diversity recruitment

The ultimate diversity recruiting guide

At this point, diversity recruiting has moved beyond being an industry buzzword—it’s practically par for the course if you want to be competitive in today’s talent market. Starting with the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, diversity in Corporate America has seen a meteoric rise in popularity—especially among newer generations, with 87% of Gen Z workers saying D&I is “very important” when choosing an employer.

Despite this rise, many organizations out there are still struggling to implement meaningful changes that result in real increases in talent from underrepresented groups (URGs) in their workforce. In Gem’s latest Recruiting Trends Report, we surveyed nearly 700 Talent Acquisition (TA) professionals who ranked diversity hiring as Recruiting’s number one priority for 2023: 54% of respondents called DEIB a top hiring focus of the year. But while 65% of organizations say they have formal diversity hiring initiatives or goals in place, 69% said they had them last year, suggesting—sadly—that diversity has been deprioritized for some organizations over the last 12 months.

And teams still struggle to make progress on diversity goals: 84% of respondents said they see at least some struggle in meeting them. The biggest barrier for organizations when it comes to diversity is finding underrepresented talent to begin with (53% of teams struggle with this), moving underrepresented candidates through the hiring funnel (29% of teams struggle with this), and retaining underrepresented employees (17% of teams struggle with this).

Diversity Barriers Survey | Image

On top of this, TA teams face unprecedented challenges as we navigate an unpredictable economy, hiring freezes, layoffs, etc. In light of this, it can often be tough to get buy-in from key stakeholders, and it can feel like an overwhelming task to implement company-wide changes; but that’s ok—we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about recruiting a more diverse, equitable, and resilient workforce. 

What is diversity?

Before we address how to improve your diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI&B) recruiting efforts, let’s first define “diversity.” In the context of talent acquisition, diversity refers to the range of experiences, backgrounds, values, and perspectives within a given group. Some of the dimensions of diversity include (but aren’t limited to): 

  • Race/ethnicity

  • Disabilities/special needs

  • Veteran status

  • Socioeconomic background

  • Age

  • Educational experiences

  • Gender identity and expression

  • Skill sets

  • Sexual orientation

  • Neurodiversity

The problem with “diversity recruiting” 

While we wholeheartedly support what diversity recruiting represents, we find the term “diversity recruiting” somewhat problematic, and here’s why: 

Diversity recruiting is often used to mean recruiting underrepresented groups or increasing diversity in the hiring pipeline. And there’s nothing wrong with that—we believe it’s critical! However, the term “diversity recruiting” is reminiscent of traditionally less inclusive terminology like “diverse talent” or “diversity hire.” These terms have negative connotations and can insinuate that a person was hired due to their “diversity” and not their qualifications for a role.

So at Gem, instead of diversity recruiting, we speak of “inclusive recruiting.”

Inclusive recruiting is about expanding one's perspective and providing a welcoming and fair process for candidates that creates a bidirectional evaluation of role-alignment and values-alignment between candidate and company.

Inclusive recruiting aims to increase the pool of qualified talent by debugging the hiring process (sourcing, interviewing, and selection) and ensuring that the process is fair, equitable, and structured to enable all candidates to show up as their best selves.

It’s important to note that diversity recruiting (inclusive recruiting) does not mean ignoring viable candidates from well-represented groups (e.g. white males). Instead, this process focuses on taking steps to ensure that all potential candidates have an equal opportunity to show up and succeed in your hiring process. This involves actions like: 

  • Removing conscious and unconscious biases in the sourcing, interview, and selection processes 

  • Using inclusive language in job descriptions, career pages, outreach messages, etc.

  • Creating a candidate experience that encourages more applications and participation from talent from underrepresented groups

  • Expanding your candidate search outside of traditional talent hubs

Why companies need a diversity recruiting strategy

If there’s one thing we’ve observed in the conversation about diversity hiring over the last few years, it’s that talent acquisition is needing to have fewer and fewer conversations with leadership teams around “the business case” for diversity. Many executives have not only heard the business case loud and clear; they've also acknowledged the ethical obligations to build a more fair and equitable workforce.

