Why you need to diversify your hiring process

It is no secret that diverse teams perform better. Organisations with inclusive cultures are 120 per cent more likely to hit their financial goals and six times more likely to be more innovative, according to a 2017 study by Deloitte. 

The term ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ (D&I) has become something of a buzzword in today's workplace, but organisations must bridge the gap between good intentions and actions. In order to bring this diversity into your business, you must take a holistic view of your recruitment strategy and ensure you retain top talent. Here’s why:


Defining diversity will inform your strategy 

To ensure D&I isn’t just a “feel-good” corporate policy, it is crucial employers deep dive into the fabric of their workforce, their recruiting processes and engagement policies. Sit down with your HR team and/or survey your staff to find out how you define diversity in your organisation. 

How diverse is your workforce? How do you prepare yourself to meet your hiring goals in terms of targets, funding and tools? 

Some organisations' HR decisions may still be riddled with unconscious bias, so developing metrics to track progress is an important part of a diverse hiring process. 


Job advertising inclusivity will encourage a wider candidate sourcing 

D&I starts at the recruitment process, usually the first contact you will have with potential employees. To ensure a more varied pool of candidates can access your job spec – and you obtain varied responses – you should consider: 

  • Choosing your wording carefully to avoid exclusionary language. This can include avoiding gendered language or complex language which can deter people with dyslexia, for example.
  • Understanding the value of transferrable skills and abilities as candidates may have acquired their experience in a different manner.
  • Widening your network to ensure no one is excluded. Candidates with no social media, weak access to the internet or those visually impaired might miss out on a job advert posted on your social platforms or job boards. Consider specialised recruitment agencies, recruitment events or referrals.  
  • Promoting your D&I initiatives in the advert to ensure it is the most attractive position for the best talent. 

To manage your hiring process in an inclusive manner, so-called “blind hiring” tools can help curtail unconscious bias during the selection procedure for candidates by removing personal identifiers such as age, years of experience or university names. 


Building a culture of inclusion will improve your work environment 

By engaging with your existing workforce and wider sector on the question of respect, inclusivity and diversity, you can uphold a culture that encourages D&I and progression for staff. 

How strongly do your employees feel their workplace is a respectful, safe and inclusive place? What does inclusivity mean to them – flexible working, participation, fair remuneration? Are their skills and perspectives nurtured? Share these findings to develop an attractive employer brand

Offering flexible working to accommodate employees and encouraging skillset growth through training are effective ways to nurture your staff. As part of your employer brand, consider initiatives geared towards opening up pathways to entry to talent from diverse backgrounds (such as working with schools or offering paid trainee or internship programmes) to showcase your commitment to D&I values. 

For some organisations, this can be an overwhelming thought, so engaging with a recruitment agency with experience in diversity hiring can help to support that shift. For more information and advice, or to discuss your hiring needs, please get in touch with our expert consultants.

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