5 Simple Steps to Build a Diverse Hiring Process

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Are you looking for ways to build a successful, diverse team that will help your organization meet its long-term goals? You’re not alone.

Many companies are turning to diverse hiring initiatives that leverage the unique talents and perspectives of individuals from various backgrounds. By implementing diverse hiring initiatives, it is possible to create an inclusive workplace culture that encourages employees to bring their full selves to work.

In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about the benefits of diverse hiring and how to implement this process successfully within your company.


What is Diverse Hiring?

Diverse hiring is the intentional practice of seeking out candidates from underrepresented groups to join your team. Because demographics vary greatly between industries and geographic locations, diverse hiring will also look different in each company. Some examples of underrepresented groups include:

There are many different types of diversity. This is just a short list of common underrepresented groups in the United States.

Diverse hiring includes:

But why should companies worry about diverse hiring?

It turns out that hiring a diverse workforce isn’t just the right thing to do, but it’s also a profitable thing to do.

What are the Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace?

Studies have shown that companies that embrace diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) in the workplace tend to outperform their peers. This is because diverse teams are better equipped to come up with innovative solutions, as well as identify potential issues before they arise. Additionally, having a broad mix of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives can help foster better communication and collaboration among team members, resulting in higher overall productivity. It can also help build stronger relationships with customers and clients as they see themselves being represented within the organization.

Before you get started with diverse recruiting and inclusive hiring, it’s important to set DEIB goals.

1) Set Diverse Hiring Goals

Diversity isn’t about meeting quotas—it’s about creating a workplace where everyone feels valued and appreciated. Diversity hiring initiatives should begin by setting goals for the organization and then committing to them.

We know it might be tough knowing where to start, so let’s break down this process.

Assess Your Current Workforce

You can’t track progress if you don’t know where you’re starting. Assessing the diversity of your current workforce is the key first step to recruiting and retaining diverse employees.

This assessment should capture various demographic, identity, and cultural elements such as:

  • age
  • gender
  • race
  • ethnicity
  • disabilities
  • sexual orientation

This is not an exhaustive list, just a starting point.

It’s important to analyze the diversity of your workforce across all levels of the organization, from entry-level hires to the highest executives.

Once you have a clear picture of where the company stands, you can identify gaps and shortcomings. Record this baseline of your company’s current diversity so you can track improvements.


Define Areas That Need Improvement

Once you’ve assessed your current workforce, it’s time to define the areas that need improvement. Look at the data.

  • Which groups are underrepresented? Consider this based on both your industry and your company’s geographic location.
  • How many diverse candidates applied to your company? What percentage of them were offered a job?
  • What is the attrition rate of diverse candidates? How does this compare to your company’s overall attrition rate?

By asking these questions and more, you can define exactly what needs to improve to build DEI in the workplace.

Start with 2-3 Primary Goals

As you begin developing your diversity hiring plan, it’s important to focus on two or three primary goals. You cannot transform your workforce overnight. If you try to do too much at once, your resources will be spread too thin, and it will be harder to succeed.

Define clear and measurable targets. This will keep everyone focused on their efforts. Your primary goals should relate to recruiting diverse talent, creating an inclusive workplace culture, and improving retention rates for underrepresented candidates.

Determine Metrics to Track

Once you have your goals, you need to determine which metrics are important to track. This is why you started by setting a baseline, so you can keep track of your company’s progress. Examples of metrics include:

  • Percentage of diverse applicants
  • Job offer acceptance rates of diverse candidates
  • Demographics of each department

Once you’ve established your desired metrics, develop a system to track these numbers. It’s also a good idea to generate regular reports that can be shared with stakeholders.

2) How to Get Started with Diverse Recruitment

Recruitment is the first stage of the hiring process. What are some diverse recruitment strategies? There are two easy places to start: job descriptions and candidate sourcing methods.

Write Inclusive Job Descriptions

When crafting job descriptions, use inclusive language that indicates a welcoming and inclusive workplace. Avoid using words that could be interpreted as biased. Highlight benefits that might appeal to underrepresented groups, like paid parental leave or tuition support. Also, include a statement on your commitment to DEI.

By writing inclusive job descriptions, you will help attract a wider range of applicants.

Diversify Your Sourcing Methods

In addition to revising job descriptions, it’s important to diversify your sourcing methods. Create a strategy that incorporates traditional recruiting methods as well as unconventional ones such as posting on community boards and attending local diversity events.

