Diversity hiring is the removal of bias (conscious & unconscious), prejudice and stereotypes that can affect a person’s decision to hire. An effort that aims to disregard factors influencing the hiring decision such as; age, gender and nationality and instead recruits for skill, potential and experience.
It is not a premeditated decision based on what a hiring manager thinks diversity should be. Purposely choosing to hire candidates to improve their workforce diversity.
It is however, the action taken by recruitment and HR teams who actively implement strategies and methods of best practice to safeguard the hiring process against possible bias influences.
The job advert – in some cases, the language used within an ad is subtle in its connotations. For example, gender bias is prevalent in a job advert when gender-associated words are used. Research determines terms such as ‘lead’ and ‘driven’ are male associated words, whilst support and understanding are coded as feminine. Avoid this completely and use gender decoder sites to help write a completely inclusive job advert.
Company culture – overemphasis on company culture can also be damaging to diversity hiring. The difficulty with culture fit is that it’s incredibly subjective and a workspace ‘culture’ may not be entirely diverse in the first place.
Remove hiring for culture fit and switch to ‘value fit’. A much more effective method that looks to align a candidate’s values and beliefs with those of the prospective employers.
CV screening – to spend hours reading job applications in search of the perfect CV – just isn’t time-efficient or effective. It is also extremely difficult for humans to guarantee the complete removal of bias when relying on this method.
CV screening software automates this process to remove bias and encourage diversity. Made capable by hiring algorithms designed to evaluate a CV based on factors such as experience, skills and work history — consisting of keywords that match the job description. Eliminating the risk of external and irrelevant factors surrounding a candidate’s perceived characteristics being taken into consideration (potentially sub-consciously by human decision making) that are irrelevant to the job role.
Interviewing techniques – standardise the interview process to minimise any room for bias influences. This can be achieved by creating a standard set of questions and requirements each candidate must meet. An interview guideline and question framework can be beneficial because it makes it much more difficult for interviewers to go off track and ask questions not related to the position at hand.
Points system – interview scoring ensures focus. Unstructured interviews can go off-topic, fast. When there is a points system in place a candidate’s answer is judged less on interpretation and more on the facts. This level of consistency makes for a greater improvement in diversity hiring.
Collaborative hiring – brings democracy to those all-important hiring decisions. Those who favour collaborative hiring, believe one opinion is not effective in making important hiring decisions. Instead, multiple different employees, usually from within the potential team the candidate is interviewing for, will all get a chance to meet the job hopeful. This is designed to create a diverse outlook derived from different perspectives.
Understanding WHY – what is the reason to hire? The hidden motives behind this are always prone to bias. The subconscious is not aware of one’s actions or feelings involved in hiring decision making. Therefore it is important to take a step back, reassess ‘traditional methods‘ incorporate technology and always gain a second opinion.