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How to Recruit a More Diverse Workforce

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A diverse workforce comes with many benefits. Higher revenue, better job performance, a more trusted brand, and an increased customer base are just some of the benefits. According to a 2015 survey by Glassdoor, 67% of active and passive job seekers consider a diverse workplace to be one of the most important things o them when they are evaluating companies or job offers.

The need for workplace diversity is growing and it's not just about doing the right thing anymore. Nowadays, a diverse workplace will nurture your brand and attract only the best employees to your company before your competitors snatch them up.

Companies have struggled to build a diverse workplace for years. Women make up 50% of the workplace, sure, but they only occupy 4.6% of leadership positions in companies in the S&P 500.

To top that off, there are only 4 black CEOs in the Fortune 500 companies, and that number used to be 12.

Clearly, it's time that we re-examine our recruitment strategies. If you're looking to hire in the near future and would like to diversify your staff, check out these tips from top companies.

Create a More Diverse Brand

Diversity issues are being put to the test in recent years. Some refer to the current state of the US as the New Civil Rights Movement, and in this movement, everyone's actions are being placed under a microscope. This is especially true for employers.

Because of this, employers should integrate diversity directly into their brand. You can do this in a number of ways.

Start by building up the diverse content on the Careers page of your website. Include a diversity mission statement, images, and any diversity awards you can claim.

Use social media to spread the word about your efforts towards diversity. Share pictures of diversity events and other things that show what effort your company is making towards creating a more diverse workplace.

Update all of your print materials to properly embody your company. Update your workforce demographic statistics and any related images and information about resource groups.

In order for people to see your company as diverse, diversity must be woven into every facet of it in a genuine way. Otherwise, you will come off as hollow and ingenuine.

If your company doesn't have much diversity yet, it could be challenging for you to project a diverse image. Make sure that you show how your company's culture is open to diversity and finding new perspectives and ideas.

Check to make sure that your culture expresses an interest in diversity. Use new job seeker trends to shape your brand. And while you do that, work hard on developing a more diverse workplace.

Source Diverse Candidates With Keywords

There is research that shows that many job titles and descriptions are made with overly-masculine terms that can drive away female candidates. That same research found that changing the vocabulary to be geared towards women does nothing to stop men from applying.

If you want to reach more female candidates, use words like these in your job postings:

  • Cooperative
  • Honest
  • Loyal
  • Understanding

Avoid phrases like "requirements" because these cand drive away the women who don't meet every one of them. Also, steer away from masculine words like competitive, confident, and outspoken.

How LinkedIn is Helping

LinkedIn has created a very effective way of recruiting good, diverse candidates. There are over 10 million jobs posted on LinkedIn. This is probably because the company gives employers steps to use to maximize keywords to find more diverse employees.

You can pick and choose which keywords you want to build into your search strings in order to better decide what applicants you want to connect with.

If you want to attract female candidates, you can add professional women's organizations and schools to your keyword search. These can be things like "American Business Women's Association."

It also allows you to create relationships with diverse candidates by joining groups on LinkedIn. After you establish the relationship, you can post relevant jobs to those groups if they match your chosen target demographic.

Breed a Diverse Culture

If you don't create a workforce that fosters, invites, and supports diversity, none of your efforts are going to amount to anything.

Consider the technology industry, for example. In a recent study of 716 women in the industry, these women left their jobs for reasons like issues with maternity leave policies, flexible work issues, and not enough pay to cover childcare costs.

Many of these respondents were discriminated against due to their gender, race, ethnicity, or sexuality. In fact, many of the respondents left the industry and said that the never wanted to return.

This clearly shows that when you don't have a culture that nurtures diversity, you impact turnover and the way that your business and industry is perceived.

There are a lot of ways that you can nurture a workplace that is receptive to diversity.


Diversity training can teach your existing employees how to embrace diversity. This is done through a variety of inclusion efforts and exercises, and it can be critical to developing the culture you want in your brand.

Unconscious Bias

Unconscious biases are social stereotypes that we form without being aware of them. These specific kinds of biases are more prevalent than the outwardly conscious prejudice and we often don't even agree with them ourselves.

However, unconscious bias training initiatives, like technology that can catch unconscious bias before it can do damage, are a good idea for most businesses. This can track job descriptions, resume screening, and performance reviews as you create them. They can detect biased wording and any biases that are irrelevant to the actual job description.

Lead By Example

In order to instill the proper culture in your brand and your business, it has to start with you. Make efforts that show how you, and your company by extension, recognize the value of diversity and how important it is that you embody it.

Diversify Candidates

It's important that you create a diverse profile even before people become employees. The research discovered that when a final candidate pool had only one minority in it, they had no chances of getting hired.

However, if you add two into that pool, it can raise the odds of hiring a female candidate by 97 times and can increase the chances of hiring a minority candidate by 194 times.

Use Innovative Hiring Methods

There are a number of new methods of hiring that can increase the diversity in your workplace. These include things like blind resumes and interviews and using AI to screen your resumes. We already talked a bit about programs that are designed to see past unconscious bias in the application process, so we will talk more about blind resumes and interviews now.

Blind Resumes

The most common way to enforce blind hiring is to remove the candidate's name from their resume. This can help recruiters to make decisions without their unconscious biases getting in the way.

There are other pieces of personal information that you can choose to remove as well, like their graduation year, the name of the colleges they attended, and their addresses.

This can help to make sure that your candidates are high quality because you are basing your decision entirely on their skills, knowledge, and their success potential.

Blind Interviews

While this is not an option for all businesses, the blind interview extends the blind resume process even further.

Some companies are enforcing blind interviews by removing all personal identification from applications and having their candidates answer job-related questions anonymously.

However, that usually ends when the phone-screening comes into play because it's nearly impossible to remain anonymous over a phone call unless there is expensive technology involved.

"Sure Things" Aren't Always a Sure Thing

Just because someone has previous experience working in a company or position similar to yours, doesn't mean that they are necessarily the best person for the job. Often times, companies will overlook the more diverse option because they don't have the same work experience as the others do.

However, this can be a mistake. Just because one candidate doesn't have experience in the same job position doesn't mean that they won't be able to add something valuable to your company. Workplace diversity comes in many forms.

Even if they don't have experience in your specific area, make sure you follow up on references and use them as a chance to ask questions about how the applicant has demonstrated the things that are important to your company.

Ask questions that the candidate can answer and give them a chance to show how their past experiences can apply to the job and your workplace culture.


Companies tend to hire candidates that fit into the current mold of the company. Sometimes, they feel as though they "clicked" with a certain candidate and just o with them.

However, you want to hire the smartest person in the room, not the one that is the most like you.

Never hire based on a gut feeling. Personality might be important, but hiring someone who is friendly but cant do the job doesn't help you or your business.

Creating a Diverse Workforce

When we create a diverse workforce, we send a message to the world. It shows that we are committed to hiring the right person for the job, every time. As a business owner or recruitment manager, it is important that you and your company exhibits the values that are important to your brand. Make diversity one of those values.

If you're interested in learning more about creating a more diverse workplace, contact us today.

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