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Recruiting: Designing a Process That is Welcoming and Inclusive

By Arkiem Legree, SHRM-CP and Solana Cederboim, MSHR, SPHR

Welcoming candidates from all backgrounds starts with recruiting. Reviewing the recruiting process is one of the several steps an organization can take to ensure a diverse and inclusive culture. Below are some tips to improve a recruiting practice with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in mind:

Blind Recruiting: We encourage organizations to remove names, addresses, irrelevant education information (graduation dates, etc), and other personal information to minimize unconscious bias in decision-making.

Inclusive Screening: Job descriptions and all recruiting communications should be crafted in a way that is welcoming to all applicants; focusing only on the objective job requirements.

It is recommended that job descriptions are written using gender neutral language to make reference to everyone who may possess the desired skillset. This could be particularly impactful for those who identify with the LGBTQIA community. Additionally, screening text within a job description for the use of gender-coded terminology could help increase the diversity of the applicant pool. Another area to screen can include references to preferred schools or programs of study that may be aligned to selective schools; these should be removed to open up the search to a broader range of applicants.

Use different channels to reach target candidates: Before finalizing a recruiting strategy, it is imperative to research career sites and job boards that target the communities and backgrounds you want to attract. If your team is also diverse, engage your employee resource groups and include the team in the hiring process.

Discuss diversity prior to establishing a recruiting strategy: Address disparities in representation that may exist within different levels within an organization.

o For example, an organization may have achieved gender parity within leadership positions but may still have an opportunity to improve racial diversity by recruiting more staff that represent the demographic makeup of the communities and industries they aim to support.

Keep in mind applicants' work-life balance and accessibility needs: Offer various time frames or interview methods to ensure interviewing opportunities are available to more applicants.

Remote work is here to stay: Review the need for hiring in a particular state. Your applicant pool may grow considerably by opening the search to other parts of the country.

Be transparent with candidates: Consider posting salary ranges, and share the challenges that your organization is facing. To ensure cultural fit and higher retention, hiring decisions should be two-way decisions.

As previously stated, recruitment is a starting point and an opportunity to be a part of the extension of a larger talent acquisition strategy. Use your job announcements or careers site to amplify all DEI initiatives that may already be in place. See below for some workplace practices and policies that you could highlight:

  • Welcome, protect, and permit gender identity and expression

  • Protect employee privacy

  • Remote work and work-life balance initiatives

  • Support transitioning employees (e.g. expanding your time off policies and allowing for a flexible schedule)

  • Core values that communicate the organization’s commitment to DEI and provide examples of how the organization lives its values on a day-to-day basis

  • Learning and development opportunities

  • Documentation that encourages neutral and preferred pronoun use

  • Established bathroom and wellness room access

  • Inclusive insurance policies and benefits offerings

  • Active recruitment and engagement of protected communities

If you don’t know where to start or how to improve your recruiting process with DEI in mind, reach out to the Kiwi Partners’ HR Services team.

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