You can focus on the top of your funnel to improve your diversity hiring. If you want more diverse hires, you need to have more diversity in your pipeline.
How do you ensure that more diverse candidates apply?
Start with analyzing your current applicant data to understand your deficiencies. Do a deep dive into the demographic of your applicant pool by function, department, or skill. Compare that data to the demographics of the available workforce (you can get workforce demographic data via the US Bureau of Labor Statistics). You will quickly find where to improve your applicant pool so you know where to focus.
Next, tear apart your job requirements. Are specific degrees really required, or are you after particular skills? Higher education requirements are often a barrier to entry for under-represented groups. Take a close look at what is necessary to do the job and discover if a degree is the only way to get those skills. Often, individuals learn "hard" skills through on-the-job training, certificate programs, self-education, etc. "Soft" skills are often the difference between a top and a mediocre performer. People develop those skills outside of a formal classroom more often than inside.
Research has shown that under-represented groups are unlikely to apply for jobs if they don't meet all of the stated requirements. Your arbitrary requirements are limiting your applicant pool.
After removing unnecessary requirements, ensure your job ads, career site, and marketing materials use unbiased language and represent the workforce you want to attract. Several tools in the market help remove biased language from job ads. They are worth the investment. Review your photos and graphics on your career site and marketing materials to ensure representation.
Your sourcing strategy plays a crucial role in increasing the diversity of your candidate pool. Some strategies to consider include the following:
-Enable remote work where possible. Expanding your geographic reach expands access to diverse populations.
-Target professional associations of under-represented groups based on the demographic analysis you conduct.
-Leverage your employee resource groups for referrals.
Of course, your selection process plays a significant role in our diversity hiring outcomes.