Focusing on your company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts should be top of mind regardless of your industry. After all, it’s not just the right thing to do—research shows that diverse teams are more creative.
As technology’s impact expands, having a tech team with diverse experiences is increasingly important. In this blog, we examine some of the steps you can take to advance your diversity, equity, and inclusion effort and diversify your tech team.
Recruiting for Diversity
When it comes to diversity recruiting, there are a number of steps you can take. It won’t immediately result in a more diverse talent pipeline, but if you persevere, you’ll soon see that your talent pool becomes less homogeneous.
- Be transparent about company demographics. Make sure everyone in the company knows what your diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts are, and hold all managers accountable for the diversity of their teams. Things only change when you address them repeatedly.
- Bring in diverse leaders and prioritize adding underrepresented groups. The more diverse your organization’s leadership is, the more diverse candidates are likely to apply for jobs. If everyone in the executive team is white and male, more diverse candidates might see it as a “club” they have no chance of getting into.
- Offer flex work. Many diverse candidates come from situations where they can’t work a nine-to-five workday every day. For example, women with children might need to work late afternoons to evenings because that’s the only time they have a babysitter. Or junior talent might be still taking classes and need to work around that schedule. The more flexibility you offer, the more opportunity there is for diverse talent.
- Allow remote work. Remote work can be an advantage for a variety of different demographics. At the same time, a remote work policy allows you to recruit from different geographical areas, which in turn contributes to diversity.
- Regularly review your hiring process. If, for example, a specific ethnic group keeps getting eliminated at a certain step in your hiring process, there’s something in that step that’s not inclusive. Objectively assess your hiring process to ensure it’s fair to everyone, regardless of their demographic.
- Create tech apprenticeships. Open up junior roles to people who might not have the right credentials, but who do have the talent. Remember: Not everyone can afford to go to college or finish college. Broadening the level of jobs you hire for and offering in-house guidance and training will also ensure you have a more loyal, engaged workforce.
- Be open to hiring people based on talent and merit, not just qualifications. In today’s tech environment where talent is scarce, a growing number of businesses are looking for tech talent that instead of having a degree in computer science, has a Bootcamp certificate and an amazing portfolio. It’s important to realize that the world of technology moves so quickly, a lot of what college students learn is outdated within a couple of years. So it stands to reason that it’s more important to hire people who are smart as a whip, excited about learning new things, and agile enough that they can quickly adapt to new developments in the field.
- Leverage employee referrals. Ask your employees to refer people they know who fit the bill. This can often be promoted by offering a financial reward for any new hire resulting from a referral. It’s also a good way to start conversations with people who are not only skilled but who will also fit into the company culture.
- Use online groups and forums. LinkedIn Groups and Reddit can be a good place to spread the word about your company and the kind of talent you’re looking to hire. People enjoy sharing good things, and when a good job opportunity comes along, it’s more likely to get seen through a group or forum than by putting it on a job site where passive talent won’t see it.
- Implement blind screening. Despite our best efforts, we all have some form of bias. Redact the name, gender, and ethnicity from all initial screenings to ensure no unintended bias gets in the way of your diversity recruiting efforts.
- Target high-diversity areas. Focus your recruitment efforts on geographic areas that have highly diverse populations combined with advanced technical skills.
Work With a Recruitment Partner to Find the Right Talent
At OSI Engineering, we’re a proud supplier of diverse talent. We promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in our business approach, in our business strategy, and in our day-to-day operations. We can help you find the diverse tech talent you need for your business. Contact us for more information.