CIOIT Staff & Team Building

How to Diversify Your IT Hiring Pipeline

Diversity in the workplace brings with it so many benefits and a whole spectrum of different ideas. So how can an organization continually work towards diversifying its teams? In an article for, Sharon Florentine shares many eye-opening insights into expanding your IT hiring pipeline that you might never have considered before.

Weeding Out Similarity

Do the same type of people seem to keep getting hired? There are a few approaches in the hiring process that can help vary the candidate pool. The first step is to identify why there seems to be a diversity problem. Applicant tracking systems become invaluable here because they can help identify why certain people are not being represented. Once a clear problem is identified, it is time to implement a solution.

Look to the sources of hiring; where are you searching for candidates? If your business uses college-recruiting techniques at the same universities, they are limiting the candidate pool and will continually stumble upon those of similar backgrounds and qualifications. Referrals are another very common recruiting practice that produces the same types of candidates, because people will often recommend those similar to themselves. One way to combat this is to ask those making referrals to refer those of minority or possessing different qualities than those that already exist in the organization.

Attracting More Candidates

Job descriptions can be a nuisance but a necessity, and they are the first step to appealing to potential employees.  The type of language used on an application or even the format can discourage certain types of people from applying. For example, if the application is more than 50 percent lists, women will be discouraged from applying. Including an equal opportunity employment statement will also increase the number of minority candidates who apply.

Wanting a candidate to “fit” with the company culture is a great thing, but it should not necessarily be emphasized. Explicitly stating the need for a candidate to “fit” is a subconscious indicator that you are looking for a person who is exactly like everyone else in the company. Do not get so consumed with this idea that you discourage creative differences; these differences may help inspire innovative ideas.

Technical screenings, though intended to be an impartial judging tool, do indeed create some bias towards minorities. Companies tend to focus on hiring people quickly and fall back on notorious stereotypes. If there are any hesitations about a candidate’s communication, managerial, or collaboration skills, these should be addressed separately from the technical screening.

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