Embracing Diversity: Unveiling Effective Strategies for Inclusive Recruitment

Sarah George | Avatar

Sarah George

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lead - Americas and EMEA, Hudson RPO

Posted on

January 23, 2024

Looking to attract top talent, retain your current staff, and compete in your industry? If any of these goals are part of your 2024 plans, diversifying your workforce will be key to achieving them. 

And your employees won’t be the only ones who appreciate your efforts. Today’s job seekers want more diverse workplace environments. Indeed, a LinkedIn report found that an astronomic 80% of people want to work for organizations that value DEI. 

That number is only getting higher as younger and more diverse groups of people enter the workforce. And implementing effective, diverse and inclusive recruitment strategies will help ensure your candidate pools are filled with qualified candidates. 

In this article, we discuss important topics to consider when investing in diversity recruitment. We cover the benefits to businesses, the challenges recruiters face, and even some strategies for creating a healthy employer brand that attracts diverse talent. 

The Business Case for Diversity Recruitment

Detractors of diverse and inclusive recruitment efforts will point to a very small collection of studies that have mixed conclusions. However, far more academic research indicates a positive business case for implementing a diverse recruitment process. The conclusions of these reports include some of the following results: 

  • Diverse and inclusive hiring leads to more creativity, improves decision-making, and results in higher overall performance, translating to stronger bottom-line profits. 

  • Researchers Kuk-Kyoung Moon and Robert Christensen created mathematical models that show a distinct advantage for diverse workforces, especially with regard to ethnic and tenure diversity. 

  • A McKinsey report found a 25% increase in above-average profitability in organizations that are in the top quartile of gender diversity on executive teams. 

  • Functional and tenure diversity remain underrepresented and understudied aspects of diversity but influence the success of organizations, showing that there are still gaps in our knowledge of the positive impact of diversity in the workplace. 

Introducing diversity into the workplace can have fundamental positive benefits to your business. Not only are diverse teams more creative and productive, but they are better at communicating, quicker at adapting to changes, and show higher levels of problem-solving. 

Additionally, businesses that focus on both diversity hiring efforts and inclusive work environments have higher retention rates, higher employee referrals, and higher ratings on sites like Glassdoor. 

Challenges in Diversity Recruitment

Achieving workforce diversity doesn’t happen overnight, and recruiters and hiring teams face several roadblocks when implementing diversity recruitment strategies. Here are a handful of common challenges recruiters face: 

  • Lack of data – Modern business depends on data-driven technology and tactics. A lack of data can create biases and contribute to poor decision-making. Investing in better data-tracking systems and reporting will help you identify the most effective sources for job postings and the impact of changes on acceptance rates.

  • Lack of diverse candidates – Some industries, such as engineering, have traditionally seen homogenous work environments. You can evaluate job descriptions and eliminate words or phrases that discourage diverse groups of people from applying. 

  • Forgetting about DEI after hiring – Organizational diversity requires long-term and consistent effort to remain effective. Invest in time and resources to eliminate unconscious biases and microaggressions that create a lack of workplace diversity. 

  • Expanding what diversity means – Diversity is more than just demographics and gender. Diverse employees also include those with disabilities and differences in age, religion, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, and background experiences.

Gem’s Recruiting Benchmarks report shows that traditionally homogenous industries, such as engineering, engineering management, and design, have critically low rates of interest in all candidates, highlighting how difficult it can be to foster diverse teams.

Crafting an Inclusive Employer Brand

Companies don’t simply earn a reputation for being inclusive without putting in serious effort. When organizations achieve that status, it’s through meticulous planning and implementing initiatives that shift how people think and act. These diversity and inclusion initiatives can include: 

  • Defining brand values

  • Setting clear and achievable diversity and inclusion goals

  • Fostering an inclusive workplace culture

  • Providing additional DEI training and education 

  • Deploying blind hiring practices

  • Offering flexible working options, including remote

  • Implementing diverse succession planning

  • Measuring KPIs and crucial metrics

Of course, getting employee buy-in will be crucial for the success of these initiatives. Devote time and resources to getting feedback from your teams so you can help bridge the gap in education, provide support where necessary, and adjust strategies depending on the situation. 

Targeted Outreach and Engagement

Gem found that in 2023, many businesses reported higher rates of outreach engagement across industries and business sizes. The increase in engagement points to the importance of outreach as part of the hiring process. 

Gem also uncovered some crucial findings in terms of how to attract qualified candidates from a diverse talent pool. It turns out that timing and subject lines play an integral role in finding that top talent. For example, Gem found that sending emails on Sundays at various times—like 6 PM and 8 PM—maximizes open rates. Likewise, personalizing subject lines gives recruiters a 5% bump in diverse candidates engaging with company outreach.  

Additionally, Gem’s statistics suggest that an outreach series with the intention to nurture is more impactful than targeting a potential candidate over a short 2–3 week period. The nurturing outreach strategy will help attract talent when they decide they’re ready to go on the market for a new role. 

Inclusive Interviewing and Assessment Practices

A significant challenge facing human resource departments and hiring managers in creating a diverse workforce starts during the initial assessment and interviewing stages. During resume review and the interview process, underrepresented groups face unconscious biases based on their names, genders, socio-economic backgrounds, and even addresses. 

To eliminate these biases, companies can use technology, such as Gem’s talent acquisition software, to hire based on blind resumes. These blind resumes focus on skill sets, experience, and qualifications, allowing everyone an equal opportunity to land open positions. 

In addition to blind resumes, companies can implement diverse interview panels where viewpoints come from individuals with diverse backgrounds. This strategy allows for a more complete picture of the candidate without biases interfering in the decision-making process. 

Transform Your Team with Gem’s Inclusive Talent Acquisition Software

Modern business depends on having a diverse group of employees to meet the constant expansion into a global economy. Diverse workplaces bring benefits that influence bottom-line profit and foster healthy company cultures. 

Diverse teams can adapt to changes faster, are more productive, and have better decision-making capabilities. Businesses can make changes to their hiring practices, such as defining clear and achievable goals and implementing blind resumes during the hiring process to support these teams. 

Of course, investing in a modern applicant tracking system will give you a competitive advantage. Gem’s comprehensive software is a must-have in any recruiter’s toolkit with its AI capabilities, advanced candidate tracking, and re-engagement tools to source silver medal candidates. 

Gem’s software also allows hiring teams to personalize interactions with candidates to improve outreach efforts, supports more than 20 candidate sourcing channels, and automates several mundane tasks that free recruiters up for relationship-building efforts. Request a demo today to see how Gem can supercharge your diversity hiring efforts!


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