How to Attract and Hire Diverse Talent in Tech

How to Attract and Hire Diverse Talent in Tech

In today's global market, diversity in the workplace has transformed from a desirable attribute to a business necessity. 

Employers, employees and job seekers alike are informing and educating around the importance of diversity; 67% of candidates now actively seek out a company for its diverse practices. As the global market and workforce evolve, companies with diversity as a pillar are proving to be more successful, and hiring a diverse team means that everyone on it benefits from a 60% improvement in decision making and are 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leadersCompanies that have more diverse management teams even have 19% higher revenue.

It's clear there are endless benefits to hiring a diverse staff including increased revenue potential, employee engagement and team productivity. Knowing how important a diverse culture is, our clients frequently ask us for help with diversity hiring to achieve a more inclusive workplace.

Diversity hiring is hiring based on merit to ensure procedures are free from biases related to a candidate’s age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and other personal characteristics that are unrelated to their job performance. 

Fortunately, our event series Tech in Motion has partnered with experts from the tech community to help provide insights into diversity and inclusion. Annually, we get to see diverse companies spotlighted across North America for the Best Tech Workplace for Diversity Award as a part of the Timmy Awards by Tech in Motion, which highlights the best places for tech professionals to work, and hear from them about their diverse practices. Additionally, Tech in Motion hosted a webinar by popular demand, where tech industry D&I leaders discussed How to Ensure a Diverse & Inclusive Work Culture

We've gathered tips from these speakers, Timmy participants, industry leaders and our Executive VP of HR, Amy Ackroyd, on how to get started. 

Read: Managing Employee Mental Health and Well-Being as a Leader

Keep reading to learn how to attract and hire diverse candidates into your talent pipeline.

Evaluate Your Current Hiring Process

Take a step back and evaluate whether your company is taking the necessary steps to be inclusive. Identify discrepancies in the hiring process and see where changes can be made to increase diversity and foster an inclusive culture, like providing training and education on topics like why diversity is important to your organization and unconscious bias. Assessing your processes will help make sure your company has the right ones in place to be successful in both attracting and hiring diverse talent.

Attracting Diverse Talent

Expand Your Sourcing. You can find talented, diverse hires in every city – if you know how to source them. LinkedIn's custom filter tool allows you to refine your search to find diverse talent from national and local universities. To source local, diverse talent, create a filtered list of schools including women’s colleges or local cultural groups in your city. Joining specific diversity groups on LinkedIn allows you to broaden your reach to a concentrated field of talent, like Black Enterprise Networked, Latino Professionals for America, or Society of Women Engineers.

Virtual Interview Tips You Can Implement Now As an Employer

Re-Word Your Job Descriptions. Hiring managers can cast a wider net and increase applications by omitting gender-biased language. Statistically, men will apply to a job if they meet 60% of qualifications, whereas women will only apply if they feel 100% qualified. Limit masculine wording to attract more female applicants by using tools like Textio to help identify and remove all words and phrases with gender bias in your job description.

Showcase Your Existing Diversity. To attract diverse talent, showcase diverse senior leadershipGlassdoor found that 67% of job seekers use diversity as an important factor when considering companies and job offers. Prospective hires need to see that they have equal – and tangible – opportunities to grow into leadership positions. These diverse leaders are also valuable for fostering the sense of community and inclusion - a vital key to increasing retention.

How to Actually Recruit and Hire Tech Talent, No Questions Asked

Hiring Diverse Talent

The first crucial step in the hiring process is to remove all bias - especially towards race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. If your diversity hiring audit showed falloff during the candidate screening or shortlisting stages, here are some tools you could implement to overcome that roadblock.

Candidate screening tools to help prevent bias and increase diverse hires:

  • Blind Hiring. Blind hiring is any technique that anonymizes or “blinds” personal information about a candidate from the recruiter or hiring manager that can lead to unconscious (or conscious) bias about the candidate.
  • Pre-Hire Assessment. Research has found that companies that use a pre-hire personality assessment have workplaces that are more racially diverse. Personality assessments help increase workplace diversity because personality scores do not significantly differ for minority group members.

Virtual Hiring Strategies: How to Successfully Onboard Talent

Candidate shortlisting tools to help prevent unconscious bias and increase diverse hires:

  • 'Two in the Pool Effect.' Research featured in Harvard Business Review found that when the final candidate pool has only one minority candidate, he or she has virtually no chances of being hired, whereas, if there are least two minority candidates in the final candidate pool, the odds of hiring a minority candidate are 194 times greater. 
  • Intelligent Shortlisting. Automated intelligent shortlisting uses your resume database to learn about existing employees’ experience and skills and then objectively applies this criteria across all candidates to assess whether they would be a good hire or not. Applying machine learning to candidate information rather than using manual shortlisting reduces problems related to unconscious biases and discrimination. 

Take Your Plan Into Action

So, does your company promote diversity and inclusion? After analyzing your current hiring practices and identifying problem areas, collaborate with your team to implement effective changes. Set achievable goals to begin your initiative towards greater diversity by picking a realistic metric such as increasing female tech leaders in your organization by 15% in the next 9 months. Using the tools and practices provided will help your organization achieve their goals to increase diversity hiring. Take these steps to implement change at your company and increase diversity.

How to Create a Culture of Employee Appreciation & Recognition

While we hope you find this article helpful, please note that this content is not intended to be an expert opinion, a substitute for professional advice or anything more than a summary from the experts we've heard from. On the other hand, you can visit our website for expert advice on IT hiring needs, salary guides, tech market insights, and more resources on hiring and on-boarding practices. 

This post was originally published on October 16, 2020 and updated to reflect 2021's data. 

New call-to-action

Back to Top Artboard 1