Tips For Hiring More Diverse Entry-Level Hires

Today, companies across all industries are seeking to improve diversity in their organizations. Many teams are adopting a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion mindset to produce tangible results and to nurture the talents of employees from all backgrounds. Much of this work begins with entry-level hiring and finding a diverse cohort of individuals to contribute to and grow with your team.

Having a diverse workforce has several tangible benefits for both employees and employers. Diverse teams can propel a company’s performance and foster innovation, creativity, and more in-depth decision-making. A 2016 study by Boston Consulting Group found that companies with greater gender, geographic, and industry diversity also generated higher revenues.

Additionally, hiring more employees from underrepresented backgrounds is a major step towards achieving greater equality of opportunity in the workforce. Addressing ways that your company can hire members of groups who have been historically excluded from certain fields and industries is a move towards greater equity and inclusion in the workplace.

So how can your team begin hiring more diverse entry-level employees? Below we’ve outlined some tips to get you started.

Audit Your Current Diversity Recruitment Practices

Every organization begins its diversity recruitment journey from a different place. Evaluating your company’s current hiring strategies and considering your team’ strengths and weaknesses when it comes to hiring underrepresented new hires is a great first start. Here are some questions to consider:

1) What are your company’s diversity recruitment goals?

2) What systems and practices does your organization have in place to carry out diversity recruitment efforts?

3) To what extent have these measures been successful? Which goals have been met and which require more work?

4) What are some ways to address the weaknesses within your organization’s diversity recruitment efforts?

Asking these questions will allow you and your team to gain a greater understanding of where you stand and how to more thoughtfully pursue diversity recruitment from an equity and goal-centered mindset.

Broaden Your Job Requirements

Writing rigid and specific requirements in your job postings is a major factor that filters out and deters candidates from underrepresented backgrounds. For example, having GPA requirements or seeking candidates solely from elite schools can hurt lower-income and racial minority applicants, since they face greater barriers to being admitted to elite schools and difficulty balancing their grades with other responsibilities such as an on-campus job.

Instead, broaden your job requirements and write inclusive job postings. Do away with any strict requirements and seek to attract candidates from a variety of backgrounds and experiences.

Source candidates from several job boards to reach out to as many communities as possible. Be mindful of any coded language in your job postings, such as wording that can be biased towards certain genders, races, or ethnicities. These strategies can increase the volume of diverse candidates that your team receives and put you on your way to finding the right candidates from a more representative pool.

Incorporate More Objective Tools Such as Assessments

While resumes and interviews can tell you what a candidate has accomplished, pre-employment assessments can provide you with powerful insights into what a candidate is like and what they can do. Backed by leaders in I/O psychology, these assessments are rigorously and continually validated to predict future job performance.

Pre-employment assessments are especially useful for increasing workplace diversity as implicit biases continue to permeate recruitment processes. Implicit biases can make the hiring process less objective and can lead interviewers to make biased and inaccurate hiring decisions. If unexamined, some of these personal biases can lead to candidates from underrepresented groups to be judged unfairly, thereby impeding efforts to increase workplace diversity.

A Wharton study that examined the effects of implicit bias in hiring in STEM found that women and minority candidates with 4.0 GPAs were evaluated the same as white male candidates with 3.75 GPAs. A 2012 field experiment on labor market discrimination found that the common practice of assessing the “culture fit” of a candidate can easily be affected by ingroup bias, where an interviewer favors candidates who are part of their own in group, such as a member of their same race or gender.

To combat biases like these, pre-employment assessments allow recruiters to evaluate candidates more objectively. Recruiters see score reports of a candidate’s test results, that they can then compare to other candidates to find the best fit. This practice allows hiring teams to judge a candidate more objectively, with unconscious bias being a reduced factor

During a time when hiring bias continues to be a major impediment to increasing diversity among early-career hiring, becoming more objective may be the solution that you and your team needs.