9 Strategies to Recruit Diverse Talent

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Bruna Vasconcelos
By
Bruna Vasconcelos
|
Head of People
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Diverse talent is an indispensable asset for businesses and organizations across sectors nowadays — especially tech. Here are the top nine strategies you should consider to optimize your diversity recruiting process.
Published on
March 27, 2024
Updated on
April 18, 2024

In the tech industry, where innovation thrives on fresh perspectives, attracting and retaining diverse talent is more critical than ever. What might have started as a commendable social responsibility has evolved into a business necessity that fosters ingenuity and drives competitive advantage.

Over 50% of the American population will likely belong to a minority group by 2044, and ethnic pluralism will reach a record peak by 2060. Hiring and managing diverse, multicultural teams reflects this reality, bringing a wide range of experiences, backgrounds, and thought processes to the table. This melting pot of viewpoints and insights increases the flow of ideas and approaches within your organization, leading to more innovative solutions and groundbreaking products.

Diverse talent acquisition, however, merely scratches the surface of a more complex effort when done without thoughtful consideration. A successful diversity recruiting plan requires intentionality and commitment. Below is a comprehensive guide with nine proven strategies to consider when finding talent and recruiting for diversity.

What Does Diverse Talent Mean?

Diverse talent encompasses individuals from various ethnicities, races, genders, sexual orientations, socioeconomic circumstances, abilities, ages, and educational experiences. Embracing all these different backgrounds lets organizations position themselves for long-term success in an increasingly globalized and socially aware world.

When nurturing a more diverse workforce, it's crucial to acknowledge and advocate for what diverse talent in action can accomplish in the industry — not only in theory but in practice. For example, incorporating diverse perspectives when designing data sets and algorithms can prevent and address unconscious AI bias. Companies like IBM are leveraging diversity in tech when training AI models to stop this technology from reinforcing existing societal disparities.

Nevertheless, promoting diversity best practices in tech hiring is not about simply ticking boxes on a demographics checklist. Including a single representative from a marginalized group without actively fueling their professional development won't make a noticeable difference. To truly ignite transformation, companies must create an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and empowered to contribute, regardless of who they are and where they came from.

Defining and Building a Diverse Talent Pipeline

When recruiting for diversity in tech, companies, leaders, and hiring managers need a strong understanding of the candidate's journey at each step. This awareness starts with the talent pipeline as organizations proactively build a more diverse talent pool for immediate or future needs.

A strong recruiting pipeline in diversity hiring involves the following stages:

  1. Identification: Proactively sourcing and recognizing diverse candidates through targeted outreach and inclusive networks.
  2. Attraction: Drawing in diverse candidates by showcasing an inclusive culture and highlighting growth opportunities.
  3. Engagement: Building relationships with diverse candidates through transparent communication and personalized interactions.
  4. Assessment: Evaluating candidates fairly and equitably through standardized criteria and inclusive interview panels.
  5. Selection: Picking out the most qualified and culturally aligned candidates based on their skills, experience, and demonstrated potential.

9 Diversity Recruiting Strategies to Implement

Tech companies across the globe are increasingly prioritizing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives in hiring. Research shows that diverse teams are 70% more likely to capture new markets, but workplace diversity has numerous other advantages, such as:

  • ​​Increased employee satisfaction and retention
  • Enhanced reputation and brand image
  • Enhanced adaptability and resilience
  • Improved decision-making

Nurturing an open and equitable environment where diverse voices are heard and valued is essential for building trust and attracting the right people to a company. Around 76% of job seekers consider diversity a vital factor when applying to a company. With that in mind, here are a few top-tier techniques that organizations often implement to amplify recruiting reach and optimize their diversity recruitment strategies:

1. Build an Inclusive Employer Brand

To improve how diverse candidates perceive an organization, leadership must invest in a solid employer branding strategy that highlights an inclusive culture. This approach is about more than optics, though. Candidates who see a company that values diversity and actively promotes equity are more likely to feel welcomed and appreciated.

Cisco Systems is an excellent example of robust employer branding. Their "Be You, With Us" campaign showcases individual stories of employees from various backgrounds and experiences, attracting diverse talent and reinforcing a culture of inclusion within the organization.

Companies don't have to replicate Cisco's strategy exactly to improve employer branding. Instead, consider developing unique actions that promote diversity and inclusion while aligning with company values. For example, you could encourage LGBTQ+ employees to participate in Pride activities and share their experiences or issue statements on social media in support of social movements.

