Are hiring quotas a good way to achieve your diversity goals?

If the company for which you work is like most companies today, it wants to increase the diversity of its workforce. While setting hiring quotas for particular kinds of workers, such as those of certain races and ethnicities or those with disabilities, may seem like a good approach, the Society for Human Resource Management warns that doing so may put your company at risk for lawsuits alleging discrimination. 

The better approach, per SHRM, consists of widening your company’s entire candidate pool. 

Diversity-enhancing strategies

Some good suggestions for doing this consist of the following: 

  • Encourage your current employees to refer diverse candidates whenever a job opening occurs. You may even want to consider increasing the amount of the referral bonus you pay your employees when they refer diverse candidates. 
  • Place your job ads on a specially created page of your company’s website that stresses your company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. 
  • Remove all unnecessarily restrictive language from your job qualification lists, such as educational attainment level or years of experience, unless the jobs in question require them. 
  • Obtain advice and help from local educational institutions and activist groups. 
  • Update your company’s employee benefit package to include things that appeal to the most diverse possible groups, such as health coverage for domestic partners as well as spouses, family-friendly work schedules, etc. 

Taking these and other steps to increase the diversity of your company’s potential employment pool ensures that your workforce will, in fact, become more diverse. It also lessens the chance that someone belonging to a protected category may file a lawsuit alleging that your company uses discriminatory hiring practices. 

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