How recruiters can increase workplace diversity

3/12/2018

A line of people wearing professional clothing

Many employers are attempting to increase workplace diversity by pulling from a varied pool of applicants. However, this strategy can go horribly wrong if executed improperly, as a recent lawsuit against Google shows.

In an attempt to hire more non-white and female candidates, the company allegedly told recruiters to avoid hiring all white and Asian men which landed them in the middle of a discrimination lawsuit, according to USA Today. 

So what can recruiters do to encourage diversity and avoid putting themselves in a similar situation? 

Create an Equal Opportunity Employment policy 
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sets federal guidelines related to gender, age, race and identity neutral hiring and employment practices, according to The Wall Street Journal. Creating an internal committee can help implement new hiring procedures and make sure the company follows all regulations. By having a policy that is publicly available, it makes the recruitment process transparent and removes any question of discrimination. 

Make sure your workforce aligns with your customer base 
Do current employees reflect the demographic of the community they work in? If not, it might be time to move in that direction. WSJ suggested that recruiters reach out to local organizations for recommendations. For example, list job openings at community churches, schools and cultural centers instead of just posting openings on digital job boards. Non-profits that work with minority job-hunters may also provide new leads. 

Implement diversity training 
Having an inclusive culture can attract job seekers to your organization and retain a more diverse staff, according to HR Daily Advisor. By sending out employee surveys related to diversity, you can get a good feel for how culturally sensitive current employees are. Those surveys can also provide a baseline to improve upon with diversity training. Workshops for all levels of employees, including management, can create a more welcoming environment for future hires. 

Consider flexible work structures 
Non-traditional employment can attract different types of candidates. For example, the ability to work from home can appeal to those with decreased mobility and flexible work schedules can benefit working parents who need to take kids to and from day-care. 

Diversity is about more than race or gender. To be wholly inclusive, a company should embrace all types of people, all types of ability and all lifestyles. 

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