2. Reach Out to Underrepresented Candidates

Female and ethnically diverse employees often report having fewer opportunities in the workplace than their white male counterparts. One way to support these underrepresented groups is by assessing ​​established teams and identifying any existing gaps.

While posting a job description explicitly searching for underrepresented candidates is impractical, organizations may turn to LinkedIn or talent marketplaces to widen the applicant pool. However, outreach can feel inauthentic and tokenize candidates if not done thoughtfully. Be careful not to unconsciously reduce individuals to their identity rather than their skills and experience.

3. Refine Your Job Postings

Hiring teams must ensure they write inclusive Job descriptions to ensure they don't unintentionally restrict a candidate pool. To prevent this from happening, job posters need to showcase their company's commitment to diversity and inclusion by keeping language as neutral as possible. Steer clear of:

  • Gendered language: Instead of "he" or "she," use "they/them," "you," or gender-neutral alternatives like "the candidate." Avoid gendered job titles like "salesman" or "policeman."
  • Ageist language: Avoid phrases like "recent graduate" or "young and energetic." Focus on skills and experience rather than age.
  • Racial or culturally biased language: Avoid cultural assumptions that may unknowingly deter certain groups from applying.
  • Ableist language: Avoid phrases like "must be able to lift 50 pounds" or "fast-paced environment."
  • Exclusionary language: Avoid using phrases like "rockstar" or "ninja," which can alienate some candidates.

4. Request Blind Resumes

Research suggests that distinctively Black names reduce applicants' chances of a callback by 2.1%. Redacting the applicant's name, address, gender, age, and ethnicity on their resume allows teams to focus on relevant traits and qualities for the position.

Inclusive hiring based on ability and talent fosters a work environment where individuals are motivated to excel and deliver exceptional performance, irrespective of their diverse backgrounds. Ultimately, this approach creates a talented workforce dedicated to achieving outstanding results.

5. Standardize Your Interview Questions

Job interviews tend to be daunting, but when they perpetuate biases, they can completely discourage applicants. Consider training your hiring managers and teams on stereotype threats to keep your interview process running smoothly.

In addition, hiring teams may partner with DEI professionals to scrutinize interview questions for potentially stereotypical language or content. Implementing standardized core questions focused on job-related skill sets and qualifications will ensure consistency and objectivity in talent evaluation.

6. Measure Diversity Recruitment Progress

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are not exclusive to marketing — companies also use metrics to gauge the impact of their DEI practices.

Recruitment KPIs will look different from one organization to another and may vary over time. Companies must monitor their progress over time, paying close attention to recruitment data that reflects company objectives and scalability potential.

7. Use Recruiting Technology

The right software makes a diverse hiring process more manageable. Applicant tracking systems (ATS), for instance, aim to remove bias in hiring. Companies use these tools to locate keywords within a resume and identify the most suitable additions to an inclusive workforce.

Nonetheless, this technology can perpetuate human biases embedded in their algorithms, so use it cautiously. Studies show ATS can overlook qualified candidates with gaps in employment, like mothers returning to work or caregivers.

8. Create a Safe Space at Work

A diverse workforce alone does not guarantee a safe and inclusive work environment. Sadly, there are still numerous workplace issues that diverse hires could face every day.

To prevent this, implement clear policies and procedures that prohibit discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Also, it encourages open communication and provides avenues for employees to report incidents confidentially and without fear of reprisals. Implementing deterrents to hostile workplace practices creates an accountable culture and assists in attracting and retaining top performers.

9. Continuously Foster an Inclusive Culture

Building an inclusive culture is vital for effective diversity recruitment, regardless of where companies are in the process. Embrace collaboration and foster psychological safety to support inclusion efforts and diverse teams.

Furthermore, encourage employees to form new Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and provide comprehensive DEI training for the workforce. In due time, team participation in DEI initiatives increases, and more employees embody company culture and diversity values.

Increase Diversity Recruitment With Revelo’s Devs

Historically, there's been an evident lack of diversity in recruiting within the tech industry. We must all do our part to bridge the inclusivity gap and improve our hiring practices to see an apparent change.

Revelo helps you meet diversity hiring goals by connecting you with time-zone-aligned and rigorously vetted remote developers from Latin America. We'll support you through onboarding by managing payroll, benefits, taxes, and compliance to ensure optimal engagement and retention.

Contact us today to hire developers and advance your diversity recruiting initiatives.

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