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How To Improve Your Diversity Recruitment Strategy

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How To Improve Your Diversity Recruitment Strategy

How To Improve Your Diversity Recruitment Strategy

Building and maintaining a strong workforce is a constant challenge for business owners, and the related costs can really pile up. Even if your business attracts top talent, retaining staff can be difficult as the average Millennial changes jobs every two years. 

If you want to see more high-caliber candidates and persuade current employees to stay, improving your diversity recruitment strategy is a step in the right direction. Statistics show that companies that commit to fostering diversity have better morale and employee retention. 

More diverse teams also provide a greater range of perspectives and ideas, boosting creativity and innovation. Lucky for you, this guide explains how you can improve your diversity recruitment and put your business on the path to greater success. 

What Is Diversity Recruitment? 

Workplace diversity is based on the idea that team makeup should reflect society as a whole and include folks with different backgrounds and experiences. 

Diversity recruitment is merit-based, but aims to ensure that all applicants have an equal opportunity to demonstrate their merit, regardless of gender, race, religion, or other identification.

It’s impossible to completely transcend inequitable conditions, but you can take some steps to mitigate their impact. 

Diversity recruitment should create space for candidates from diverse backgrounds, including people of all genders, sexual orientations, religions, political beliefs, social classes, nationalities, and physical or mental abilities. 

To ensure everyone has equal opportunity, employers can embrace recruitment practices that account for disparities in their workforce. This might involve actively seeking greater candidate diversity or working to remove implicit biases and social barriers from the hiring process. 

Why Is Diversity Recruitment Necessary? 

Most employers are aware of workplace inequities, but many struggle to find diversity recruitment strategies that actually work. Implicit biases, structural inequalities, and other deep-rooted social obstacles make achieving workplace diversity an uphill climb. 

Even so, creating a more equitable recruitment process that yields a diversified and talented workforce is quite doable. The first step is committing to long-term monitoring and improvement of recruitment and hiring practices. Meanwhile, managers and executives should work to create a workplace that prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

Why Is Diversity Recruitment Important for Employers?

For eons, businesses claimed to operate as meritocracies. Most now recognize that systemic barriers deprived some groups of real opportunity. This moral error surely caused many companies to miss out on great candidates, new ways of thinking, and growth opportunities. 

DEI practices are important to many job-seekers, as two out of three consider a diverse workplace a priority in their job search. For example, if your firm has a reputation for being a boy’s club, you may only attract male candidates, limiting your options and likely tarnishing your company’s brand.

Inclusion also shapes retention, as many employees will happily change jobs if a more inclusive option is available. Fostering a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging tends to create a more comfortable work environment, boost retention, and make your company more attractive to potential job applicants. 

In addition, studies show that diverse teams often perform better, as a variety of perspectives leads to more creativity, innovation, and workplace satisfaction. Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity, for instance, are 25 percent more likely to achieve high profitability than teams in the fourth quartile, according to a 2020 McKinsey study

Members of diverse workforces tend to communicate better and avoid the confirmation bias that often undermines progress in more homogenous groups. 

How To Improve Your Diversity Recruitment Strategy

Strategies for Improved Diversity Recruitment

Several strategies can boost diversity recruitment, but note that they tend to be most effective when they’re regularly evaluated and implemented as part of a broader commitment to DEI. 

1. Write Inclusive Job Postings

Your company’s job ads may be too specific in terms of requirements, discouraging some talented candidates from applying. Ask yourself, is it possible that a strong candidate for this job need not have 10 years of relevant experience or a relevant master’s degree? 

Make your job posts more accessible, opening the door to people of more diverse backgrounds who may have had fewer resume-building opportunities. You could even write your job ads for a specific audience. There’s no harm in encouraging candidates you’d like to attract!

Finally, ensure that your job descriptions are not biased toward a specific type of candidate

For example, try to avoid gendered language or overly complicated industry jargon that could discourage a candidate from applying. Tech tools such as Textio can scan job descriptions and alert you to biases you may have missed. 

2. Build a Community of Diverse Candidates 

If you’re having trouble tapping into a diverse pool of candidates, your current employees may be a great resource. Reach out to employees from more diverse backgrounds and ask them to refer people they know for open positions. 

A personal relationship with a current employee can give potential candidates more confidence to apply and make the vetting process easier for your hiring team as well. 

3. Encourage Current Employees to Mentor New Diverse Talent

Encouraging employees to mentor up-and-coming talent in their communities can expand your hiring pool for years to come. Whether through an internship program or more informally, encouraging mentoring gives your staff a chance to give back. 

Even if mentees never become employees, investing in promising young talent will positively impact their lives and boost your brand. 

4. Offer Opportunities for Advancement

Expanding opportunities for advancement can strengthen employee morale, increase internal recruitment and promotion, and remove educational or experiential barriers. Providing access to expanded education is an investment in your employees — and your company’s future. 

5. Utilize Specialized Job Boards

If posting on job board websites is not doing the trick, try branching out. 

Countless niche groups on online job boards and social media platforms could help find certain types of candidates, such as women in tech or people of color in law. Companies like The Mom Project, Fairy God Boss, and many others offer a wide selection of diverse talent. 

Also, partnering with local minority universities can provide opportunities to mentor up-and-coming diverse talent and create a talent pipeline of recent graduates. 

6. Work on Your Hiring Process

You’ve attracted a diverse pool of applicants, but do your hiring practices ensure an equitable process for all candidates? Diverse applicants are often rejected because of biases related to race, gender, or other identification. Such inequities needed to be weeded out.  

To combat implicit bias, use a blind hiring process to screen applications without access to the applicant’s name, gender, or other factors that may subconsciously influence a decision. Also, select a diverse hiring panel, provide implicit bias training, and ensure a standardized experience for every candidate. 

7. Retention

Finally, you’ve managed to add some real diversity to your workforce. Now what? Most employees are looking for a workplace with inclusion sewn into its cultural fabric and are often unsatisfied with a simple program just meant to check the diversity box.

Employee resource groups, or ERGs, are great ways to build retention and strengthen company diversity. These groups provide a safe space for employees with similar identities to relax, build relationships, and have their voices heard. 

Understanding how to maintain diversity takes education and years of practice, but it’s an essential aspect of employee retention. Getting there is likely to include ensuring management accountability, compensation transparency, and zero tolerance for microaggressions. 


A business can take all the steps in the world to boost diversity recruitment, but if they’re not part of a broader commitment to DEI they’re likely to increase applicant diversity without altering the staff makeup or workplace environment in the longer term.  

Employers looking to improve equity and overall culture should be open to reviews and making improvements. Recruitment is just the first step in building and maintaining the sort of inclusive, diverse, and happy workplace that drives real growth.