6 Antiquated Systems That Might Hurt Your Diversity Goals

December 27, 2021
Devyn Mikell
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Diversity education became more standard in the workplace since the 1990’s, but these standard practices may harm more than help your goal for diversity. Standard processes like your job requirements, interview structure, and communication can all play a role in hindering accessibility and diversity. 

💡 It's time to look at these systems and reevaluate what is and isn’t working at your organization. 

1️⃣ Hiring Based on Degree 

A degree is seen as a baseline for a person's experience and knowledge. However, these requirements exclude perfectly qualified people without college degrees. Limiting your searches to only people with college degrees or certain ones can exclude candidates with skill sets that perfectly match your open position.

Byron Auguste, CEO of Opportunity@Work, told NPR, "If you arbitrarily say that a job needs to have a bachelor's degree, you are screening out over 70% of African-Americans. You're screening out about 80% of Latinx workers, and you're screening out over 80% of rural Americans of all races...before any skills are assessed.” 

Rather than focussing on prerequisites for your position, focus on your on-the-job training. Glassdoor shared that the onboarding training can be more effective and increase productivity. 

2️⃣ Poor Interview Structure 

Traditional in-person interviews can increase biases and limit the type of people able to make it through the screening process. They often take longer to hire talent. Some candidates can not afford to wait before they receive a job offer and must move on to the next best opportunity. Only conducting interviews during office hours also excludes those with non-traditional or irregular work schedules. 

In-person interviews can cause anxiety for many candidates, and discourage those with neurodivergence from interviewing at all. It is important to accommodate all.

An automated interview system can help increase your interview accessibility. However, some interview software selects candidates with an AI, which can decline candidates based on their pauses or other irrelevant factors.

An interview tool like Qualifi encourages inclusivity with a system that works with your diversity goals. Qualifi schedules and gathers interviews, while preserving human reviews from your recruiters. This removes any potential biases and widens the top funnel of your talent pipeline. 

3️⃣ Limiting Sourcing 

Your recruiters may frequent certain colleges and communities to find new talent. Remember that potential candidates that also frequent those schools or communities most likely have similar backgrounds. 

Be open about the type of talent you want to attract. Share that you are actively looking for diverse candidates to show that you are working towards expanding your community. 

4️⃣ Thinking a DEI statement covers your diversity goals 

Your diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is a starting point, but should never be the only effort you make toward making your company more diverse. Only having a DEI statement when trying to increase diversity can be limiting and ineffective. 

In a survey, three-quarters of HR professionals said that their DEI statement was treated more of a “compliance requirement” rather than a step towards development. It should be seen as a starting point for a company’s diversity growth, grounded in where the company is, and where the company aims to be. 

Ask your team about their view on your DEI, and regularly evaluate how your company can grow in each area. Not only will this give you a realistic view of your diversity status, but it will make your DEI more realistic and effective.

5️⃣ Lack of Transparency 

One of the most common interview questions is asking a candidate their biggest strength and weakness. Meet the candidate in the middle and be honest about your company's strengths and weaknesses. Just as you value honesty in your candidates, they value honesty in their potential employer.

Be honest from the very beginning — when a potential candidate first sees your job posting online. Share your diversity metrics and your DEI statement for everyone to see. You never know what top talent you can attract by sharing the information openly. 

If your diversity metrics aren’t very high, or your employee benefits may fall short in some areas, be honest and take responsibility. Share how your company wants to grow and what steps you are taking to meet your goals. 

6️⃣ Mandatory Diversity Training 

Your company may have implemented mandatory diversity training meant to show how to mitigate bias in the workplace and how to be more sensitive to different groups of people. However, there is evidence that these diversity trainings are not effective at all. 

When companies make diversity training mandatory, their employees are more likely to sit there begrudgingly without retaining information. Voluntary diversity training is more effective. Those that choose to be at the training tend to be more engaged and willing to work towards solutions in the workplace. This can also promote social accountability, increase attendance at diversity training, and bring a more positive workplace environment. 

Qualifi can help your company take the first step towards mitigating bias and increasing diversity metrics. Our platform automates your interview process with on-demand audio-based interviews. We save your recruiters time and give your team back a sense of purpose to focus on higher-value tasks. 

Want to see how Qualifi works with your recruitment team?