However, this doesn’t mean that all organizations have come around to—let alone know what it takes to increase—diversity. If you’ve ever tried to pitch a new idea, you’re likely no stranger to the question “what's the ROI?” (What financial gain can the company expect from whatever it is that you’re proposing?) Luckily for DEI&B initiatives, the ROI is well-documented. If you’re a TA professional trying to make a case for diversity and inclusivity in your hiring pipeline (although, at this point, you shouldn’t need to), here are a few business impacts to consider: 

  • Higher profits and greater market share – It's not just about employees that want to work for more diverse and inclusive companies, but about customers that want to work with them. On average, companies that score high in executive-level diversity are 25% more likely to see financial returns above the industry median. In addition, companies on the Fortune 50 Best Workplaces for Diversity list see an average of 24% higher year-over-year revenue growth than non-list winners. 

  • Reduced employee turnover – Employee turnover costs U.S. companies $1 trillion per year (yes, trillion with a T). This is no surprise considering replacing one employee can cost an organization one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary. As such, companies are always looking to reduce employee churn and keep high-quality workers around longer. Companies with more diverse and inclusive teams see 22% lower turnover rates than those without. 

  • Increased employee productivity and performance – Time and time again, research has shown that diverse and inclusive teams make faster, more efficient decisions, have more team collaboration, and are more committed to doing their best work. 

  • More creativity and innovation – Sure, creativity and innovation can be seen as more subjective metrics (how do you put a number on creativity?). However, studies have shown that companies that prioritize diversity in their workforce have brought an average of two more products to market per year and seen a 19% increase in revenue from new or improved products.

  • Larger recruiting talent pool – Focusing on your DEI&B strategy not only opens up your hiring pool to new talent markets but also makes your organization more enticing to workers locally as well. A study by Glassdoor found that companies in the UK were 6x more likely to convert applicants to quality hires as a result of their inclusive/diversity recruiting strategies.

Statistics about workforce diversity

It’s tough to improve diversity and inclusion within your organization if you have nothing to measure yourself against. Looking at census data—specifically the self-reported occupations particular to a geographic region—will give you insights into how well your organization is doing in its diversity and inclusion initiatives compared to others. Here are some key statistics about the state of diversity in the workforce. 

Total U.S. demographic breakdown: 

  • White 76.3%

  • Black or African American 13.4%

  • Asian 5.9%

  • Hispanic/Latinx 18.5%

  • American Indian and Alaska Native 1.3%

  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.2%

  • Two or more races 2.8%

Tech worker demographics in major metro areas:

New York

  • White 48.0%

  • Asian 29.0%

  • Black or African American 8.9% 

  • Latinx 8.9% 


  • White 40.5%

  • Black or African American 28.8% 

  • Asian 21.8%

  • Latinx 5.8% 

San Francisco

  • Asian 46.7%

  • White 36.7%

  • Latinx 7.2%

  • Black or African American 2.4%


  • White 50.9%

  • Asian 37.2%

  • Latinx 4.6%

  • Black or African American 3.0%


  • White 58.8%

  • Asian 21.4%

  • Latinx 11.3%

  • Back or African American 4.5%

(Don’t see your location here? More metro areas are available in our Tech Recruiting Diversity Benchmarks report.)

These numbers are a good starting point for measuring the success of your diversity recruiting initiatives. Suppose the demographic breakdown of your organization is drastically different than the demographics of where your organization is located. In that case, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and fix it. If your organization looks similar to (or better than) the available local workforce, this indicates that you’re on the right track.

How to build your diversity recruiting strategy

Building a recruiting strategy that prioritizes diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging may mean having more intentionality and thoughtfulness up-front, but it will pay off big in the long run by making your overall hiring process stronger and consistently delivering high-quality candidates. Here are three steps you can follow that will drastically reshape the nature of recruitment at your organization and make it into a much more diverse and inclusive process:

1. Identify diversity gaps in your organization 

You can’t start sourcing underrepresented talent until you know where you’re lacking. 

