If there is one impression to take away from the thousands and thousands of words across the career.place trainings and blogs and webinars and product content, and hiring tips, etc. is that there are a ton of options when it comes to DEI in hiring.
However, with so many building blocks at your disposal to assemble the perfect DEI initiative for your talent acquisition, it can be easy to lose track.
Never fear, this overview blog is here!
Here is a little overview of the types of options across TA for driving DEI in your hiring program. This list is not all inclusive, but it is a good start.
Set realistic diversity expectations: understand the candidate pool so you can effectively and fairly identify if you have a sourcing problem or not.
Evaluate existing and new candidate sources to increase diversity of candidate pool: identify the best sources to retain or impact the quality, quantity, and diversity of the candidate pool.
Identify new candidate sources: identify and establish relationships with new sources that address the deficiencies you have in your existing candidate pool.
Establish longer-term efforts beyond sourcing to increase diversity in the candidate pool over time: identify opportunities to expand the future candidate pool through actions such as promotion reform, training programs, education institution partnerships, etc.
Titles / Job descriptions
Validate/modify job titles for increased inclusion and accessibility: revamp titles to draw a wider range of candidates through actions such as removing exclusionary and biasing words and industry-limiting terminology.
Add multiple titles and ‘ranks’: introduce multiple titles for the same job designed to resonate across multiple industries, regions, and demographics.
Validate/modify job descriptions for increased inclusion and accessibility: review and, when necessary, rewrite job descriptions that attract a wider range of candidates through techniques such as using inclusive language, adding content that is engaging, informative, accurate, and setting clear expectations.
Remove requirements that cannot be measured: remove unmeasurable requirements to ensure all candidates are being held to the same, objective standards. For those that are measurable, further ensure equity by pre-defining a measurement standard.
Refine requirements to remove proxies: dive into the ‘why’ of requirements to identify and remove shortcuts that could be inequitably disqualifying candidates (such as education, years of experience, and titles).
Refine requirements to true 'must have': remove biasing and exclusionary language, subjective vague descriptions, and contradictions. All requirements should be clear, measurable, realistic, defendable, and ‘must have’.
Define interview questions before interviewing candidates: draft the questions and how to rate the answers to ensure equity in candidate evaluation.
Draft insightful, relevant, inclusive questions: replace predictable, repetitive, irrelevant, and easy to fake questions with questions that provide true, objective insight into what the candidate will do for you, your team, and your organization. Include how the answers will be evaluated and measured (i.e. the answer key).
Introduce panel interviews: reduce the impact of individual biases by using panels either through panel interviews or through recorded interviews with multiple evaluators.
Create and communicate a ‘how to interview’ guide for all candidates: draft an interview process guide to ensure equitable preparation across your candidate pool. Include the information such as process outline and expectations, travel & parking directions, example interview questions, dress code, etc.
Prepare a candidate FAQ (frequently asked questions): Answer the unasked and uncomfortable questions so candidates don’t need to ask. For example, provide information about benefits, available accommodations, leave and holiday policies, etc.
Train on a series of small behavioral changes around candidate engagement: equip the hiring team with adoptable actions and behaviors that increase inclusion. Small modifications from not assuming gender of significant others to avoiding phrases like “I don’t see color” can make a huge difference to candidates.
Introduce salary bands: set and use salary bands to ensure all candidates are compensated equitably from the very beginning. Add a comp check early in the process to ensure aligned expectations and avoid wasting anyone’s time.
Candidate evaluation & selection
Define an objective ‘culture’ before determining if candidates are a ‘fit’: define an objective culture using mission, values, and organizational habits so candidates don’t fall into the heavily biased evaluation of subjectively ‘fitting in’.
Prioritize before selection: prioritize the needs and preferences before evaluating candidates so they are consistently and equitably compared when it comes time to select from the best.
Technology & process improvements
Track your demographics: establish processes/systems to track demographics and other data required to prove the success of your DEI initiatives.
Implement a feedback process: introduce feedback surveys to collect candidate and/or hiring team experience throughout the hiring process. Feedback processes allow you to identify problems, validate perception vs. intent, and generate improvement ideas.
Introduce an ‘applied learning’ approach for the hiring process: establish processes to systematically collect and analyze process data to find potential problems. Include mechanisms to change the process based on the findings.
Validate technologies and tools are doing what they claim in DEI: examine the proof behind the claims for what the technology is doing and how it’s doing it to ensure bias isn’t being introduced. This is especially a concern when automating candidate identification, ranking and selection using, for example, AI/machine learning and assessments.
Revamp metrics to drive change: define the ‘so what’ and ‘now what’ of all reported metrics. If there aren’t any, remove or modify so that you aren’t wasting time on valueless numbers.
Introduce a center of excellence: identify a group (department, discipline, team, etc.) that is open to testing and providing feedback on new processes, techniques, and technologies before they are rolled out. Pilot programs are another approach to testing before rolling out.
Introduce a request for proposals (RFPs) process for vender selection: Before shopping for vendors, know what you need and how to evaluate if the vendors meet those needs.