How to reach out to diverse candidates and make an impact?

By Shruti Ambavat

Organisations across Northern Ireland are continuing to change their traditional mindset when it comes to recruitment. Research has shown that teams with a high diversity ratio perform better and are more collaborative.

Consulting firm Deloitte conducted research that indicated teams with neurodivergent professionals in some roles can be 30% more productive than those without them.

Diversity Mark has listed some tips and best practices to reach out to candidates from a diverse background and create a successful impact.

Recruiting diverse candidates benefits your organisation in numerous ways, fostering creativity, innovation, and builds a more inclusive work environment.

Here are some effective strategies you can implement:

Broaden your search:

Utilise diverse job boards and platforms: Instead of relying on the same old channels, explore job boards like Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn. LinkedIn has numerous groups of diverse individuals such as Black Talent Charter, Employing Diversity: Diversity Recruitment in the UK and Inclusion & Diversity Leadership in the UK among others.

Organisations such as Timely Careers work on removing obstacles for women. They focus on challenges that women who want to return to work often face. This is achieved through free online training and development, career focused events and supporting candidates throughout the job application process.

Partner with universities and colleges: Build relationships with institutions that serve underrepresented communities, attend career fairs, and participate in on-campus recruitment events.

At a global level, you could even connect with professional organisations: Partner with associations representing diverse groups like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the National Organization on Disability (NOD), or the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

Write inclusive job descriptions:

Avoid biased language: Eliminate words or phrases that might discourage certain demographics from applying, such as “rockstar,” “ninja,” or “culture fit.”

Focus on skills and experience: Highlight the essential skills and experience required for the job, rather than specific educational backgrounds or years of experience.

Use inclusive language: Emphasise your company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout the job description and include welcoming statements in it.

Create a welcoming and accessible application process:

Offer multiple application options – Allow candidates to apply through various methods, such as online forms, email, or even video introductions.

Provide reasonable accommodation – Make sure your application process is accessible to candidates with disabilities.

Use blind resume review – Consider removing identifying information from resumes during the initial screening process to reduce unconscious bias.

Conduct unbiased interviews:

Standardise interview questions – Develop a set of standardised questions for all candidates to ensure fairness and consistency.

Use diverse interview panels – Include interviewers from different backgrounds and perspectives to reduce bias.

Be mindful of unconscious bias – Train your interviewers to recognise and avoid unconscious bias during the interview process.

Foster a culture of inclusion:

Promote diversity and inclusion initiatives within your company.

Create employee resource groups (ERGs) for underrepresented groups and to promote Allyship.

Offer training on all areas of EDI to all the employees.

By implementing these strategies, you can create a more inclusive recruitment process and attract a wider pool of talented candidates from diverse backgrounds. Remember, building a diverse workforce is an ongoing process, so be patient, stay committed, and continuously evaluate your progress.

Show off your commitment and get accredited: 

To show your commitment towards EDI, get your organisation accredited. Diversity Mark offers EDI accreditation and provides support throughout your journey. If you have any questions or need support with your organisation’s EDI journey and are not an existing signatory, please reach out to Orla by booking a call here. If you are an existing Diversity Mark signatory please email the engagement team, Emma or Shruti.

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