How to Reach Today’s Diversity and Inclusion-minded Job Candidates

Employees adhere to a work dress code.

If it seems like today’s job seeker is more interested in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) than ever before, it’s not your imagination. Candidates have become increasingly interested in seeking employers who are committed to gender pay equity, salary transparency, and evidence that your company is committed to DEI, according to Monster’s State of the Candidate survey.

This is especially true for younger candidates. The survey found that millennials are more likely to say DEI is very important (57%) compared to Gen X (47%) and Baby Boomers (49%).

Yet, there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done. Nearly one in four (23%) candidates say they have felt discriminated against in their workplace as a result of differences and more than one in four (29%) have witnessed workplace discrimination. Of those who have witnessed workplace discrimination candidates believe it was because of their race (40%) and age (35%).

Another big concern for younger job seekers? Equal pay. Just 58% of female candidates say they are being paid fairly compared to 70% of males.

The fact that these important social issues are top of mind for job seekers means that recruiting professionals and hiring managers must address what their organization is doing to ensure that employees are treated fairly and support related causes.

Why is This Generation so Aware?

This heightened desire by mostly younger candidates to do work that benefits society rather than just their bank accounts is the product of their education and the economy, says Steven Rothberg, president and founder of College Recruiter, a job site aimed at students and recent graduates.

“Regarding education, today’s young people are taught more about diversity, climate change, and other societal issues when they’re in primary and secondary schools and so they know and care more about these issues than previous generations,” he explains.

With that in mind, here are some ways to help candidates learn about your company’s commitment to DEI, equal pay, and other social causes.

Focus on Authenticity

Authenticity is important to all candidates, but the youngest members of the workforce tend to be amongst the savviest in vetting employers’ values, says Rothberg.

Many companies are now devoting a page on their website to diversity hiring initiatives in their careers section and including the chief diversity officer on their leadership page, says Brennaman.

Others are leveraging social media to illustrate their diversity. But a few inspiring tweets or memes isn’t enough. “I think it is imperative for organizations to hold themselves accountable by ensuring they have diversity on their leadership team and on boards as well creating communities and committees devoted to different areas of diversity,” she says.

Rothberg also encourages companies to show, not tell. “Use video to communicate your corporate values and do so using short stories by actual employees,” he says. For example, if you encourage the creation and active participation of employee resource groups for LGBTQ communities, then record a short video and share that on your YouTube channel and elsewhere.

Walk the Salary Talk

Another survey reveal was that Millennials are more likely to believe there is a gender pay gap (37%), compared to Gen X or Boomers, 27% and 28%, respectively. Therefore, you want to highlight your company’s commitment to equal pay for equal work to show that you care about this issue. You can do this in job postings, on company career pages, and social media.

“Have you undergone an audit to ensure that your compensation is equitable across gender and other lines? If so, record a very short video and then share that, too,” says Rothberg.

What candidates also want is more salary transparency – 80% of them, in fact. Of course, a quickjob postings will reveal that the vast majority do not disclose the salary, says Rothberg.

He suggests that employers take the time to understand what a fair range for a role would be and then publish that as part of the job listing.

Brennaman notes that regardless of the level of transparency, candidates are going to want to talk money. “If salaries are not advertised in job postings or are not discussed during the first round screening, candidates will bring the topic up for discussion, unlike in generations past when it was considered taboo,” she says. This generation is not interested in wasting time, and they are prepared to walk away, says Brennaman.

The Monster survey supports that notion as well, with 72% of candidates saying they feel comfortable negotiating salary. Some 63% of Millennials are willing to walk away from a lowball offer (compared to 60% of Gen X, and 52% of Boomers).

The bottom line? Beingupfrontt and transparent with salary expectations can avoid a long interview process resulting in offer turndowns.

Recruit With DEI in Mind

It’s not enough to say you’re committed to adding diverse talent to your team – you have to take measures to do it. Brennaman recommends posting for positions where diverse candidates congregate. For instance, career pages or career fairs dedicated to minorities, veterans, or LGBTQ communities.

Another strategy is to try eliminating biases by implementing blind resume screening or even blind interviewing. “There is a reason why ‘The Voice’ is a top-rated reality singing competition. By not seeing the person performing, the judges are forced to rid of any bias towards physical appearance and first impressions and they are making the call on the person’s talent: their voice,” she says.

Include Diverse Decision-Makers

One of the simplest ways to showcase your company’s diversity and inclusion is to re-tool who is conducting interviews and meeting with candidates during the hiring process, says Brennaman. “Having diversity among interviewers to include women, people of color, different sexual orientations, nationalities, and diversity of thought allows candidates to see that not everyone looks or sounds the same and that the company considers diversity and inclusion a top priority,” she says.

Along those lines, creating volunteer or peer-nominated committees focused on veterans, LGBTQ, women in leadership, or nationality focused communities is another crucial component for showcasing an organization’s day-to-day commitment to diversity and inclusion.  “It allows those at all levels to be heard, have their ideas showcased, and become involved, especially if they are not in leadership or management roles,” says Brennaman.