Building Diversity Into Your Hiring Process

By Kate Brodock

As intent-driven and genuine as diversity and inclusivity efforts can be, they’ll fall flat if there isn’t a more thorough analysis of your hiring structure and your company structure. There are many points at which a diversity pipeline can drop off, and understanding how to minimize those drop offs will set you up for long-term success.

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What does diversity look like in your company right now? Do you have gender pay disparities in your current team? Did you not realize your entire tech team was male or white? Are you always hiring from the same pools of talent? Is your hiring team thinking about diversity right out of the gate? Are people aware that biases could exist without realizing it?

Make sure you know what you’re already doing and how your team currently stacks up in terms of inclusion and diversity. From there, you can identify where the holes are in your process and what improvements can be made moving forward. Here are some action items for you!


Usually a candidate’s first interaction with your company is the job description and employer branding, and these things have an impact! Even the way you word a job description can affect whom you attract as applicants.

Think critically about how you structure responsibilities and hiring criteria on your job description. Did you know that women will tend to not apply for a job if they think they don’t have every single desired skill listed for an open position, whereas men will apply even if they’re under qualified?

Do research on how your job descriptions will perform with certain groups (there are services out there to help you with this, like Textio and and have multiple people look at your role descriptions before they go out.


It’s easy to access candidate pools that you already know work—a particular recruitment platform or a team member’s alma mater—but what if they aren’t built to support your diversity goals?

Think more broadly about where you can get qualified candidates. Ask industry partners what they’re doing. Look outside your industry to see where certain universal roles are being sourced, such as tech talent.

There are several new platforms that give you access to larger, centralized pools of diverse talent. We’ve just launched Lane, a tech talent marketplace where you can go to find female developers, data scientists, product managers… you name it. Werk allows you to access senior level women who are looking for flexibility in the workplace and Power to Fly can help you find women who are able to work remotely.


If your hiring team knows what they’re looking for before seeing résumés and before interviewing candidates — skills, experience level, etc — they can use this predetermined checklist to line up applicant qualifications as they come in. This almost forces a search committee to consider anyone that meets those qualifications regardless of their demographic makeups.

In creating a scorecard, you also make the hiring manager be very clear and conscious. If they actually do want to hire someone who’s worked for only top brands in the space, regardless of skills, they have to actually say that out loud, then agree to it, then write it down, then implement it (then even get it passed through HR). This creates multiple opportunities to identify a bias as it goes through at least an informal checks-and-balances process.


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