DiverseHowTo-1As competition for attracting and keeping top talent heats up, companies who demonstrate that they have a culture of diversity and inclusion will have a significant advantage. Not only are these companies likely to perform better financially, as we discussed in my last blog, they are also more likely to engage and retain their high performing employees. And…attract new ones!

According to LinkedIn Talent Solutions’ 2018 Global Recruiting Trends report, “diversity is the biggest game-changer” among recruiting trends for 2018.  Seventy-eight percent of their survey respondents indicated that diversity is very or extremely important in shaping their recruiting and hiring efforts for 2018.  And it’s not just diversity – it’s diversity, inclusion, and belonging, all key elements in attracting, engaging and retaining employees.

Companies are focusing their efforts on a wide definition of diversity, including gender (71%), racial and ethnic (49%), age/generational (48%), educational (43%), disability (32%), religious (19%) and other (6%).

Yet despite this focus, companies still have a challenge in attracting diverse candidates. Here are some things to consider as you work on making your candidate pool more diverse, and your culture one of diversity, inclusion and belonging.

Demonstrate your commitment to diversity through the images on your website and in recruiting collateral. Show that you walk the talk.

Review job posting language through the lens of diversity and inclusion. Words matter. Terms such as “rockstar, “ninja” or “guru” may discourage some perfectly qualified people from applying. Use gender neutral language. Sometimes it’s as simple as changing “manage” to “develop.” A recent KQED article noted that “if you say manage a team, the applicants are primarily male. If you say develop a team, it tends to be female. And when you say lead a team, it tends to be neutral.”

Emphasize the impact of the role. Studies show that men will apply for jobs when they meet only 60% of the requirements, whereas women don’t feel confident to apply unless they meet 100% of the requirements. Consider only including the must-have requirements (versus adding all of the nice-to-haves) and focusing more on the impact the candidate would make in the position.

Be sure diversity is reflected in your culture.  Consider incorporating things like time off for important holidays for diverse religions, providing parental leave, and implementing LGBTQ-friendly policies. Identify and eliminate workplace practices and attitudes that are anti-diversity-inclusion-belonging.

Confirm your commitment to diversity and inclusion on a regular basis by ensuring that teams, projects, promotions and other opportunities are open to the broader definition of diverse individuals – gender, ethnicity, points of view, sexual orientation, etc.

If you need help in incorporating diversity into your hiring practices and/or culture, please contact me at michelle@connecttohr.com.