Contact Us
Sponsored Content

How To Recruit Diverse Candidates: 4 Tips For Fostering Inclusivity In The Workplace


While many commercial real estate firms have taken steps to address the need for inclusivity in their workforce, there is still more that the industry can do. An Urban Land Institute survey found that 92% of CRE companies surveyed implemented programs and initiatives that address diversity, equity and inclusion. However, only 42% of full-time CRE workers are women and of the 31% who identify as people of color, only 15% hold executive positions. 

Creating a diverse workforce, with more women and POC in executive positions, means starting at the beginning: the hiring process. From the job description to long after the candidate says “yes” to an offer, employers must ensure that they are being consistent in their diversity, equity and inclusion practices, and providing employees with a safe and positive work environment.

Read on for four tips from DE&I hiring experts on what you need to do to strengthen your DE&I efforts.

1. Reduce Bias In The Hiring Process

Todd Jenkins, vice president of global diversity and equity at CBRE said that while there is no clear way to completely eliminate bias within the hiring process, employers can incorporate methods to minimize and monitor their own bias. He refers to these methods as “the P’s”, or policies, processes and programs.

“Consider what policies you have in place to ensure bias doesn’t affect your hiring choices, and be strategic about the processes and programs you need to add checks and balances,” Jenkins said. “Once you have these structures in place and continue to reassess them, you’ll be able to recognize blind spots, regularly examine life cycle data and foster a commitment to continuous learning and accountability.”

Erin Patterson, director of real estate research and chair of the executive DE&I committee at investment company WAFRA, said that in order for companies to interview with and hire diverse talent properly, it is important that they are diverse themselves, and that they are truly assessing whether they have the resources and structure in place to create a more inclusive work environment.

“It’s important for organizations to assess whether, within their internal practices, there is a clear focus on DE&I — which includes formal policies or forums, such as a committee that is representative of different viewpoints or experiences or avenues for diverse talent to come in, be engaged and feel like they belong,” Patterson said. “These practices should also be consistent from team to team.”

2. Include Diverse Employees In Learning Opportunities

Before turning to SelectLeaders, LinkedIn or Indeed to expand their searches for the right candidate, companies should first look internally and assess what opportunities can be provided to help prepare current diverse employees for more senior positions or upward career mobility, Jenkins said.

Jenkins said that internal mentorship programs, succession planning and development plans are examples of initiatives that can help give employees the experience they need.

“It is all about relationships and community, and when traditional job boards aren’t providing a diverse talent pool, take the extra step to find alternative avenues,” Jenkins said. “Also, when recruiting diverse talent, employers should seek to relate to employees, which they can do by being present, volunteering and investing in diverse communities.”

3. Use The Job Description To Create Clear Expectations

When it comes to diversity, language in job descriptions matters. For employers who are recruiting new hires, Patterson said that when creating job descriptions, they should not only be clear about what the role entails, but also how the company is representing itself.

“Employers can use the job description to show what type of team environment or manager relationship employees can expect to see within the job as well as help them understand what their role would entail,” Patterson said. “If it’s part of the organizational culture, I think showcasing openness to the sharing of new ideas and contributions is really important, especially when it comes to recruiting diversity in experience and thought.”

She said that in a job description, employers can divide the skills and attributes needed for the role into two parts: must-have and nice-to-have, as well as including any transferable skills that employees can bring over from their previous experience. Having this distinction can help candidates avoid imposter syndrome and thinking that if they don’t meet each criterion, they won’t get the job. 

4. Invite Open Communication

Jenkins said that especially within the first three of months hiring, employees are learning more about their role and company culture. Those who are in manager-level positions can ask questions about how employees like to be engaged for success and collaborate to build the first 30-60-90-day plan as a start.

He said that incorporating inclusive hiring practices throughout hiring and onboarding helps lay the groundwork for having a positive experience at the company.

“Learning about the company culture and the resources available for new employees can be overwhelming, and the manager’s role comes down to creating the space for individuals to be included and feel valued in their role,” Jenkins said. “Small steps, such as encouraging teammates to send welcome emails or asking questions about how the new hire likes to be supported, celebrated and included can help them feel connected. This creates a solid foundation for the rest of their careers.”

Contact SelectLeaders for more information and assistance with incorporating DE&I practices into your business.