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Empowering Diversity in Recruitment

Implementing DEI practices helps boost teams’ performance, yet many still cannot get it right. Read our tips for diversity recruitment to help you build a diverse and high-performing team.

When I first started working for SHL, I was impressed by the passion to innovate and create organizational change. I was even more pleased to discover that DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) was essential to their strategy. They listen to their employees by giving them platforms to speak and take the information directly from employees to implement change. SHL is an organization where my voice is heard, and I can be myself.

My name is Lenae Hoffman, and I am a Lead Recruiter at SHL for the Americas Region. I have been a certified diversity recruiter since 2018. As an African American woman, diversity recruitment has always been something that I am passionate about within organizations. As a recruiter, I am responsible for ensuring that the best hiring practices are followed and that candidates have an equitable experience. To ensure hiring best practices, it is essential to implement DEI practices.

Implementing DEI practices can help managers enhance the performance of their teams. Diversity drives better outcomes. Did you know, there have been multiple studies over the last 15 years that have shown a connection between diverse teams and business performance, yet only 10% of senior-level corporate positions are held by women?

At SHL, conversations that involve DEI are encouraged. Recruiters are enabled to have conversations with hiring managers to improve their teams and collaborate on developing a strategy to attract diverse candidates to open job opportunities.

How do you recruit diverse candidates?

The most common question I am asked by hiring teams for DEI recruitment is “How do you recruit diverse candidates?” The process starts way before sourcing candidates; it starts internally with hiring manager mindsets and understanding how DEI fits into your organizational strategy. Asking questions is a significant first step to implementing change. Some example questions to ask your organization: 

  • How is your HR Strategy aligned with your DEI Strategy?
  • What is your organization currently doing to drive change within your organization?
  • Who are the underrepresented groups within your organization?
  • What changes need to be made to be inclusive?

Your culture must be inclusive, otherwise, the effort made into attracting diverse candidates from underrepresented demographics will be wasted if candidates join the organization and the culture is non-inclusive.

There have been multiple studies over the last 15 years that have shown a connection between diverse teams and business performance, yet only 10% of senior-level corporate positions are held by women.

You must crawl before you can walk. To source externally, it is essential to know the areas of opportunity. Once recruiters understand their organization's DEI strategy, it is easier to communicate to hiring managers what initiatives and the recruitment strategy are. To source, I encourage recruiters to do the following: 

  • Start the conversation with hiring managers. Find out where they would like to see more diversity on their teams.
  • Join diverse networking groups.
  • Partner with diverse organizations.
  • Be intentional, and take time to understand the locations you are sourcing (e.g., demographics, community, local organizations/job board)
  • Challenge hiring managers to review candidate profiles outside of the “norm” (e.g., nonstandard career paths, career breaks, looking for potential and skills rather than specific experience … thinking outside the box). Ask your hiring managers if X years of experience are really needed, and have they taken transferrable skills into account?
  • Blind hiring could be implemented to remove bias -this can be an effective method when sharing resumes with hiring managers to turn focus to skills and requirements aligned with the job description.

Additionally, part of DEI recruitment is providing an equitable candidate experience. Some things to note:

  • Do your job postings use inclusive language?
  • Is your interview process consistent? Are you being transparent and authentic during your interview?
  • Do you have a diverse panel of interviewers to gain a variety of viewpoints?

These bullet points are questions to consider when understanding DEI in recruitment. Getting these conversations started is the first step, and yes, it may be uncomfortable at first, but that is okay because the important things that need to be changed usually are.

If you are interested in learning more about diversity recruitment please also see SHL’s On-Demand Webinar presented by SHL’s Inclusion Director Lucy Adler and Andre Henning, Manager, Talent Solutions that discusses top tips and pitfalls to avoid in inclusive recruitment.

Get in touch with one of our experts and let us help you build diverse and inclusive teams

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Lenae Hoffman

Lenae Hoffman is a Lead Recruiter for SHL, based in Reno, Nevada. She has 8 years of recruiting experience but has found her passion for diversity recruitment. She is looking forward to her future with SHL and hopes to make an impact. Currently, she is enrolled in University of Southern California, Bovard College, and is pursuing her master’s in human resource management.

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