Diversity Hiring Talent Strategy

The future of hiring can become colorblind by reducing bias at its source

To expand your diversity hiring initiatives you need to start with these five action steps

I don’t need to tell you that we’re facing some really tough societal, business and health challenges that permeate everything we’re doing. We also know putting our heads in the sand or complaining won’t help. But if you’re involved in hiring in any shape, manner or form there is something you can do starting right now: Eliminate the bias that is now embedded throughout your company’s hiring process.

Just try any of these ideas below and you’ll realize that your company’s hiring processes are unknowingly biased including posting job descriptions that list “must have” skills and generic competencies that don’t predict performance or asking candidates what they’re compensation requirements are before they know the role.

And as you’ll discover the ideas described require no compromise in quality of hire or on-the-job performance. Better, there is no cost for implementing them. The real cost is not implementing them.

How to Get Rid of Bias in Your Hiring Process and Hire Stronger People 

  1. This post describes how to expose and eradicate bias at its source.
  2. By replacing skills- and experience-laden job descriptions with a list of critical performance objectives you open the talent pool to everyone who can do the work. (The link includes the validation of this process by the #1 U.S. labor attorney from Littler.)
  3. By assessing technical and “essential non-technical” skills (formally known as “soft skills”) in parallel you’ll increase assessment accuracy and stop hiring 90-day Wonders. These are people you wonder why you hired them 90 days later. (Arianna Huffington thought this post was so important to reduce bias she wanted it on her site.)
  4. As an end-of-the-line inspection point, have all of your job candidates take this free course to ensure they’re accurately and objectively interviewed. It describes what they need to do when your hiring managers ask biased, misleading or inappropriate questions. (Contact me if you’d like to sponsor this course so everyone who needs a job has access to it.)
  5. To prevent bias at the hiring decision point, get a bunch of your best people (i.e., recruiters, HRBPs, managers) to become internal coaches to train, advise and monitor everyone in your company to use these techniques. Not only will they prevent hiring mistakes but they’ll also become talent bar-raisers.

Collectively this is how you improve diversity hiring at your company. Aspirations will not help. Given the diversity challenges we’re facing today this is a small step. But it is an important step.