Think broadly here. Adding female-identified talent to your teams is a great start, but a “gender-add” initiative won’t have the same impact as an initiative that looks for—and honors—diversity of race, ethnicity, age, socioeconomic background, education, sexuality, ability, life experience, veteran status, and more. 

Start by looking at the current demographic breakdown of all employees at your organization. This data should be available from your HR department and should exist in compliance with the EEOC and Civil Rights law. It’s also critical to dig deeper than company-level metrics. Break down your organization’s representation statistics by department, role, and career level to give yourself a complete view of your diversity landscape. This way, you can come up with a sourcing strategy for each role you have to fill based on what that team currently lacks in representation.

For example, you may find your company has an even 50/50 split of male and female-identified employees—great! However, looking at the titles they hold, you may discover that the majority of C-level roles are held by men and a majority of women are in entry-level or administrative roles—which means your organization isn’t as equitable as it appears with surface-level statistics. (Not to mention you've perhaps overlooked a whole demographic of non-binary or gender-nonconforming individuals.)

Team leaders will be valuable resources to call in at this point since they know their employees more intimately. Every manager should be the owner of diversity within their team and should be held accountable for it when it comes to bringing on new headcount. 

When managers can help move the needle on diversity and inclusion within their teams and see the tangible results of their efforts, it boosts confidence and ultimately minimizes the likelihood of “diversity fatigue.”

2. Set realistic goals

Setting realistic, data-driven diversity and inclusion goals will hold your team accountable and give you something to work towards. Sit down with your sourcers and recruiters to come up with a sourcing strategy for each role you have to fill based on what that team currently lacks in representation. Map out a plan so you can see how your efforts will evolve and build on each other over time. Think about how your inclusive hiring goals may change based on things like: 

  • Your company’s location – You can get labor market demographics through the local census data we discussed earlier. Determine if your workforce representation reflects that of the communities in which you’re located. If not, you can use this as a goal to work towards. For example, your office in Atlanta should have a different representation than your San Francisco location as a result of the demographic breakdown of workers in those areas. 

  • Your company’s size – If you set a goal to increase the representation of URG employees at your organization by 10% this year, you first have to figure out what that means in terms of actual hiring count. At an organization of 200 employees, that translates to 20 hires. However, if you work at a company with 3000 employees, that same 10% increase translates to 300 new URG hires (not counting employee attrition). This may or may not be a feasible goal based on your organization’s hiring pipeline, passthrough rates, and recruiter bandwidth. Looking at industry benchmarks (which we’ll discuss below) will give you a good idea of what URG representation looks like at companies of a similar size.

  • Remote work capabilities – Just as your company representation should match local labor markets, if your company has opened up some or all of its roles to remote work, consider what representation looks like at a national level to account for the larger talent market available to you. 

  • Job function – While we would always encourage greater URG participation across all job functions, there will inevitably be variations in underrepresented talent between different departments, which should be reflected in your hiring goals. For example, the demographic breakdown of the available talent pool for a sales development role will likely be vastly different than that of a software engineering role. Setting goals that account for these differences will create much more attainable targets for your TA team.

  • Level – To be genuinely dedicated to improving diversity, your organization has to be committed to increasing URG populations at all levels of the organization. However, here again, the available talent pool for an entry-level role will likely be wider and more diverse than the talent pool for a manager or executive-level position. To address this, you may want to consider putting more emphasis on building diverse internal pipelines and career paths for management and executive roles within your organization.

  • Industry benchmarks – Looking at industry benchmarks will give you a sense of how similar companies are performing compared to yours. Some key metrics to pay attention to are: 

    • Outreach stats for underrepresented talent

    • Best source of URG hires 

    • Passthrough rates for URG talent compared to majority group talent

    • Percent of URG talent at your company compared to similar organizations

For example, suppose you’re struggling to reach the representation of the local community. Looking at benchmark data, you may find that this is an industry-wide shortfall and not unique to your company. Thus, you may shift your initial diversity recruiting targets to be more moderate. On the other hand, if you’re trailing far behind your competitors, you might consider a more aggressive strategy.

