Workplace diversity has become a top priority for many companies, with a lot of hiring managers focusing on attracting a diverse talent pool.
After all, you can’t hire more diverse talent if you don’t have a diverse range of candidates, right?
But experts say you can’t stop at having a broad talent pool.
Diversity needs to be top of mind at every step of the hiring process, from sourcing to screening to interviewing.
And a recent report from WayUp, a jobsite and resource center for recent college grads, identified common barriers to hiring diverse candidates.
Here are seven tactics to break these barriers, help eliminate bias and increase diversity in the hiring process:
1. Remove GPA requirements. Some entry-level job postings include a minimum GPA requirement as a way to evaluate new grads without experience. This practice, however, particularly hurts minority candidates.
Data shows that African-American, Hispanic and Native American students are more likely to work long hours in college, which can cause GPAs to be lower than students who didn’t have work responsibilities. It’s also important to note that high GPAs don’t guarantee high job performance.
2. Offer relocation stipends. WayUp’s report found that African-American candidates are twice as likely to turn down a job if relocation is required and no financial support is offered. They’re also less likely to ever apply for the job in the first place.
Many hiring managers make the mistake of assuming any candidate has the means to relocate for a job, but that’s not true. Offering relocation stipends will really help broaden your talent pool.
3. Give interview flexibility. Another barrier to diverse candidates is a company’s lack of flexibility when scheduling interviews. Minority candidates in particular may not be able to take off from work to go to an interview. It’d be in employers’ best interest to share a calendar with several interview options so the candidate can pick what’s best for them.
4. Stop unpaid internships. It’s a simple fact that many people can’t afford to work for free – especially minority interns. WayUp’s report found the average cost of an unpaid internship for students is $6,800.
If you’re having trouble landing diverse candidates for your internships, you should reevaluate your pay structure. Getting a diverse talent pool could be as simple as bumping up the compensation.
5. Watch the language in job posts. It’s incredibly easy for unconscious bias to sneak into the way you write job posts. And the certain language used can deter certain candidates from even applying. Asking for talent who will “fit right in” to the culture can unknowingly discourage diversity.
It can also help to include mission statements in your job postings. Show candidates you have a commitment to diversity, and you can also highlight possible career trajectories candidates could take at your company.
6. Examine the schools you recruit from. Does your company often source students from the same handful of colleges? This is majorly hurting your diverse recruiting efforts. By targeting the same type of students, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
This doesn’t mean employers should only focus on recruiting from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), but should take a more holistic approach and target a variety of different schools.
7. Ditch technical assessments. These are often the biggest culprit in unconscious bias. Similar to standardized tests, technical assessments don’t guarantee an accurate evaluation of performance. Many candidates get test anxiety, and these assessments exclude those who don’t have access to training and means to prepare for them.