Recruiter Role in Diversity and Inclusion

Recruiters' Role in Diversity & Inclusion

In her recent article, “Recruiters Play a Key Role in Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace,” Tiffany Trotter labels recruiters the “diversity and inclusion gatekeepers.”

This encouraged me to think about my own role as a recruiter in the commercial real estate industry, an industry that has long struggled with a lack of diversity, mainly due to successful industry entrance being based on personal connections.

Recruiters Need Training

Trotter claims that while recruiters do not have the final say on who gets hired for a job, they are influential when it comes to moving candidates through the hiring process. Recruiters could have unconscious bias, which could impact their screening process, and therefore need “thorough and rigorous diversity and inclusion training.”

How Can Recruiters Advance Diversity and Inclusion?

This made me wonder how to ensure everyone gets a fair shot in the interview process. Trotter offers multiple solutions:

  • Be open to other perspectives
  • Understand that one size doesn’t fit all
  • Work to eliminate unconscious bias
  • Include black professionals in the hiring process
  • Use diverse visuals in employer branding campaigns
  • Broaden the candidate pipeline

Unconscious Bias

I am particularly interested in focusing on unconscious bias, defined as “the underlying stereotypes or attributes that people unconsciously attribute to people or groups.”

According to Trotter, data suggests people with more stereotypically “ethnic” sounding names often must distribute more resumes before being contacted for a job opening. One way that recruiters can prevent unconscious bias from impacting hiring decisions is by crafting a blind screening process.

Removing the candidate’s name, age and address can prevent unconscious bias from entering the recruiter’s decision to interview, helping to give everyone a fairer shot at success.

Diversity and Inclusion: Moving Forward

Trotter’s article encouraged me to take a hard look at how my firm can focus on diversity and inclusion in our recruiting processes. How will you change to ensure everyone gets a fair shot in the interview process?