While it has certainly been a chaotic twelve months, this year has given many businesses a chance to become aware of what parts of their operation are working and which could use some tweaking. One of the biggest areas of improvement that many brands have been focused on is diversity and making a concerted effort to create more inclusive and equitable workplace.
Ensuring diversity and inclusion is a part of every step of the recruitment process needs to remain a top priority for all agencies in the new year. Creating and enforcing practices that are inclusive to all marginalized groups is not only the right moral action to take but can have undeniably positive effects in many areas of the overall business. Diverse teams have been proven to be more communicative, profitable and creative – there is virtually no downside to increasing your efforts to hire more inclusively.
Here are some ways to improve your diversity recruiting in 2021.
Considering that more than 4 in 10 managers have said they avoided implementing diversity hiring in the past because they were ‘too busy’, completely revamping a hiring strategy likely won’t happen overnight, nor should it. Business owners need to be critical and thoughtful in their approach in order for their new mandates to be successful and enforceable.
Managers should first identify where the weak spots are in their hiring practices and which areas are the most affected by a lack of diversity. Start with one area in which you would like to see your hires diversified and focus on this metric alone. For example, you might want to aim to hire 20% more people of colour in your tech sector by Q2. Narrowing in on one or two areas can allow you to fine tune your potential strategy until it is ready to be applied on a grander scale.
Offer More Flexible Conditions
Marginalized groups may get discouraged to apply to certain jobs based on their inflexibility, such as no WFH options, a long commute or rigid working hours. One study found a correlation between the distance to downtown offices and diversified neighbourhoods, implying that diverse groups might not apply to a position they are interested in based on its location and the subsequent commute. If your entire workforce is within a short commute of the workplace, the diversity will potentially be somewhat limited.
Making small adjustments to your work parameters can help accommodate a wider range of candidates. With remote work becoming an increasingly viable option for many companies, offering this kind of flexibility to your potential candidates could mean an upswing in diverse applicants.
Overhaul Employer Brand to Promote Diversity
The best way to communicate that you are a company that promotes diversity, inclusion and equitable practice for all potential candidates and employees is to show them. Re-envisioning your employer brand to demonstrate that you value and strive for diverse teams is one of the first steps in attracting a variety of applicants. This can be done by:
- Spotlighting your diverse team members in your online presence
- Ensuring that your company culture reflects the needs and wants of diverse candidates, and that this message is communicated effectively
- Rewriting your website copy and marketing materials to use inclusive language
If you’re not sure of how to strategically yet mindfully communicate your diversity and inclusivity messaging, consider working with a digital marketing team.
Exercising recruiting best practices regarding diversity starts by training your existing staff to become fluent with those practices. Creating an internal culture that is reflective of diversity and inclusion until it becomes a natural part of the hiring process is integral in being able to express those values outwardly to your potential candidates. Some ways to instill this into your internal team include:
- Hosting webinars or virtual workshops on how to spot biases and discrimination in every step of the hiring process
- Developing standardized processes to ensure diversity goals are being met
- Forming a diversity taskforce or internal organization that can continue to monitor best practices
A famous study found that when auditioning for an orchestra, blind auditions resulted in up to 5 times more women hired, indicating that removing inherent biases from the screening process can lead to logarithmically more diverse groups. The same sentiment can be applied to recruiting; using methods that are designed to be unbiased can have big impacts on your hiring outcomes.
Utilizing the right recruiting technology can help you achieve this. For example, recruiting software that hides potentially influential information, such as photographs, can play a big role in mitigating unconscious biases that anyone can fall victim to. Artificial intelligence can also play a substantial role in boosting diverse hires, as machines can be programmed to focus solely on skills and experience and be inherently unbiased.
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