By Paula Simmons, Director of Employer Brand & Communications Strategy
As your organisation continues to invest in creating a more diverse and inclusive team of employees, it’s important to ensure you are relying on the most up-to-date information about recruiting the right people and meeting their needs during your hiring process. There are many assumptions that have become part of accepted recruiting wisdom, but are these methods still effective for interacting with diverse, modern job seekers?
Choosing the Right Channels
In the past, when employers have wanted to recruit from under-represented groups, they have traditionally relied on limited media targeting, but this doesn’t take into account what we know about candidate behaviour. For example, we know that just because a person looks at a certain type of content in their everyday life, it doesn’t mean they will use that specialised media in their job search.
Research has shown that candidates look at channels offering roles related to their profession and then assess employers to ensure they are inclusive. So, employers should focus on targeting the right professional channels with the right messaging. When candidates from under-represented groups are searching for jobs, the right job title might be enough to entice them to review an advert—but whether they apply is influenced by what they read and what they hear about how an organisation treats its people.
Adjusting Job Descriptions to Attract More Diverse Candidates
To ensure an inclusive process, using the right verbiage in job postings is essential. Your job advert copy should feel inclusive and should also reflect the career level of candidates. Many talent leaders are familiar with the research that shows women are less likely to apply for roles when they feel they do not meet 100% of the criteria, whereas men will apply if they meet just some of them. Often, women just don’t want to waste their time on an application if they believe they would be automatically rejected.
To overcome this, employers should list only the essential criteria. As the list of criteria gets longer, the applicant pool for that job will become less diverse. Staying with the example of attracting more women, recruitment communications should include content that showcase the voices and stories of women at all levels to demonstrate they are welcome at your organisation and will have the opportunity to progress. The same principle can be applied to any demographic group.
Change won’t happen overnight. When it comes to engaging with candidates from under-represented groups, it’s about building an employer brand that appeals to multiple demographics and fosters a sense of belonging in an organisation—and making sure that during each part of the candidate journey individuals from all walks of life are supported so you find the best people to fill your roles.