Diversity continues to be one of the top recruiting trends in 2021. This fact alone speaks volumes of just how important it is to prioritize inclusivity in your company. Diversity is no ephemeral fad—it is a crucial tool that can boost your sales and help you achieve your company goals.
A recent study by the Boston Consulting Group said diversity represented a real competitive advantage, adding that “increasing the diversity of leadership teams leads to more and better innovation and improved financial performance.” The study goes on to say that companies with above-average diversity on their leadership teams report a greater payoff from innovation and higher EBIT margins. It also suggests that companies can start generating gains with relatively small changes in the makeup of their senior teams.
But attracting top tech talent that is also diverse is no simple task. There is a notable dearth of professionals from certain groups and minorities in the tech sector. To help you in the recruitment process, we’ve put together a few tips to point you in the right direction.
Diversify Advertising Channels
Posting in the right platform is essential to attract people from underrepresented groups such as veterans, people with autism, LGBTQI, people over 40 and people with disabilities. To reach these professionals, post your job ad on websites they frequently visit.
Diversity Working is the largest online diversity job board, while Hire Autism is made for individuals on the autism spectrum. Other excellent options are Hire Purpose (a job board for veterans, service members and military spouses), Recruit Disability (a job board for job seekers who have disabilities) and 70 Million Jobs (a job board for candidates who have a criminal record).
Use The Right Language
Using non-inclusive language and language that is sexy, racist or denigrating to any group is a sure way of driving diverse candidates away. In all your content, particularly in your job ads, make sure to employ gender-neutral language to avoid sexism or heteronormativity. You want to stay away from words like “he” or “she,” and instead use “the candidate” or simply “they.” Furthermore, you should stay away from sexist terms like “girl” or “housewife.”
Wording your job ad properly will help attract talent from different backgrounds, cultures, ages and genders. But make sure to go the extra mile to ensure that all your content reflects your company’s commitment to diversity.
Offer Targeted Financial Aid and Internships
A host of companies offer scholarships and internship programs for underrepresented groups and minorities. These schemes are an excellent way of creating a more inclusive workplace. Coding bootcamps, which will be discussed later, are a great example. Flatiron School offers several scholarships and diversity initiatives, including the Access Scholarship, The NextTech Scholarship and National Center for Women & Information Technology’s Alabama & Michigan Digital Skills Initiative. Another school with diversity in mind is Thinkful, who offers a host of scholarships to women, veterans and underrepresented communities.
Ask for Diverse Referrals
Another path to diversity might begin by asking your employees. They may know professionals from diverse backgrounds and cultures from school or from a previous job. If they are happy with their current employment situation, they’d be happy to recommend your company to their friends and acquaintances.
Partner Up With Diversity Organizations
Several organizations can help you in your quest to assemble your dream diverse tech team.
Code2040 is a nonprofit that fights to end the systemic exclusion of Black and Latino communities from the tech sector. Its mission is to dismantle the barriers keeping these communities from entering the industry and climbing up the corporate ladder. To carry out its mission, Code2040 connects techies in early professional stages with mentors, prospective employees and peers.
Black Girls Code
Black Girls Code is another not-for-profit organization that seeks an end to the underrepresentation of African-American women in tech by providing education to girls. Founded in 2011, BGC has programs in computer programming, coding, website, robot and mobile application development. The ultimate goal of this organization is to equip African Americans with the skills they need to make an impact in the industry.
Code For America
Driving by the values of openness, participation and efficiency in government, Code For America works to close the gap between the public and corporate sectors when it comes to the effective use of technology. By promoting the creation of open-source software, Code For America aims to increase efficiency in public administration.
We already mentioned coding bootcamps. These are short but laser-focused programs where the students acquire all the skills they need to enter the tech industry.
Every year, millions of newly minted professionals join the ranks of tech companies around the world. Many of them are coding bootcamp grads, so partnering up with the schools that holds these programs is a great alternative.
These are some basic ways your company can assemble a team where a wide range of backgrounds, cultures and ideas are represented. Diversity is already key in the tech industry, so make sure it plays a central role in your firm.