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6 Strategies To Determine If Your Hiring Practices Are Undermining Your DEI Efforts

The murders of Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, and countless other people of color have magnified the institutional racism that permeates throughout the country. George Floyd’s murder has prompted many organizations to make diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) key business priorities. As a result, companies have strategically shifted to diversify their recruitment efforts to target minorities as executive and senior leaders, and serve on their boards. Consequently, Human Resources (HR) has become a strategic business partner to ensure diversification in recruitment efforts by helping organizations prevent internal systemic discriminatory hiring practices. HR also assists in developing holistic, long-term, and sustainable DEI recruitment strategies.

Review these six (6) strategies to determine if your hiring practices are undermining your DEI efforts:

Check for Bias in Job Descriptions

As a result of varying societal factors, it’s common for job descriptions to include biased terminology. Specific terms can skew the applicant pool away from qualified diverse applicants. To prevent unconscious bias in your job descriptions, use neutral language focusing on:

  • Skills

  • Knowledge

  • Abilities

  • Outcomes

Neutral language is inclusionary and not geared towards privileged, able-bodied, and cisgendered, heterosexual candidates.


“Candidate must be an excellent public speaker,” which could be exclusionary for those who are deaf and communicate via sign language. Instead, consider: “Candidates must have the ability to electronically or digitally present organizational information to various audiences.”

Make Supplier Diversity a Priority

A commitment to DEI requires adoption throughout the organization, and with the companies you contract with for business related purposes. Including supplier diversity as part of your organization’s DEI strategy is critical because it:

  • Promotes competition by reducing costs and improving product quality

  • Enhances the attractiveness of the organization to job seekers valuing an organization with a robust DEI strategy

  • Boosts regional economies by funneling revenue into small, local businesses

  • Is simply the right, moral, and ethical thing to do

Hold Staffing and Recruitment Firms Accountable

When partnering with recruiters and staffing agencies, prioritize those with documented successes in sourcing diverse talent aligned with your organization's DEI initiatives.

  • Explicitly inform staffing agencies and recruiters of your organization’s DEI initiatives and work with those aligned to those efforts

  • Hire DEI experts to navigate staffing firms with diverse candidates

  • Measure the number of minority, veteran and woman-owned staffing agencies and recruiters used vs. non-minority and make adjustments to align with your DEI strategy

Reimagine Sourcing Strategies

Strategic HR partnerships are critical in reimagining DEI sourcing strategies and can help you determine:

  • Where diverse entry-level candidates are sourced:

    • Ivy League schools?

    • Historically Black, Hispanic, and Native-serving institutions?

    • Highly-selective institutions?

  • Which metrics designate the best candidates from these schools?

  • Whether academic requirements are too focused on degree title and not enough on skill?

  • If your partners have thriving partnerships with community and professional associations that focus on underrepresented identities?

    • If so, is the organization leveraging these connections for leadership, executive, and board positions?

Sourcing strategies should be multifaceted and encompass an action plan to reach a wide range of diverse candidates by partnering with various staffing agencies and recruiters.

Revisit Job Descriptions, Classifications, and Core Competencies

Perform an audit of existing job catalogs including, descriptions, classifications, and core competencies, to assess if the duties and responsibilities are still relevant to the organization. Remember, there are five (5) generations of employees in the workforce, and there have been numerous technological advancements.

Make sure recruitment materials:

  • Reflect generational workplace diversity

  • Have an established DEI purpose

  • Are easily accessible for staff and potential applicants

Focus on Belonging

Applicants are no longer willing to sever their identities to fit into the workplace. Instead, they require reassurance that workplace culture is intentionally diverse, equitable, inclusive, and values their employees. When employees don’t feel like they belong, their tenure can be short-lived, isolating, and stressful.

Therefore, organizations must:

  • Explicitly state their commitment to DEI

  • Outline how it demonstrates diversity, equity, and inclusion in its daily operations

  • Define and share its long-term DEI sustainability strategies

Minor modifications to your recruitment strategies can make a significant impact in conveying the company’s commitment to DEI. However, to remain relevant and continue sourcing and retaining the best candidates, organizations must assess and address deficiencies in their hiring practices, identify gaps, and implement strategies for DEI efforts to be successful.

Need assistance with revising your recruitment strategies or DEI efforts? Contact Abnormal Logic today at to learn more.

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