Why diversity in hiring is important.
When your workforce reflects the diversity of the communities you serve, you’re better positioned to understand and assist those communities, which is vital for carrying out your organization’s mission effectively.
Diverse teams also tend to make better decisions since diversity can reduce groupthink, ensuring there are people in the room who come from different backgrounds and approach problem-solving from unique perspectives.
Strategies for a diverse, equitable, and inclusive hiring process.
Demonstrate your commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in your job descriptions, employer branding content, and any candidate-facing communications.
Be specific and authentic.
Define your organization’s approach to DEI initiatives in clear terms, using specific examples of the policies and procedures you’ve implemented.
Be mindful about imagery.
If all the images feature employees who look the same, candidates may get the impression they won’t fit in.
At the same time, don’t tokenize people, giving an impression of your organization that doesn’t match reality. Avoid using stock photos to represent your team, as this can erode trust.
Normalize sharing pronouns.
Add your pronouns to your LinkedIn profile and encourage others at your nonprofit to do the same (you can do this by clicking the pencil icon on the intro section of your LinkedIn profile). This can signal to candidates that your organization normalizes sharing pronouns and is LGBTQ+ inclusive.
Make sure you’re reaching a diverse pool of applicants.
If your job posts are attracting homogenous pools of applicants, think about ways to encourage a good variety of professionals to apply.
Consider cutting educational requirements unless absolutely essential.
These requirements can create an unnecessary barrier to entry for people who gained their knowledge and skills from different paths, and can disproportionately affect people of color.
Reduce or remove experience requirements altogether.
If some groups are underrepresented in certain roles or at certain levels, it could be that your experience requirements are too narrow.
Expand your search queries and filters.
If you find that the first few pages of your candidate search are turning up homogenous applicants it may be a sign that your search terms need to be adjusted.
Be mindful about referrals, too.
While these can be a great source of pre-vetted talent, people tend to know a lot of people who are like them. If your organization is lacking diversity today, relying too heavily on referrals may only exacerbate the issue.
If a role could be performed remotely, consider searching beyond your local area or removing the location filter altogether.
If you’ve been searching for candidates with a specific job title, consider looking for people with similar titles — or those in a slightly more junior role who may be ready to take things to the next level.
Look for ways to mitigate unconscious bias.
Consider anonymizing job applications before presenting them to your hiring manager.
Try to put together diverse interview panels to bring more perspectives to the table. It can also be meaningful to candidates to see someone like them reflected in the panel.
Ask the hiring manager or interviewer to expand on their reasoning if you notice them rejecting a candidate for reasons that feel vague.
If one member of the interview panel says a candidate isn’t a good fit for your nonprofit’s culture, ask them what they mean by this. This challenges them to consider the candidate (and their initial reactions) more deeply. In this instance, if you feel the candidate is actually a great fit for the role, you might follow up with some counterpoints, such as “Based on xyz on their LinkedIn profile, they might bring a new and interesting perspective to our organization.”