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May 5, 2024

DEI in Recruitment: Best practices

John Kim
Co-founder @ Paraform

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) aren't just buzzwords – they're essential for building a strong, innovative, and thriving workforce.

Here are some best practices to get you started.

What is DEI?

DEI stands for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. It's a framework that promotes creating a work environment where everyone feels welcome, respected, and empowered to reach their full potential. Here's a breakdown of the three key aspects:

  • Diversity: This refers to the variety of human differences within a group, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, socioeconomic background, and more.
  • Equity: This ensures fairness and creates a level playing field. It means everyone has access to the same opportunities and resources for success, regardless of their background.
  • Inclusion: This focuses on creating a welcoming environment where everyone feels valued, and respected, and their unique contributions are appreciated. It goes beyond simply having a diverse workforce; it's about fostering a sense of belonging.

Why is Inclusive hiring important?

There are many ways that DEI practices help a business as well as overall societal ethics. Here’s how:

  • Talent pool expansion: By casting a wider net, you get access to a much larger pool of qualified candidates. This is especially important in today's competitive job market.
  • Innovation and creativity: Diverse teams bring a wider range of perspectives and experiences to the table, leading to more creative solutions and innovative ideas.
  • Improved decision-making: When people from different backgrounds come together, they challenge assumptions and biases, leading to more well-rounded decisions.
  • Better Customer Connection: A workforce that reflects the diversity of your customers allows you to better understand their needs and develop products and services that resonate with them.
  • Enhanced Reputation: Companies known for their commitment to DEI attract top talent and positive publicity, strengthening their employer brand.
  • Employee Retention: Employees who feel valued and respected for their unique contributions are more likely to be engaged and stay with the company.

Best DEI practices in recruitment

1. Define your DEI goals

Start with a clear vision. What does a diverse and inclusive workforce look like for your company?

Set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) to track your progress.

2. Craft inclusive job descriptions

Avoid jargon and overly specific requirements. Focus on the skills and experience truly needed for the role. Use inclusive language that welcomes candidates from all backgrounds.

3. Build a diverse interview panel

Representation matters. Having interview panels with diverse backgrounds helps mitigate unconscious bias and allows candidates to feel comfortable and understood.

4. Standardize the interview process

Develop a structured hiring process with clear rubrics for evaluation. This ensures fairness and reduces bias in candidate selection.

Consider using blind resume reviews to focus solely on skills and experience.

5. Train your recruiters and hiring managers

Unconscious bias can creep in anywhere. Invest in training that educates your team on recognizing and mitigating bias throughout the recruitment process.

6. Create an accessible candidate experience

Make sure your application process is accessible for candidates with disabilities.

Offer alternative formats for resumes, consider offering interviews with accommodations, and ensure your website is user-friendly for everyone.

7. Leverage technology

Many recruitment software platforms offer features to help reduce bias, such as skills-based searching and anonymized resume reviews.

Check out Textio, A tool to help write inclusive JDs and other company information.

8. Track your progress

Monitor your recruitment metrics to see if you're attracting a diverse pool of candidates. Regularly evaluate your DEI efforts and adjust your strategy as needed.

Building a diverse and inclusive workforce is an ongoing process, but by implementing these best practices, you can create a recruitment strategy that attracts top talent from all walks of life.

Remember, a diverse team brings a wealth of perspectives and experiences, leading to a more innovative, successful, and rewarding workplace for everyone.

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