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Recruiting for Diversity and Inclusion

Updated: Apr 26, 2022


Harrison Parham

Marketing Specialist


Shelby Evans, CDR (Certified Diversity Recruiter)

Talent Acquisition Specialist

With our introduction of Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), our Talent Acquisition Specialist Shelby Evans recently became a Certified Diversity Recruiter via the Certified Diversity and Inclusion Training: AIRS. I chatted with Shelby about this process and the tools she gained to help businesses.

As someone in charge of recruitment for an expansive range of clients, I felt that Diversity and Inclusion Training was valuable because:

1. If a recruiter understands and can meet the needs of individuals who have a diverse background, they can create a positive interview and hiring process.

2. Companies need to keep in mind that diversity and inclusion within their culture start with the people they HIRE.

3. Hiring people from different backgrounds is important because everyone will have unique skills that they can provide to help to enhance a business.

As a Talent Acquisition Specialist, I wanted to expand my recruiting skills and knowledge by going through the Certified Diversity and Inclusion Recruiter course with AIRS. The CDR course provided me with tools, resources, and strategies to help improve my diversity recruiting methods. My biggest takeaways from the training were the education on biases, Boolean Search Strings, hiring with disabilities, certain candidate sourcing websites and tactics, and digital inclusion of a diversity statement.

Bias within the recruiting realm has to do with how you post jobs, review resumes, assessments you may send to candidates and the interview process, and how you may have unconscious bias within those acquisitional steps.

Regarding job posting: addressing biased language, for example, gender-biased terms or ability-biased terms is important to sourcing a diverse group of candidates.

Job site algorithms will decode job descriptions that include gender-specific language to then show certain people who match those terms in the postings. In localized cultures, people tend to use specific verbs and adjectives to describe males and females (e.g. handsome vs. beautiful).

Gender Bias Decoder is a great tool I was provided to decode job descriptions to ensure gender-specific terminology is balanced.

Other than gender bias, some specific examples of biases that I felt applied to businesses, especially HR, were:

Bandwagon Bias – Adapt to certain behavior, style, or attitude simply because others are doing it.

Anchoring Bias – The tendency for people to make decisions based on one attribute or piece of information, thus “anchoring” to a single point of data or information. Often in HR, this manifests in disputes, which gives the person who tells their side first a biased advantage. In recruiting, anchoring bias can give the first applicant an advantage, or give candidates who respond poorly to the first question in an interview a disadvantage.

The main point is:

Questioning the reason for hiring choices is an important step to addressing unconscious bias. Taking a step back and self-analyzing why you might make certain business decisions before you make those decisions can negate those biased tendencies.

There is a series of implicit bias tests from Harvard ( that allows people to potentially identify specific biases they may have. I felt this was a simple way for anyone to test their implicit biases, especially types that people may be unaware of.

Employee Resources Groups (ERGs) connections are a great way for employers to connect with qualified candidates with disabilities. Employers looking to fill a position can access specialized local ERGs that assist with matching job seekers with disabilities and prospective employers. AskEARN is a great resource for employers to find candidates, programs, and organizations that specialize in disabilities in their community specifically. Additionally, AskEARN acts as a source of education and a resource for the training and retention of employees with disabilities. This can be especially useful when a supervisor or team wants to learn the best ways to accommodate a team with diverse abilities.

Three ways companies can find a large pool of diverse candidates are Boolean Search Strings, using specified inclusive job resource websites, and social media.

Through Boolean Search Strings, employers can find candidates with specific qualifications, job history, strengths, experience, links to organizations, and plenty more specified traits. While time-consuming, Boolean searches can narrow the vast candidate pool to a focused group that is specifically qualified for specific positions. From searching for resumes that include specific qualifications, to narrowing the current candidates down, this is a great method to access candidates who may not have applied.

Another major tool for recruiters are sites that specialize in specific pools of candidates. A great example of a specialized candidate site is MyNextMove, which is specialized for people moving to a new city. The same site (MyNextMove/Vets) has a feature that uses Military titles and translates the specific military experience and ranks/titles to a non-military-related compatible job, so veterans can find positions outside of the military. As an employer, you can use the resource to find candidates moving to the area or learn specific military titles that match a job title based on qualifications. Knowing these specific titles can inform the use of Boolean search terms to find candidates that are qualified for a position as they leave active duty.

Of course, social media has become a growing network for sourcing qualified candidates in the local area. Using a combination of Boolean searches and social media hashtags, recruiters and talent acquisition specialists can find qualified job seekers that would not have initially seen your job posting due to board algorithms.

Diversity and Inclusion start internally. People must address their own unconscious biases and tendencies and must address them personally before they can implement those changes within an organization. Rooting and taking steps to address anti-diversity and inclusion actions is the first step to creating a safe inclusive environment for recruiting.

I believe that an outsourced recruiter, like the service that we (Vida HR) offer, is a great way to ensure an unbiased third-party, unaffected by potentially detrimental bandwagon bias within an organization. Otherwise, ensuring your recruitment team is knowledgeable in inclusive strategies should be a high priority.


Candidates and Employees with Disabilities Support:

Finding Candidates who are Moving:

Finding Experience Veteran Candidates:

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