Supporting Recruiters and Impacting Their Diversity Goals

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Tabitha Ashura

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Imagine this—your boss hands down a mandate that expands your job expectations. 

They don’t explain exactly how you’re going to get there, how you’ll monitor the metrics you’ll be measured against, or how they’ll hold themselves accountable for helping you get there. 

They mention that senior management, every employee at the organization, and every potential candidate will be watching and invested in your success. Oh, and you need to exceed the speeds you worked at last year to achieve your baseline job. 

Do you feel supported in embarking on this new mandate?

Unfortunately, this hypothetical situation reflects the daily reality for many recruiters expected to ensure diverse candidates are hired. Their manager tells them they need to ensure they’re progressing diverse slates. Perhaps they start with a deep commitment to building a diverse workforce, but they don’t have the tools or are unsure why this suddenly matters.

There is often little visibility into where they need to focus or how well they’re doing surrounding these initiatives, and when there is, it may be retroactive and aggregated to such a wide extent that it can be challenging to begin to know where to address the difficulty. 

In this post, we’ll provide guidelines to ensure your recruiters feel supported and excited to advance diversity.

Recruiters need better support

Recruiters are the gateway to building a team filled with colleagues you’re excited to work with and learn from. 

They’re key players in ensuring that your workforce succeeds, but unfortunately, many feel undervalued and burnt out—in fact, 1 in 3 recruiters are seeking new job opportunities. When we’re burnt out, it’s much harder to achieve an additional metric for success, AND it tends to reinforce our biases, negatively impacting diversity. 

We’re more productive when we’re supported, and it empowers us to support others—certainly important if we’re hoping to onboard top talent. 

Tips for supporting recruiters with diversity, equity, and inclusion goals

1. Help recruiters identify where they can have the greatest impact on diversity:

Too often, the approach to diversity in hiring has been to apply broad measures that don’t address specific recruiter needs. 

Some recruiters will start with a strong pool of diverse applicants—those recruiters need tools to monitor and address drop off of diverse candidates throughout the funnel. Other recruiters may have perpetual challenges getting any diverse candidates across certain requisition types - those recruiters need tools that impact the top of the funnel. 

Work to understand, at the requisition level, where recruiters can make an impact and empower them to do so. Highlight areas they can control and tools they can utilize. 

For recruiters with robust pools of diverse candidates, ensure they understand (at an aggregate level) how well their candidates are progressing at even rates through each step of the hiring process. If there’s a drop off after their own review, testing, hiring manager review, or interview—give them different approaches to address that. 

For recruiters with a narrow funnel, help them to see how they can widen the funnel across as many roles as possible. Help them see small daily wins. Incremental change adds up.

2. Equip recruiters with the right tools to impact the outcome:

Ensure your recruiters can make an impact. Include them in the process of choosing tools rather than deciding for them. 

You might think they have more than enough tools, but in a recent study by Aptitude Research, recruiters cited systems that weren’t integrated being the issue, rather than too many solutions. 

Make sure recruiters are set up for efficiency to avoid burnout and the corresponding bias. Give them tools that allow them to influence the job requirements or job descriptions to attract diverse talent at the outset. For example, ensure they have clear parameters around pay scale from the outset. 

Explore strategies surrounding the blockers they’re seeing—maybe it’s strategic pipeline sourcing, or masking hiring manager CVs. Look for a robust suite of tools that addresses specific needs, rather than an all over approach. 

If recruiters have access to supportive tools that they have had a hand in choosing, it will have a clear impact on diversity in their process.

3. Give recruiters visibility into their success:

Recruiters need to know where they need to adjust their strategies in real-time. Sharing that information six months later doesn’t allow for time to course correct. Many recruitment cycles take as long as 49 days, so real-time information can have an immediate impact. 

Some tools, like HiredScore’s Spotlight, can show real-time progression of diverse candidates throughout the funnel, making it easy to understand where there might be shortcomings at the requisition level. With these insights, a recruiter is able to take actionable steps to increase representation.

4. Invest in empowering recruiters as experts:

Your recruiters represent your brand externally and to hiring managers. Equip recruiters with the skills and tools that allow them to maximize the hiring manager experience so they invest in diverse talent.

Recruiters do well at progressing diverse slates when they have them, but it’s important they have enough candidates to review to do so. Recruiters need the tools to show that they don’t have to sacrifice speed to progress a diverse slate. 

For example, if a recruiter has access to candidate examples during the job writing process it can help hiring managers learn what good looks like, allowing them to widen the requirements for a job at the outset.

Additionally, training hiring managers surrounding accessibility best practices, inclusive language, microaggressions, or similar topics can empower recruiters to set the stage for success. Consider surveying both hiring managers and recruiters to get a feel for where they feel they need the most training and build from there.

5. Celebrate:

Incentivize your recruiters by tying metrics to rewards. Make sure they have clear goals and targets at the outset. If they’re making progress toward goals, utilizing the tools you’ve provided them with, and are doing an outstanding job creating an inclusive candidate experience, show them you value the hard work they’re doing to increase the diversity of your workforce. 

Be mindful of differences recruiters may encounter across industries, departments, and job bands, and make sure metrics for success are based on components within the recruiter’s control. 

They probably can’t provide future of work training, but they can make an impact through strategic tool usage and candidate experience—focus celebrations on those aspects!

Recruiters are a crucial part of righting disparity in our society, and this vital role deserves visibility. If we expect them to make sudden changes to their process without investment in their growth and tools, it creates unnecessary tension between diversity and efficiency. It doesn’t need to be this way. Get your recruiters excited to be part of the solution.

For more information on solutions to support efficiency, visibility, and your talent acquisition team’s overall success, contact us for a demo with the HiredScore Team.

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