Beyond tokenism: Jennifer Tardy shares 5 bold moves to really increase diversity hiring

“I’ve witnessed numerous organizations, fueled by good intentions, strive to increase diversity through their recruiting efforts. Despite well-intentioned efforts to promote it in the workplace, many organizations merely scratch the surface with superficial initiatives that lack impact.”

Jennifer Tardy
Recruitment thought leader & founder of Jennifer Tardy Consulting


Throughout my 20-year journey, I’ve witnessed numerous organizations, fueled by good intentions, strive to increase diversity hiring.

Despite well-intentioned efforts to promote it in the workplace, many organizations merely scratch the surface with initiatives that lack impact. 

So let me break down five bold moves to help your company catapult beyond tokenism and embrace genuine diversity, equity, and inclusion.  

Tip #1: Reimagine your workforce representation

group of employees promoting diversity hiring in a workplace.

I suggest hiring teams to challenge the status quo by reevaluating their company’s workforce representation. Look beyond conventional goals, like hiring more women, and identify underrepresented populations within your organization and target customer base. 

Tip #2: Adopt a holistic hiring, retention, AND promotion approach

Diversity hiring doesn’t just end with your recruiting process. Notice whether underrepresented groups are leaving your organization as quickly as they join.

Do these employees have a sense of self-determination in their career paths? 

Remember: Fostering diversity is not merely a recruiting challenge; it’s about cultivating an inclusive culture throughout the organization.

Tip #3: Align intentions with hiring outcomes

Your good intentions alone won’t suffice. 

Perform an impact audit to ensure your diversity hiring efforts align with your goals.

I like to start by analyzing applicant data and identifying potential obstacles preventing historically underrepresented groups from being hired and promoted.

Then, strive for a positive impact that matches your intentions.

Investing in a diversity recruiting software to source candidates from different groups and regions can significantly boost your efforts. 

Tip #4: Conduct a comprehensive workplace representation analysis

group of employees promoting diversity hiring in a workplace.

Increasing diversity in your company involves more than just enhancing representation in a single area. 

You should delve deeper into the matter by examining existing data on representation across all business units, departments, and levels.

For example, you might find that underrepresentation permeates your entire organization, or perhaps, it’s confined to specific sectors.

Tip #5: Decouple demographic data

I like to avoid the temptation of grouping marginalized groups.

Instead, I suggest analyzing uncoupled demographic data to pinpoint underrepresentation within individual groups. 

Doing this lets you acknowledge and respect each group’s unique experiences and challenges. 

For instance, you might discover that overall, your organization appears diverse when considering all people of color coupled together. But when you look closer, you may uncover the underrepresentation of Black and Latinx individuals, while Asians may be overrepresented. 

I believe that bundling data to fit a narrative can be as harmful as colorblindness, as it dismisses individuals’ unique experiences.

There’s a wealth of untapped potential solutions for increasing diversity within your organization. With thorough research, effective processes, and accountability, you’ll be on the right track. 

Our Increase Diversity LinkedIn newsletter aims to empower recruiters and hiring teams to delve deeper and move beyond mere good-faith efforts, paving the way for a truly inclusive workplace. 

Happy recruiting!


Jennifer Tardy

Jenn Tardy has been on a mission to help employers and job seekers reach their goals since 2004, driven by a passion to see increasing diversity make sense and cents. As a Recruitment Thought Leader, she established Jennifer Tardy Consulting (a.k.a. Team JTC) to enable employers to find, attract, engage, and hire more applicants from historically underrepresented backgrounds. Through her #HiringSuccess programs, she has empowered many organizations to talk openly about underrepresentation, remove inequalities from their hiring processes, and foster more inclusive work cultures.

As a Career Success Coach, Jenn has also equipped numerous job seekers to supercharge their careers and forge professional success. She has extensive knowledge of the hurdles and obstacles faced by women, people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, and individuals who identify as LGBTQ+. Through the #CareerSuccess program, Team JTC uses this vast expertise to help job seekers successfully overcome bias-driven hiring obstacles and access greater opportunities.


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