The Inclusive Hiring Guide
Are You On Track?
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“For any key organizational initiative to work, a few things are required. Clear expectations on the importance of the initiative to the business, a current state benchmark, specific goals, an action plan including objectives, key initiatives, metrics, progress reporting, and a clear understanding of how organizational resources are mobilized to support the initiative. If we measure what matters when we don’t measure our inclusive hiring efforts, what are we saying about the importance of our DEIB initiatives to the organization?”
- Rocki Howard.
As you optimize your hiring process for Inclusivity, good intentions won’t suffice. Applying the advice we shared will be helpful, but you’ll want to track your progress, too. Measuring how you fare regarding Inclusivity will allow you to uncover unconscious biases. Only then will you be able to make your organization and all co-workers accountable to deliver an equitable and inclusive hiring experience for all your candidates. Rocki Howard shared her thoughts on the importance of metrics
After this chapter, you’ll know how to:
- Measure Diversity goals
- Measure Inclusivity goals
- Ask the right questions to your candidates
2.1 Set Diversity and Inclusion Goals and Timelines
30% is the magic number. As proven by behavioral science researchers, members of underrepresented groups must make up at least 30% of the pool to disrupt bias. In fact, if a hiring pool has just one woman or minority candidate, there’s statistically a 0% chance that they’ll get hired.
Deep dive: Salary talent assessment
You may be familiar with The Mansfield Rule. The U.S.-based law firms that commit to it, need to consider at least 30% women, lawyers of color, LGBTQ+ lawyers, and lawyers with disabilities for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities, and senior lateral positions.
Don’t forget to set achievable timelines. On average, filling a job can take up to 2 months, so we would recommend you set goals on a quarterly or seminal basis.
Inclusion advocate and TEDx speaker Janet Stovall explains this very well:
“Diversity is a numbers game. Inclusion is about impact. Companies can mandate Diversity, but they have to cultivate Inclusion. And if Inclusion is what you’re after, you’ve got to calculate some slightly different numbers. How about 30%? Because that’s the point that research shows at which the voices of minorities actually begin to be heard.” - Janet Stovall.
Here’s your metrics baseline - if you’d like to aim higher, by all means, go for it!
2.2 Track the Diversity of Your Candidate Pipeline
Your ATS is the MVP for tracking the Diversity of your candidate pipeline. Use it to track and measure your candidates’ demographic backgrounds. Many ATSs offer standardized EEOC questions, but we encourage you to reinterpret and customize them to be more inclusive. In fact, using the standard EEOC question on gender could have an unintended effect as no non-binary option is contemplated. With the 30% rule in mind, you can now set the goal to source, interview, select, and hire at least one third of your candidates from an underrepresented group. You may want to refine your Diversity hiring goals as you go along.
2.3 Track How Inclusive The Hiring Process Felt to Your Candidates
Setting goals and measuring progress for your Inclusivity may seem more challenging than for Diversity. It doesn’t have to be that way. A Candidate Experience solution like Starred will help you get your Inclusivity insights. It’s in our DNA to value the voices of every candidate and make them count. That’s why we view measuring Inclusivity as an integral part of Candidate Experience. Many of our customers seem to agree with us and have added our D&I module on top of Starred’s Candidate Experience solution. When tracking Inclusivity, there’s just one way to do it: you’ll need to ask your candidates about their experience through surveys. Include designated Inclusivity questions like if a candidate felt that they were treated respectfully or experienced a sense of belonging. This way, you can match the answers with the data you have from the different demographics of your candidates. We’ll dive deeper into this in the next paragraph.
The golden standard is for your workforce to mirror the distribution of gender, ethnic, veteran, and disability demographics present in your country’s population. Use the demographics insights collected by your ATS and compare them with the census data from the country you’re based in. Are you a U.S.-based company? Use Census data to benchmark your results.
t’s important to guarantee anonymity to your candidates. Why else would they feel safe enough to share feedback with you? In Starred’s D&I Insights Dashboard, a built-in feature prevents recruiters from seeing which candidate was the source for a comment or score. If you use a different Candidate Experience solution, make sure that you can safeguard your candidates’ anonymity.
Did you know?
50.8% of the U.S. population are women, yet they only represent 27.9 of the U.S. workforce.
