Diversifying your workforce starts at the source… maybe. Here’s how to discover if your D&I goals are being hindered at the source.
It’s not uncommon to incorrectly assign blame for a problem on the wrong step of the hiring process.
For example, “We don’t hire enough women” does not necessarily mean that the reason is not enough women apply for positions. It could be that there are plenty of women applying, but few are making it through the screening or interview steps.
Increasing inclusion (and therefore enabling greater diversity) across every step of the hiring process is always valuable, but if you have limited resources, make sure you are spending those resources on what will have the highest impact. Putting brand new tires on a car with a busted engine isn’t going to do much, right?
Before pouring your limited time and money into diversifying the applicant pool, verify that you have a problem with the applicant pool including which jobs are not seeing the distribution you want, and which demographics are being left out.
Evaluate the demographic distribution of your applicants by:
Knowing your local demographics of the locations of the jobs. Demographics change drastically from region to region. Before you can evaluate if the demographic distribution for a job is good or bad, you need to know the distribution of the population as a comparison. Research the demographics within commutable distance of the job. Sourcing goals do not need to match these demographics, but if they are too far off, they may not be realistic unless you have aggressive relocation packages. Note: this step does not apply to telecommute/remote positions.
Collecting demographic information from applicants upon initial application. Collection of this information must be optional, private, and not in any way used as part of the selection process. To ensure compliance and protection against the real or perceived bias, make sure the information is not accessible as part of the application, or better yet, that the information is anonymized, with no association at all to individual applications.
Identifying any problems by looking for gaps and discrepancies across the demographics of those applying to your jobs. For example, does the demographics of your applicants look vastly different than the local demographics? Are there certain jobs, disciplines, or levels that have vastly different demographics from the others or the local demographics?
Bringing it all together:
If you do have a sourcing problem, knowing where the problem exists and which demographics are being disproportionately excluded will allow you to focus your efforts on addressing it. And, if the demographic data looks good, it may be time to examine the rest of the hiring process.
Not sure how to safely collect demographic data without risking compliance or perceived bias? Career.Place is here to help. The career.place process uses full anonymity when collecting demographic data. Employers can analyze the demographic distribution of their applicant pool in every step of the application process from apply through hire, without ever exposing the demographics of an individual applicant. Safe, compliant, insightful.