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Fostering a Culture of Diversity and Inclusion in the Professional Hiring Process

Carlos Acosta | 12.05.2021

We’ve come a long way as a society and with that comes more regulations and organizational policies to promote inclusivity, diversity, and equality. Does every hiring manager fully understand what these actually mean?

To be clear, I’ll provide some definitions before I continue my thoughts:

  • Inclusivity: The practice or policy of creating an environment where all individuals are given equal access to resources and opportunities, treated fairly, and provided with a genuine sense of belonging. This is especially true for people who might otherwise be excluded or overlooked, such as those with physical disabilities or those belonging to a minority group.
  • Diversity: The practice or quality of including or involving people from a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds to include different genders, sexual orientations, etc. Diversity is about the uniqueness of our individual backgrounds, personalities, life experiences, and beliefs. It is essentially the combination of things that make us who we are that also shape our perspective and approach to doing what we do.
  • Equality: The quality or state of being equal as in the same rights and social status. While there are many varying definitions of equality, in promoting a positive organizational culture we are primarily concerned with ensuring that every individual has an equal opportunity to leverage their talents and skills to improve their lives according to their individual ability. Another way to see equality in this context is the view that no one should be limited by where they come from, what they believe or whether they have a disability.

Does everyone view the world in terms of inclusivity, diversity and equality?

A Gallup study showed that only 55% of their study participants feel that the organization they belong to has policies that are inclusive and supportive of diversity.

A report by the Society for Human Resource Management also revealed that 41% of hiring managers claim that they are “too busy” to prioritize diversity in the workplace.

A Glassdoor survey also shows that candidates are expecting organizations to up their diversity and inclusion game with 57% of respondents reporting that their company should do more to increase diversity in their workforce.

It is given that fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion in the workplace is an ongoing challenge for many organizations—and it starts even before candidates are onboarded into the company.

So, it begs the following questions: How do you make your recruitment process more inclusive? What steps can you take to make better hiring decisions and help your company be more diverse?

The Benefits of Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

While there are merits to hiring people, who fit perfectly within the company culture and are compatible with one another, there are also greater merits in bringing in a diverse set of people into the workplace:

  • Companies that are inclusive are seen to have better business performance. They have 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee according to a survey done by Salesforce.
  • Employees are more driven and inspired to innovate. In fact, 80% of employees would say that they belong to a “high-performing” organization if the company is committed to diversity and if they feel highly valued and included.
  • Being a diverse and inclusive company also attracts more candidates. It’s been seen that for 67% of jobseekers, diversity is one of the top factors in considering a job offer, and more so for Millennials.
  • Provided all the benefits above, a diverse workforce generally has lower turnover rates, and employees are 3.8 more times likely to stay loyal and dedicated.

4 Strategies for Inclusive and Diverse Recruitment

1. Wordsmithing your job descriptions

Begin by reviewing your job description. Remove any language that clearly shows discrimination, such as “preferably male” or “single.”

In the US, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is quite clear on prohibiting employers from posting discriminatory employment advertising. It is prudent to check with any laws and policies in your respective countries as to the impact of regulatory policies on inclusivity, diversity, and equality.

We recommend putting your organization’s policy and position on diversity and inclusion in each position description.

2. Widen your candidate search

The key to widen your candidate pool is to diversify where you post your job ads. Aside from the usual recruitment sites and publications, look into working with membership societies for under-represented groups. Social media such as LinkedIn and even Facebook are also good resources to use.

Additionally, while it is convenient to encourage referrals from employees, this could restrict your options. In general, a person’s network is comprised of people similar to them in terms of demographics. It may be a better idea instead to specifically encourage referrals from minority employees to increase the chances of getting more diverse candidates.

3. Rethink your hiring process

There must be a collective effort in your organization to accommodate practices that promote inclusion and diversity. In the hiring process, a few things you can do are the following:

  • Involve diverse people in the recruitment process: Collaboration is key. Reach out to other teams, leaders, and key persons to gain more perspective and insights when shortlisting applicants. Involving different people with different backgrounds and needs can help remove bias as well.
  • Utilize pre-employment tests: Pre-employment testing gives you more objective results in assessing a candidate’s qualification for the job. However, if you choose to include personality tests, careful consideration must be done to keep the balance between culture fit and diversifying your candidate pool. Otherwise, you might stifle diversity by choosing only applicants who are exact “copies” of your current team members. The value of diversity is that you bring in people with different backgrounds, balancing the dynamics of your organization and allowing you to see different perspectives.
  • Make an effort to work through your own biases: Cognitive biases are a hiring manager’s most harmful flaw and the biggest obstacle in achieving diversity and inclusivity. The first step to working through biases is to educate yourself on cultural nuances and to filter out irrelevant factors in the hiring decision.

4. Educate your employees

While diversity can be achieved through the means described above, maintaining a culture of inclusion is an ongoing process that can only be attained if everyone in the company does their part in upholding that.

Hold seminars and training that can help educate your employees on diversity and inclusion. And most importantly, leaders and managers should make an everyday effort to put into practice strategies to make every employee feel heard, valued, and included.

Making Smarter Decisions in Your Hiring Process

Diversity goes beyond accepting people with different backgrounds (i.e., age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, education, etc.). It is also about respecting these differences and welcoming one another’s varied perspectives to achieve the goals in your organization.

Making smarter decisions in your hiring process and fostering a culture of inclusion and diversity all starts with a sound understanding of cultural nuances and adopting unbiased recruitment practices.

The QualiFind Group can attest to the value of having a diverse and inclusive workforce. We’ve been in the headhunting and recruitment industry for more than 2 decades, working alongside recruiters from diverse backgrounds, as well as serving people from a wide range of areas around the world. We take pride in our focus on multicultural understanding when it comes to our assessment and hiring process, allowing us to help our clients find the best available people for their business.

If you’re looking into hiring professional, technical, and managerial roles for your business, we are here to help. We offer professional recruitment and headhunting services across the United States, Mexico, Canada, Chile and Brazil, as well as internationally through our partnership with IRC Global Search Partners.

Get in touch with us at https://www.qualifindgroup.com/en/contact/ and let’s explore the best solution for you and your organization together.