Diversity Hiring

5 Main Challenges Faced During Diversity Hiring: How Can Recruiters Mitigate Them?

With a multigenerational workforce in full swing and the job market more diverse than ever before, candidates proactively seek organizations that provide equal opportunities to diverse backgrounds.

Hiring diversely is proven to attract a high-quality workforce, enhancing an organization’s innovation and long-term productivity.

If you are not diversifying your recruiting efforts, you’re surely missing out!

Studies show that DEI initiatives by recruiters are still far from where they need to be.

57% of employees believe that organizations should be more diverse and work harder to meet these goals. This includes gender diversity, racial diversity, and inclusivity of differently-abled individuals.

Why Should Recruiters Adopt Diversity Hiring?

Diversity hiring has been shown to impact organizations in countless ways positively.

One of the most apparent impacts that come to mind obviously is a more optimistic and innovative workforce.

Organizations that hire diversely have shown to perform far better than their counterparts who do not actively hire diverse candidates.

  • According to Forbes, racially diverse teams are more likely to outperform their non-diverse counterparts by 35%.
  • A McKinsey study found that ethnically diverse and gender-diverse organizations were more profitable.
  • A Gartner study reveals that in organizations with diverse workforces, employee performance improves by 12%, and employee retention increases by 20%.

Apart from these proven benefits, diversity and inclusion have become particularly important for job seekers today.

For example, 76% of job seekers report that diversity is essential when assessing an organization.

You will definitely have difficulty attracting relevant candidates for your client’s open positions if you don’t inculcate proper DEI efforts.

Some other advantages to diverse hiring include–

  • A wider talent pool
  • Improvement in employee productivity, retention & creativity
  • Increases your organizations’ range of skills & experiences
  • Reflects well on employer branding

Despite the many benefits of building a diverse workforce, most organizations struggle to meet their diversity goals at the hiring stage.

Read more: 5 major things recruiters need to know about diversity hiring.

Top 5 Diversity Hiring Challenges

diversity hiring efforts

1. Lack of Data

One of the most significant factors behind unachieved goals is the lack of data.

Most successful recruitment agencies and agency recruiters use a data-driven hiring approach today. You’ll never know what is working in the initiatives you’re taking or what requires improvement without accurate data and metrics.

To achieve your set benchmarks, tracking data is the key to identifying the factors driving success and other weak points.

This data can be used to identify the most effective sources for job postings, and it helps identify the job acceptance criteria for a target group.

So, how can you mitigate this challenge?

Before you embark on creating a diverse hiring strategy, you need to address gaps in the DEI strategy of your client’s company.

Throughout the hiring process, keep track of key metrics to identify which groups are interested in your open positions, the percentage of diverse candidates, where diverse candidates are being sourced from, and so on.

2. Lack of Female Candidates

71% of talent acquisition professionals report that achieving gender parity is a top priority regarding diversity hiring initiatives. However, attracting female applicants remains a significant issue for many employers.

This is due to several reasons.

One factor behind this is that women are much more selective when applying to jobs than males.

A LinkedIn report shows that women apply to fewer jobs than men as women feel they need to meet 100% of the criteria while men apply after meeting about 60%.

Moreover, a study by Harvard Business Review reveals that women look for gender inclusivity through an organization’s employer branding and by the number of females in leadership roles.

To overcome this issue, ensure your organization has a strong employer brand that emphasizes diversity and has adequate female representation. It is also vital to make female co-workers a part of the hiring process to foster a positive candidate experience.

More importantly, ensure that you use gender-neutral terms in job postings and mention any work benefits relevant to female candidates.

3. Not Going Beyond Hiring

Diversity is a long-term commitment.

Apart from a diverse hiring strategy, your client organizations require a long-term plan to support their diversity initiatives for workers.

If your client organization’s diversity efforts stop at the hiring stage, it will become difficult to retain the candidates you hire.

You can mitigate this issue by understanding what underrepresented candidates expect from their employers.

4. Addressing Different Types of Diversity

Diversity hiring goes beyond just hiring more women or people of color.

You must understand that hiring from diverse groups also includes individuals who are differently abled, belong to different sexual orientations, age diversity, religious diversity, and racial diversity.

With so many different types of underrepresented groups, you need to make sure that you are not using a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Instead, effective diversity hiring needs to be personalized to the targeted diverse groups.

A solid employer brand highlighting your diversity initiatives is crucial to alleviate this challenge. Also, curate your job descriptions to be inclusive and do not
carry any restrictive or gender-centric terms.

Most importantly, a workplace that cultivates inclusivity, acceptance, and awareness is what attracts a diverse group of candidates!

5. Unconscious Bias

diversity hiring efforts

Unconscious bias can significantly impact your diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Organizations may be able to source diverse candidates and get them into their recruiting funnel. However, there may be a high dropout rate, leading to unfulfilled goals for diversity.

If you are experiencing a high drop-off rate from underrepresented candidates, there is probably a sense of bias affecting your hiring efforts.

To mitigate unconscious bias, ensure you understand the different hiring biases and raise awareness to keep everyone mindful of their decisions. Also, set expectations by including a diversity statement in your client’s organizational values.

Having a clear set of criteria for evaluating candidates can also eliminate unconscious bias.

One of the best ways to mitigate bias is by investing in an EEO compliant Applicant Tracking System or blind screening of applications. Using technology to mitigate unconscious bias helps deliver the most objective results with no subjectivity.

Without a strategic approach for attracting diverse candidates, meeting your diversity benchmark for your client organization will not be possible.

So, take note and get started!

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