Best Practices for Diversity Recruiting

Best Practices for Diversity Recruiting
April 28, 2021 Emily Azevedo

Mainsail Partners
Webinar Series

Best Practices for
Diversity Recruiting

Webinar Recap

Emily Azevedo, Operating Partner at Mainsail Partners,  moderated a webinar with Bethany Coates, Founder and CEO of BreakLine, and Eldrin Deas, Principal Consultant, Global Director of Research and Impact at Yardstick Management. During the webinar, the panel shared some insights on how to kickstart diversity recruiting, including tips on gaining alignment from leadership and your team, challenging your paradigms, identifying biases, changing your current strategies, and building connections with new communities.

You can view the full recording of the webinar below or click here to view it.


Gain Alignment on Diverse Recruiting

  • The business case for diversity is clear: diverse teams perform better, are more productive, and help build more successful companies
  • Commitment to diversity starts at the top. Empathy with business goals will help leaders be invested in the work.

Change Your Biases

  • Stop looking for ‘shortcuts’ to excellence, such as hiring from certain universities and companies that we consider ‘signals’ of excellence.
  • Move away from fear-based decision-making to opportunity-based decision-making.
  • Redefine what performance looks like– find comfort in knowing that there is someone with an unfamiliar background to you who can completely change how you think about performance.
  • Dial down the need for conformity in how we expect colleagues to perform in order to access outcomes otherwise unachievable.
  • Be aware that your company may not carry brand gravitas in the communities you are trying to reach.

Be Cognizant of Gaps in Your Current Processes

  • Use inclusive language in job descriptions and avoid unnecessary corporate jargon.
  • Think critically about qualifications like years of experience that could discourage otherwise qualified candidates.
  • Prioritize transferable skills that candidates may bring to the table.
  • Think about posting your jobs in places that diverse communities are looking at.
  • Be aware of the psychology of people coming from under selected backgrounds. If they see your company and don’t see diverse people, they may count themselves out.

Expand Your Network

  • Your networks are not random or organic. People tend to be friends with people of similar status in income, education, and race.
  • If you want diversity within your company, you must take responsibility to create bridges with other communities.
  • One company cannot solve everything – be egoless and partner with organizations that can open doors to new communities.
  • Invest in early pipelines to build bridges early and recognize where to build these pipelines.

Do the Hard Work and Change Your Strategy

  • Set up a change management framework for diversity, and make sure it is sustainable.
  • Change your methods – you cannot get different outcomes if you do nothing differently.
  • Give candidates from unconventional backgrounds the chance to tell their story. If you want to diversify your team, make the time on your calendar.
  • Drive towards goals, and measure progress constantly. To achieve, you need to measure.


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