Do diversity statements produce more diverse applicant pools?
They do if they sound genuine, but shallow statements can backfire.
Firms that want to recruit diverse candidates should say so.
Recruitment materials that express direct support for diversity and inclusivity—for example, by describing it as a competitive advantage or core principle—generate significantly more interest and applications from Black and Hispanic candidates.
Diversity statements don't need to be backed by evidence to have an impact. That said, showing is better than telling when it comes to addressing Black and Hispanic candidates' concerns about fitting in.
And inauthentic, shallow diversity statements are likely to backfire.
When firms inflate their diversity numbers it heightens minority candidates' concerns about fitting in and succeeding. The same goes for boilerplate Equal Employment Opportunity statements—they actually decrease applications from minority candidates because they heighten concerns about being a token hire.
So include diversity statements in recruitment materials, but keep it genuine and back it up.