2020 has been a year of growth and learning, and diversity has become a scorching topic. This article seeks to outline trends we should see for diverse recruiting in 2021 and things you can do to increase diversity within your organization. Most organizations now seek to hire a diverse workforce not only as a way of progress and equality but also as a way to increase innovation and grow revenue. Research backs up this trend as a study of 171 European companies indicated that creating diverse management teams leads to the growth of revenue from new products and services. 

What does diverse recruiting in 2021 look like?

Diversity involves hiring managers and upper-level executives from different backgrounds, parts of the world, nonlinear career paths, various races, ethnicities, sexes, and age groups. Creating a culture of diversity means hiring folks from all walks of life and allowing more participation in executive meetings. A diverse workforce brings new perspectives and novel solutions into the mix and helps organizations meet their goals. Millennials seek a diverse workforce and prefer to work for companies that make an effort to hire diverse candidates, so recruiters need to make an effort to source for diverse talent. Companies doing what they can to create a workforce environment that encourages diversity and inclusion will attract better talent overall.

More importantly, recruiters need to increase diversity when seeking leadership positions. Did you know that only 6% of the top-level CEOs are women, and Overall, racially marginalized people account for less? Furthermore, most job seekers want to join organizations with an inclusive culture. This article outlines how companies and recruiters can ensure they are broadening their network and hiring more diverse candidates for 2021.

Broadening Job Requirements

Of course, we are not talking about hiring underqualified people, but we are discussing broadening the requirements for the positions you are looking to fill. You can teach software, process, and technology on the job. You cannot, however, teach communication, values, or time management skills. Firms should eliminate some of the “must-have” skills that can be trained on the job to encourage more candidates to apply for complex positions. “Must-haves” are a huge turn off for women, as research indicates that women only apply for jobs where they meet 100% of the requirements while men will apply even if they meet only 60% of the qualifications. Instead, emphasize that your organization is committed to diversity and inclusion as a way of assuring diverse candidates to apply for jobs. Reduce the requirements to only those that are absolutely necessary to perform the role.

One way of increasing diverse recruiting in 2021 is to broaden job requirements to include candidates with different skill and education levels. For instance, some corporations such as Google and Apple no longer require a 4-year degree for certain positions. Several organizations have also reduced their work experience requirements and instead focus on the candidate’s potential when hiring. Firms are looking for candidates who may not yet be experts in their fields but are teachable. They go for candidates with soft skills, abilities, and cultural fit. This approach increases workplace diversity and helps underrepresented groups get more opportunities. 

Using Inclusive Language in Job Posts and Messages

The language recruiters use in job descriptions means a lot to potential candidates. For instance, one organization realized that only two percent of their coders were women. After investigation, they found that they were using the word ”hackers” when describing developers. This word would then turn off women applicants. Small details in a post, such as a description, can prevent an organization from attracting a diverse talent pool. Recruiters should avoid discriminatory language when writing job descriptions. Recruiters should use inclusive keywords when writing job titles and descriptions because most of them use overly-masculine terms.

Studies indicate that words with subtle masculine connotations such as aggressive, ambitious, determined, and dominant turn off female candidates. Others like ninja, guru, and rock star are outrightly masculine and project the image that the recruiter is looking for alpha males and do not appeal to women candidates. Instead, recruiters should use words like committed, considerate, cooperative, honest, and trustworthy to appear more inclusive of feminine candidates. However, just being conscious and using neutral and inclusive terms will make a difference in the candidates that apply. Firms should also avoid using corporate jargon such as KPI and SLAs in their advertisements. Doing this is a turn off for talented candidates from applying for entry-level positions. Such language makes them feel like outsiders and like they are under-qualified.

Recruiters should instead use general terms when writing technical job descriptions. Ensure that your job descriptions connect with the applicant you are appealing to, such as women and racially marginalized peoples. Engage marginalized candidates by joining culturally diverse groups on LinkedIn. Further, encourage your clients to embrace inclusive workplace policies to attract and retain a diverse workforce.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Employers should ensure that accommodating diverse candidates does not end at the recruitment level. The diverse recruiting trends indicate that employers should embrace diversity training in their workplaces as most employees lack these skills or are entirely unaware that they exist. Training includes creating exercises to promote team dynamics and a culture of diversity and inclusion. The training can consist of different methods, such as cross-cultural training and sharing of ethical best practices.

Organizations should ensure that all their training and development programs are fair, impartial and provide equal opportunities for diverse candidates to achieve excellent performance. They should create a culture that embraces diversity by introducing friendly policies such as female-friendly maternity leave, flexible work schedules, and inclusive benefits. Firms can also partner with minority institutions to offer training and internships for minority groups. These training initiatives will equip them with the skills they need to perform in their jobs and excel professionally. For instance, PepsiCo works with minority colleges and sponsors diversity recruitment conferences. This approach has enabled the organization to have women and minorities, making up 54% of its workforce.

Diversity Sourcing Tools and The Help Of AI Technology

Recruiters can also use software such as Unitive to detect unconscious bias before it can cause damage. It helps to track bias in job descriptions, resume screening, and performance reviews. It also detects biased words and other biases that are irrelevant to job performance. Other tools like Textio Hire analyze job descriptions and propose improvements that make the post more appealing to diverse applicants. Meanwhile, the Gender Decoder tool can automatically tell if your post leans towards male or female candidates.

You can also work with automated sourcing platforms, such as Loxo, to enhance your candidates’ diversity. Loxo has diversity settings and filters to comply with regulations and allows recruiters to present diverse candidates to clients. This helps find candidates that may be outside your network. As the AI learns from these placements and sourcing trends, it will recommend more diverse candidates in the future.

Loxo is a leading talent intelligence platform and a global leader in artificial intelligence in recruitment. If you want to see how Loxo can increase your access to a diverse talent pool, sign up for a free demo.