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How to Improve Diversity in Your Hiring Practices
In a 2021 survey, 82% of the human resource professionals polled cited diversity, equity, and inclusion as their top focus.1
Hiring practices designed to build diversity are essential to creating the equitable and inclusive workplace those HR professionals envision, and prospective employees seek.2 Here are five strategies HR managers and human resource consultants are using to help attract a more diverse range of job candidates and build a culture of equity and inclusion:
- Start in the C-Suite
Efforts to build a more diverse workforce are rooted in the C-suite, with top executives committing to policies that embed diversity and inclusion in the corporate culture. HR management can lead efforts to provide education and training and involve leadership in creating strategies to support diverse hiring practices. One example: The Food and Drug Administration’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan for 2018–2021 set “Ensure Leadership Commitment” as its top goal: “Ensure leadership demonstrates its commitment and accountability for modeling behavior that advances diversity and inclusion.” The plan includes a road map for arriving at that goal, spelling out priorities, implementation strategies, and actions.3
- Fine-Tune Your Message
“Job postings are the beginning of a truly inclusive candidate experience,” Katrina Kibben, CEO and founder of Three Ears Media, says in an interview with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Talent Acquisition blog.4 HR professionals and others must become fluent in bias-free language to ensure job postings herald a company that embraces diversity. For example, terms like “digital native,” ubiquitous on online job boards, may signal a desire for younger applicants.5 Differently abled job hunters may not respond to a posting that says they must “walk through the building to access files,” but may if they find more inclusive wording such as “moves throughout the building to access files.”6
- Amplify Job Openings
Another best practice for fostering diversity is to go beyond the mass-market job sites and list openings on a more targeted and diverse range of job boards. HR professionals will find options like Diversity Working, billed as the largest online diversity job board,7 and Hirepurpose, a veteran owned and operated business designed to reach job-hunting service members, veterans, and military spouses. The career services offices at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) can also be asked to share job openings with their students and alumni.
- Partner Up for Diversity
Building deeper relationships with HBCUs, HSIs, and other organizations is another strategy for improving diversity in hiring. BCG, the global business consulting firm, says its partnerships with colleges and universities, and with organizations like Management Leadership for Tomorrow, help it “tap into new pools of diverse candidates.”8 Businesses can offer internships and scholarships and help fund programs and events like Black Girls Code workshops. Human capital is often a welcome investment, too. A partnership with the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, for example, may offer a company representative the chance to serve on the organization’s Corporate Advisory Council.9
- Interview With Inclusivity
“Half of all employees would be reluctant to accept an offer if they were to go through the recruiting process without meeting any diverse employees along the way,” a Yello report on diversity and inclusion found.2 Assembling a diverse interview team—a reflection of a company’s diversity—is just good business. “Consider including people who will bring diverse outlooks, and who are respectful of different cultures and characteristics,” a Harvard University hiring guide suggests. “Recognize the potential to bring unintended biases to the process, and address this by having a clear and open discussion among team members before beginning the interview process.”10
Lead With a Human Resource Degree
Here’s a sixth way to improve diversity in your hiring practices: Earn a master’s degree in human resource management online. An MS in Human Resource Management or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Human Resource Management specialization can help provide the skills and knowledge you need to lead with vision and inclusivity.
And when you choose to earn your master’s degree online from Walden University, you’re partnering with an accredited institution with a rich tradition of creating opportunities for diverse working professionals interested in advancing their education and careers.
With its focus on leadership development and business social responsibility, Walden’s online master’s in human resource management degree program can help prepare you for today’s HR opportunities and challenges.
When you earn this online degree in HR, you’ll learn from HR-certified faculty, build practical skills using AI-driven simulations, and get all the materials you need to prepare for SHRM certification. Walden also offers two completion options in this online HR degree program: a course-based format if you prefer an instructor-led approach and learning on a predetermined schedule, or the Tempo Learning® format, which lets you work at your own pace and advance once you’ve demonstrated mastery of a subject.
Another HR master’s degree option is Walden’s online Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program with a Human Resource Management specialization. In your online courses, you’ll build organizational and leadership skills; explore key practices and strategies for developing, managing, recruiting, and leading diverse talent; and much more.
Walden designs its online programs so working professionals can continue their careers and enjoy their personal lives while pursuing a college degree. You can set your own study schedule and work anywhere there’s an internet connection.
If HR career enhancement or advancement is a personal goal, earning your master’s may be just the right strategic move. Refresh your skills with an online HR degree and position yourself as an HR leader who can help build cultures of diversity and inclusion.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering MS in Human Resource Management and Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Human Resource Management specialization online degree programs. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
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