You may even consider partnering with local organizations who help underrepresented groups find work.

For additional tips on getting started with diverse hiring, watch this video by Tyler Horne, a dedicated member of Insight Global’s DEI team.

3) How to Implement a Blind Hiring Process

Blind hiring is one way to reduce unconscious bias during the recruitment process. This can include blind resume screening, skills assessments, and even blind interviews.

The easiest part of blind hiring is blind resume screening. This involves removing any personal information that could reveal a candidate’s demographics. Then hiring managers only focus on necessary qualifications.

However, blind hiring is only one solution to reducing bias in the hiring process, and it has many limitations. For example, once a candidate gets to the interview stage, several of their specific identifiers like race and gender will become apparent. In addition, if your company hasn’t done the work to train hiring managers on unconscious bias and DEI best practices, then they could inadvertently turn off qualified, diverse candidates. Similarly, even if someone accepts the job offer, if your company hasn’t created an inclusive workplace, then employee retention could become an issue.

A blind hiring process is just one tool for diverse hiring, but it won’t transform your company’s DEIB practices overnight.

4) How to Build an Inclusive Interview Process

After recruiting, the next stage of the hiring process is interviewing. An inclusive interview process is one that allows every candidate to feel comfortable while demonstrating their skills and expertise.

There are two simple ways to do this. Not only will these changes make interviews more equitable and inclusive, but they will also help hiring managers save time and feel more confident in their hiring decisions.

Standardize Interviews

Standardizing interviews is important for creating an equitable recruitment process. While this can’t be perfectly replicated across all roles, you should have a standard process for each candidate applying for the same position.

First, if possible, each candidate should be offered the same interview format in the same order. For example, start with a phone interview for each person, and then have a video interview for each one in the next round.

In addition, establish a set of questions to ask all candidates. You can include a few questions specific to each candidate based on their resume, but most of the questions should be standardized. This allows you to compare candidates more evenly—and more easily.

Finally, consider implementing accommodations that address the unique needs of neurodiverse candidates. For example, choose interview questions with straightforward wording. In addition, try to interview candidates in a quiet space without interruptions. While these are considerations specifically for neurodiverse populations, you can apply them to all candidates.

Include Multiple Interviewers

Adding multiple interviewers to the process can also help create a more inclusive environment and reduce bias by introducing diverse points of view. This can be done with different people handling different stages of the interviews, or you could have one layer in the process as a panel interview.

Either way, by including multiple interviewers, you gain multiple perspectives on who would be the best candidate to hire for the role.

5) How to Retain Diverse Talent

Diverse hiring is only part of ensuring you have a broad range of employees in your organization. It’s also important to retain diverse employees. Your employees should feel like they belong in the workplace. This can be accomplished with things like clear anti-discrimination policies, opportunities to learn and grow, and programs designed for boosting retention.

Creating a culture of inclusion takes time and effort, but it is well worth it for the long-term success of your organization. A great way to start is with onboarding.

Create a Standard Onboarding Program

Onboarding new employees is an essential step in growing a successful and diverse workforce. Set up a comprehensive onboarding program that includes training on company policies, goals, and values. Also provide employees resources and training specific to their role.


Create an Inclusive Workplace

Finally, create an inclusive workplace that allows all employees to bring their full selves to work. Allyship should not be limited to celebratory months like Black History Month or Pride.

Encourage employees to share their unique perspectives during conversations, celebrate successes among all team members, and provide consistent feedback on performance. Look at additional events you can add to your team celebrations or ways staffers can share and honor their heritage and background.

Create An Inclusive Talent Journey

Diversity in the workplace is no longer a “nice to have,” but a financial priority. Implementing the strategies above can help you revamp your hiring process and build a work environment that is welcoming to all.

If you’re interested in creating an inclusive recruiting and hiring process, but don’t know where to start, Insight Global can help. Hear from Korryn Williamson, Director of DEIB, and Bethany Cabreja, DEIB Training Specialist, as they dive into DEIB solutions for recruiting and hiring.

Text reads: Top Talent Seek Workplaces Where They Belong. Learn how to break down barriers. Headshots of two women, Bethany Cabreja (DEIB Training Specialist) and Korryn Williamson (Director of DEIB). Insight Global logo.