How can CDFIs support diversity, equity, and inclusion in recruitment and hiring practices? FUND Community Institute’s recently released report, Advancing Equity: Diversity and Inclusion at CDFIs (available at www.fundci.org ) suggests that there is significant activity in the industry regarding these policies and best practices from which other CDFIs can learn.
In reflecting on recruitment and hiring, one interview opined, “If you’re not coming from wealth and privilege, and you are an under-represented population because of the way that our society has treated people who are not white, if you want to be inclusive, then you need to step back away from those bars that you hold so high to keep people away. You got to take down, excuse my pun, take down the wall because education could be a wall and it’s a barrier for a lot of people in our society. I don’t think equity is easy enough to talk about. That’s just education. What about pay? What about gender?”
One of the findings of the report is that while progress has been made in fostering more diversity in these areas, there is far less success in making these processes more inclusive and equitable. The findings suggest that as a first step in examining organization policies and practices, the following are some questions CDFI staff should ask of themselves:
- Does our recruitment policy have wide reach?
- Are we posting jobs to a wide variety of networks?
- Is there a way we could reach out to more people?
- Are our networks expansive or limited?
- Are our job descriptions and requirements creating unnecessary barriers?
- Have we considered the relative value of life experience versus formal education?
- Are we including any credentials as habit that might not be specifically required to perform this position?
- Are any of our job descriptions limiting our candidate pool, for example offering unpaid internships?
- Is our hiring process equitable?
- Are we being intentional about how and who interviews at our organization?
- Do we include a diverse group in the interview process?
- Is our hiring decision-making inclusive of multiple opinions?
- Are we asking similar job-specific questions of all candidates?
- Are there other non-job-specific questions we should be asking? Is cultural-competency important to our organization?
- Are any specific questions introducing inequity into our hiring such as previous salary or previous criminal history?
While this work is challenging, analyzing and making changes to recruiting and hiring strategies can be quicker and more immediately effective than other large-scale changes. Are there changes you think should be made at your CDFI?
FUND Community Institute (FUND CI)
FUND CI was founded in 2017 as part of the family of FUND Consulting organizations. In an effort to support the CDFI Industry, one of the main activities of the organization is to conduct and disseminate research on CDFIs and related topics. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.