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Diversify Your Recruiting Efforts

Updated: Feb 8, 2023


Diversity your recruiting with PassionHR

Are you struggling to find talent? Diversify your recruiting efforts with PassionHR!

The US economy added 517,000 jobs in January despite growing concerns about inflation

and layoffs. The Great Resignation shows no sign of slowing down in 2023. In December of

2022, more than half of respondents told Indeed that they plan to leave their job in the next

twelve months. Companies that want to remain competitive must retain employees by nurturing a culture where every person feels they belong and tap into underrepresented groups to expand the candidate pool for hiring.

  • More than half of U.S. workers — 61% — are considering leaving their jobs in 2023 (LinkedIn)

  • There are currently 1.9 jobs available for every job search. (US Dept of Labor)

  • More than 3 out of 4 job seekers and employees (76%) say a diverse workforce is essential when evaluating companies and job offers. (Glassdoor)


Diversify your diversity.

Women still hold only 23% of c-suite positions. The current unemployment rate for Blacks and Hispanics is 5.4% compared to 3.1% for Whites. Only 56% of Fortune 500 companies offer Domestic Partner benefits. There is clearly still work to be done toward equality for groups explicitly protected by the EEOC. But employees who don’t fall into a disadvantaged category can have a hard time connecting to programs focusing on race, ethnicity, sex, and gender. By expanding your diversity efforts to include disenfranchised groups that include the full scope of people- including otherwise advantaged classes- we can move the conversation from “disadvantaged versus advantaged” to “everyone is different.”


Good news! The following categories are under-tapped candidate pools. Adding them to your hiring strategy can help fill open positions in this highly competitive market for top talent.


hiring strategy

Disabled workers. One in four Americans has a disability, but the unemployment rate for

disabled Americans (7.1%) is more than twice the rate for all workers. I’ve included this

protected class because it includes people from all other groups and lessons learned

during Covid have made it more possible for disabled persons to participate in the

workforce. Covid disrupted our thinking on location and flexibility. Competition for scarce

employees and changing attitudes about work have forced companies to offer higher wages,

increased family leave, and more benefits. You should also offer better accommodations for

people with physical and medical needs.


People with disabilities have the same or better attendance rates than their non-disabled

coworkers. They‘re typically very loyal and don’t want to be seen as “sick” or less reliable than their abled counterparts. Most accommodations cost nothing. When there is a need for specialized equipment, it is a one-time cost of less than $500. (JAN) The most common needs are reserved parking spaces, accessibility to workspace, and flexibility. Disabled workers can (and should) be held to the same performance standard as a non-disabled person doing the same job. Since they are hesitant to chance the unknown of how a new employer will meet their needs, retention rates are higher with disabled workers.

Tip: Partner with your state’s vocational rehabilitation program or a local Center for Independent Living to identify disability candidates.

People with a criminal record. One-third of Americans have a criminal record. Workers

overwhelmingly support fair-chance hiring. In a December 2022 LinkedIn survey, 92% of

workers said they would be comfortable working alongside a coworker with a nonviolent criminal record with a single, isolated incident. Length of time since the most recent offense plays the most significant factor in comfort levels. When the criminal record is just five years old, 28% said they would be very comfortable working with the person, and only 8% said they would be very uncomfortable. Even multiple violent incidents in someone’s past don’t dramatically increase concern. Fifty-four percent would still feel comfortable with this coworker.


Fair chance opportunities are essential to society. Meaningful work reduces recidivism and

breaks the cycle between unemployment and criminal activity. Employees with a criminal record have longer job tenure and are less likely to quit.


Tip: Use #fairchance in job postings.

 Individuals and companies widely support the military, so you might be surprised to learn that finding a civilian job can be challenging.

Veterans. Individuals and companies widely support the military, so you might be surprised to learn that finding a civilian job can be challenging. The longer someone has served, the harder it can be. Only 1 in 4 service members have a job lined up before they leave the military. A Pew Research study found that among post-911 vets:

  • 57% found a job within six months

  • 21% found a job within one year

  • 16% took more than one year to find a job

  • 6% say they were not able to find one

Patriotism doesn’t drive companies to hire veterans. Veterans are desirable employees because of their discipline, integrity, leadership skills, ability, and composure under pressure, but the starting point for any hire is “can they do the job?” Civilian hiring managers often cannot fully understand an applicant’s military experience and how it translates to their needs. Licenses and certifications may not be recognizable in the civilian world. Employers may worry that a service member will have trouble readjusting or have ongoing health issues affecting their performance and attendance.


Companies that want to hire veterans need to make an effort to understand military experience instead of putting all the responsibility on candidates to translate. Creating affinity groups where veteran employees can connect, share their common experiences, and help one another settle into a civilian environment are a great tool for helping veterans assimilate into your company culture.

Tip: Enlist an employee with military service to help review resumes from former service members.
Non-degreed workers.

Non-degreed workers. The latest Census data shows that 37.9% of Americans have a Bachelor’s degree or higher. The tight labor market and high cost of college are driving job seekers and companies to reconsider the decades-long assumption that a college degree is the best indicator of success. College enrollment is down. Companies can adjust by broadening their definition of “qualified” to include life experience, job history, and certifications that don’t require a degree. Pennsylvania, Utah, and Maryland have eliminated the degree requirement for state jobs. Other states and cities are following suit. Apple, Google, and IBM have dropped degree requirements for many jobs.


Proponents of the shift say that except for jobs that require professional certification, such as an accountant, most work can be learned on the job. An employee who wants to be there and wants to learn and do their best is worth training for the role.

Tip: Look for exceptional people, not exceptional resumes.

Making these and other untapped subgroups part of your hiring strategy will ease the challenge of worker shortages and add valuable perspectives to your team. The more diverse a company becomes, the less likely any person or group will feel “different.”


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