Gem’s Talent Compass lets you customize your benchmarks based on firmographic traits like company size, location, and valuation or on demographics like gender, race/ethnicity, role type, etc. These benchmarks provide tailored data points that allow you to set effective goals and shift your talent acquisition strategy to stay ahead of your competition.

3. Follow through on your diversity and inclusion plan

Once you’ve identified the gaps in representation at your organization and set your diversity hiring goals, now it’s time to put your plan into action. If you’ve followed the tips we discussed earlier, you’ll already have a much more equitable, fair, and inclusive hiring process, which puts you in the perfect position to start cultivating a more diverse talent pool. Here are some tips for building a more inclusive and diverse hiring pipeline:

Rethink your hiring requirements 

Research has shown that underrepresented talent is more likely to underestimate their skills while majority talent is more likely to overestimate them, making a skills-abilities approach to job descriptions unintentionally biased. In other words, every prerequisite beyond the “must-haves” is one more reason qualified underrepresented talent will self-select out of your hiring process.

This means that the education and skillsets your ideal candidate possesses should be absolutely essential to the role. This is where you’ll have to work closely with your hiring managers and HR team to define what day-to-day success looks like in this role and what actionable expectations you will have of this hire. Challenge your hiring team to consider which screening qualifications really matter, which skills are flexible, and which can be learned on the job.

How to Write an Inclusive Job Description (4)

Write inclusive job descriptions 

Once you’ve pared down your hiring requirements to the only essentials; it’s time to create an inclusive job description. Looking for a new job can be scary. There are a lot of unknowns out there that candidates are trying to solve on their own. Candidates are reading your job descriptions and making inferences about your company and culture, whether you want them to or not. The key is to create a job description that empowers and inspires talent from traditionally-marginalized communities to apply. 

For example, using “masculine” language in your job description like “rockstar,” “ninja,” and “guru” may alienate female talent and deter them from applying. Instead, look for words that are gender-neutral or even “feminine”-leaning, such as "collaboration,” “cooperation,” “passion,” or “dedication.” Similarly, studies have shown that using highly-corporate language is often a signal to people of color that they won’t thrive in that workplace. Even using words like “stakeholder” can be a subconscious indicator that their contributions may not be valued. Instead, try using words like “partners” or “collaborators” in your descriptions to keep URGs from self-screening out of your hiring funnel. 

Focus on top-of-funnel initiatives

The strongest diversity hiring initiatives begin (but don’t end) at the top of the funnel—often with passive talent—before prospects even apply. That’s because the most popular hiring channels (think referrals and inbound) are inherently less diverse; so if your talent team isn’t actively sourcing and nurturing a diverse talent pool, you won’t see a diverse pipeline, a diverse set of interviews, or a diverse team. This means sourcers and recruiters have perhaps the most important role to play in cultivating relationships with underrepresented talent that will be critical to meeting your DEI&B goals. Educate your team on strategies for sourcing more inclusive talent pools and best practices for outreach and nurture campaigns. This will go a long way towards building a fair, equitable recruiting engine that consistently produces top-tier talent for your organization.

For a more in-depth look at how to find underrepresented talent, check out our webinar on demand: Diversity Sourcing: How to Search and Find Underrepresented Talent.

Expand your talent search 

Thanks largely to COVID, many companies have shifted their workforce to either completely remote roles or hybrid in-person models. TA teams should see this trend as a tremendous opportunity to leverage previously-untapped talent markets. 

For example, if your company is totally remote, you now have the power to source from almost anywhere. Instead of limiting your talent search to only traditional tech hubs like Silicon Valley, Austin, or Seattle, expand your search to up-and-coming cities for diversity like Baltimore, Atlanta, Miami, or Houston. Doing so will open up opportunities for you to better attract talent from underrepresented groups who may not want to leave their communities and support networks. 

