How to Diversify Your PMP Staff Pipeline

How to Diversify Your PMP Staff Pipeline

Attracting new talent is essential to keeping teams nimble and creative, and recent graduates and workers from younger generations are great groups to pull from for this.

However, new generations are not only looking for competitive salaries, work-life balance, and job security but these new entrants to the workforce also want the teams they join to be diverse .

There are a variety of benefits of diverse teams. Cognitive diversity leads to a 20% increase in innovation , while racially diverse groups report a 35% increase in performance compared to less diverse competitors.

However, in an era where hiring is becoming a challenge, it can be hard to diversify your pipeline. Fortunately, you can take steps to recruit individuals from diverse backgrounds.

If you need some assistance diversifying your PMP staff pipeline, take a look at these tips:

Set Goals For It

If diversity is something you want to see more of in your project management teams, making it a goal will help you create a strategy to achieve it.

Much like your company does for revenue, retention, and productivity, diversity should have its goals and objectives. Setting goals makes it easier for you to track your progress toward attaining your diversity and recruitment benchmarks and be able to celebrate wins or create steps for improvement.

For example, you may want to focus on recruiting more women or individuals from a particular underrepresented minority group (URM), and you may want to align these goals with the industry-standard or hiring numbers from a competitor. This information allows you to set parameters that you can quickly look back on to see if you're reaching them.

Let Your Teams Know

Once you've decided on goals and benchmarks for diversity initiatives, it's now time to let your teams know what they are and discuss how these goals align with company principles and overall company objectives.

It's helpful to fill in your team members and those who will be a part of the recruitment process, so they know the goals, the resulting initiatives to diversify the pipeline, and any new recruitment processes and structures that will help to facilitate this.

Also, if this is a part of larger diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) goals at your company, be sure to connect your efforts to this.

Source Candidates from Places with People From These Groups

You don't have to wait for diverse candidates to come your way. You can proactively try to source these individuals by strategically finding groups and associations that put you in proximity to them. For example, if you want to hire more African American candidates, historically Black colleges and universities may be places where you want to target your recruitment efforts.

On the other hand, you may also want to look into alumni groups for URMs, as many colleges and universities may have groups for diverse graduates.

Additionally, be sure to look at professional groups that serve minority populations. There might be professional associations in your sector that could target women, LGBTQ, or ethnic minorities that some of your colleagues may already be a part of. Check into what they are and make a point to attend some of their meetings as you may be able to find diverse candidates there.

Beef Up Your Referral Program

One of the best ways to find employees that fit what you're looking for is to ask your team members for referrals. U.S. companies hire 29% of their workforce through referrals. You can ask all of your team members and employees to prioritize seeking out diverse leads and referrals.

Also, if you have affinity groups or employee resource groups, you can call upon these organizations within your company to refer and help you find diverse talent.

Discuss DEI Programs in Job Ads

Does your employer have a DEI program? If they do, be sure to discuss this in job ads so that diverse employees know if your company embraces principles that promote equity.

For example, if you have employee resource groups that address the unique needs of certain demographic groups, you may want to mention this in the job ad.

Additionally, if you have leadership development or mentoring programs aimed at advancing the career of underrepresented minorities in your company, discuss this in the job ad.

If your candidates understand that your company promotes these values and makes an effort to support diverse groups, this may increase their likelihood of applying.

Conduct Blind Resume Viewings and Interviews

Unfortunately, unconscious bias is common. Deloitte found that almost 40% of workers experience bias at least once a month. However, you want to minimize its impact on your review process of candidates.

A great way to do this is by doing blind resume viewings and interviews. A blind resume is when you blackout any details on the document that would point to any employees' demographic information, including names, schools, and cities mentioned.

This will allow you and your team to assess the person's qualifications and experience and reduce potential bias. It's also possible to conduct a blind interview. This is when you allow candidates to answer questions without you seeing them face-to-face, typically using a text-based platform. You do have to see people in person eventually, but you can at least ensure that the early part of the candidate review process is as unbiased as possible.

Re-evaluate Your Screening Process and Interview Questions

Your screening process and interview questions may need to be altered to facilitate a more effective process in hiring diverse candidates. One of the best ways to assess this is by working with a consultant that can point out things you can do to strengthen your screening process.

For example, there could be questions that you ask that benefit certain demographic groups over others. Working with a diversity consultant or even having diverse team members look at the screening process and interview questions and provide feedback can help you assess whether you need to change your questions or alter the process for a more equitable outcome.

Use Automation Wherever Possible

Another way to take bias out of the interview process is to use automation and technology. You can use AI technology to screen resumes for specific experiences and qualifications and use ATS to shortlist candidates with these specific parameters.

This technique can disregard any information that would point to the demographic group that the individuals are from, so you are ensuring that you're only assessing them based on their experiences. This step also streamlines and adds efficiency to the process, so you can carefully but quickly consider various candidates.

You Can Effectively Diversity Your PMP Staff Pipeline

Diverse candidates can bring their unique set of skills, experiences, and education to your work and propel your project management efforts forward. However, to truly benefit from the talents and ideas these individuals can offer, you have to make diverse hiring a priority.

The first step is to come up with goals that you want to meet, and then you can work back from that to create a strategy that benefits diverse hiring efforts. With the right strategy, you can diversify your hiring efforts over time.


6 Diversity and Inclusion Statistics You Need to Know [+ Takeaways],

Bias in the workplace today,

Diversity and inclusion: 4 powerful stats HR leaders should know,

For younger job seekers, diversity and inclusion in the workplace aren’t a preference. They’re a requirement,

How to increase workplace diversity with employee referrals,