According to job description software firm Datapeople, the recruiting process that companies use can have a big impact on their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts.
“The recruiting process isn’t just one thing, it’s a bunch of individual elements that come together to create a final outcome,” says Datapeople spokesperson Charlie Smith. “And every one of those individual elements can make or break the pipeline all on their own. Of course, the hiring process can and does influence DEI.”
According to Datapeople, which has been collecting and analyzing real-world job postings and hiring outcomes since 2015, the recruiting process can impact DEI efforts in a variety of ways. It can determine how well companies attract diverse applicant pools, keep applicants from dropping out of the pipeline, and even improve employee retention.
The cascading effect of small choices is clearest in the relationship between an applicant pool’s size and its diversity, the company says. Simply put, the larger the applicant pool at the top of the pipeline, the more diverse the final candidate pool at the bottom. Which means, for one thing, well-meant diversity hacks like the Rooney Rule that try to self-correct the system in later stages can’t beat a large applicant pool.
Companies that can cast a wider net can attract larger and more diverse applicants pools, according to Datapeople. They can do that simply by advertising open jobs with inclusive job postings on common job boards like Indeed or Monster.
According to Datapeople, it helps to draft all new job posts from standardized templates or previously successful job posts. Uniformity means that every job post will include important content like diversity information, benefits, and perks in official company copy. It can also help to collaborate among multiple writers, which can weed out possible deterrents such as unnecessary soft skills or requirements that don’t match the job title.
Meanwhile, companies that smooth out their hiring process can better keep the applicants in their pipeline, according to Datapeople. A smooth hiring process involves communicating regularly with applicants, setting hiring process expectations (e.g., four to six weeks), and providing an easy and relatively quick application process.
For interviews, Datapeople says it’s important to remember that not all types of interviews are good for all types of applicants. Standard over-the-phone or in-person interviews are great for extroverts but not great for introverts. Meanwhile, not all applicants have the same amount of free time for assessment projects (e.g., parents).
Finally, employers that can get the job posting right can actually improve their overall employee retention, the company says. Many new hires don’t work out because the requirements on a job posting don’t match the actual job. The closer a hiring team can get the job posting to the job, the more likely a hire will thrive in the role.
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