If you manage a team of people, I’d like you to answer two questions:
Q1: Who owns the hiring effort for your team?
Q2: And, who owns the diversity of your team?
If the answer to both of these is not the person you see in the mirror every morning, you’re doing it wrong.
As the manager of a team, you’re responsible for the talent on the team — attracting them to join, keeping them engaged and growing, and retaining strong performers. You have experts around you in the form of your HR or talent partners to guide and support you, sometimes on the strategic and other times on the tactical.
But ultimately, it’s up to you to ensure you have the talent to accomplish your objectives. And an effective hiring effort that contributes a diverse set of talent — the intersection of Q1 and Q2 above — is critical to maximize the performance of any team.
Having said all that, many managers hire sporadically and haven’t focused on inclusiveness when they have hired. The natural, understandable question that springs forth from them: “So, what should I be thinking about and doing?”
Below is a starter list of questions hiring managers should ask themselves to effectively lead an inclusive hiring process, in partnership with their recruiter, at each stage of the effort:
You’ve decided to hire for your team . . .
1. What qualifications are truly essential for the role and which are listed out of unchecked habit?
2. What perspectives and experiences are lacking on the existing team, and why are they important to add?
3. Irrespective of background, what behaviors, practices, and accomplishments will whomever you hire need to exhibit during their first 90/180/365 days on your team to be successful?
You’re ready to kickoff hiring with your recruiter . . .
4. Is the sourcing strategy likely to reach and attract candidates from underrepresented groups?
5. What connections — people, organizations, platforms — can you personally tap to help source a diverse set of candidates for this hiring?
You’re evaluating candidates . . .
7. Are you using a consistent set of criteria and questions with each candidate you interview?
8. Are the questions you’re asking oriented toward screening in, instead of screening out candidates?
9. Are there patterns or commonalities across the candidates that you’re scoring higher that could reveal unconscious biases when studied together?
You’re ready to move some candidates to later stages . . .
10. Based on the candidate pool and progression to date, are you and your recruiter confident you’ll have considered a diverse slate of candidates at the onsite stage by the time you make an offer?
11. If you’re not confident in achieving a diverse slate of candidates yet, have you explored with your recruiter options to increase the diversity of your candidate pool?
12. Are the members of your interview panel asking themselves questions similar to the ones above about evaluating candidates?
If you’re hiring for your team, I’d encourage you to give each of these questions some serious consideration. They will help make sure you’re building a team with the diversity of backgrounds and perspectives you’ll need to succeed.