2.3.1 Connect Your Demographic Data and Your Experience Data
By connecting your demographic data with your experience data you’ll get a full and granular view of your overall Candidate Experience scores per gender, age, ethnicity, veteran status or other demographic characteristics. These are very powerful insights. If you’ve asked specific Inclusivity questions, you can apply the same demographic filters on your D&I Insights Dashboard to find out if all groups are equally happy about their Candidate Journey with you. If not, you’ll spot the areas in need of extra attention.
2.3.2 Active Listening - How to Do It, and Which Questions to Ask
If you set up a good infrastructure to actively listen the right way from the get-go, it’ll make your follow-up actions very straightforward. We think these are the four most important steps to take at the listening phase:
Your toolbox: Candidate experience feedback questions
Visit our template gallery to know how the best- of-class Candidate Experience questions look like. Even if you don’t include specific Inclusivity questions but do ask EEOC pr demographic questions, Candidate Experience data, on their own, can reveal much how different demographic groups experienced their applicant journey with you.
- Include EEOC or demographic questions on your forms and encourage your candidates to share this type of information. Clarify why you’d like to know more about their demographics. Reassure them that this kind of information is processed anonymously. If you have a DEI policy in place, you can link to it.
- Automate your surveys for all Candidate Journey stages with your ATS. Stages are all exit points - from hired to withdrawn and rejected. Arguably, the last two will provide the most interesting insights. Automation will save you time and allow you to collect your data in a more unified way.
- Personalize and customize your surveys for a high response rate. As you know, the more answers you get, the more complete your insights will be. This, too, can be automated.
- Ask specific Inclusivity questions in addition to your default Candidate Experience questions. You can phrase them in your own company’s tone of voice, but we’d like to give you some examples you can include:
- Pair them with current employees through a buddy system.
- Put them in touch with the “7-10 people — superiors, peers, direct reports, and internal and external customers — whose success they will contribute to, or who will contribute to their success”.
- Assign mentors or involve “organizational heroes” who can connect with the new hires and share personal stories to engage and motivate them.
2.3.3 Beyond Analysis
So, the results are in. Now what? What do you do during and after the data crunching? If all goes well, your Inclusivity data has revealed the good, the bad, and the ugly about your Diversity and Inclusivity state of affairs. That’s a good thing; it’ll be food for discussion. In the words of Dr. Sarah Saska:
You can create a recruiter matrix for your D&I Insights Dashboard. This will make it easier for you to see at a glance which recruiter offers candidates an inclusive hiring experience. He, she, or they could coach and help other recruiters. The other way around is also possible; you can see which recruiters could benefit from additional D&I training.
“Discussion gives muscles to data - especially around DEI. Without it, a dashboard is a depository. A dialogue becomes a monologue, which eventually becomes silence.”
- Dr. Sarah Saska
You will likely discover uncomfortable truths at this stage. Why do Black or African- American candidates score so much lower on the Inclusivity questions compared to your White candidates? Did unintentional bias somehow creep in? And why do candidates identified as females withdraw more frequently from the hiring process? Are there recruiters or hiring managers who could use a refresher D&I training or more?
Is a particular department the source of outliers? Why do Hispanic or Latinx candidates decline your job offers more often? Use your candidates’ feedback and assessments as a guide to improve your Inclusive Hiring practices. You can set micro-goals on different levels and make everybody involved in the recruiting process accountable. Be brave and challenge both the process and the people involved. This won’t be a smooth process, but it will surely be rewarding.
2.4 Communicate Your Results
First of all, if your results seem disappointing, don’t despair. Even leading companies like Google, Dell, and Snap Inc. admit that they need to improve a lot on their Diversity and Inclusion efforts. Some tech companies have committed to working together and making their results transparent. The Alliance for Global Inclusion explains why this is so important: ‘A public index increases transparency, which builds trust, drives collective action, and scales impact.’ - Alliance for Global Inclusion On a smaller scale, this rings true as well. Being transparent about where you are on Diversity and Inclusion will drive action. How diverse are your pipeline and workforce? What is your Diversity and Inclusion policy? What is your vision, plan and what are your measurable goals? Your candidates will appreciate your honesty. Make your results visible and own them. Involve the whole company and share your Diversity and Inclusion progress monthly, quarterly, and annually. Showing accountability on a team level will set the right example for everybody in your team and inspire other teams to follow your example.