Companies of all sizes realise that diversity and inclusion are no longer just moral imperatives. Employees favour diverse organisations over their homogenous competitors; innovation depends on the viewpoints of many, and higher profit follows when companies diversify their leadership teams. This is why in 2022, you need recruitment best practices that elevate diversity and inclusion.
Diversity and Inclusion will become more of a priority for businesses in 2022. Here’s what that means and how your organisation can start positively impacting hiring underrepresented groups and building a culture of inclusivity.
What is diversity hiring?
Diversity hiring refers to a recruitment and hiring process that is unencumbered by biases related to a candidate’s age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and other characteristics that have no bearing on their talent or job performance.
Hiring for diversity and inclusion sets out to overcome the unconscious biases and learned stereotypes that are automatic, unintentional, and deeply ingrained within our beliefs. These stereotypes cause us to form an opinion about a candidate based exclusively on first impressions.
Unconscious bias can be found in all aspects of the recruitment process and prevents companies from realising the many benefits of building a diverse workforce.
Diversity is a broad term and encompasses a more comprehensive range of traits beyond race or gender. A diverse workforce has a range of origins, education, experience, personalities, physical abilities, lifestyles, and skills. When we talk about diversity hiring, we’re referring to a recruiting process that values merit and offers a fair assessment of all candidates.
What is inclusive hiring?
Inclusive hiring is a process that recognises the importance of diversity and embraces the needs of diverse candidates with hiring practices that aim to level the playing field for all. Inclusive hiring practices work to overcome unconscious biases that can impact hiring teams; not only does inclusive hiring combat discrimination, but it also makes candidates feel valued and empowered throughout the recruitment process.
Inclusive hiring considers more than seeking candidates of different races or genders. Inclusive hiring considers the needs of candidates with cognitive differences, abilities, educational backgrounds, socioeconomic status, and more. By broadening your hiring practices to be inclusive of all, your company can attract a wider pool of candidates and increase your chances of finding the right fit — someone who can do the job well and help the company grow.
What is the difference between diversity and inclusion?
‘Diversity’ and ‘inclusion’ often appear together but are not the same. Diversity refers to the “what”, and inclusion is the “how.” Diversity is all about creating a workforce of employees from different backgrounds. Inclusion is a measure of culture that empowers this workforce to be successful.
Diversity and inclusion work hand-in-hand to ensure your business grows sustainably and profitably, which starts with your hiring process.
8 of the best hiring and recruitment practices
Inclusive hiring and recruitment don’t just happen overnight. It takes investing in specific parts of the process to ensure all candidates can participate and put forth their strongest case for joining your company.
1. Get commitment from leadership
Steadfast leadership is one of the most essential factors in building an enduring culture of diversity and inclusion. Leadership ensures diverse candidates join an organisation but stay for years to come. A survey by Deloitte found that 23% of employees had left their job for companies with more inclusive work cultures.
2. Revamp your candidate sourcing
To find diverse candidates, you must look beyond the traditional sourcing methods your company typically utilises. This means sourcing candidates from places outside your careers site and LinkedIn. Try collaborating with recruitment companies like MASA to shape your job search.
3. Check your job descriptions
The way you write a job description sends specific signals that can unintentionally discourage diverse candidates from applying. For example, words like “strong” and “competitive” may deter female candidates from applying. These words are perceived as male-specific. Terms like “sensitive” prevent male candidates from applying.
Make your job descriptions gender-neutral to ensure you are recruiting a diverse candidate pool of talented applicants.
4. Integrate merit-based skill-testing
Instead of hiring for “culture fit” – a nebulous term that often feeds into inherent bias in recruiting. Focus your process on uncovering a candidate’s capabilities. Customise each skill test with questions and assessments that mimic the tasks required from the new hire. This assessment style allows candidates to perform tasks relevant to the job they’ve applied for and showcase their abilities.
5. Be inclusive in your interviewing
As you shift the focus from a list of qualifications to a proper assessment of a candidate’s skills, should you reconsider who oversees the subsequent phases of the hiring process? Be sure to include more than one person in the interview process to allow for input and considerations and not a narrow-minded approach and judgment.
6. Provide bias awareness training for hiring teams
One of the most challenging parts of combating unconscious biases is that they’re…unconscious. Few recruiters know that they are operating using heuristics (mental shortcuts) that benefit some candidates more than others. Unconscious bias training, as well as training on fair hiring practices, can help shed light on hiring practices that may be unfair.
7. Use tools that keep candidates engaged
Technology can play a significant role in inclusive hiring. First, it can help even the playing field by standardising essential parts of the hiring process. Second, it can help recruiters keep candidates engaged throughout the experience.
8. Invest in inclusive benefits and compensation
Lastly, inclusive hiring is only as good as the following culture: how inclusive is the employee experience?
“The key to inclusion is understanding who your employees are,” reported Harvard Business Review. Building an inclusive culture may mean offering compensation that levels the playing field for men and women, offering mentorship programs for minorities, investing in employee resource groups, or instituting gender-neutral parental leave policies. Think about what benefits and compensation can make employees feel supported and maximise the contribution of diverse employees.
Showing your commitment to diversity and inclusion will help enhance your company culture and attract top talent in your industry. Use the steps above to evaluate your current hiring practices and refine them to attract more clients.
Improving the diversity of your team won’t happen overnight. But, uncovering and remedying them in your hiring process is a great place to start. If you need help with your staff, MASA is here for you. Our team of experts have years of experience in the recruitment industry, and we leverage this expertise to deliver top-quality staffing solutions that bring real value to businesses. Contact us to learn more