Transform Your D&I Recruitment Strategy: 10 Powerful Tips [+Template]

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Naivedya Agarwal, founder and CEO at Runaya Group, has pledged to recruit 2% of its workforce from the transgender and 2% from the specially-abled by the end of 2023. The startup already has a healthy mix of people representing the country’s geographies .

Most importantly, they attribute their diversity and inclusion recruitment practices to the sustainable and meaningful difference they have found in their work culture.

Besides the work culture, D&I strategies also help boost your organizational KPIs.

Some impressive numbers from World Economic Forum support the statement. Here are the findings as regards the increase in Key Performing Metrics of companies that incorporated a D&I recruitment strategy:

  • 25-36% more likely to outperform on profitability.
  • 19% higher innovation revenues and 20% higher innovation rates.
  • 30%, increased ability to spot and reduce business risks.

On the other hand, companies lacking D&I best practices suffer a competitive penalty of 29% with a lesser likeliness of achieving above-average profitability than the market mean.

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Let us delve into what is a D&I recruitment strategy, why it matters, and ten practical ideas to build one:

What is a D&I Recruitment Strategy?

“Diversity is being invited to the party; Inclusion is being asked to dance.”- Verna Myers, founder, The Verna Myers Company

The D&I recruitment strategy is a formal plan that defines a course of action for identifying, recruiting, and retaining the best talent from diversified backgrounds like community, creed, geographies and more. 

D&I Recruitment Strategy Kit

Templates You Need to Diversify Your Workforce

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Form Vector 1

Why Does Diversity Recruitment Strategy Matter?

Diversity recruitment brings along many added benefits. Effective recruitment can help you recruit teams that surpass biases and are genuinely inclusive.

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Some benefits are:

  1. Diverse Perspectives: Employees from varying backgrounds have different perspectives, which is handy when developing strategies and executing business plans.
  2. Increased Creativity: Creativity shoots from fresh ideas. And it has been noted that a diverse workforce from diverse experiences brings in fresh energy and new thoughts resulting in increased creativity for the team.
  3. More Innovation: Research by Josh Bersin says inclusive companies are 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders in their industry.
  4. Better Decision Making: Industry experts say that decision-making by diverse teams outperforms decision-making by individual employees.
  5. More Productivity: The more the recruiting process focuses on hiring talent than on biases, the more productivity we can derive.
  6. Optimized Profits: According to an Mc Kinsey report, the most ethically diverse teams outperformed the least diverse groups by 36%.
  7. Lower Employee Turnover: A diverse workforce is generally more accepting of various personalities. It means employees feel more accepted, and employee turnover reduces dramatically.

How to Execute Your Diversity Recruiting Strategy

Recruitment is just a tool to bring this cultural change. The D&I Policy also identifies the person responsible for the entire D&I Program. Lastly, it mentions how to measure the outcomes of this strategy.

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Here are a few ideas for recruitment strategies for your company’s D&I Policy.

Build a Team of Diverse Hiring Managers

Recruiting diverse teams will remain impossible until and unless your hiring managers know what that means. It is possible only when they form a diverse team for recruitment processes.

Such a team will not only recruit an ideal diverse and inclusive group of people but will also improve the D&I recruitment strategy with better suggestions.

Source Candidates from Diversity Groups

If you have been reaching out to the same schools, opt for schools with a broader diversity this time. Give internship opportunities to a more diverse group of candidates so that it is easier to initiate them into your company.

You can also post job descriptions on job boards with diverse audiences, like Diversity.com, iHispano, Fairygodboss, Black Career Network, Ebony, NAACP, etc.

Monitor and Level Up Your Employer Branding Regarding D&I

Audit how your company portrays itself to the world through its Glassdoor images, messaging, website, etc.

Also, think about how inclusive your job postings are. Are you using job boards where your target audience lies?

When implementing your D&I hiring strategy, be very cautious. You have to appear welcoming to diverse groups.

Re-Evaluate Your Candidate Experience Criteria

It is one of the vital D&I initiatives and is the future of hiring.

You can train employees for most of your tasks; previous experience is no guarantee for success. Instead, look for soft skills like leadership, team spirit, etc. This step will go a long way in creating an increasingly diverse workforce.

Ellyn Shook of Accenture says they removed the bachelor’s degree requirement from 48% of profiles and saw better representation and access to a broader talent pool.

Craft Your Job Descriptions to Attract a Diverse Workforce

Be wary of words that alienate or put off certain groups while writing your job descriptions. You might lose out on some great talent if you come out as searching for a specific gender, ethnicity, religion, etc.

Define Diversity Recruiting KPIs

Give direction and measurement to your D&I efforts by defining diversity recruiting KPIs.

KPIs could range from creating at least one diversity recruitment strategy for every hire you make. You can also use a wider measurement, like diversity sourcing percentage per quarter. For this, the total number of diverse hires is divided by the overall hires and multiplied by 100.

Keep Away from Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias is a part of life and makes its way into our decisions unknowingly, be it choosing our friends or food in a cafe.

But bias is detrimental to D&I initiatives. Thus, training hiring managers about unconscious bias can benefit the hiring process.

One of the techniques in current use is blind resumes. This technique involves blacking out a candidate’s personal information like date of birth, place of origin, age, etc.

Blind resumes are an effort toward better diversity hiring. A similar technique is Blind Interviews. This technique uses text questions and leverages different platforms to understand candidates’ qualities better.

Consider Psychometric Testing During Recruitment

Psychometric testing is a set of tools and techniques that assess the candidate’s suitability for the role.

Psychometric aptitude tests are one such tool that assesses candidates’ intelligence and logical skills. At the same time, other psychometric tools assess emotional quotient and personality traits.

All these psychometric tools help assess the individual without any biases and are purely merit-based. A study found that 75% of The Times’ companies use psychometric techniques in tandem with other methods.

Get Referrals from Company’s Existing Diverse Workforce

Referral programs are commonplace for most people. But diverse groups tend to hesitate to refer a person from their community.

The reason is the lack of diversity in the workplace. But no more.

Encouraging diverse groups to refer talented candidates from their knowns is a great way to fill positions from a specific diverse group. Your existing workforce is your biggest asset for maintaining diversity in your organization.

Live Your D&I Policies

Just saying that you want a diverse workforce won’t cut it. You will have to live your values.

You need to respect and celebrate various religious holidays and enable flexible hours or hybrid work culture to show that you care. The diverse groups can still live like they are and make time for their communities and their job.

Lastly, and most importantly, your diverse workforce needs to embrace their voice. They need to speak up if some policy is hindering D&I efforts. Workplace bias can work in strange ways; thus, upholding a culture of open and honest dialogue is essential.

Final Words

Diversity recruitment is not just a theory now. It is backed by tons of research and has proven to be a boon for businesses. Numbers say that it improves decision-making capabilities, productivity, employee engagement, and profitability while reducing employee turnover.

D&I not only gives you fiscal benefits but forms the foundation for a healthier work environment.

You, too, can reap these benefits by implementing simple D&I recruitment strategies like living your D&I policies, keeping away from unconscious bias, defining diversity recruitment KPIs, re-evaluating the candidate experience requirements, etc.

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Bhavna Singh

Bhavna Singh leads Talent acquisition function for HROne. With Over 9+ years of experience in IT/Non IT and semi govt firms she has a vast experience in talent acquisition and employee onboarding.

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