Today’s workforce expects more from their employer and company than just a salary. They want to be recognized as an individual – to have their value noticed through professional development opportunities, company recognition, and wide-ranging benefits that promote their personal wellbeing as an employee and individual.
Above all else, more employees are looking for their company to rise up as a champion of diversity, equity, and inclusion within their organization and industry. To ensure your company is on the path to diversity and inclusion, you need to start by setting a foundation that will pave the way for future initiatives through the recruiting process.
The first step in creating an inclusive workforce is to create a diverse candidate pool through recruiting tools such as job postings, applications, and recruitment tracking software.
By overcoming unconscious biases that influence recruitment decisions, employers can create a workplace that identifies, values, and respects the differences among its employees. In this article, we will take a closer look at how recruiting tools can help promote diversity in the workplace.
The Rising Need for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace
Increasingly, organizations are recognizing that greater diversity in their workforces is critical to earning successful outcomes. This is true for both financial and social benefits.
Statistics continue to showcase that a diverse workforce has been shown to contribute to the following:
Improved Organizational Performance: Diverse workforces promote fresh perspectives and ideas, which may contribute to improving the organization’s success.
Increased Innovation: A diverse workforce provides a deeper pool of talent from which innovative solutions may be discovered.
Increased Engagement: Many employees want greater diversity in their work environment, as it provides a much more inclusive and empowering culture that many values.
Increased Productivity: Higher engagement levels can result in higher productivity, as employees are more willing to go above and beyond their job requirements when they feel valued and empowered by their organizations.
As a result of these benefits, many companies have taken on initiatives to recruit for diversity. However, this has led to what is called the “pipeline problem.” This refers to the idea that there is not enough talent available from diverse sources to meet the demands of many organizations.
To overcome this, companies are looking for new and creative solutions on how to increase the diversity of their candidate pool, which often includes recruiting tools like job postings, applications, and recruitment tracking software.
Unfortunately, many managers still lack the necessary skills needed to create a DEI-driven recruitment pipeline and process. This is why it’s critical for companies to invest in diversity training that enables their employees at every level of the organization to develop these essential skills and attitudes.
Recruiting Tools that Support Diversity & Inclusion
As companies continue to realize the importance of DEI, they are increasingly looking for ways to promote diversity and inclusion in their workforces.
There are a variety of ways to support DEI programs in talent acquisition, from online job postings and recruitment strategies to diversity initiatives within training.
One of the best ways companies can demonstrate a commitment to diversity is by promoting it in their hiring processes. In many cases, this means revamping existing recruiting tools with ones that promote inclusion.
Let’s take a look at some ways to promote diversity in your current recruiting tools.
Recruiting tools, such as job postings, are typically written by managers who may lack knowledge of how to write a DEI-positive message. But negative wording within the recruitment process is not easily picked up from an applicant’s perspective.
For example, some managers may consider it standard practice to include language that prohibits applicants from obtaining alternative assignments or working part-time outside of the organization.
However, this language is often interpreted as discriminatory, especially when targeting groups who are more likely to work outside of their typical full-time roles for caregiving purposes.
Including this language in a job posting can discourage applications from diverse applicants while also opening the company up to potential lawsuits.
Ultimately, it’s important that managers use inclusive language when creating recruitment tools that attract a diverse pool of qualified candidates.
In addition to incorporating inclusive language in job postings, companies should also review their existing recruitment strategies and revise any negative language.
For example, a manager may be tempted to use language that is educational in nature within a job description in order to attract the best possible applicants. However, this can have a negative impact when it comes from a place of privilege.
For example, managers may include the term “drug screening” as a standard part of their recruitment process. While this can be seen as simply descriptive from an applicant’s perspective, it can deter candidates from disadvantaged groups who have been disproportionately affected by criminalized drug policies.
Applications & Intake Forms
While some companies have adopted new HR practices, such as video job interviews and automated workflows, others still rely on applications as a first step in the hiring process.
Because of this, it’s critical for employees to have access to tools that can help them initiate a positive application experience. An applicant might feel excluded from the process if their intake form does not include a DEI-positive statement.
For example, in the medical industry, a common intake form at health clinics includes a section called “Ethnicity” that is separate from sections on gender and age. This type of questionnaire suggests a belief on the part of employers that there are differences among ethnicities which make it unacceptable to group these identifiers in the same section alongside age and gender.
Likewise, intake forms that include options like “preferred name” or “preferred pronoun” may not be accessible to everyone, including non-binary applicants who do not identify with either male/female gender.
Although these fields are useful in some cases, companies need to use inclusive, open-ended questions that can be personalized to suit the needs of diverse applicants.
Digital Job Marketing
Beyond updating employment advertisements, companies should also ensure their recruitment strategies align with a DEI mindset.
One of the most common ways for employers to attract diverse applicants is through job marketing, including using social media platforms or participating in online communities with job boards.
For example, many tech firms are known for advertising in subreddits and forums related to their industry in order to attract a large pool of qualified candidates. However, this strategy is not always DEI-positive.
Although these job boards can provide opportunities for diverse applicants, it’s important that they don’t treat these groups as inferior or less desirable than other groups in the hiring process.
One way that job boards can be improved for diverse applicants is to include non-binary options in gender. This provides opportunities for transgender applicants who are not accepted by other forms of marketing materials, which may only list “male” or “female.”
This strategy is becoming increasingly common in the technology industry, where it’s used to attract applicants who are passionate about diversity initiatives or have experience with niche DEI language.
Additionally, companies may choose to use current events as a way to promote their company’s values through marketing efforts. Many employers are choosing to take advantage of moments when their company is making news or highlighting the importance of DEI in the media.
