The tech world’s battle with diversity has been long, costly and frustrating. It’s a problem that plagues top firms and small businesses alike. Many tech companies are starting to understand that they need to attract a more diverse applicant pool and promote diversity through inclusive hiring practices, but claim hiring a diverse staff proves difficult.
There’s no doubt that hiring for diversity is important. Experts agree that more diverse teams provide businesses with higher value. Having a diverse group of employees increases the number of varying perspectives in the room. Diverse people bring new ideas, experiences, backgrounds, cultures and skills to the table. In fact, gender and ethnic diversity among executive teams have been proven to positively correlate with profitability.
So, if diversity is so great, why haven’t tech companies gotten on board to hire with it in mind? Relatively unchanged diversity statistics over the past few years suggest that it might have something to do with a lack of prioritizing diverse hiring practices. The New York Times backs this up, reporting that the incongruence between the ethnic diversity of tech degree students and the ethnic diversity of tech company employees is due in part to recruiting methods.
At Brilliant Hire, our team has helped countless tech companies that are sold on the value of diversity and that understand the importance of increasing diversity through inclusive hiring practices, but that don’t necessarily know where to begin. The first step in hiring for diversity is to focus on increasing the diversity of each job opening’s applicant pool. Generally speaking, more diverse applicants means more diverse employees. Here are five steps companies can take to attract diverse talent.
- Change your hiring practices
To attract a more diverse applicant pool, companies should take a look at their hiring process for places where they could be turning potential candidates off to submitting an application. A lack of inclusive hiring practices could cause companies to lose diversity among applicant pools. Here are a few tips to combat this and increase diversity through inclusive hiring practices:
- Source inclusively by improving job descriptions with diversity in mind
- Develop a better diversity statement and let it guide the hiring process
- Make sure interview teams are diverse
- Review the HR technologies currently used to ensure there isn’t AI bias
2. Practice intentional recruiting
If diversity is lacking in a company, it can be helpful to reevaluate recruiting processes for their intentionality. Each job marketing and recruiting strategy a company uses should be consistent with the overall mission: To increase applicant pool diversity. For example, if a job posting returns a homogenous applicant pool, consider where and how the job
was marketed. If the job is solely marketed on the company website or on LinkedIn, try posting to other diversity-promoting job boards.
3. Build better partnerships
One way to increase diversity recruitment is to build better partnerships and relationships with organizations that can connect job openings to diverse job seekers. For example, try partnering with accredited minority education institutions that can put the company in touch with qualified recent graduates. Similarly, building relationships with gender- or minority-specific organizations can also help increase the diversity of applicant pools.
4. Reframe diversity’s role within the company
Sometimes, simply reframing the way a company thinks about hiring for diversity can go a long way in solving the problem. Companies can fall into the trap of hiring according to a preexisting culture fit between itself and diverse applicants. Instead, think about hiring for diversity as a way to enhance or improve company culture, not fit within it.
5. Don’t forget about current talent
Attracting a diverse applicant pool actually starts with the promotion of diversity within the company’s current culture. No matter how diverse the workforce of a company already is or is not, hiring managers, employers and bosses all need to encourage and nurture diversity of personnel, thoughts and ideas, learning styles and cultures. If minority job seekers see the company as one that promotes and support diversity, they will be more likely to apply.
There is no one way to solve the tech industry’s diversity problem, and these five steps are just a starting point. Likely, companies will need to implement a variety of different strategies and tactics to achieve demographic diversity. That being said, hiring managers might be pleasantly surprised to find that something as small as building partnerships or rethinking the way they hire for diversity can get the ball moving towards more equal representation in the tech world.
Brilliant Hire by SAP provides companies with an innovative way to build diverse and inclusive teams. It offers an efficient, unbiased applicant screening solution powered by a network of experts. With a mission to remove unconscious bias from the hiring process, Brilliant Hire has been trusted by countless talent acquisition professionals to cut down on screening time while ensuring every applicant has an equal chance of moving forward. Check out our blog for more information, or request a demo here.