By: Simone Crawley*
Leading the recruitment process for any company is daunting work and a great responsibility. New employees have a significant impact on company culture and outcomes, for better or worse. These four tips will support recruiters and hiring managers in discovering more diverse talent:
Indeed and Resume Bias
Ethnocentrism is the concept of seeing your culture (language, location, religion, etc.) as the norm and perceiving all others as “abnormal.” Whether these differences are seen as negative or positive is subjective.
Job postings on sites such as Indeed can garner applicants from diverse backgrounds given the size of their talent pool and their popularity. However, the review of applicants is heavily reliant on examining resumes. Name bias speaks to the negative judgments and assumptions made (immediately and without consideration of other factors) about job applicants with names deemed difficult to pronounce or atypical. This form of bias is widely responsible for the rejection of qualified candidates from underrepresented nationalities, religions, racial/ethnic groups, and gender identities before they have a chance to interview.
Drawbacks of LinkedIn
LinkedIn has evolved significantly over the years from a quiet platform for resume sharing to a social media channel to share frustrations, concerns, and trends across all industries. This is especially true for employees and job seekers of color who can compare experiences and push for accountability among companies with toxic cultures. The ongoing, robust conversation on how to best implement DEI takes center stage on the platform as well.
LinkedIn (like virtually every social media platform these days) struggles to provide equitable representation and access for underrepresented employees and candidates. Frustration around censorship has been expressed by users and led to a shift in how these groups utilize the platform.
To introduce DEI considerations in recruitment, the platform launched “Diversity Nudges” in August 2022. The feature is designed to encourage an expansion of search criteria when there appears to be bias toward candidates of a particular gender identity. It is still too soon to measure the true impact of this addition, but the focus is solely on addressing gender equity for now.
Casting A Wider Net
There is no perfect method of seeking out diverse talent, but there are some important cultural considerations that help inform the process. This centers on seeking out platforms and networks outside of the more popular or traditional methods. Despite their numbers, not everyone utilizes LinkedIn or Indeed. It is also a mistake to assume that those platforms house the most diverse candidates from “preferred” schools or with sought-after experience.
Marginalization, discrimination, and other barriers to job placement have led candidates with underrepresented identities to seek out spaces that understand their unique challenges. Smaller, more concentrated platforms also provide increased visibility and a higher likelihood of connecting with companies. They bridge the gap between candidates and industries in a targeted and specific manner that sets them apart from the larger options.
Consider connecting with these networks, organizations, and platforms that are specially designed to support underrepresented candidates:
It may also be beneficial to seek out partnerships with local trade schools and community colleges.
Achieving a diversified staff is no easy feat, but willingness to address bias in the recruitment process will significantly improve candidate pools. This should be an ongoing practice of examining and challenging preconceived notions that impact the selection process.
Seek out platforms that have prioritized underrepresented identities and built safe spaces for these candidates to shine. Relying solely on platforms such as LinkedIn or Indeed leads to pitfalls and missed opportunities to bring invaluable talent on board.
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*Simone Crawley heads Crawley Cultural Consulting (CCC), a firm working with the IAA to provide diversity resources for its Career Center. CCC specializes in the implementation of diversity, equity, inclusion, cultural competence, and antiracism practices for business clients from a wide range of industries. Find more information on CCC at www.crawleycultural.com.