7 ways to diversify your hiring

I have recently been working on a lot of roles for recruiters who have a focus on diversity and inclusion. And it’s really taught me a lot about diverse hiring processes along the way. So, I wanted to share my learnings with our Synergis community.

According to SHRM, “Research shows that the hiring process is biased and unfair. Unconscious racism, ageism, and sexism play a big role in whom we hire.” Part of the issue is we get stuck in hiring patterns. We look for candidates from this school or this organization but changing how we look for candidates can help create a more diverse talent pool. Here are seven tips for finding and hiring diverse candidates.

1. Re-word your job descriptions

Studies show candidates can read bias in your job description. For example, if your description uses traditionally masculine words like dominant and competition it can turn female candidates away. Here is an example from ERE:

    • Feminine: We are a community of engineers who have effective relationships with many satisfied clients. We are committed to understanding the engineering sector intimately.
    • Masculine: We are a dominant engineering firm that boasts many leading We are determined to stand apart from the competition.

2. Include historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in your search

It’s easy to get stuck in a search rut when looking for candidates. Break the cycle and include diversity in your search by filtering in candidates who graduated from HBCUs. Here are some examples of HBCUs to include:

    • Howard University
    • Spelman College
    • Xavier University of Louisiana
    • Tuskegee University
    • Morehouse college

 3. Add HBCUs to your list for career fairs

If your organization utilizes career fairs to recruit new talent, be sure to add local HBCUs to your list. Bringing your organization to all types of universities will help spread brand awareness to all the top talent.

4. Include sororities and fraternities that are historically for minorities

Just like including HBCUs in your candidate search, try including sororities and fraternities that are historically for minorities to help you diversify your candidate search. There are many more diverse organizations, but here are some examples:

    1. The Divine 9: The National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. includes nine International Greek-letter, historically Black, sororities and fraternities:
      • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
      • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
      • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
      • Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
      • Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.
      • Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
      • Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
      • Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
      • Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc
    2. The Asian Greek Council (AGC): The AGC is a historically Asian organization. Here are a few of the fraternities and sororities:
      • Delta Phi Kappa
      • Gamma Epsilon Omega
      • Alpha Delta Kappa
      • Sigma Phi Omega
    3. The National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations, Inc. (NALFO): According to NALFO there are 16 fraternities and sororities with a rich Latinx background. Here are a few:
      • Lambda Pi Upsilon Sorority Latinas Poderosas Unidas, Inc.
      • Alpha Psi Lambda, Inc.
      • Alpha Pi Sigma, Inc
      • Chi Upsilon Sigma Latin Sorority Inc,
      • Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

5. Highlight your company’s diversity through your social media and website

Social media is a great way to share your organization’s culture. The use of social media is a passive way to help you hire diverse candidates. People want to work in an organization where they feel welcome and seen. So, make sure you share photos and stories featuring everyone. Another great way to highlight diversity through your social media is by celebrating all holidays and months of celebrations, like Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Indigenous People’s Month and Asian Pacific Heritage Month.

 For your website, make sure your photos aren’t homogeneous. Feature everyone on your website and lift different voices in your blogs, content and testimonies.

6. Utilize diverse job boards

Post your job ads on diverse, specific job boards to ensure your jobs are being seen by diverse candidates. Here are a few examples:

 7. Leverage a diverse interview panel

People want to see themselves in the organization they are applying to. So, in order to better hire diverse candidates, have a diverse interview panel. Make sure that your panel includes a diverse selection of your employees.

All in all, Diversity and Inclusion is a huge initiative that all companies should take into consideration when filling positions in all departments. There are so many positives to implementing D&I in a workplace, such as expanding creativity and problem-solving, enhancing employee engagement and retention and developing a better company reputation. So, is this something you will add to your recruiting strategy?


About the author

Anna Geyer serves as a Technical Recruiter for Synergis in our San Francisco office. She has been with the company since the beginning of 2020, and has been recruiting within the PMO space for three years. She loves connecting with people in the industry to learn more about what is changing within the industry standards, and how people are adapting to these changes. When she’s not recruiting, Anna enjoys hiking, camping and being outdoors with her Huskies on the weekends!

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