Alternatively, if your company has instituted a hybrid in-person work model, you can still source talent somewhat near your office location, which may completely change the demographics of your available talent market. 

For example, looking at female participation in the tech workforce, a survey by BeyondHQ found that Silicon Valley scores near the bottom of all major talent hubs; while Sacramento, only a 90-minute drive away, has the highest rate of female participation. Granted, that’s still a bit of a commute, but a candidate will likely be more interested if they only have to make that drive once or twice per week. However, if you’re pursuing this as a means to address inequality in your hiring pipeline, you also have to take into account proximity bias. Having women and other URGs living far away and only visiting an office occasionally can disadvantage them as they want to progress in their careers. Hybrid work models must be paired with inclusive work practices and policies to ensure that people who commute less often are promoted at comparable rates to those who do not.

Leverage LinkedIn keywords 

If you’ve spent time as a sourcer or recruiter, chances are you’ve spent a lot of time on LinkedIn to find passive talent (individuals not actively applying but open to a new role). The good news is that all that LinkedIn expertise has not gone to waste. With a couple of tweaks, you can target your search to be more inclusive. Consider searching for:   

  • Schools that serve URGs – Use the “Schools” filter in LinkedIn Recruiter to search for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), tribal colleges, and women’s colleges.

  • Applicable skills/traits – Once you’ve sat down with your hiring manager and built the list of must-haves for a role, you can remove non-essential filters within LinkedIn and use a Boolean search to find candidates that include those skills on their profiles. Do candidates need to know Python or Java? What about being able to collaborate with cross-functional teams? The specific skills will vary depending on the job; however, by searching for the skills themselves, and not limiting yourself to specific schools, locations, etc. you’ll cast a much wider and more inclusive hiring net. 

  • Boot camps – Because boot camps offer the same training without the systemic barriers that often exist in similar collegiate programs, they tend to attract more students from underrepresented backgrounds. This also happens to be the golden age of boot camps, with more programs added yearly; you can now find boot camps for anything from coding and web and mobile development to product management and data science and analytics. You can take this one step further and search for programs that explicitly serve underrepresented groups, such as The Grace Hopper Program and Codepath.org.

  • Pro-URG organizations – Searching for folks that are members of professional and community organizations dedicated to supporting underrepresented individuals can be a great way to quickly find huge pools of potential candidates. National Society of Black Engineers, Code2040, Techtonica, Out in Tech, and the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) are just a few of the many of these types of organizations to search for. 

Build an inclusive and equitable work environment 

Diversity is about objective, measurable numbers, and ultimately equals representation. Inclusion invites each individual’s contribution and ensures every voice in the room is heard, while equity ensures each person receives access to opportunities, information, and resources that will help them grow and thrive. This is absolutely imperative because, without an inclusive and equitable work environment, companies can fall into a vicious circle of getting more candidates in the door who walk out as quickly as they walked in—because there are no structures to support them once they’re there.

To determine how broad your organization’s commitment to inclusion and equity is, sit down with HR and management—and in some cases, simply look around—and get the answers to questions like these:

  • Does the company have a code of conduct and a non-discrimination policy in place? 

  • Does your organization have a diversity mission statement?

  • Are there accessibility measures in place to accommodate employees with disabilities? 

  • Are hiring team members held accountable for DEI&B goals in performance reviews?

  • Do you have employee resource groups or affinity groups? How about formal mentoring and sponsorship programs?

  • Does the company offer trainings on topics such as unconscious bias, cultural intelligence, and gender identity/expression?

  • What safeguards are in place to ensure leadership assessments and promotion processes are as free of bias as possible?

  • What does the career trajectory look like for URG talent compared to their non-URG counterparts? 

  • Are URGs promoted at the same rate as non-URGs? And is this happening at all levels across the organization?

  • Is pay equal among employees from URGs compared to non-URG employees who hold similar roles?

  • Are company benefits inclusive of underrepresented talent (e.g. coverage for caregivers, mental health, transgender-inclusive benefits)?

