Does your government workforce reflect the diversity—and excellence—of your community? A diverse team can promote higher productivity as employees with different strengths and experiences complement one another on the job. It can also lead to new policy ideas and solutions when workers feel comfortable bringing their unique perspectives to the table.
Unfortunately, creating a diverse public workforce can be a complex process. Posting a job opportunity and hoping that candidates from various backgrounds will apply likely won’t make a difference. Can behavioral science help?
In this report, created in collaboration with the Volcker Alliance and US state government partners, plus the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, we outline 11 strategies that may help advance diversity in government. Using a behavioral insights lens, the report distills a vast library of evidence into actionable insights for state government agencies to apply throughout the hiring process, from crafting the job description to deciding on the final hire.
The strategies are organized using BIT’s EAST framework. To help increase racial diversity in the public sector, we recommend you:
- Make it easy by updating processes to facilitate applicants’ and recruiters’ decision making.
- Make it attractive by providing cues to welcome a diverse applicant pool.
- Make it social by expanding your reach via social media, messengers, and employee referrals.
- Make it timely by providing reminders and encouragement to applicants at strategic points in the process.
And these are just the broad categories. Within each section there are practical strategies that you can apply right away, including ideas to reduce bias in the interview process, to signal a genuine commitment to diversity in job postings, to provide support to jobseekers throughout the application process, and more.