From corporate board rooms to law partner Zoom meetings, workplace diversity and inclusion are hot topics nowadays. Coming up with an effective diversity recruiting strategy that mirrors your workplace objectives takes planning.
Whenever your firm or corporation works with professional headhunters, it’s imperative to find those with legal recruiting strategies that align with your company culture. If a more diverse workforce is on your organization’s 2021 to-do list, here’s how to actively recruit the right candidates for the job.
Improving the Recruitment of Diverse Individuals
The term “workplace diversity” can refer to a broad range of employee characteristics, including:
- Race or ethnicity
- Sexual orientation or identification
- National origin
- Military service
Creating an open-minded company culture that encourages diversity and inclusion is possible by knowing how to recruit and retain the right candidates in the first place. Here are some tips:
Minimize interview bias
Ask your interviewers and hiring managers to consider any personal biases that could influence hiring decisions. Unconscious assumptions they may have about candidates can lead to exclusionary, non-diverse and even poor hiring decisions.
Helping your team minimize potential biases is crucial for creating an open-minded company culture that supports diversity and inclusion. Because it’s important for employees at all levels, encourage your company’s hiring managers to set a good example by undergoing diversity training.
Market your company culture
When communicating with candidates, tell them about the diverse culture that your company is building. If your organization supports causes that emphasize diversity and inclusion, get the word out by posting that information on your website and social media feeds.
Test each candidate’s skills
While screening candidates, be sure to assess each one’s skills by asking them to complete a small trial project. This will give interviewers and hiring managers a chance to form their own opinions based on execution rather than bias. Summer law student internship programs are prime examples of how legal employers assess candidate skills by putting them to the test.
Keep your questions consistent
Follow-up the skills test with an in-person interview that includes the same questions for each candidate. Assign weighted scores to each question and ask each one in the same order. That way you can compare candidates on a level playing field based on their responses, rather than skin color or sexual orientation.
Attend diversity job fairs
Legal headhunters for one spend a lot of time recruiting candidates at job fairs. And although you can meet a wide variety of people at standard job fairs, you’ll be able to broaden your talent pool by participating in job fairs tailored to a diverse candidate base.
Leverage your social and professional networks
Another way to expand industry contacts is by participating in community networking events and meetup groups that promote diversity and inclusion. While there, you’ll have a chance to connect with underrepresented candidates that may end up on your recruiting “watch list.”
Also seek ways to establish one-on-one relationships with career professionals who belong to underrepresented diversity groups, including state and local bar associations. In the end, leveraging your social and professional networks to meet new candidates will help you build a deeper, more diverse recruiting pipeline.
Find a recruitment partner with similar goals
Working with a recruiter that routinely places diverse candidates with like-minded employers will help you find, recruit and retain employees that reflect diversity and inclusion. Headhunters that specialize in diversity placements can also provide valuable assistance that makes your internal hiring process more culturally inclusive.
Why You Should Create a More Diverse Workplace
Using the legal profession as an example, law firm diversity statistics would seem to indicate that the industry is not as “open-minded” as others, notably when it comes to racial diversity in law firms. A recent report from the National Association of Law Placement (NALP) revealed that although persons of color make up 25% of law firm associates, less than 10% are partners.
When it comes to gender diversity, a 2018 NALP study found that women account for less than 36% of the total attorneys working at most major US law firms. The NALP study also showed that less than 3% of all attorneys at those same firms identified as LGBTQ, and that only 0.5% had disabilities.
Whether it’s in the legal industry or not, having a diverse, inclusive workforce sends a more positive message to stakeholders. Not doing so can send the wrong message, one that keeps your organization from hitting its revenue targets.
“We as recruiters must be willing and able to change the language in relation to the professionals we represent. As Executive and Legal Recruiters of Color, our job is to be “agents of change, change agents.” We have the power and influence to help change mindsets and help eradicate implicit and conscious bias, “change the words, change the world.” – Ronald Jordan, Clark-White & Shaw.
How Embracing Workplace Diversity Benefits Your Bottom Line
With respect to the legal workplace, implementing law firm best practices that include diversity allows you to reap many benefits in the end. As a search committee member there are many reasons why diversity hiring is important, starting with these:
Diversity attracts more clients
Law firms that mirror the diverse reality of the outside world have a greater likelihood of bringing in a larger pool of clients. For example, bilingual attorneys give firms an advantage by attracting and acquiring clients from other cultures and countries. In most instances, a larger client base spurs revenue growth and economic gain.
Diversity leads to innovation
A legal team comprised of individuals from diverse backgrounds brings unique perspectives and improved problem-solving skills to the table. When there’s more diversity in the room legal strategies resulting from openly shared critical thinking and advocacy skills oftentimes lead to new innovations that improve team productivity.
Diverse legal teams breed success
Recruiting and sustaining a diverse legal workforce means widening your pool of qualified candidates. Doing so allows you as an employer to feel confident that you are hiring the most talented individuals for open positions, which ultimately drives workplace performance and ensures successful legal outcomes.
Diversity promotes higher retention rates
Attorneys at firms that value diversity and inclusion report being happier in the workplace. Skilled attorneys of color and other minority groups are less likely to feel isolated, leading to a greater sense of camaraderie with colleagues. That team happiness improves productivity and reduces turnover.
How to Retain Minority Legal Professionals
If your law firm or in-house corporate legal department is having trouble retaining minority hires, achieving a more diverse, inclusive company culture isn’t going to be easy. One of the best ways to turn things around is by working with a legal headhunter that uses a recruiting approach focused on diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Some of the ways that legal recruiters and placement agencies can help your firm or corporation hire and retain qualified minority candidates include:
- Serving as candidate advocates
- Helping women and minorities find the right cultural fit
- Participating in diversity initiatives within the community
- Helping minority candidates distinguish themselves
- Providing industry insider and region-specific knowledge
How the Legal Recruiter Directory Can Help
Building a workforce that’s open-minded, diverse and inclusive improves team morale and boosts productivity, retention rates and profits. Working with legal headhunters that share your same cultural beliefs and values helps ensure a more successful hiring and placement process.
At Deep Footprint, the agency behind the Legal Recruiter Directory, we specialize in results-driven digital marketing solutions for legal headhunters, law firms and legal placement firms.
Helping those we serve realize higher client engagement and conversion rates is something we excel at every day.
The Legal Recruiter Directory also provides online support that helps legal recruiters place talented active or passive attorney candidates with prestigious law firms and corporations. If you’re interested in learning more, contact the experts at the Legal Recruiter today.