Recruiters talk about diverse and inclusive hiring all the time. It’s 2023, and diversity, equity, and inclusivity are the top priorities for every company. These are core values that most companies have or need to have as a part of their company culture and branding.
Companies that have a diverse workforce with an inclusive culture perform much better than their competitors who don’t. But what is inclusive hiring, and how does it help companies stand out and outperform others?
What Is Inclusive Hiring?
Inclusive hiring is the process of hiring and recruiting people from different backgrounds and perspectives. It’s one of the leading strategies in diversity, equity, and inclusivity initiatives. At its essence, inclusive hiring means optimizing your recruitment process to eliminate biases, conscious or unconscious.
When you include inclusive hiring practices in your recruitment strategy, you’re opening yourself up to underrepresented groups. These would include people from marginalized communities, disabled individuals, and minorities. Inclusivity isn’t just limited to backgrounds. It also involves catering to people with different perspectives who can bring a whole new level of creativity and innovation to your business.
Making inclusivity an integral part of your hiring process levels the playing field for everyone. Marginalized communities, which face setbacks at every corner of life, get equal opportunities. You’re setting them up to compete with others on equal terms as they go through your recruitment process to get a job.
Whether you believe it or not, there are always biases in the recruitment process. It’s human nature to flock toward those who are similar to you. If you don’t have inclusive hiring practices in your process, you’ll unconsciously lean toward those who are like you. This unconscious bias is what inclusive hiring seeks to eliminate.
Importance of Inclusivity
People in an inclusive hiring culture tend to explore their varying backgrounds and experiences. Such an environment has the firm belief that different values and experiences can support and enhance each other to meet the same goals. They push each other out of their comfort zones to tackle challenges with new perspectives.
Here are the various benefits inclusive hiring brings to your organization and why it’s an important practice.
You can’t always be sure that your recruitment processes are completely bias-free. You may be accepting applications from diverse candidates, but do they make it to the end of your hiring funnel? How many of those are actually hired? If these numbers seem off to you, it’s a clear sign that your recruiters are biased or the process is.
Inclusive hiring practices point out the conscious and unconscious biases in your recruiters and processes. This way, you can adopt better recruitment strategies that eliminate this bias. You’ll be able to give each candidate a fair chance of getting hired. It also reflects on biases in your internal employee relations, so you can address those as well.
When you have a diverse and inclusive workforce, your employees are much more satisfied and happy with their jobs. This helps improve the overall reputation of your company with all major stakeholders. This includes your employees, customers, investors, and the general public.
In today’s business world, both job seekers and partners have a keen eye on a company’s values. And diversity and inclusivity are values they’re all looking for. Customers can easily check which companies are socially responsible and which only pretend to be. If you have inclusive hiring practices, you’re strengthening your brand image and improving your reputation. Everybody is looking to support businesses and ventures that have a reputation for socially responsible practices.
DE&I practices are now a very important factor in the job seeking process. The younger generation, especially Gen Z, places very high importance on such practices. They want everybody to be given equal opportunities, and as such, they want to see inclusion at the companies they apply to.
If companies want to attract young talent over to them, it’s critical that they match their values. By incorporating inclusive hiring practices into your recruitment process, you’re opening your company up to a wider pool of talent. Essentially, you’re giving an opportunity to a much larger community of people to apply for positions.
Every employee has their own unique experiences in life, and that gives them a perspective like no other. If you want your company to be full of teams that are creative and goal-oriented, you need to start hiring diverse candidates. When people from different backgrounds come together to find a solution, their unique perspectives can help find it much more quickly.
Consider a team where all the members are from the same background and have similar experiences. Will this team be able to come up with fresh ideas that are unique and out-of-the-box? Probably not. Inclusivity helps employees learn from their colleagues, open their minds, and grow both professionally and personally.
If you want to adopt an employee-centric approach, you have to focus on employee experiences and wellbeing. But your employees won’t be able to enjoy a positive experience if they’re being discriminated against or if they know that some of their colleagues have a better chance of promotion than them.
By adopting inclusive hiring practices, you’re giving your employees a chance to speak up, showcase their strengths, and grow. This creates a diverse and inclusive workplace environment that is focused on employee experiences. As such, your workforce is happier and more satisfied, and you’ll see much lower employee turnover.
