In 2014, when Apple made its big announcement about the release of Apple Health, it made a guarantee to “monitor all of your metrics that you’re most interested in.” However, many tech reviewers were quick to discover that one major metric was missing from the app – the ability to track one’s monthly period. For some reason, Apple thought that someone’s intake of sodium was more important than a natural monthly occurrence that over half of the world’s population shared, and if missed, could have serious repercussions (good or bad). The reason for that may well be the lack of diversity when it comes to women in the tech industry.
When going through LinkedIn’s data analysis, we can see that specifically in the tech industry, women occupy only 29% of the positions (while they comprise over 50% of the population). As for people of color, according to recent evidence, their presence in Silicon Valley has actually been decreasing in the past few years, and tech is not the only field failing to employ diversity hiring practices. Just as a form of reference, in the Fortune 500, there are fewer women CEOs (4.1%), than those who are named John (5.3%) or David (4.5%). And only 5 CEOs from the Fortune 500 are African-American.
Why Should You Develop Your Diversity Hiring Practices?
Diversity hiring is, of course, not just a matter of gender, and also, does not only refer to race and ethnicity. If a company truly wishes to recruit diverse job candidates, they should also look into religious beliefs, people of all physical abilities, and a wide range of ages and sexual orientations. The first and most important reason for you to consider diverse job candidates is simply that it’s the law and you shouldn’t discriminate. Now that we’ve stated the obvious, let’s continue to the benefits of having a diversified team.
1. Increasing your company’s profit margin
Not only will diversity in hiring prevent you from making mistakes as Apple did, but it can also help propel your business forward. Studies show that if you only diversify your staff’s gender by 1%, your revenue will grow by 3% and if you have a high ethnic diversity you can help grow your profits by as much as 15%. The math is simple — the more backgrounds you bring into your company, the more you represent your consumers and better reflect their needs. For example, something as simple as recruiting bilingual candidates to help develop a Spanish version of an app can open your product to a whole new, untapped market.
2. Diversity Hiring Attracts Top Talent
A Survey from Glassdoor found that 67% of both active and passive candidates think inclusivity is important when looking for a new job. It is specifically important if you wish to attract additional diverse candidates, as 72% of women found it essential, 89% of Black candidates, 80% of Asians and 70% of Latinos. If you don’t start with diversity, you’ll keep attracting the same people.
3. Diverse Workforce Increases Productivity and Innovation
Employees in diversified teams have been shown to have higher levels of engagement, commitment, willingness to collaborate, higher rates of retention and in general, they are more satisfied with their work. There is really no downside to this strategy for any company. With that in mind, how do you make sure your recruiting process is as inclusive as possible?
Best Diversity Hiring Practices for Your Company
1. Job Ad Description
Like everything in recruiting, it starts with the job description. When you wrote it, did you make sure the language is accessible to people outside of your company and those who may not already be working in the field? It’s true, you want to attract people with experience, but to be truly inclusive, you have to take into account all types of experience. Try and run the job ad by someone outside of the company, to see if it’s clear enough. There are even tools such as gender-decoder.katmatfield.com to help you check if the language appeals to only one gender. In addition, it’s important to clearly state that you’re looking for diverse candidates, from all backgrounds, and that you’re an equal opportunity employer.
2. Ad Placements and Candidate Searches
If you don’t go out and look for the diverse candidates, in most cases, they won’t apply. Job boards in your field are most likely to attract the same type of candidates, and Ivy League universities don’t always have the best reputation when it comes to representation. Look for different societies and associations for minorities, networking groups for people of color, Facebook groups for LQBTQ, LinkedIn groups for women. There are numerous places you can reach out specifically to those job seekers. You can also use different online tools, such as Alexa.com to check out the demographics of boards and websites before you place the job ad there.
3. Be Mindful About Your Company’s Image
Every image you use, every promotional video, every employee testimonial paints a picture of what it’s like working for your company. If you have a video on your website where your CEO explains the vision of the organization, takes a tour around and there’s only one African-American in the background, imagine how that looks to potential candidates. You want to show them a workplace where they will not be the odd ones out, and even if you’re just picking a stock photo for a blog post, choose wisely.
4. Ways to Bypass Bias
After you get the diverse job candidates actually applying to your company, sometimes it will be an unconscious bias that keeps them from getting hired. There are, however, many methods to help you bypass that. One is to ask the hiring manager to create blind resumes. This means that they will remove every piece of information that could link back to the candidate’s ethnicity, gender, age, etc, the main one being their name. A well-known study showed that women who performed behind a curtain had increased their chances by 50% to advance to the next level. A diverse panel of interviewers will not only make the applicants feel more welcomed but also make sure there’s less bias. One more thing to help is a standardized questionnaire for the interview, making sure all candidates are treated the same, valued for the same skills and hired only based on merit.