January 29, 2021

10 Reasons You Fail to Attract a Diverse Group of Candidates

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January 29, 2021

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  1. Your job title doesn’t match how a candidate searches. OK, yes, this is a universal statement, but it’s an important one. Make sure you think like a candidate and use a simple title that a candidate would use to find your job ad.
  2. You require a laptop, desktop, and/or resume to apply for your job. For some office or academic positions, this makes sense, but for many jobs, an easy application process that doesn’t require a resume and can be completed on a mobile device will increase your access to a wider candidate audience.
  3. You are posting in the same places as before, but expecting a different result. Without a Magic 8 Ball, you can’t know which candidates are going to be where when. Working with a broad set of job sites, or a job ad exchange can help increase your coverage and improve your chances of connecting with the candidates you seek.
  4. You are using diversity job boards and sourcing from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). There is nothing wrong with this approach, but everyone else is also doing this. What’s more, these groups aren’t representative of everyone with whom you might want to engage. It’s an unintentionally limiting approach.
  5. You are using gendered, ageist or even subtle racist language in your job description. Words matter. Removing gendered language will increase the number of candidates you get while lowering your costs. Want to see the data on it? Check out our research: The Impact of Gendered Wording on Candidate Attraction
  6. You are not including your commitment to D&I in your job descriptions. Nearly half of all candidates, 45%, will never visit your career site and read about your commitment to diversity. The job description is the place to reach them. Yet, only 2% of job descriptions mention a commitment to D&I.
  7. Your job requirements are a wish list, not a true representation of what the job requires. Women and people from underrepresented groups will often opt out of applying for jobs for which they aren’t 100% qualified, but male candidates typically do not have that same inhibition.  
  8. You aren’t responding to candidates within 48 hours. Letting candidates wait weeks before you call them is a good way to ensure they have moved on. But that’s not the only issue. If you are getting too many candidates, which makes contacting them difficult, it’s time to get your jobs off the market faster; use programmatic technology to pull jobs out of circulation once you have enough candidates to mathematically make a hire.
  9. You haven’t instructed your recruiters to interview X% of candidates from underrepresented groups as part of the hiring process. You can’t change the makeup of your business if you aren’t interviewing diversity candidates. Before you get to the interview phase, make sure your candidate pool includes people from underrepresented groups.
  10. Your interview teams are homogeneous. Candidates from underrepresented groups are less likely to be offered the job and more likely to turn it down if it’s offered when your interview team is not diverse. Mandate that all interview teams reflect diversity.

 

Bonus:

  1. You aren’t growing your next group of leaders. One of the biggest challenges is finding diversity and female candidates for leadership positions. Too many hiring organizations, for far too long, have skewed white and male. You can’t fix this overnight, but you can start building a system that promotes equally and gives the best leaders access to the learning and development they require so that, in time, you will have a diverse leadership team.

 

If D&I initiatives are an important part of your hiring process, make sure you take a look at Diversity Recruiting: Finding and Hiring Candidates and Diversity Recruiting: Guide to Best Practice Language Usage.

For a broader set of resources to fuel your diversity and inclusion initiatives, check out this blog post: Diversity Resources to Further Your Recruitment Priorities and Tactics.

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