Diversity and Inclusion have been around for a while, but 2020 was the year that many businesses started to take the matter seriously. The global pandemic raised questions around remote working, coupled with the tragic murder of George Floyd and subsequent Black Lives Matter protests that swept the globe brought matters around diversity and inclusion to the forefront of conversations.
As a business, where is your place in this conversation? Hiring, retaining and nurturing a diverse workforce that is representative of the wider population is something that all organizations need to invest in.
Widening the diversity of your candidate pool will give you more chance of finding the best person for the job. Combined with studies from McKinsey and the Harvard Business Review which demonstrate that diverse teams have real benefits to business outputs, as well as it being “the right thing to do” – investing in a diverse and inclusive recruitment practice should be at the forefront of every business in 2021.
A diverse recruitment strategy alone isn’t enough – it has to be part of a bigger commitment to move away from the dreaded “cultural fit” to a more inclusive culture that fits around each individual, no matter what their background. Only by nurturing this diverse talent in a culture of inclusion, are you able to tap into the diverse perspectives and thoughts being offered by your workforce.
Hiring and retaining a diverse workforce can’t be done overnight – it’s a long-term commitment. Below, we outline some of the practices we use to hire diverse teams for our clients, as well as internally at Franklin Fitch.
Is your branding inclusive?
A recent study by PWC showed that 86% of female millennials and 74% of male millennials seek out employers with a strong record of diversity. One way to show these millennials of your commitment to diversity and inclusion is by visually showing a diverse workforce in your marketing materials. Are you able to use diverse imagery?
The Flexible Job Index says an estimated 87% of employees want to work flexibly – meaning if you want to have access to the best possible talent, you need to show that your organization is happy to support those who choose to work flexibly. Are you able to show your commitment to flexible working with real case studies? Include these case studies in your marketing materials.
Avoid sweeping statements such as ‘we value diversity and inclusion’ unless you follow them up with specific examples of what you’re actually doing to place value on D&I. What exactly is your organization doing to champion diversity and inclusion? Use real and specific examples in your branding and communications.
Are your job adverts attractive to all?
You can be sure that if an applicant is looking at nothing else – they’re looking at your job advert. Therefore it’s worth spending time ensuring your adverts will attract a variety of diverse individuals to your organization. There are a few easy ways to do this:
Use a debiasing tool to ensure that gender-neutral language is used. Language such as ‘competitiveness’ or ‘assertiveness’ can discourage women from applying.
Advertise the role with some degree of flexibility to ensure that parents can apply.
Focus on competencies, attitude and aptitude rather than formal education/qualifications.
Instead of including a general equal opportunities statement, be clear in saying that the organizations actively encourage applicants with diverse backgrounds and perspectives and explain why.
Describe the culture as inclusive and one that aims to fit around individuals – rather than wanting to hire people who fit into a specific culture that could be exclusive. Focus around looking for a ‘values fit’ rather than a ‘cultural fit’.
Make use of the variety of platforms and job boards that actively recruit people from underrepresented groups to advertise your vacancy. As well as listing your vacancy on your company website, utilize identity-based networks to advertise job listings.
Spend time cultivating networks of underrepresented groups by attending events and networking. Are you able to partner with one of these organizations?
How are you ensuring that bias doesn’t creep in when interviewing?
It’s an almost impossible task to prevent unconscious bias creeping in when interviewing someone. It’s not something to feel guilty about – it’s unconscious! But is it important to take steps to prevent it from occurring, and knowing when to recognize it.
Hiring managers are often reliant on ‘intuition or a ‘gut feeling’ when making hiring decisions. These feelings often occur when we like someone because we believe them to be similar to ourselves. Acting on these gut feelings results in a homogenous work culture where everyone comes from similar backgrounds/experiences – the very opposite of what we want to achieve.
The easiest way to avoid unconscious bias when interviewing is to ask competency-based questions. This prevents talented candidates from being filtered out of the interview process because of their diverse or individual differences.
When the final decision is being made, ensure it is made by a panel/group of people, rather than an individual. It’s much more difficult to act on feelings of unconscious bias when in a group.
Diversity and inclusion is a long game, and isn’t something that can be “solved” overnight. It requires continuous work from organizations large and small. Don’t be afraid of getting things wrong – it’s a learning curve.
If you’re keen to hear more about how we hire diverse teams both in our external recruitment practice and internally at Franklin Fitch, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
written by Evangeline Hunt
Ry’n ni’n ymfalchïo yn ein partneriaethau cadarn, a hynny os yn chwilio am rôl newydd o fewn Isadeiledd TG, talent i'ch tîm neu’n ystyried ymuno â Franklin Fitch. Pam ddim dechrau partneriaeth heddiw?
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