A diverse workforce enables more creative thinking, and brings ideas and experiences from different backgrounds to the table, leading to a competitive edge in the market. We take a look at some of the ways recruiters actively attract and place a more diverse pool of talent.
Writing unbiased and positive job adverts
When writing job adverts you need to ensure they are as attractive as possible for the broadest range of applicants.
Firstly, it’s crucial that you are fully aware of the key skills required for a particular role, and only advertise the essential competencies needed to be successful and move on to the interview stages. Some candidates will only apply for a role if they feel they have at least 80% of the skills required, as opposed to others who may apply if they have any of the skills advertised. By only advertising the competencies required, individuals from diverse backgrounds will feel they have the right skill set to apply.
It’s also important to use unbiased and positive language to ensure no candidates are pre-selecting themselves. Avoid phrases such as “we only hire the best” as it can put those candidates off who are talented but don’t tend to overly self-promote themselves. Also, look to include phrases such as “committed” or “loyal”, which may appeal to a more diverse candidate pool.
Focus on the career opportunities your organisation offers and why someone would want to join your team. Showcase the company’s goals, vision and values. If relevant include what impact the position will have within the team and the company as a whole, and create a proposition that is attractive to all and isn’t discriminating against a specific group of people.
Managing the interview process
As a recruitment professional, encourage flexibility with clients within their interview process. Potential candidates who feel loyal to their current employer may consider they are neglecting their current work in order to attend an interview.
Everyone will approach and perform differently at interviews. For example, some candidates are uncomfortable with self-promotion and openly publicising their achievements. Some are too honest about their ‘weaknesses’ and their perceived ‘failures’, whereas others can be overly confident about their skills.
Some future employees may need coaching in ‘selling’ themselves during the interview process, and defining their personal brand. It may be worth discussing with the client if there is an opportunity for applicants to display their skills during the recruitment process instead of relying solely on interview questions.
It also may be worth considering how candidates can gain insight into the working environment during the interview process, for example can they be shown round the office for a chance to experience the environment they will be working in? Can members of the prospective team be brought in during the interview process for an informal chat?
Helping candidates settle in
Once a candidate has been offered a role recruiters should help coach and support them through their resignation at their current company. This is where you need to work together with your client to promote the role and opportunity to the candidate. The client should be advised to listen to the candidates’ motivations and reassure them of the support they will be given for the move and that they believe in their ability to do their new job well. As a recruiter you may need to facilitate this process. This will help with the resignation process, which cannot be rushed. Doubts may creep in when the reality of the resignation kicks in.
For a female candidate, it might also be useful to suggest a female contact in the client’s company to ask potential questions and receive a view from women employed in a non-traditional role in that organisation.
Finally, it’s always useful to gain feedback from all applicants at each stage during the recruitment process and use this information to continue to develop a positive experience for your candidates.
If you are looking for more tips on how to attract a more diverse pool of candidates, read the following article about how to remove unconscious bias from your hiring.