How to Use ATS to Promote Diversity and Inclusion In Hiring

Unlocking the Power of Your ATS: A Guide to Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in Hiring


As a Human Resources professional, you’re always looking for ways to improve your recruitment and selection processes. Diversity and inclusion in hiring is an area that is gaining increasing attention and importance. In this guide, we’ll explore how we can use our ATS to promote diversity and inclusion in hiring. 

Introduction to diversity and inclusion in hiring

Diversity and inclusion in hiring is an increasingly relevant and important topic for companies. It is important that the HR team is aware of these issues and is prepared to address them. Diversity and inclusion in hiring refers to the practice of recruiting and hiring candidates from diverse demographic groups, including gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation, disability and other protected characteristics.

Understanding the importance of diversity and inclusion in hiring

Diversity and inclusion in hiring is important for several reasons. First, diversity enhances creativity and innovation by bringing different perspectives and experiences to the team. Additionally, diversity and inclusion in hiring helps promote equity and social justice. It can also improve the company’s reputation and increase employee satisfaction. Ultimately, diversity and inclusion in hiring is a moral and ethical imperative that companies must follow.

By fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce, organizations can benefit in numerous ways:

Enhanced creativity and innovation

Diverse teams bring together individuals with different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences. This diversity of thought and approach fosters a more creative and innovative environment. Diverse teams are more likely to generate fresh ideas, challenge the status quo, and solve problems from multiple angles.

Broader range of skills and expertise

When organizations prioritize diversity in hiring, they can tap into a broader pool of talent. Different individuals bring unique skills, experiences, and knowledge that can complement and enhance the overall capabilities of the team. A diverse workforce enables organizations to tackle a wider range of tasks and challenges effectively.

Increased adaptability and resilience

In today’s rapidly evolving world, adaptability is crucial for organizations to thrive. Inclusive teams are more adaptable and resilient because they draw from a variety of perspectives and approaches. This enables them to respond more effectively to change, identify emerging trends, and navigate complex problems.

Improved decision-making

Diversity and inclusion contribute to better decision-making processes. When diverse perspectives are brought to the table, individuals can challenge each other’s assumptions, identify biases, and consider a broader range of options. This leads to more well-rounded and informed decision-making, minimizing the risks of groupthink and improving overall outcomes.

Expanded market reach and customer understanding

Building a diverse workforce can help organizations better understand and serve diverse customer segments. When employees come from different backgrounds, they can bring valuable insights into the needs, preferences, and perspectives of various customer groups. This understanding facilitates the development of products, services, and marketing strategies that resonate with a wider range of customers.

Enhanced employee engagement and satisfaction

Inclusive workplaces foster a sense of belonging and value among employees. When individuals feel respected, included, and able to be their authentic selves, they are more engaged, motivated, and satisfied in their work. This leads to higher retention rates, increased productivity, and a positive organizational culture.

Ethical and social responsibility

Promoting diversity and inclusion in hiring is not just a business imperative but also an ethical and social responsibility. Embracing diversity ensures equal opportunities for all individuals, regardless of their background, gender, ethnicity, or other characteristics. By valuing diversity, organizations contribute to a fairer and more inclusive society.

To truly benefit from diversity and inclusion, organizations must go beyond tokenism and cultivate an inclusive culture that values and respects differences. 

ATS system requirements to promote diversity and inclusion

The ATS (Applicant Tracking System) is an essential tool for the recruitment and selection process and can be used to promote diversity and inclusion in hiring. 

To do this, the system must be able to track applicants’ demographic information, such as race, gender, and ethnicity. In addition, the system should ensure that vacancies are advertised in places that reach a wide range of applicants, including those from underrepresented groups.

Unbiased and inclusive language

The ATS should support the use of inclusive language in job descriptions and application forms. It should provide guidelines to avoid gender-biased or exclusionary terms and help organizations craft job postings that appeal to a diverse pool of candidates.

Blind screening capabilities

The ATS should allow for blind screening, where identifying information such as name, gender, age, and ethnicity is removed from resumes and applications during the initial screening phase. This helps mitigate unconscious biases that may influence candidate selection.

Customizable screening criteria

The ATS should offer flexibility in setting up screening criteria to align with the organization’s diversity and inclusion goals. It should enable the inclusion of criteria that promote diversity, such as educational background, work experience, and skills acquired through non-traditional paths.

Diverse candidate sourcing

The ATS should support diverse candidate sourcing strategies by integrating with job boards, platforms, and networks that reach underrepresented talent pools. It should provide options for targeting specific demographics, minority groups, or communities to ensure a more diverse applicant pool.

Reporting and analytics

The ATS should offer reporting and analytics features that provide insights into the diversity and inclusivity of the hiring process. This includes tracking the demographics of applicants, the representation of different groups at each stage of the hiring process, and identifying potential biases or disparities.

Collaboration and feedback capabilities

The ATS should enable collaboration among hiring teams to ensure diverse perspectives are considered throughout the evaluation process. It should facilitate feedback and comment sharing, allowing team members to provide input on candidates and flag any potential biases.