  • Does the company allow employees to take their religious/cultural holidays of choice off? Do you celebrate gay pride together? Do you collectively honor International Women’s Day? Black History Month? Asian American and Pacific Islander Month?

  • Are the bathroom signs in your office/s inclusive?

  • Are company social events inclusive? Do they always involve the same things (happy hour drinks, whether virtual or in-person), or do they take different lifestyles into account?

This may seem like a big list, but don’t panic. We’re not suggesting you go around ripping down bathroom signs tomorrow—these are just questions to help you gauge where your company is currently at in its DEI&B efforts. However, the answers to these questions are things underrepresented talent will want to hear about in your team’s outreach, so definitely highlight them in your email campaigns. Use your answers to these questions—in tandem with external guidance from DEI&B professionals—to help upper management strategize policies and programs to increase feelings of inclusion in the organization.

Reduce interviewer bias 

Once you’ve found underrepresented talent and brought them into your hiring process, you have to make the interview process as fair and equitable as possible. However, interviewer bias is one of the biggest barriers to fully optimizing your diversity recruiting efforts.

Interviewer bias can present itself in many ways. It can be found in the snap judgments of a sourcer who decides not to reach out to an individual based on their name, the school they attended (or didn’t attend), breaks in employment, etc. Or it could be a hiring manager breezing a candidate through an interview because they both play golf at the same course.

These snap judgments are normal among humans and stem from a cognitive function known as heuristics—mental shortcuts humans have developed for making quick or routine decisions. However, heuristics can lead to bias in interviews and can be incredibly damaging to your efforts to create a fair and inclusive hiring process. Your TA team may be more prone to making bad hires because you’re not assessing for skill and impact—instead, you’re passing over excellent talent and missing out on building a trusting and inclusive team. 

Here are a few ways to reduce interviewer bias and focus your interview process on objective knowledge and skills rather than subjective criteria and snap judgments. 

  • Standardize the interview process – Standardizing interview questions means asking candidates the same questions, in the same order, in every interview. These questions should be directly tied to key aspects of the role, thereby giving each candidate the opportunity to demonstrate their applicable skills and knowledge. Having a standard set of interview questions will ensure that interviewers don’t go “off-script” based on their emotional reaction to a candidate and give the hiring team the information they need to make a fair comparison between candidates.

  • Use a rubric – Once you've standardized your interview questions, decide ahead of time what an “excellent answer,” a “good answer,” and a “poor answer” look like for each question, and add these to your candidate scorecard. You can use a Likert scale (poor - fair - average - good - exceptional) or a numerical rating scale (1-5 or 1-10). Make sure everyone on the hiring team is clear on precisely what constitutes the rating for a particular answer (e.g. what would a “poor” vs. “exceptional” answer look like, or a one compared to a 10). Make sure all interviewers fill out their scorecards either during or immediately after each interview, while their memories of the conversation are still fresh. Finally, don't allow interviewers to see their peers' evaluations before they've submitted their own to minimize conformity bias.

  • Give sample work assignments – Sample assignments allow you to test candidates on the skills they will frequently use in their role. These assignments could include writing a piece of code, creating a sample email campaign, analyzing a data set, or even just having them explain how they would solve a problem. Comparing assignments objectively allows you to select candidates based on merit and performance—nothing more.

  • Conduct panel interviews – The size of your hiring team will depend on many factors like role type, seniority, the bandwidth of your coworkers, and even the size of your company. However, the larger the interview team (within reason), the better. We’re not suggesting 15 people interview every candidate for an entry-level sales role; but having a few different voices from a range of ages, genders, backgrounds, positions, and seniority levels will mean you’re less likely to make a decision based on bias than with a panel of like-minded individuals with shared backgrounds and experiences.

