How to Hire Diverse Talent: Best Practices & Recruiting Strategies


It’s time for organizations to take hiring diverse talent seriously, not just for appearances but for the real benefits. Research by McKinsey shows that racially diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform their less diverse counterparts over a multi-year period and companies with strong female representation are 25% more likely to exceed those with fewer women. Keep reading to learn more about how to recruit a diverse workforce and how to maintain it.

What is Diversity Recruiting?

Diversity recruiting is actively seeking job candidates from diverse backgrounds and working to make recruiting processes more inclusive. This also includes taking steps to make the recruiting, hiring, and promotion process more equitable and fair by eliminating or mitigating the effects of unconscious bias or other systemic barriers.

Learn more about DEI training and what it looks like in the workplace.

Benefits Of Hiring Diverse Talent

Here are four reasons why hiring diverse talent is important.

Helps Minimize Conformity Bias

A diverse workforce can avoid confirmation bias that can cause stagnation in creativity and negatively impact your organization. Conformity bias, or “group think,” happens when your views are swayed too much by those of other people. It tends to happen because we seek acceptance from others and want to hold opinions and views that our community accepts, so we “follow the herd” instead of making independent judgments. You can read more about confirmation bias and other types of bias here.

Increases Innovation

Hiring diverse talent can have positive effects on your organization, including through innovation. According to a Harvard Business Review study, diverse organizations are 70% more likely to enter new markets than companies that do not include under-represented groups in their hiring processes. Also according to Forbes, companies with above-average diversity generated a higher proportion of revenue from innovation than companies with below-average diversity.

Improves Financial Performance

All organizations share the same goal of making more profit, and successful diversity hiring has been proven to accomplish this. According to McKinsey, organizations in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity were 35% more likely to receive above-average financial returns, and those in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15% more likely to receive above-average financial returns.

Increases Cultural Awareness

A diverse workplace can provide a major competitive edge when entering new markets. To succeed in a foreign market, a product or service may need to be adapted, and understanding local laws, rules, and cultures, as well as the competitive marketplace, can be the difference in an organization’s success or failure. Moreover, cultural awareness, language proficiency, and local connections can help organizations better understand and engage with clients from a variety of backgrounds and cultures.

Especially now organizations cannot afford to miss out on investing in what diverse talent can bring to the table. Knowing why diverse hiring is a great first step, keep reading to learn how to strengthen your DEI recruiting strategy by attracting diverse candidates.

4 Ways to Attract Diverse Talent

Here are some tips and strategies on how to attract diverse talent to your organization.

Emphasize Diversity in Your Job Descriptions

Job descriptions should include your organization’s DEI (Diversity, Equity, and, Inclusion) initiatives in enough detail that candidates know your dedication to DEI is genuine. Do your best to avoid generic DEI statements such as, “Equal opportunity employer,” as they can come off as disingenuous. If you want DEI training that makes a difference but don’t know where to start, try downloading a sample of our diverse hiring workshop and see what Consciously Unbiased can offer your organization.

Place DEI at the Core of Your Organization

It’s not enough to debias your job descriptions. Employees want messaging that signals how your company is specifically supporting DEI and shows it is a priority, such as by including diverse representation on your social channels. You can help recruit diverse talent by amplifying the stories of your leaders who have the dimensions of identity you’re looking to recruit. One example is how Peloton’s brand is advancing inclusion and belonging in fitness with a blog introducing an adaptive training consultant and then future instructor in an effort to make training inclusive for people of all abilities.

By doing this, you’ll be making it known that your DEI initiative is central to your organization’s values.

Provide Equitable Benefits to all Employees

Benefits should be standardized and available to all employees. For example, offer parental leave to both mothers and fathers and ensure that same-sex couples are a part of your spousal benefit policies. This will help normalize caregiving responsibilities in the workplace for all genders.

Language is something to be aware of here: Avoid terms like, “maternity leave” and ‘paternity’ leave. Do your best to use gender-neutral language, for example, by saying “familial leave,” or “parental leave.”

Create Company Policies that Support Diverse Candidates

This step will help demonstrate your commitment to DEI and, at the same time, make diverse candidates feel protected and cared for.

Make an effort to include time off and scheduling policies that include religious holidays. When hiring diverse candidates, scheduling cannot be a one-size-fits-all, because candidates will need different schedules that require flexibility and understanding.

When it comes to a successful DEI strategy, many leaders lack a clear path for making progress and must learn on their own without clear guidelines. Find out more about our DEI Training and read more about diversity, equity, & inclusion here.

Diversifying Your Workforce: Diversity Hiring Best Practices

Re-evaluate Your Organization’s Interviewing Practices

Does your organization’s interview process support diversity hiring best practices? Here are some steps you can take to ensure you’re supporting a diverse workforce. Always do your best to question what qualities you place value in and determine if they are based on your own bias.

Ensure that Your Interviewers Reflect Diverse Backgrounds

It can feel like conflicting information when it’s stated an organization is diverse and the interviewers do not reflect the diversity organizations are trying to create. Build diverse interview panels where people from various backgrounds are represented to illustrate that diverse people within your company hold decision-making power, as well as helping to minimize hiring bias by allowing for a variety of viewpoints.

Give the Interviewer Tools to Become Aware of Their Bias

Organize a workshop or training to educate your hiring team about any unconscious bias that may come up during the interviewing process. Bias is nothing to be ashamed of or blamed for. Consciously Unbiased offers training that can help with bias in a safe and healthy space. Learn more about our training here.

Ensure Interview Questions are Standardized to Limit or Eliminate Bias

Ensure that the interview process is standardized so that each candidate is asked the same questions. Standardization allows the interviewer to avoid variations in questions and ensures that each candidate is assessed using the same set of criteria.

Consider Using Blind Resumes and Blind Interviews to Mitigate Bias

Blind resumes are what they sound like! This process includes blocking out personal information on resumes, such as names, locations, and date of birth. All of these factors can contribute to bias-led decision making and removing them can help remove the bias itself.

Blind interviews can also aid in mitigating bias in the interview process.t’s accomplished by focusing on forms of communication that allow anonymity for candidates in the early stages of interviews. Communication through text and emails are used here so that the candidate can communicate without giving any personal information that may result in bias.

Harnessing both of these techniques can not only help you fill the role with the best candidate for the job, but also maintain and support a diverse and healthy workforce.Diverse hiring can be difficult: Having someone to guide and help you along the way is what we do. Consciously Unbiased helps organizations break all types of unconscious bias in the workplace. See how our diversity and inclusion training can help you meet your inclusion goals.


Alylah Burrola

Alylah Burrola is a Consciously Unbiased Marketing Assistant passionate about empowering minorities such as women and people of color. In her spare time, she loves to paint and read.
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