This strategy may not always attract diverse applicants, but it can be an effective way for companies to make meaningful connections with potential employees who are passionate about similar issues.
While it’s important to market job opportunities positively that attract diverse applicants, companies also need to provide accessible tools for communication between employees and potential hires.
For example, many companies are using on-site chatbots as a way to improve communication between HR teams and applicants. These online agents can answer common questions about work schedules or dress codes as a way to avoid unnecessary phone calls or emails.
However, chatbots can also be accessible tools for applicants with disabilities who might have difficulty communicating over the phone.
In order to make these programs more inclusive, many developers are adding options like “voice messages” instead of simply choosing between text and voice chats. Not only will this help recruit diverse applicants who want to communicate with employers through technology, but it can also help companies better highlight their company’s values.
Job Marketplace Platforms
Another tool that is becoming increasingly popular in the recruiting process is job marketplace platforms like Upwork or Hired. Just like other forms of online marketplaces, these tools allow applicants and employees to connect and find opportunities within a single interface.
This type of platform is important for improving diversity in the recruiting process, especially within tech companies that may struggle to reach a diverse group of applicants or employees.
In order to make these platforms more inclusive for diverse groups, many recruiters are taking advantage of programmatic tools like automatic personalization, which can increase engagement with applications from diverse applicants.
Maximize Your Diversity In Recruiting with Applicant Tracking Software
One of the best ways to promote diversity through recruiting is to use applicant tracking systems that can help your organization from beginning to end.
These tools can be a powerful way for employers in many different industries to easily identify qualified candidates, establish a diverse workforce and determine the best course of action when it comes to building relationships with potential applicants.
What is an Applicant Tracking System?
An applicant tracking system (ATS) is an online management system designed for recruitment and hiring needs. It enables companies to manage applications, resumes, internal candidate information, internal recruiter information, and more. The ATS can help companies in many ways, including helping them:
- – Identify qualified candidates to fill positions
- – Determine the best course of action in building relationships with potential applicants
- – Provide improved insight into the diversity of their company’s workforce
With an ATS, your company will have an easier time hiring great talent, building relationships with potential applicants, and promoting diversity.
How to Utilize ATS in Diversity Promotion
With the potential that ATS brings to the table, businesses must utilize their systems properly to take advantage of the benefits they offer.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways that companies can use ATS systems to promote and increase diversity in their workplaces.
1. Properly Utilizing Social Media Recruitment
Modern Applicant Tracking Software will allow companies to effectively promote their job openings and descriptions on social media sites.
By utilizing the unique targeting ability of ATS, companies are able to post job openings on Twitter or LinkedIn that will be seen by candidates who have specified interests in certain categories.
For example, if a company posts an opening for a digital marketing role through their applicant tracking software, they can select keywords like “social media marketing” and “email marketing.”
This ensures that their target audience of qualified applicants can easily find the job posting, even if they are using a search engine to scout out potential opportunities. The same thing applies when companies are searching for possible candidates.
For instance, if you are looking for someone with five years of experience in graphic design for your company’s internal candidate database, you can type in “graphic design” and certain keywords to find the most well-qualified individuals.
2. Utilizing Diversity Checking Functions for ATS Systems
Many applicant tracking systems come with the capacity to allow companies to ensure they are getting the best possible pool of applicants (which will include diversity) for each of their job openings.
While some companies may think that this is simply an unnecessary feature, the reality is that ensuring diverse applicants are getting their fair share of referrals and bonuses can help to create a positive company culture that embraces diversity in all areas.
The talent acquisition team should also ensure they use Preferred Pronouns when they set up their ATS. This will allow them to ensure that the correct pronouns are used for each applicant in the system.
3. Providing Better Insight into Diversity Numbers
Performing diversity checks can also help companies understand how diverse their workforce is while also helping them determine which areas need more work.
If your company utilizes an ATS to help you recruit, they are most likely using it to track their internal applicants. If your candidate pool isn’t diverse, it could be time to reexamine the hiring process in order to improve diversity numbers within your company.
Much like external recruiting, it is important to utilize all of your ATS features when it comes to internal recruiting. This includes utilizing automated tasks that can be assigned based on certain keywords or the amount of time that has passed without an application being submitted.
4. Collaborating with Internal Recruiters
When there are multiple recruiters working for one company, it is imperative that they work together to create a diverse candidate pool.
Internal recruiters can handle certain tasks, such as sourcing and handling in-house applicants (which will be assigned based on their skills) while external recruiters can focus on building relationships with candidates outside of the company.
This is not only beneficial when it comes to promoting diversity at your company, but it will also make it easier for the company to track down the best applicants based on their skills.
5. Customize Job Descriptions
Another great way to promote diversity is by utilizing job descriptions that are available on ATS systems. This information is helpful for managers when it comes to determining which types of applicants they should be reaching out to.
For example, you may have a particular type of candidate in mind for a particular role but an ATS system can help you determine if there is more diversity among your applicants. This will give managers the opportunity to request certain applicants who meet the requirements they are looking for. This will also help with sourcing as well as outreach efforts.
Many ATS solutions will include templates that are designed for certain types of positions. This is beneficial when it comes to promoting diversity, but for companies with several applications per position, it can also help them quickly identify which applicants are the best fit.
6. Reach Candidates Where They Are
ATS solutions can also provide recruiters with access to applications that are submitted via social media sites, job boards, and even email campaigns. If the company is using an ATS system it should include information about where candidates are searching for jobs so they can be sure to reach out to them.
While this seems like a simple task, it can go a long way in demonstrating that your company is open to applicants of all types. The candidate may not be the best fit for the role, but they could still end up being a valuable member of your team because they are looking for jobs through other avenues.
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