Compliance with accessibility standards

The ATS should meet accessibility standards to ensure that individuals with disabilities can fully engage with the application and hiring process. This includes providing screen reader compatibility, keyboard navigation, and other accessibility features.

Ongoing support and training

The ATS vendor should offer ongoing support and training to help organizations effectively utilize the system’s diversity and inclusion features. This may include guidance on implementing unbiased hiring practices, promoting diversity, and leveraging the ATS to support inclusive hiring goals.

Implementing inclusive recruiting strategies to attract diverse candidates

Companies can also implement inclusive recruiting strategies to attract diverse candidates. This includes ensuring the company has an inclusive and welcoming culture, as well as offering benefits that meet the needs of diverse groups, such as paternity and extended maternity leave. In addition, companies can provide development opportunities for employees from underrepresented groups and create mentoring programs.

How to measure the success of your diversity and inclusion hiring efforts

It is important to measure the success of diversity and inclusion hiring efforts. This can be done through monitoring demographic data, candidate assessments, and the effectiveness of recruitment and selection practices. Additionally, companies should collect employee feedback on the company’s inclusive culture and use that data to make improvements.

Here are some key metrics and approaches to consider:

Workforce representation

Track the representation of various demographic groups within your organization, such as gender, race, ethnicity, age, and disabilities. Compare these numbers to industry benchmarks or relevant external data to assess progress. Monitor representation at different levels, from entry-level positions to leadership roles, you can also use organization chart maker to build Organization chart that can help you in presenting disparity.

Applicant pool diversity

Evaluate the diversity of your applicant pool by collecting voluntary self-identification data. Analyze the demographics of candidates who apply for positions within your organization and compare them to the overall demographics of the relevant talent market. This helps assess whether your recruitment efforts are attracting a diverse range of candidates.

Candidate funnel analysis

Examine the diversity of candidates at each stage of the hiring process, from application to interviews and job offers. This analysis allows you to identify any drop-offs or disparities that may indicate potential bias or barriers to inclusion. By tracking this data, you can take targeted actions to improve diversity at every stage.

Time to hire and time to fill

Analyze the time it takes to hire and fill positions for different demographic groups. If certain groups consistently experience longer hiring timelines, it may indicate bias or barriers in the process. Identifying and addressing these discrepancies can help create a more equitable and inclusive hiring process.

Employee engagement and satisfaction surveys

Conduct regular pulse surveys to gauge employee satisfaction and engagement, specifically regarding diversity and inclusion. Include questions that assess perceptions of inclusiveness, belonging, and opportunities for growth. Monitoring changes in these survey results over time can provide insights into the impact of your diversity and inclusion efforts.

Employee retention and promotion rates

Track the retention rates and career progression of employees from diverse backgrounds. Assess whether there are any disparities in turnover or advancement opportunities. A significant gap between retention or promotion rates of different demographic groups may indicate challenges or biases that need to be addressed.

Feedback and complaint data

Monitor feedback and complaints related to diversity and inclusion issues. This includes tracking reports of discrimination, harassment, or bias incidents. Analyzing this data helps identify areas where improvements are needed and provides insights into the overall climate of inclusivity within the organization.


How to use the ATS to promote diversity and inclusion in hiring

The ATS can be used to promote diversity and inclusion in hiring in a variety of ways. For example, the system can be configured to track applicant demographic information and ensure that jobs are posted in locations that reach a wide range of applicants. In addition, the ATS can be used to assess the effectiveness of recruitment and selection practices in promoting diversity and inclusion.

What are diversity hiring challenges and how to overcome them?

There are several practices companies can adopt to promote diversity and inclusion in hiring. One of the best practices is to use inclusive language in job descriptions and all recruiting communication. Additionally, companies should use recruitment sources that reach a wide range of candidates, including those from underrepresented groups. Another practice is to have a diverse recruiting team that can bring unique perspectives to the selection process.

What’s the role of diversity and inclusion in the hiring process?

Diversity and inclusion should not only be considered in the recruitment process, but should also be built into the entire hiring process. This includes candidate evaluation, interviewing and decision making. Companies must take care to ensure that their hiring practices are not biased or discriminatory.

Conclusion and future of diversity and inclusion in hiring

Diversity and inclusion in hiring is an important and constantly evolving area. Companies must commit to promoting diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the hiring process. Using recruiting and selection best practices, inclusive recruiting strategies, and a well-configured ATS, companies can attract and hire diverse candidates and build more creative and innovative teams.

If you’re looking for ways to promote diversity and inclusion in your company, start by evaluating your hiring practices and implementing the best practices outlined in this guide. Remember that diversity and inclusion are important to your company’s success and to creating a fair and welcoming workplace for all employees.

Pawan Kumar

I'm a Content Marketer at Springworks. I've been featured in many reputed publications and online magazines! I'm an avid reader and movie buff. Let's connect on Social Media.

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