Best Practices for Inclusive Hiring
It’s important for companies and their recruiters to adopt inclusive hiring practices in order to attract and retain a diverse workforce. Here are some of the best practices for recruiters to adopt:
Write Inclusive Job Descriptions
The first step to incorporating inclusive hiring into your recruitment process is to write inclusive job descriptions. The language used in your job descriptions will show how inclusive you are. Use gender neutral terms and avoid masculine and feminine words to remove gender bias. According to Textio’s research, companies can fill vacancies fourteen days faster by avoiding masculine or feminine terms.
Make your description easy to understand with short sentences and easy language. If you have to emphasize a term or point, use a larger font instead of italics. This is essential to attract people with bad eyesight or dyslexia. Only keep degree requirements in job descriptions for roles where they are absolutely essential.
Create a Structured Interview Process
Your interview process needs to be representative of your culture and values as an inclusive workplace. So you need to employ structured interview techniques that remove bias from the entire process. This means standardizing your interview process to be the same for everyone. A structured interview process helps recruiters be more objective when evaluating each candidate.
For a structured interview process, create a script of interview questions that are focused on the job. You need to build a question bank that tests the behavioral characteristics and values of the candidate. Only ask questions that relate to the job and the candidate’s capabilities. Judge each candidate on predetermined criteria that have nothing to do with their background or personal information.
Include Diverse People In The Hiring Process
Having diverse people in the hiring process can help bring different perspectives to the table. This is critical if you want your recruitment process to be inclusive. Such a panel can assess each candidate with a holistic view and find qualities that others might miss. A diverse panel interviewing candidates also reduces unconscious biases in the recruiting team.
If you have people from different backgrounds on your recruiting team, you can show candidates that your company is inclusive by nature. Many candidates worry that they won’t see representation for their group, and the anxiety can jeopardize their interview. Seeing themselves represented will give them confidence, and they can showcase their skills and experience fully.
Adopt The Right Tools
Technology and accessibility are big parts of diversity and inclusion. If recruiters adopt the right tools, they can enhance their inclusive hiring practices to a significant degree. One of the most important tools to adopt is a diversity recruiting platform. These platforms can help you reach out to a much more diverse audience by providing you with accurate demographic information. A DRP can also help identify how well your inclusive practices are performing.
Recruiters must also consider tools that can eliminate bias from their recruitment process and hiring funnel. A simple way to do this is to leverage anonymity. There are many tools out there that can hide demographic data about candidates. This ensures that your recruiting team judges candidates only on their capabilities. One such tool is Unbias.io, which can remove names and faces from a candidate’s LinkedIn profile.
Train Your Recruiters
Training your recruiters is an excellent way to eliminate bias from your recruitment process. Most recruiters aren’t even aware they have a bias. Hence, training them to identify biased behaviors and decisions is a very important step. Fair hiring and bias training can help them identify their own unfair behaviors and rectify them.
You have to offer training to all your recruiters and anyone involved in the hiring process. This would include department managers, who also get a say in who gets hired. It will help your recruiters build metacognition, which is the ability to assess their own behaviors and thoughts. Unconscious bias training should be a regular part of employee training at your workplace.
Add Inclusivity To Your Employer Brand
Another excellent inclusive hiring strategy is to include your inclusivity efforts in your employer brand. You have to communicate to the general public and job seekers that you have a diverse workforce and that inclusion is a core value at your company. Simply adding stock photos of diverse people sitting at a desk isn’t enough. Take high-quality pictures of your diverse workforce and make them a part of your marketing.
Be more transparent about your diversity, equity, and inclusivity policies. Use your company website or blog to talk about your employee resource groups. Share the success stories of different individuals on all your social media platforms. Creating an inclusive brand creates a positive image of your company and excites individuals from diverse backgrounds to come and work with you.
Make Inclusivity Your Core Value
The first step to incorporating a diverse and inclusive company culture is to adopt inclusive hiring practices. Unconscious bias in your recruitment process is a huge obstacle to diversity and inclusion. So you must introspect and eliminate bias from your recruiting teams.
Inclusive hiring practices can help you attract and retain a much more diverse workforce. These practices improve your employer brand and reputation with the general public. They also bring diverse perspectives to the table, which improves productivity and decision making.
Have you incorporated inclusive hiring practices into your recruitment strategies? Talk to us below!