Impact hiring: 3 things to consider when prioritizing diversity

Gillian O'Brien

As a world-class recruiting service, our customer success managers are often asked to focus a search on diversity. Sometimes this is because a mostly-male startup is looking for its first female engineering hire, or a leadership team has looked around and realized that there aren't enough (or any!) underrepresented minorities in the room.

We welcome these hard conversations and actively encourage our clients to be honest about how much effort they're putting toward their DEI initiatives. That being said, bringing on a hire from an underrepresented background is about more than the optics. Below, a few key takeaways from our time spent hiring for 50+ companies.

The Importance of: Proactive Outreach

Hiring managers often expect that making a diverse hire will be as easy and fast for them as previous hires they've made, but the market reality is that managers have to make many active changes to their process.

Reaching out to candidates proactively is the best guard against this shortfall, especially for "evergreen" openings like software engineers. Hiring managers should also be more willing to pitch the opportunity to passive candidates who may be open to moving several months down the road. Many top tech companies, like Stripe and Dropbox, encourage their hiring managers to do this. Planning and acting ahead of need is a best hiring practice that ensures your organization will attract the best talent it can. Dover makes this easy with a scalable outreach offering that delivers a steady stream of interested, qualified candidates. Your account manager can even help you a/b test different copy to make sure your message represents your company in the best light.

The Importance of: Reconsidering Your Experience Requirements

To truly bring diversity into an organization, hiring managers need to reconsider requirements to be more inclusive of alternative paths. This involves being open to veterans who may not have attended college right after high school, candidates who went through a coding bootcamp, or could even extend to older candidates other hiring managers might not be willing to talk to. Hiring managers can't expect a diverse candidate pool made up of only candidates from Google or McKinsey, because these companies may have strict algorithms that prevent talent from unconventional backgrounds to pass screening.

Dover not only detects the number of underrepresented candidates that match your job criteria, but also guides you on how to improve the criteria to surface strong diverse candidates. To prompt these internal conversations early in the hiring process, Dover built a free **Diversity Audit** tool ****which helps companies see the real numbers instead of talking about them in the abstract. The goal of the audit is to enable our clients to have honest and productive conversations with their dedicated support person. In turn, they're better equipped to make informed decisions about where their requirements stand, and what criteria can be moved from "must have" to "nice to have" in order to attract qualified, diverse talent.

The Importance of: Retaining Talent

Great! You've just made an offer to a fantastic candidate from a diverse background. Now what? It's important to keep three key strategies in mind:

1. Intentional inclusivity, such as a transparent company culture, can help these candidates rise to the top. Candidates know their worth, and they won't be willing to stick around for long if opportunities for growth don't exist for them.

2. Additionally, continually improving your employer brand strategy is the key to creating and retaining a diverse team. It's not enough to include team photos — you need to highlight that diversity and inclusion are a key value for your team moving forward. Our account managers can provide you with resources to uplevel your branding, as well as audit your current profiles to make sure you're not missing any blind spots.

3. Company leaders shouldn't expect a lone diversity hire to be responsible for future diversity hires. Clear company leadership on the topic can set the tone for future hires without placing more of a burden on current employees.

Want to learn how Dover can help you meet your diversity hiring goals?

Partner with us to uplevel your sourcing, outreach and branding to attract a diverse and talented team.