Planning for Diversity in the Post Pandemic Workforce

By Karyn Mullins, President MedReps

As companies shift toward permanent remote workforces and virtual recruiting, a recent MedReps research report revealed that most job seekers don’t expect to see an impact on diversity and inclusion.

While that seems fair enough (and many respondents are optimistic about the impact), 2020 was a year rightfully focused on racial equity in the United States. Even as we’ve forged through the pandemic, employers have made bold statements regarding diversity and inclusion.

Now that we’re easing into a new quarter and year, it’s time to put a strategy into place for a better 2021. What will your workplace look like in the new year? How will it look in the future, post-COVID-19?

Employers must take this time to decide their 2021 approaches to diversity in the workforce. Specifically, it’s essential to determine what role diversity and equity will play in your recruiting and hiring strategies as you build out your post-pandemic workforces.

As we go through 2021, adjust your strategy in the following areas to address diversity in the workforce:

Technology

More than ever before, technology plays a critical role in recruiting practices, especially if you plan to remain remote. This means your applicant tracking system (ATS), customer relationship manager (CRM), and interview technology all play a role in diversity hiring.

Identify the right ATS to help your team screen resumes without unconscious bias. Your ATS does not pay attention to gender, race, age, sexuality or nationality when ranking a candidate’s relevance. The only thing that matters is whether or not their resume matches your job requirements.

Furthermore, a good CRM can help your team keep track of candidates, referrals, and folks they’ve met through networking opportunities. Then, when your team meets job seekers from diverse organizations and schools, they can hang on to those contacts and reach out when a relevant job opens.

Video interviews are more formulaic, which can help eliminate variations in interviews of different candidates in the running for the same position. Select a virtual interviewing platform for your team that helps eliminate bias. This could include a platform on which candidates record one-way interviews your entire team reviews and weighs in on.

As you adopt more virtual recruiting strategies, take diversity into account when determining your budget for these technologies. Make sure the technologies you select have proven success with diversity in the workforce.

Job Descriptions

The requirements and language in your job descriptions are often barriers for job seekers. It’s crucial to ensure they reflect the diverse workforce you’re hoping to achieve.

When planning for next year, make room in your strategy to rewrite your job descriptions and remove discriminatory language. Many companies do this using artificial intelligence. Alternatively, you can hire a freelancer to take on the work for you. This adds an external perspective to the language screening process.

In addition to addressing the tone of your job descriptions, you should also allocate time for your team to evaluate and remove more “nice to have” requirements than are actually required. By being less exclusionary, you open your doors to candidates who will be great for the role but come from unexpected backgrounds.

Key Performance Indicators

Lastly, make sure to adjust the way you’ll measure diversity in your strategy. What are your diversity goals in the post-pandemic workforce?

For example, if you’re planning for a smaller volume of hires, consider whether your diversity ratio goal still makes sense. Maybe you should plan to measure by quality instead of quantity, for the time being.

Review market research to identify which roles will be harder to fill with diverse candidates. Then, plan for those roles to have a longer time to fill or require more folks on the hiring team.

Karyn Mullins is the President at MedReps, a job board which gives members access to the most sought-after medical sales jobs and pharmaceutical sales jobs on the web. Connect with Karyn on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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