How to Translate Positive Diversity Hiring Intentions into Actions and Results

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Diversity, equity, and inclusion are top priorities for nearly every company. According to Deloitte’s 2020 CEO Survey, 96% of CEOs agree DEI is a strategic goal. To meet that goal, 90% of those CEOs are prioritizing and investing in talent recruitment, development, advancement, and retention and 72% are prioritizing and investing in DEI data and transparency.

Despite these positive intentions, many organizations are struggling to increase the diversity of their workforce. GEM’s 2020 Recruiting Trends Report revealed that 49% of talent acquisition professionals say, “finding more diverse candidates to interview” is their biggest barrier to improving diversity.

SeekOut’s AI-powered Talent 360 platform gives talent acquisition professionals the tools and data to create an actionable diversity hiring strategy that helps their company achieve its DEI goals. In this article, you’ll learn concrete steps for using SeekOut to build a pipeline of highly qualified, diverse candidates.

Set Realistic Diversity Hiring Goals

Data is your ally when it comes to diversity hiring—and that includes using data to set realistic diversity targets. Start by gaining insight into what diversity currently looks like in your organization, then benchmark that data against the talent pools you hire from.

Perhaps, you already know Black/African Americans employees are underrepresented in your company. It’s great you’re aware of that but you can use data to identify the best opportunities to improve Black/African American representation in your workforce. Use SeekOut to explore the makeup of specific teams, roles, and levels in your organization and compare that data against your peers and the geographies your employees are located in.

If SeekOut shows that similar companies and your regional talent pools have a higher percentage of Black/African American data scientists than your company employs, that’s a realistic opportunity to improve diversity in your company. You can then set targets to hire more Black/African American data scientists and create a recruiting strategy for meeting that goal.

Analyze Your Talent Pools and Create Inclusive Job Descriptions

Every talent acquisition professional has experienced a hiring manager providing excessive role requirements they want included in the job description. Excessive requirements not only limit the number of candidates you can consider—they also discourage diverse candidates from applying. A Hewlett Packard internal report found that men will apply for a job when they meet 60% of the role requirements, but women tend to apply only if they’re 100% qualified for the job.

Using SeekOut Talent Analytics, you can have data-driven conversations with hiring managers about whether their role requirements will result in a viable candidate pipeline. You can view aggregate data on your talent pool’s job titles, skills, employment history, educational background, diversity, and more. You can then use these insights to collaborate with hiring managers on inclusive job descriptions that appeal to qualified, diverse talent—ensuring no viable candidate is left behind.

As Jim Barksdale, the former CEO of Netscape, once said, “If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine.” Data is objective and prevents opinions from influencing conversations about role requirements. Take advantage of SeekOut’s Talent Analytics and become a trusted talent advisor to hiring managers, helping them see the best path toward discovering their next great team member.

Create an Effective Sourcing Strategy

Using the inclusive job description you crafted with the hiring manager, create a profile of your ideal candidate and strategy for building a diverse hiring pipeline.

Explore Talent Analytics in SeekOut to find where qualified candidates are located and what it will take to make a successful hire. For example, you may need to consider a relocation budget for an ideal candidate or make remote work an option for the role. Think outside the box and determine how you can put your organization in the best position to attract diverse talent.

You can then use keywords, Boolean strings, filters, and AI matching in SeekOut to search for candidates who fit your profile and build a pipeline of qualified, diverse candidates to consider.

Mitigate Unconscious Bias in Candidate Assessments 

Unfortunately, even the most accepting people have biases they’re not aware of. These unconscious biases cause recruiters and hiring managers to make unfair assumptions about candidates during the sourcing stage—stifling diversity hiring efforts before they even begin.

For example, people often speculate about a candidate’s intelligence based on the college they attended. Even worse, a qualified candidate with an uncommon name can be passed over, only because the recruiter doesn’t want to go through the awkward experience of figuring out how to pronounce it.

With blind hiring mode in SeekOut, candidates’ names, photos, education, and other identifiable details are removed from their profiles. Recruiters and hiring managers are only able to consider skills and experience, preventing unconscious bias from influencing candidate assessments.

Connect with Diverse Talent

You’ve successfully discovered a variety of diverse candidates who are qualified for your open role. Now, you need to get their attention and pitch the opportunity to them.

So far, you’ve taken a strategic and data-driven approach to diversity hiring. However, candidate outreach requires a human touch. Instead of sending the same generic cold email to every candidate you’ve sourced, personalize the message to get their attention. Include what you saw on their profile that impressed you, whether that be a specific skill, a project they’ve contributed to, or a company they’ve worked for.

Lou Adler calls this outreach approach “hiring for success.” Personalizing outreach messages for each candidate is proven to increase response rates, making for a healthy hiring funnel.

Diversity Hiring is Only Part of the DEI Equation

A data-driven diversity hiring strategy brings people from different backgrounds into your company. However, there is more to being an organization that truly values DEI. After all, if two diverse employees are leaving your company for every one you bring in, your hiring efforts are ultimately meaningless.

Diversity cannot work without inclusion and diversity and inclusion cannot be sustained without belonging. The LinkedIn 2018 Global Recruiting Trends Report sums up this concept nicely: “Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance, and belonging is dancing like no one is watching.”

DEI is nuanced and multi-faceted. It starts with hiring people from different backgrounds but comes to life when you build a culture and workplace where people feel like they belong.

Request a SeekOut demo today and learn why our AI-powered talent search engine is rated the #1 diversity recruiting tool by G2.