How To Implement DEI Hiring For Better Recruiting

A diverse workgroup connects better to a diverse, global audience. A rich culture within internal teams also helps safeguard against cultural tone-deafness, impacting communication both to mass consumers and business audiences. In this article, we’ll help you implement DEI hiring practices, so your company can enjoy the benefits of team diversity. 

DEI Hiring Practices

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) hiring is growing more prominent on companies’ agendas this year. According to Built In's 2022 State of DEI in Tech report, 40% of surveyed company leaders plan to report on DEI metrics in 2022. Nearly half (49%) also say they are preparing to host DEI events. If you’re planning to implement diversity recruitment goals this year, here are several DEI hiring practices to get you started.

Find Your DEI Gaps

It can be tempting to jump right in with a to-do list and assume everything will work out fine. But DEI hiring means a shift in culture and mindsets that have been in place for a long time. A better way to start may be to take a step back and assess the entire hiring funnel for DEI gaps. This way, DEI hiring practices are better targeted to address specific areas that need improvement. This approach also helps organically integrate DEI into an otherwise working hiring process. 

Using surveys from authoritative and independent sources is a good way to assess any DEI gaps. Below are some sample resources:

  • The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) offers a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Survey for companies. Completed surveys are submitted to SHRM and interpreted by an independent consultant. 
  • Diversity in Tech compiled 20 top survey questions to measure inclusion in workplaces. Questions probe employees' sense of belonging, equality practices, hiring opportunities, and career advancement among others. 
  • SurveyMonkey provides templates for DEI surveys including: 
  • Diversity surveys 
  • Belonging and inclusion
  • Gender and work experience
  • Culture of Genius survey
  • Mentorship and advocacy
  • Pay gap
  • Vendor diversity
  • Entry interview survey

You may also develop an in-house DEI survey, but using an independent source is a faster and a more objective way of assessing gaps. 

Broaden Your Network

A major step towards realizing DEI goals is building a diverse candidate pool. Companies can enrich their applicant pipelines through:

  • Opening opportunities for diverse internships
  • Tapping senior and veteran employment networks
  • Partnering with programs that reconnect workers to jobs after taking a long break due to family or health reasons
  • Working with groups that partner with underrepresented worker segments
  • Consulting with government labor programs that represent marginal groups

Given the increasing focus on DEI it’s possible that major recruitment networks are already actively seeking underrepresented groups. Try asking if there are any initiatives already in place to increase diversity in candidate pools - or suggest one if there isn’t any yet. 

Focus on Skills

Shifting the focus on skills in hiring and assessment effectively eliminates negotiable factors that can exclude deserving candidates. Skill-oriented hiring practices include:

Inclusive language in job descriptions. Emphasize necessary skills (ex., proven experience with Python) instead of requirements that are not strictly necessary (ex., Master's degree in Information and Technology).

Structured interviews. Building interviews around carefully prepared questions is a great way to keep conversations on track. Unstructured interviews — where applicants are expected to open up about their skills and experiences organically — allow other unnecessary information (such as education or affiliations) to influence interviewers' judgment. 

Skill-based assessment. Evaluating skills with objective scoring standards leaves no room for conscious or unconscious bias. Skill-based tests spotlight candidates' performance and expertise regardless of their background. 

For technology companies, advanced technical platforms can help HR/recruiters objectively and comprehensively assess candidates' skills with specially designed challenges in virtual environments. 

Seek Feedback on DEI Hiring Practices

Lastly, seek feedback about the DEI hiring practices your company has implemented so far. This process can involve a general candidate experience (CX) survey that can be offered to applicants whether they were hired or not. HR/recruiters can also invite suggestions from candidates on how the hiring process could be improved. 

Some areas for discussion include the application process, interview, and assessment, among others. Feedback on these areas can be used to further integrate DEI hiring practices into your company’s overall recruitment strategy. 

In summary, DEI hiring practices include looking at existing DEI gaps, broadening your company's recruitment networks, focusing on skills (especially at the assessment stage), and seeking feedback. Implementing these DEI hiring practices does not mean hitting DEI goals 100% immediately, but it starts an ongoing process of improvement that will bring your company closer each day to a truly diverse work culture and environment. 

Filtered is a leader in skill-based, data-driven recruiting technology. Our end-to-end technical hiring platform enables you to spend time reviewing only the most qualified candidates, putting skills and aptitude at the forefront of your decisions.  We’ll help you automate hiring while also applying objective, data-driven techniques to consistently and confidently select the right candidates. To get started, contact our team today or register for a FREE demo