How to Recruit Diverse Candidates

Use this guide to craft a strong recruitment strategy built on DEI, inclusive hiring practices, and addressing adverse impact.

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How to Recruit Diverse Candidates

Companies work to create more fair and equitable hiring processes not only because it is the right thing but fair and equitable hiring practices create a more diverse workforce. A more diverse workforce often means better employee productivity, retention, and revenue from innovation.

Recruiting on its own is a challenging endeavor that requires skilled HR professionals. Improving diversity in your recruiting process means addressing antiquated systems and approaches in your hiring to promote inclusivity and diversity.

There are plenty of strategies that you can employ to improve your diversity hiring. These include changing the way you look at job descriptions, analyzing where and how you source your candidates, and creating an overall employer brand built on inclusivity. All of which we are going to look at here today.

So, let’s take a look at the importance of diversity hiring and what you can do to promote diversity in your hiring process.

Why Diversity in Hiring is Important?

Diversity is important to employers. This is in part because we have a moral obligation to create a fair and equitable workplace. However, there are many reasons why diversity in hiring is important to creating a healthy and competitive company. Let’s take a look at just a few.

The first, and possibly the most obvious reason to maintain diversity, is that it creates a larger talent pool. Organizations that work to mitigate bias in the hiring process enjoy a larger talent pool than their competitors who fail to do this. That is because their process is specifically designed to attract a wide range of candidates.

Beyond the talent pool, diversity in hiring encourages employee productivity and retention. When candidates feel accepted by their employers regardless of religion, race, sexuality, ability, gender, age, or background, they are often more productive and less likely to leave for other positions. Consequently, diverse hiring practices create a better overall quality of hire.

Bringing in diverse employees also brings different backgrounds and ways of looking at things. That’s why diverse workplaces enjoy a greater level of innovation and creativity from their employers. According to a 2018 Boston Consulting Group survey, companies with above-average diversity enjoy a greater proportion of revenue from innovation at 45%. Contrast that with companies with below-average diversity that only saw 26%.

DEI Strategy

Due to the importance of creating diverse workplaces, numerous strategies have appeared to make it possible. For better diversity and inclusion in recruitment, we’re going to take a look at some of these strategies.

Effective DEI strategies include:

  • Remove biased language from job postings - According to Glassdoor, job descriptions often include unintentional bias such as gender bias. So, being mindful of the language you use in your job description will help inclusivity in your hiring process. Job postings are often the candidate’s first impression of you as an employer.

  • Reach out to candidates from underrepresented groups - A proactive approach to improving your diversity hiring is to partner with schools or organizations who can encourage minority candidates to apply for roles at your company. You can see what groups are underrepresented at your organization by assessing your adverse impact. Use this adverse impact calculator to see where your organization can improve.
  • Work on an inclusive employer brand - Building a well-rounded employer brand as someone candidates want to work for will go far to help your diversity initiatives. You can achieve this in several ways. These include ensuring your employees receive competitive salaries regardless of minority status and that your employees receive inclusive benefits such as holidays for Kwanzaa, Diwali, and Eid al-Adha.

We found that 43% of job candidates prefer to interview outside of typical business hours. Read the study here.

Inclusive Recruitment Strategies

Being a diverse workplace means including members from diverse demographics and backgrounds. Inclusion, on the other hand, is ensuring that the workplace culture is one where people of all backgrounds are welcome and have equal opportunities to succeed. So, let’s take a look at inclusive recruitment strategies.

Diverse sourcing is an effective way to create a more inclusive hiring process. Extend your reach beyond the typical job boards and reach more candidates of different backgrounds. After all, it is only possible to improve your inclusivity by actually including more people.

Mentorship and upward mobility are equally important. Applicants rarely intend to stay in one position forever. Rather, all job seekers are seeking a place to grow and develop their skills. This either means leaving the company for a better position or looking to progress higher in the company. For the sake of retention, we’re looking for the latter of these. By showing applicants that you provide every employee an equal opportunity to grow as a professional, you consequently become viewed as a more inclusive employer.  

Remove biased language from job descriptions. We’ve said it before in terms of diversity, but we’ll say it again. Often employers fail to notice their own biases in their job listings, putting off candidates that don’t fit the mold from even applying. As such, avoid using language that excludes potential candidates of any race, gender, or cultural background.

It doesn’t matter if you reach everyone if you fail to offer them an equal opportunity during the hiring process. As such, accessible interviewing is vital to creating an inclusive hiring process. Avoid using interview solutions such as an on-demand video which requires candidates to have access to niche equipment such as a camera, USB microphone, or appropriate interview space. Assuming all candidates have access to these assets creates an exclusive interview structure. Rather, seek solutions such as on-demand phone interviews that reach the most candidates. After all, 97% of Americans own some form of a cell phone.

Many candidates lead busy lives that may keep them from interviewing during the typical interview hours of 9-5. On-demand interviews provide every candidate the chance to choose their own interview times, approaching the hiring process at a time of their convenience.

Addressing Adverse Impact

Despite all of your best efforts to maintain a diverse and inclusive hiring process, unfair HR practices can still find their way into your organization. Therefore, to ensure that your recruitment efforts are fair and equitable, we have to address adverse impact. Adverse impact, as defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, is the “substantially different rate of selection in hiring, promotion or other employment decision which works to the disadvantage of members of a race, sex, or ethnic group.”

This can occur at any point during the hiring process, from sourcing to selection. Regardless, it must be recognized and corrected to ensure fair hiring practices.

Addressing adverse impact requires employers to write inclusive job descriptions, conduct a thorough analysis of the job in question, use structured employment interviews, and much more. By providing each candidate with the exact same interview, there is little chance for any form of bias to slip into the interview phase. As such, structured interviews such as you would provide via platforms such as Qualifi give every candidate an equal opportunity to impress recruiters.

Additional Resources