June 15, 2020

Diverse Candidates: Are You Letting Star Talent Slip Through The Cracks?

diverse candidates

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It’s a common scenario. You post your open role, get an avalanche of applications and become so focused on narrowing down the list of candidates as quickly as possible, you end up searching for reasons to shorten your candidate list and take people out of the pipeline. 

Big mistake. But I get it, as the economic outlook changes, the number of job applications will steadily rise and so will the number of phone calls, emails and LinkedIn messages you receive. 

But don’t get so focused on filtering out that you forget to filter in

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Are you focused on bringing the right candidates in or weeding the wrong candidates out?

It may seem like semantics but when you spend time reviewing a resume to determine how you can include someone, rather than exclude, you end up with very different outcomes. 

I’ve shared previously that less than 6% of people in the workforce actually attended Ivy League schools. There are many intelligent people who didn’t attend an Ivy League school, not because they couldn’t get accepted but because they couldn’t afford to attend. Maybe they even chose a different school for a host of other reasons. 

Don't make assumptions about those who attend or don’t attend. Instead, start screening resumes with an eye for a candidate's ability to perform the job.

Uncomfortable yet? Diversity hiring can challenge us on the deepest level, but it’s worth the effort. To find out how to improve your diversity recruitment process by boldly identifying what isn't working, check out Stacey’s Diversity Recruiting course today.

When in doubt, don’t screen them out

Numerous studies have shown that a name on a resume can have a significant impact on whether the candidate is screened out from the process. 

When reviewing resumes, pause, and ask yourself if the reservation or the desire to advance the candidate to an interview is based upon any perceived bias around their name. 

"Sometimes I don't even think people know, or are conscious, or aware that they're judging, even if it's by a name, but I think we all do it all the time" says José Zamora, the man who changed his name from José to Joe to get a job.  

Why? Because people were screening out someone with the name “José” for a whole host of reasons, yet screening in “Joe”. 

On a similar note, do not assume a gap in a person’s resume is an automatically negative occurrence. There are many reasons for a gap that don’t diminish the professional experience a candidate brings to the table.

Upon reviewing a resume, if information can be viewed as either positive or negative, err on the side of the positive and keep the candidate in the pool. 

Use the initial phone interview to obtain additional information and clarity. When in doubt, don’t screen them out.

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Author Bio

Stacey Gordon

Leading at the intersection of diversity, inclusion, and workplace culture, Stacey focuses on recruitment and career development initiatives. She is CEO of Rework Work, where she delivers keynote speeches, consults with organizations, and develops educational content that engages professionals globally, both in-person and in a virtual environment. She focuses on reworking how companies work; including how they inclusively recruit, hire and engage employees, effectively creating inclusion and belonging for all.