Companies are spending a lot of time focusing on diversity and inclusion in hiring right now, and for a variety of reasons. According to Monster research, 86% of candidates globally say diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace is important to them, so that’s definitely one motivating factor. This is an issue that’s important to today’s job seekers. But the big question is this: How can you show candidates that you’re truly committed to DEI?
“This is a hot topic, and I’m finding that companies are being forced to identify who they want to be,” says Ruhal Dooley, HR knowledge advisor for SHRM. “Millennials and Gen Z want to work with companies whose values are in alignment with theirs.”
Keep in mind, too, that diversity is multi-dimensional. When you consider your workforce, think about who’s underrepresented under the rubrics of age, race, gender identity and disability, among other things. “Who are the people at the table, where do they come from, and who are the people who are not there?” asks Kay Martinez, associate director of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion at the MGH Institute of Health Professionals.
To get and keep quality talent, focus on the following strategies to make sure you’re an inclusive hiring champion:
Optimize your career site
It’s not enough to just share stock photography of a “diverse” workforce on your career pages. Show what you’re doing to be more inclusive, from employee resource groups to a task force focused on DEI at the firm. “ERGs are super important spaces for community building for LGBTQ people and their allies,” Martinez says. If you need help revamping your career site, Monster’s The Foundry can help. They offer a full suite of employer branding solutions including career site design and implementation.
Incorporate video to attract more diverse candidates
Candidates want transparency, and they want to know what it will look and feel like to work at your company. You can use video in your job postings to give job seekers a feel for the work culture and environment or consider video interviews as part of the process. You can also bring DEI efforts to life by using video interviewing during the job process.
Fine-tune your employer branding
You want to have a strong employee value proposition that communicates your mission, vision and values across multiple platforms, from social media to your career site. And make sure your leadership team is consistent in their DEI messaging. “Your brand matters,” says Audra Jenkins, chief diversity and inclusion officer at Randstad. “It matters when you’re silent, it matters when you speak out, it matters when you’re swift to deal with people in your organization who are discriminatory, racist or are detracting from your vision, mission and values.”
And if you’re not where you want to be with diversity and inclusion in hiring, acknowledge it. Recognize that you’ve got challenges, but you’re being very intentional about improving your DEI, and communicate the actions you’re taking to be more inclusive. “You’ve got to walk the walk,” Jenkins says. “You’ve got to truly live up to what you’re saying.” The Foundry, Monster’s employer branding arm, can help you focus your message on what matters, helping to shape your Employer Value Proposition and making sure you communicate your values across all of your candidate touchpoint.
Consider more inclusive job postings
Writing inclusive job postings is one step, but your job application is also a representation of your inclusiveness. “Are you asking me for my legal name only, and is there a space for me to provide my chosen name and pronouns?” Martinez says. “Is it absolutely necessary for you, as an employer, to know my legal name during the candidate stage?”
Think about asking candidates for their chosen name and pronouns rather than (or in addition to) their legal name. And ask for gender identity rather than “sex,” replacing categories like “other” with “non-binary.” Browsing Monster’s job postings can give you ideas for ways to tweak your own language and materials.
Tweak your interview process
Sharing names and pronouns (like she/her or they/their) when you meet job candidates can signal immediately that you’re an inclusive workplace. (And now that many people are interviewing via Zoom, you can put your pronouns next to your name.) “If ‘they/their’ pronouns are new to you, use the candidate’s name, while you practice on your own time to get that down,” Martinez says.
Look at your benefits
Do your benefits packages reflect inclusivity of a diverse audience? For instance, do you offer domestic partner coverage? Does your health insurance cover gender affirming surgeries? Other inclusive benefits include floating holidays (so employees can celebrate different the days of their own culture or religion), the ability to work remotely, flexible schedules, and paid parental leave.
Expand your hiring pool
Think about ways to reach out to different organizations to expand your pool of applicants beyond the traditional. Veterans, for instance, are often an underrepresented category, and including them in your hiring practices will automatically add some diversity to your team. According to Monster data, three-quarters of military spouses said they’ve found it difficult to get hired into a new job where they moved. And two in three respondents believe it’s difficult to find a job that takes their military lifestyle into consideration.
At Fiserv, the company offers a military leave policy that provides paid leave for active duty or training commitments. “That ensures that service members didn’t have to choose between serving their country and working with us, because eventually we’ll lose that battle,” says Vivian Greentree, senior vice president and head of global corporate citizenship at Fiserv.
Learn more at Military.com, which offers a translation tool that allows service members to input their military occupation code to translate the work they’ve done into civilian terms. For employers, Military.com offers a reverse military skills translator.
Above all, remember that diversity and inclusion in hiring is a process, and it will look different from company to company. Not everything is going to fit every employer. But what you do is important. “Actions matter, words matter, and what we say and do this time, this year, matters the most,” Jenkins says. “I feel as though it’s definitely the stepping stone for what happens next, where we go as a society and where we go as organizations.”
Commit to diversity and inclusion in hiring
If you’re ready to show candidates you’re serious about inclusive hiring, there’s no better time to start than today. Our Diversity & Inclusion Hiring Guide has advice for companies of all sizes on how to take stock and take action. Download our free guide today.