  • Pro tip: use a representative panel – Among today’s talent market, certain age cohorts (e.g. Gen Z)—regardless of individuals' URG status—care deeply about being part of an organization committed to diversity. When candidates are met with homogenous interview teams, it can subconsciously signal that the company isn't committed to diversity and that they might not find belonging in your company culture, which may cause them to self-select out of your hiring process. To combat this, try as best you can to make the hiring team representative of the candidate pool you want to see. More balanced hiring teams will check each others' unconscious biases and make fairer hiring decisions. An added bonus is that it also helps candidates see themselves at your organization, as it shows your commitment to DEI&B.

  • Justify candidate decisions – When you meet with your hiring team after interviews are complete, have each member give some substantial and objective reasons why a particular candidate is or isn’t a good fit for the role. The S.T.A.R feedback method is a great way to structure candidate feedback. Instead of responses like “Their vibe was off” or  “I feel like they would be fun to work with”, these should be statements like “They weren’t able to prove that…” or “Their work on ______ really stood out.” Finally, make sure everyone on your hiring team feels comfortable speaking up if one of their peers’ responses doesn’t seem right.

  • Don’t neglect the “B” in DEI&B – So far, we’ve placed a lot of emphasis on getting candidates into, and moving them through, your hiring pipeline. However, this is only half the equation—the other half is keeping them there. After all, if new hires don’t stick around, the burden is back on recruitment to uncover more talent for the company’s diversity initiatives. In the hiring process, it’s important to ensure that candidates have enough context about the culture and what it's like to work at the company to see themselves working there. 
    That’s where the "B"—“belonging”—in DEI&B comes into play. Belonging is the feeling of connection, community, security, and support a person feels when they're accepted as part of a group (in this case, part of your organization). In very real terms, belonging means that every individual at your organization feels as though they can be their true selves at work and that their uniqueness will not only be tolerated, but celebrated. Be sure to equip hiring teams with consistent language to relay this and to create a safe, welcoming environment for candidates.
    Employee resource groups (ERGs) are a great way to give employees the opportunity to be heard, valued, and engaged throughout your organization. ERGs are voluntary, employee-led groups that provide support and help in personal or career development to employees from underrepresented groups and are crucial in fostering feelings of belonging within your organization.
    In addition, conducting employee surveys, inclusion roundtables, and focus groups can provide a deeper understanding of trends around DEI&B and your employees’ perceptions of your company. Survey questions specifically related to DEI&B can show you areas that may need improvement, and just the act of asking for feedback itself can go a long way in showing employees from URGs that the company actually cares about how they perceive their work environment.

How does Gem help with diversity recruiting?

Gem’s unique talent engagement platform allows you to track and analyze diversity throughout your hiring process and build stronger and more meaningful relationships with underrepresented talent. 

Pipeline Analytics URG v non-URG

Gem’s top-of-funnel metrics help you understand the pipeline your team is building. Sourcers, recruiters, and talent leaders can report on their pipelines' gender, race/ethnicity, and intersectionality breakdowns to hold them accountable and discover how their efforts impact diversity.

URG Funnel Activity

Gem also gives you visibility into passthrough rates at every stage of the funnel to identify where different segments of candidates are dropping out, so you can optimize and ensure fairness in each step of your hiring process.

Analytics female passthrough | Image

Finally, we know talent acquisition is all about playing the long game, which is why Gem allows you to set up automated nurture campaigns with curated content that will resonate with underrepresented talent and keep your company top-of-mind.

Automated nurture | Image

The more diverse and inclusive your organization is, the stronger it will be. As a talent acquisition professional, you occupy a crucial space between potential employees and the organization itself. You have your finger on the pulse of what’s really happening in the talent market and you’re also positioned to affect the kinds of organizational change essential to fostering an inclusive work environment. You’re in a position to educate teams on strategies for sourcing more diverse talent pools and best practices for outreach and nurture campaigns. 

Holding hiring teams accountable for checking their biases during interviews, strategizing with managers to cultivate cultures of belonging on their respective teams, and expanding your talent search beyond traditional constraints are just a few of the ways you can influence change within your organization. 

By following the diversity recruiting tips and strategies we’ve laid out, you’ll be able to build a rock-solid foundation for increasing representation at your organization and create a hiring engine that consistently delivers high-quality talent.

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