The events of the past year have exposed the gaps in income inequality, gender imbalance, racial injustice and healthcare equity globally – both in society and in the workplace.
As we head into the next years of the decade, both executives and human resources teams are starting to prioritise the importance and urgency of adopting an inclusive and diverse hiring processes.
In this blog we’ll walk you through the many benefits of building a more diverse and inclusive workforce, and seven proven strategies that you can employ today to make your hiring more inclusive.
Why Diversity And Inclusion Matters
It’s easy to confuse the terms diversity and inclusion. In order to take the right steps to improve them in your workplace, you must first understand what both these terms are.
Diversity means having a work environment with a balanced or equitable representation of people from all races, colours, gender and sexual orientation.
Inclusion means creating and fostering a work environment wherein all employees, regardless of their background, feel they have a voice and input.
When diversity and inclusion work together, the quality and results of your organization will improve.
According to Glassdoor, 67% of job seekers viewed workplace diversity and inclusion as important when applying for new job opportunities. So, the clear and obvious benefit of being more inclusive is attracting a higher volume of candidates.
There are also other benefits of making workplace diversity and inclusion a priority in your organisation:
● Relate Better To Your Customers: Your customer landscape is ever-evolving. No matter what business you work in, you will serve a diverse group of customers. Having a diverse and inclusive work environment makes it easier for your customers to relate to your team and company. It helps your customers feel that their voices, suggestions and complaints will be heard and that their unique feelings and perspectives will be understood.
● Lower Turnover: Inclusive companies will project and foster an environment of cooperation. This means that most employees will stay with the company longer. Increased retention, in turn, reduces your hiring and training costs.
● Higher Employee Morale: When employees feel that their voices and opinions are being heard and when they can interact with a more diverse range of colleagues, they will be more engaged. A higher level of engagement will boost overall employee morale and satisfaction.
● New Perspectives And Opinions: Having a more diverse and inclusive workplace will foster a creative and strategic environment. This is because differing perspectives and opinions lead to better strategic conversations and ultimately allow you to find a wider range of solutions.
7 Ways To Hire More Inclusively
Here are seven proven tips and strategies you can use to hire and retain a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
1. Audit Your Current Business Setup
Your existing employee pool is an excellent place to start. Analysing your current environment will allow you to understand your team’s makeup and see what gaps exist in your diversity program. You will quickly be able to assess and decide where you need to focus on hiring more.
It would be best if you also considered reviewing the makeup of your leadership or executive team. Even, the human resources and recruiting team as well.
A useful thing to do is an employee engagement or employee feedback survey. In company meetings, most employees may not feel confident speaking about the lack of diversity and inclusion. By using an anonymous survey they can express their frank opinions and thoughts on ways to improve the company.
2. Set Diversity And Inclusion Goals
Once you are clear on the gaps and areas of improvement in your company’s diversity program, next, you can build out some goals. Work closely with both the leadership and HR team to brainstorm and set up S.M.A.R.T goals for improving diversity and inclusion at your company.
It can be tempting to launch an ambitious program that fixes all your gaps in one quarter or a few months. Instead, set clear and achievable goals on the things that you can improve and fix. Create a plan on what the next few months will look like. Once you are clear on the goal and strategy, it becomes easier to commit and stick to your new diversity and inclusion objectives.
3. Train Your Staff
Even though a commitment to being a more inclusive and diverse workforce starts at the top (executive level), it’s essential to inform your employees about your intentions and strategy.
Conduct a series of training programs and lunch-and-learn sessions to educate your team about the importance of diversity and inclusion. You must also explain the goal and the benefits to the company; and even the personal benefits they will experience by working in a more inclusive organisation.
4. Review And Update Your Recruitment Documents
Review all your existing recruitment and hiring collateral on your website, LinkedIn, job boards, SEEK, etc. This exercise will give you an indication as to why your current diversity programs are not performing up to par.
By doing a quick audit of your current collateral and job posting, you can determine if your company is unknowingly signaling gender bias in your job postings and your hiring efforts.
According to LinkedIn, the wording on job postings can deter more female candidates from applying to a particular company. Be sure to use words that are inclusive and not alienating to any group.
5. Diversify Your Recruitment Advertising Strategies
You also need to consider finding new avenues to attract and hire a diverse pool of candidates. Removing gender and cultural bias by eliminating and replacing new words on your main job boards (LinkedIn and Indeed) is a good start. Although these job boards attract the largest pool of candidates, it’s important to diversify how and where you advertise your job postings.
Find alternative websites and communities that target women, minorities, and veterans such as FairGodBoss, TheMuse, GraceHopper, etc. Placing your job ads on these alternative channels will allow you to attract a newer and more focused pool of candidates.
Another avenue is to get the word out about your company’s diversity commitment to specialised publications and trade journals. For example, Microsoft created a series of short-essays, editorials, and advertorials in various publications to show its commitment to improving diversity.
You can also showcase your commitment to a diverse and inclusive workplace on your social media channels – your Facebook Page, LinkedIn, Instagram account, and YouTube channel.
6. Ensure That Your Recruitment Team is Diverse
Your recruitment and talent acquisition team are often the first line of communication for your candidates and new hires. Although the recruitment team is not a full picture of your organisation, it does hint to the candidate about your company’s culture.
Ensuring that your recruitment team is diverse and well-represented, you signal your commitment to doing so for other departments.
7. Consider Doing Blind Resume Reviews
Unconscious bias exists in all organisations, large and small. Hiring managers and recruiters can often skip over candidates (mostly even unknowingly) because of implicit biases.
To reduce this, conduct blind resume reviews. It’s a process where personal information such as name, age, location, school, race, demographics, etc., is removed when reviewing candidates’ resumes and applications.
Sophisticated recruitment software and applicant tracking systems can help you to automate this. These tools will review and approve candidates based on competency and skills rather than their backgrounds.
Need Support With Implementing Diversity And Inclusion?
Diversity and inclusion is more than just a recruitment strategy. It’s a systemic and cultural change throughout your entire organisation. A diverse hiring process is the first step in bringing in unique ideas, people, and ways of working. If you’re looking to find a diverse range of top candidates, get in touch with Finite.