Inclusion and diversity are some of the most essential aspects of the modern workplace, not only for legal compliance but also the company’s corporate social responsibility.
When a company’s workforce is diverse and inclusive, the company is more likely to enjoy continuous growth and competitive advantage. By inclusivity and diversity, we mean people with different ethnicity, gender, physical ability and disability, socioeconomic background, education background, working experience, sexual orientation, and religion, among other characteristics.
So, how can companies create such a diverse and inclusive work environment? It starts right from the right hiring and recruitment process.
Here are six practices that business leaders can use to attract and keep diverse talent in their companies.
Review your job description
If you want to create an inclusive hiring process, then you must start right from your job description.
A good job description should have a neutral tone and avoids using sensational language that might discourage potential candidates from applying.
The listing shouldn’t contain a long list of skills or competencies required for the job. When the post has an upward of ten qualifications, most people will not apply.
According to the Harvard Business Review, most women will only apply to a position when they meet 100% of the outlined qualifications. On the other end, men are more open to opportunities and will apply to jobs even if they meet 60% of the requirements.
While it is great to ensure your job description helps you connect with the right candidates for the position, making it overly-specific will restrict the number of applicants. Being neutral when advertising openings will help you get more diverse applicants.
Use multiple channels to attract a diverse pool of candidates
One of the best ways of encouraging inclusivity and diversity in the hiring process is by using different methods to source candidates.
You cannot just rely on referrals or internal networks and expect to attract candidates. Instead, focus on broadening your search for every open role. Here are several ways that you use to attract a diverse pool of candidates:
- Adding a great careers page to your organization or business website.
- Use platforms like LinkedIn
- Attending and hosting corporate or community events with diverse attendees to meet potential candidates.
- Using third party websites and external job boards such as ZipRecruiter and Indeed.
- Using industry-specific job boards when seeking highly professionals in a particular field.
- Asking external recruiters to help you source diverse candidates in the job market.
The bottom line here is using multiple channels to get the word out. By doing this, you will increase diversity in the number of job seekers who apply for open opportunities.
Involve a diverse interview panel
Involving a diverse group of people in every step of the hiring process is a great way of increasing diversity.
The hiring committee should consist of individuals from different departments within the organization.
Ideally, it would be best if you involved people of different color, gender, age, location, race, work experience, and those with disabilities.
You can also consider insourcing trained recruiters to increase diversity in the hiring process. When candidates are interviewed by a diverse team, they feel more encouraged to work in your company. A good example is Intel, whose 45% of new hires in 2016 were women and people of color, up from 32% in 2014.
Have a consistent interviewing and selection process
It is important to give every applicant an equal chance during the screening and interviewing process. Part of this involves eliminating any intentional and unintentional bias when assessing candidates.
A good way of achieving this is by maintaining a consistent interview process. Start by creating a vetted list of questions for asking every candidate. Without this, the interviewing panel may ask a different set of questions or miss the opportunity to ask critical interview questions, which results in a skewed review of the applicants. The recruitment team should put checks and balances in place to avoid favoritism.
Adopt a company culture that promotes diversity
Fostering a culture that promotes diversity and inclusivity is key to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce. For this reason, business leaders should encourage ongoing diversity and inclusion initiatives across the workplace.
This should start right from your business blog and website where, ideally, the brand should showcase its company culture, current leadership, and workforce. This is especially important for interested parties who search for your company online.
Another effective way of encouraging inclusivity is maintaining a culture and environment where every single person feels safe. For this, you must work on a number of things including:
- Providing employee training to sensitize them on diversity
- Implement a zero-tolerance policy for gender-based harassment
- Allow time-off for different religious holidays and personal obligations
- Adopt family-friendly policies such as allowing parental leave, adding lactation rooms, and creating friendly work schedules.
- Supporting employees with disabilities
Get feedback on the hiring process
Once you’ve successfully hired for an open opportunity, the search for great candidates in your company is not over.
So, after hiring, always get feedback from candidates about the hiring process. A good idea would be asking candidates to provide feedback about the hiring process even before disclosing the interview results. Additionally, create a survey that asks new team members about their selection and interviewing experience. By doing this, you will receive valuable feedback that can help improve your hiring process in future.
The success of a company relies heavily on its workforce. To attract and retain the best talent, recruiters must focus on designing an inclusive hiring and onboarding experience.
When the workforce consists of people from different backgrounds, with different levels of education as well as experience, it becomes easier to bring a unique mix of thoughts, ideas and opinions to the table.
With such a creative thinking pool, your brand can easily create better products and services that beat the competition. However, this cannot happen without the right processes and systems in place. You need to refine your hiring strategies to attract diverse applicants and encourage inclusive recruitment.
Adela Belin is a content marketer and blogger at Writers Per Hour. She is passionate about sharing stories with the hope to make a difference in people's lives and contribute to their personal and professional growth. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.