To hire for diversity, it’s important for HR departments and hiring managers to first recruit for diversity.
A team of employees from diverse backgrounds expands the range of their knowledge, creativity, and viewpoints. These perspectives and differences foster a community of support, allow teams to grow, and ensure customers are better served.
A successful recruiting plan should begin with a needs assessment. In addition to determining actual staffing vacancies, gaps in diversity should be noted, as well. Set goals so your outcomes can be measured.
When recruiting, it’s important to include all qualified candidates in the pool regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, background, or appearance. The process should be free from biases for or against any group of candidates.
Below are suggestions for ensuring there is diversity in the candidate pool:
- Review job descriptions and vacancy postings to remove language that narrows the demographics. Use gender neutral language and avoid unnecessary physical requirements.
- Advertise in a variety of places, online and in person. Recruiting in the same places over and over again will limit an entity’s reach. Try organizations such as a women in technology group or other minority-focused associations.
- Use a diverse recruiting and hiring team. Diverse perspectives benefit all teams, including human resources.
- Consider implementing a diversity training program tailored to recruiters. It’s important to train those who hire how to recognize and push past biases.
- Evaluate the factors that recruiters screen for. Which traits are valued most, and why? Determine if those answers are based on bias.
- Avoid making assumptions about candidates based on their diversity. It’s not fair to assume comfort or skill levels because of differences.
- Create a culture that appeals to diverse candidates. Enact policies that promote a positive brand to diverse employees. If a candidate has done their homework, they will be aware of the school district’s reputation.
It’s not enough to announce the desire to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion. Real steps must be taken to prove a commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace.
HR Services resources
TASB HR Services has several resources available in the HR Library (member login required) that can assist districts as they work to diversify the hiring process.
Sarah James is the communications specialist at TASB HR Services. Send Sarah an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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