Diversity is Key! 5 Recruitment Best Practices

A diverse group of business professionals

ADP executives say focusing on diversity and inclusion can help make the difference in your talent acquisition efforts.

In today's competitive labor environment, the ability to attract and retain the best talent sets a business apart. If your recruitment model doesn't include diversity and inclusion as a key piece of the talent acquisition puzzle, it should. Implementing diversity recruitment best practices can make a huge difference in attracting the resources, insights and perspectives you need to drive your business forward.

Traditional recruiting practices can prove challenging as a method for identifying and bringing diverse candidates through the door. Instead, cast your talent acquisition net in places where diverse candidates are. Target the right candidates and subsequently establish the appropriate policies and values that support an inclusive workplace that engages all employees.

I recommend five best practices to help you in your quest to hire with diversity in mind:

1. Demonstrate Your Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Diverse applicants want to see diverse talent in your organization. What if a woman of color has eight interviews, and they're all with white men? That's going to be a red flag. Be aware of how your organization may be perceived.

Transgender applicants may be wondering about restroom policies — if they are transitioning, what restroom can they use? If candidates are relocating, they may want relevant examples of how the local community welcomes and celebrates diversity.

I serve as president of the board for Reaching Out MBA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating, inspiring and connecting the LGBTQ MBA community. Some of what we create, through events and programming, are opportunities for recent grads to connect with members of the workforce to ask these questions and get a feel for a company's diversity profile.

During the hiring process, take care to demonstrate your commitment to diversity and inclusion. You want all candidates and employees to feel comfortable about your organization's stance on these key issues. What may seem like a small consideration can make a huge difference for a diverse applicant.

2. Understand What Candidates are Seeking

"Make sure you're offering inclusive benefits," suggests my colleague Rita Mitjans, ADP's Chief Diversity & Corporate Social Responsibility Officer. "Look at your plans to ensure they support same sex and domestic partner couples. Not every LGBTQ couple can get married, so does your plan provide equitable coverage?"

Desirable benefit offerings for the LGBTQ population might include paternity/maternity leave, as well as policies that include adoption, and coverage for IVF procedures. Transgender candidates may be looking for information about applicable health benefits related to gender reassignment.

When you're developing a package to meet your candidates' needs and recruit diverse talent, it's essential that you understand what offerings they are seeking.

3. Provide Diversity and Inclusion Training

Regardless of who they are, any interviewer should be able to inform a candidate how the organization supports diversity and inclusion. People need to know what to say to demonstrate that they respect and value differences and are allies. Mitjans makes an important point: inclusiveness training isn't just about recruiting. It's also important to reinforce the value and benefits of diversity for your entire workforce.

"Offer training that engages and educates your workforce on what it feels like to be part of another community. Offer them a glimpse about what life is like for other people," she suggests.

4. Be Your Own Advocate

Candidates are looking at diversity ratings when they decide to apply and take offers. Don't be afraid to toot your own horn. Be visible as an employer that cares about diversity and inclusion.

Make your inclusive work environment visible at the national level by participating in surveys and programs that evaluate workplace diversity and inclusion efforts. For example, ADP has been recognized by Diversity Inc.'s Top 50, Working Mother's Best Companies for Multicultural Women, The Human Rights Campaign, and Bloomberg's Gender Equality Index for our commitment to diversity.

But don't rely on outside recognition alone in your efforts to support diversity and inclusion. Use the careers page on your website to reflect and celebrate the diversity of your employee population. Include information about your inclusive workplace in everything from employer brand videos to job postings to leadership profiles. Make it easy for candidates to see that your organization views diversity as a business imperative.

5. Make Inclusion a Continuous Priority

Once candidates become employees, your organization stands to benefit greatly from the diversity of thought they bring to the table and from the inclusion of all perspectives within the business. From an organizational standpoint, ADP is clearly dedicated to diversity and inclusion. It's not just something we use to recruit talent. There's funding and support across the organization to deliver on the promise of being an inclusive organization.

As an example, I serve as the executive sponsor for ADP's Business Resource Group (BRG). Within ADP, our ADP Pride BRG is one of eight such groups. These groups play a vital role in recruiting and hiring diverse talent and working to raise awareness around inclusion issues. They engage with employees who identify as members (including allies) and encourage a greater range of business perspectives within their organization.

ADP Pride also shares thought leadership about LGBTQ issues with clients and trains our sales forces to understand best practices and talking points that are relevant to working with an LGBTQ audience. ADP Price BRG has also partnered with outside groups such as the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce to make a commercial impact on a larger scale.

Role models and buy-in from the executive level to the front line are essential as you implement diversity recruitment best practices. Empower all members of your workforce to focus on how they can help recruit, retain and grow diverse talent in the organization. Ensure employees can talk the talk as well as demonstrate a true desire to understand one another. That's inclusion.

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