diversity Hiring Practices

Agree or not, we humans are driven by our experiences, emotions, and biases. It is nearly impossible for recruiters to consciously separate their sentiments at every stage of hiring. This is why companies must put in efforts to structure the hiring process in a bias-free manner. For this, companies must follow the below set of bias-free hiring practices.

2.1 Conduct Blind Resume Screening

Companies must implement blind resume screening during the screening stage to prevent biases snowball into something big.

A simple way is to ask a team member – who is not part of recruiting team – to anonymize the candidate’s information. You can also make use of tools available in the market that can do the job for you. These tools automatically hide names, gender, race, photograph, and geography mentioned on the resumes. These are designed to ensure candidates are judged fairly on their skills in place of their backgrounds.

Blind Resume Screening

2.2 Write Inclusive Job Descriptions

To ensure you attract a diverse candidate base, you must work on your job description language. Review it carefully to pick out the biased words. Don’t use gender terms like “he/she”. Instead use, “they/them/you” to include a broad base of candidates.

Also, be wary of the terms like “rockstar”, ”ninja”, “guru”. These terms signal that you are targeting a male candidate for the job and therefore repels female candidates from even applying for the job.

2.3 Build Gender-neutral Ad Campaigns 

Stay away from gendered brandings. Ensure your ads appeal to people or groups that are under-or misrepresented, such as people who identify as LGBTQ+. To appeal to today’s audience, you must market your ads in a non-conforming way.

One of the ways you can do it is by breaking free from the inherent bias and assessing your strategies from a neutral outlook. If you find it difficult, then ask for feedback from third parties to understand how they perceive your brand. Whether it targets the binary and non-binary gender equally well. If not, then revisit your marketing strategies and review the language, messaging and product being used.

2.4 Value-Based Recruitment

This approach differs from the traditional ways of hiring. Here, employers are more focused on hiring employees whose values align with the company.

This model helps companies build a progressive and healthy work environment where shared values make people work in harmony. Further, it helps in fostering a diverse workforce as people who respect diversity are made part of the workforce and therefore chances of discrimination are cut to a minimum.

 2.5 Culture Awareness Training

Educating people about different cultures will help you build a strong base for a diverse workforce. Through cultural training, employees will be able to see through their biases and address them consciously. Not only that, but it will also infuse sensitivity in their behaviors and communication.

3.  Look at Diverse Sourcing Channels

As the famous saying goes,

You cannot get different results by doing things the same way.

This statement holds true in the case of diversity hiring as well. For companies to hire diverse talent, they will have to look at non-traditional places. Areas where diverse candidates actually reside.

For starters, collaborate with universities and nonprofit organizations that associate with a diverse range of candidates. Connect with these candidates and understand their perspectives to build the D&I strategies. Prod them to know more about their network and create special outreach programs to connect with these diverse networks.

Also, expand your entry points. This means open ways for people to enter your workforce. Take initiatives to attract more and more candidates. For this, you can initiate the following list of things

  • Offer long and short-term internships to potential candidates or college graduates.
  • Promote job opportunities on your social media pages for people to reach you.
  • Run skill-based competitions like hackathons to attract the right candidates.
  • Run referral hiring programs at social media and other referral platforms
  • Start employer branding social media and mail campaigns
  • Post your jobs on diversity-friendly job boards

4. Conduct Diversity Training

Diversity Hiring Training

Last and the most important step is to conduct diversity training.

Hiring a diverse workforce is only half the work done. Next half lies in retaining them. You must provide them an inclusive work culture where their differences are respected.

All your diversity hiring initiatives will go in vain if people do not address their unconscious bias and break free from them.

Therefore, it is an organization’s responsibility to build an open-minded and unbiased workplace.

It is where diversity training becomes ‘imperative. These trainings are aimed at targeting and transforming employees’ unconscious biases. It addresses people’s prejudices and nudges them to rethink. Often, employees are not even aware of their biases. Diversity training helps them acknowledge their biases and it’s, therefore, important to educate them and make them aware.

Here, effective diversity training will not only make employees aware of their unconscious behaviors but also encourage them to accept differences and embrace diverse perspectives to work well together.

Here is a list of things that you should cover in diversity trainings for recruiters as well as employees.

  1. Gender Diversity
  2. Age Diversity
  3. Cultural Diversity
  4. Sexual Orientation
  5. Family Situations
  6. Physical and psychological disabilities
  7. Political view
  8. Personal Idiosyncrasies

5. Run Employer Branding Campaigns

If you are working actively on diversity hiring and have a diverse workforce already in place then it’s the right time to let the world know.

In today’s social media-led world, job seekers want to know about you before committing to a job. Therefore you must utilize this opportunity to let them know where your values lie.

To accomplish this, make your profile more human.

To put it into perspective, run success stories of your employees on social media. Let people know the faces of your company and their journeys. If possible, showcase their career progressions

Run employer branding campaigns on multiple channels including social media and emails. Also, share job postings and workplace activities on branding platforms to aware people of your work culture. If you have promising perks to offer, let that also be known to the world.

Showcasing all these branding elements on social media will give you a competitive edge when candidates compare. Collectively, all the branding initiatives will help you reach out to a wider and diverse candidate base and will intrigue them.

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