Different perspectives are valuable in life but also very valuable in business. Hiring diverse talent stretches you to think more critically and creatively, reduces biases and helps you question your assumptions. Plus, all walks of life are awesome, so it seems like a no brainer to want a diverse team.
“A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.” Sundar Pichai.
According to Cloverpop, decisions made and executed by a more diverse workplace yields 60% better results. Diverse teams also make better business decisions up to 87% of the time.
So, when outsourcing talent, diversity and inclusion should be top of mind. And yes, diversity and inclusion are still possible when hiring freelancers as well.
But before we get started, what does this all mean?
Diversity means valuing and accepting all traits, differences and experiences within your company’s workforce. These characteristics include gender, race, physical ability, sexual orientation, experiences, religion, age, socioeconomic status, and more. Inclusion refers to providing a collaborative, supportive, and respectful work culture. Your contract workers and freelancers should feel equally valued, respected, accepted and encouraged to participate in the organization.
Check out these simple tips on how you can ensure equal-opportunity when outsourcing freelance contract workers.
1. Showcase that your company values diversity
67% of job seekers say diversity is an important factor when considering working for a company. Diversity attracts diversity and so diverse candidates will seek out companies who genuinely value those ideals. A great way to start attracting more diverse candidates is simply by authentically emphasizing that you value inclusion and equal opportunity. Highlight your company’s commitment and your initiatives to hiring diverse candidates on your careers page. You can also incorporate real stories and pictures of all the different people working for your company in your social profiles and website.
2. Ensure your company policies appeal to diverse candidates
Now that you’ve talked the talk, make sure that and you can walk the walk. It’s one thing to say that you value diverse talent, but it’s another thing to develop policies within your company to ensure you live by those ideals. One of the best workplace policies for attracting diverse candidates is flexibility. A flexible work schedule and flexibility for remote work is especially appealing for women and people living in more remote areas. Also, for Millenials, work-life balance and company culture are at the top of their priorities list.
3. Review the wording in your freelance job description
This one’s a little long, so bear with me here. The language in your job description plays a huge part in attracting or deterring diverse candidates. Pay attention to this. You’ll notice that some of the language you use may be geared more towards a specific demographic of experience level, age or background.
Highlighting diversity with a simple sentence such as “equal opportunity employer” can also go a long way for attracting more diverse freelancers and make everyone feel welcomed.
Also, while you may not realize it, you could have a gender bias in your contract job description or lack gender-inclusive words. Gender wording researchers, Friesen & Kay, found that women’s style of communication is more communal and used more emotional and social words. Such words were: connected, committed, cooperative, dependable, loyal, responsible, supportive and trusting. Conversely, they found that most job descriptions included predominantly masculine-themed words. Such words were: ambitious, analytical, competitive, dominant, challenging, confident, decisive, determined, independent, leader, and objective. These words tended to be less attractive to women as they felt they might not be a great “fit” for the role. Results also confirmed that job descriptions for male-dominated jobs contained more masculine-themed words associated with male stereotypes than job descriptions from female-dominated jobs and vice versa.
So, your goal such be to remove such stereotyping and biases from your contract job posting. You can accomplish this by including a range of both “feminine and masculine” themed words within the description.
4. Use blind resumes
A technique that’s increasing in popularity is to blackout personal information on resumes when screening potential candidates. By ignoring information like names, schools, date of birth, specific locations, and so on, you can help remove unconscious biases.
5. Use blind interviews
Blind interviews are a similar tactic to remove biases during early conversations with your candidates (pre phone or in-person interviews). You can send candidates questions via text or through your recruiting platform and have them answer these questions anonymously and without personal info.
6. Outsource talent from a diverse platform
Choose a freelance professional marketplace, such as Oomple, which has a diverse range of consultants and freelancers. This will be extremely helpful in your quest to outsourcing a diverse team. You can also choose to remove yourself completely from the hiring process if you prefer. Then you can allow our awesome team of diverse recruiters to match you with the talent you need! (They’re pretty awesome too :) )
7. Have a diverse interview panel
This one’s pretty straight forward. With a diverse interview panel, you are more likely to hire a more diverse team of freelancers.
8. Review your interview questions and assessments
While conversational interviews are great, a more structured approach can help you to compare candidates more fairly. Ask the same set of questions in the same order to each candidate. This allows you to do a less biased comparative evaluation.
If you’re not yet convinced, here are a few more stats. Companies that outsource diverse talent are 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders in their market, have 19% higher revenue, and are 70% more likely to capture a new market.
“Companies that embrace diversity and inclusion in all aspects of their business statistically outperform their peers.”– Josh Bersin
Essentially, by recruiting a diverse workforce, you have a clear competitive advantage. You are also adding a great mix of perspectives to your team. If you need freelance workers for your next project, you should consider developing an equal-opportunity recruiting strategy using these tips.
If you have any more questions or need help getting connected to diverse candidates, please feel free to reach out to us!
Inclusive Workforce image by Mercer.