You probably already know that inclusive hiring practices represent a vital first step in building a more diverse and inclusive workplace. But making changes to your hiring process to incorporate diversity and inclusion may seem daunting and even overwhelming to do remotely – and at scale.
But there’s no need to be overwhelmed! It’s possible to make some budget-friendly tweaks to your hiring process that can quickly and efficiently improve your diversity and inclusion strategy. Plus, the changes can help move your organization toward a more diverse and inclusive organization overall.
Here are four simple steps to quickly move your hiring process in the right direction.
Consider Skills-Based Job Descriptions
The job description is usually the first contact a potential candidate has with your organization or the position, and in many cases, those job descriptions are focused on a specific background that may not truly matter for a good match. To hire more diverse candidates, work to make your job descriptions less focused on the type of person who may traditionally hold the position and more focused on what the right candidate will need to do on the job.
Think about the skills a potential candidate will need to succeed in the position, and make those needed skills the centerpiece of your job description. At Lever, consultant Jennifer Kim worked with the team to develop a new type of job description known as the “Impact Description.” These job descriptions include two parts:
- The outcomes a new hire will be expected to achieve at specific milestones
- Clear articulation on what the new hire will be expected to already know and be able to teach others on the job, as well as what they will need to learn.
A focus on skills rather than a specific background is important for diversity recruiting, as well as for selecting the right candidate. For technical hiring, skills-based tests such as coding tests can be the ideal strategy for finding the right candidates remotely.
Cast a Wider Net With Remote Recruitment
If your company is fairly homogenous and you frequently hire from within the organization (or through employee-provided referrals), you are not likely to increase diversity in your workplace. That’s because most people, including your employees, are likely to refer others who are similar to themselves due to similarity bias, which makes most people likely to surround themselves with others who are like them.
To truly diversify, you’ll have to broaden your pool of potential candidates. That may mean committing to posting every job opportunity publicly, building relationships with different schools and universities, attending additional job fairs that are likely to draw different candidates, and networking with new groups.
Moving the hiring process online can also allow you to cast a wider net, boosting diversity recruiting and meeting other strategic objectives. For instance, by incorporating online CodeCheck assessments and a fully remote recruitment process, Finastra decreased the time to hire by 28% in six months, while also decreasing the engineering time involved by 50%.
Implement Remote and Flexible Working Options
Remote work has exploded in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but it isn’t just helpful for limiting the spread of infectious diseases. Conducting interviews remotely and allowing new hires to work remotely can be an easy, inexpensive way to boost diversity in your organization. For example, remote work makes it possible for your team to source talent from anywhere in the world, and it also provides opportunities for talented candidates with disabilities who may not be able to work on-site.
Inclusive hiring practices don’t just help meet diversity and inclusion goals; a more diverse organization is also a more successful organization. For example, new research shows that a 1% increase in racial diversity similarity between upper and lower management increases firm productivity by between $729 and $1590 per employee per year.
Use AI and Coding Assessments to Mitigate Bias
Now that you’ve implemented the low-cost options, consider taking your hiring to the next level by leveraging AI and code assessments in your remote hiring process. It’s well known that all people have their own innate biases. For example, our confirmation bias makes us more likely to trust evidence that confirms our existing beliefs, and our similarity bias makes us interested in surrounding ourselves with people who we feel are “similar”. Clearly, these biases can inhibit humans’ ability to hire candidates objectively.
While technology and artificial intelligence (AI) can help talent acquisition teams avoid making bias-based hiring decisions, those tools can have drawbacks as well. That’s why a combination of both objective and subjective assessments can be most effective. For instance, Codility objectively tests coding skills via CodeCheck, and offers more traditional subjective assessments via CodeLive.
Codility’s Anti-Bias Workflow removes candidates’ personal identifiable information from the screening process so that the information is available only to those who need it to communicate with the candidate. This helps ensure that the decision about whether to interview a candidate or not is focused on their technical skillset rather than on a screener’s personal bias.
Building an inclusive workplace starts with creating a more diversity-focused hiring process. And with a few inexpensive, easy-to-implement changes, your remote hiring strategy can become more focused and intentional about hiring diverse candidates. With a more inclusive workforce, your organization can maximize its potential by leveraging the experience of diverse voices and skillsets.
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