When you think about diversity recruiting, what comes to mind? Is it inviting individuals from a specific minority to apply or expanding a candidate sourcing method? As business practices continue toward a more inclusive future, dispelling the myths about diversity recruiting is crucial for a workplace to cultivate belonging. Let’s break down the top eight most common misconceptions about diversity recruiting.

1. Misconception: Diversity Recruiting Lowers Standards

One of the most common misconceptions is that a company will hire someone based on who they are rather than how qualified they are for the position. These individuals are sometimes labeled as the “diverse hire,” which tokenizes them while diminishing their accomplishments. 

Reality: Diversity Recruiting Always Hires Qualified Candidates

While diversity recruiting aims to eliminate biases that exclude candidates from underrepresented groups, it does not target individuals to be hired based solely on their identity. No matter how they identify, only qualified candidates who align with the job description will proceed past the initial screening into the interview process. Recruiting comes with hiring costs and it is a waste of time, resources, and money for a company to hire someone unqualified. 

2. Misconception: Diversity is Only Race and Gender

Some believe diversity extends only to race and gender. However, this misconception overlooks a crucial spectrum of identities, intersectionality, and experiences. It is an outdated definition of diversity. 

Reality: Diversity Encompasses Every Aspect of Identity

True diversity includes age, sexual orientation and identity, disability, socioeconomic status, educational background, and more. Effective diversity recruiting considers all these factors to create a truly inclusive workplace.

3. Misconception: Diversity Recruiting is Just a Trend

Diversity recruiting can sometimes be dismissed as a temporary trend or a response to the news. Some may refuse to allocate resources needed to implement diversity recruitment fearing it will not last. 

Reality: Diversity Recruiting is Here to Stay

Diversity and inclusion are integral to a company’s long-term success and sustainability. Diverse teams are more innovative, better at problem-solving, and more effective at understanding and serving customer bases. Plus, more Fortune 500 companies are publishing their diversity reports as last year there were 154 diversity reports published. Diversity recruitment is not a short trend, it is how businesses grow. 

4. Misconception: Diversity is HR’s Responsibility

The misconception that diversity is solely the responsibility of Human Resources undermines its broader significance. While HR plays a crucial role in implementing diversity initiatives, true diversity requires collective effort from all levels of an organization. 

Reality: DEI Needs Commitment from Everyone

Successful diversity recruiting and DEI missions require commitment and involvement from the entire organization, including leadership, hiring managers, and employees at all levels. It involves fostering a culture where inclusivity is embraced in everyday interactions, decision-making processes, and organizational policies.

5. Misconception: Quota Systems Ensure Diversity

The quota system is when recruiters are required to hire a certain number of diverse candidates to fulfill a goal. Some believe the system will develop an inclusive workplace over time, and lead to a diverse workforce as more individuals are hired.

Reality: Diversity is Not a Number 

The quota system will not guarantee diversity, equity, and inclusion. Quotas can lead to tokenism or resentment if not handled properly. However, some debate all diversity recruitment efforts will cease without quotas. Overall, the goal should be to create an environment where belonging thrives through fair and unbiased recruitment practices rather than merely meeting numerical targets. 

6. Misconception: Diverse Candidates are Hard to Find

Many recruiters struggle to find diverse candidates using traditional methods of recruitment and selection. While it may feel as if there is a lack of talent from diverse backgrounds, it is a much larger issue of recruiting systems. 

Reality: Diverse Candidates are Everywhere

Diverse talent exists in abundance, but traditional recruitment methods obstruct them from applying. Accessibility issues, traditional biased qualifications, and limited recruiting avenues can decrease the candidate pool drastically. Expanding recruitment efforts to include diverse job boards like TalentAlly, networking groups, and community organizations can uncover a wealth of qualified candidates.

7. Misconception: Once Hired, Inclusion Will Follow Automatically

The misconception that inclusion will automatically follow once someone is hired overlooks the ongoing effort required to foster a truly inclusive environment. While hiring diverse talent is a critical step, it is also the first step of many. 

Reality: Inclusion Takes Resources and Continuous Effort

Inclusion requires continuous effort and intentional strategies to ensure all employees feel valued and included. This involves ongoing diversity training, auditing current policies, and addressing barriers to equal opportunity. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are more than a task to check off a list. 

8. Misconception: Diversity Recruiting is More Expensive

Another misconception is that a diverse candidate is more expensive than others. It is believed there are additional accommodations necessary to incorporate them into the current workforce. 

Reality: Diversity Recruiting is Not More Expensive 

Diversity recruiting is not more expensive than traditional staffing methods. While there may be a few upfront costs as your strategy improves how it sources candidates, diverse teams are more innovative, productive, and better at attracting and retaining top talent, leading to overall cost savings. A recent study also found that diverse companies earn a 2.5 times higher cash flow per employee. 

These handful of misconceptions can limit opportunities for qualified candidates and deepen biases. Understanding and addressing them is essential for creating more inclusive workplaces. Diversity recruiting is not just a trend or a box to check; it’s a crucial component of a successful organization.

Discover Proven Diversity Recruiting Strategies with TalentAlly

TalentAlly, a rebrand of the Professional Diversity Network (PDN), connects job seekers nationally to companies that truly value DEI. Contact us today to find out how we can help with your unique recruitment needs.