Diversity in recruitment and employment is not an issue that’s going to go away. We live in a diverse society with people from a broad range of backgrounds, but the truth is that many industries are not as diverse as they should be. Being a certain gender, race or ethnicity, class or even age can have an effect on how successful someone is when they’re looking for work, and how well they perform in their career.
A diverse team offers many strengths to a business, ensuring you have a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, skills and experience. It’s not difficult to find examples of products, services and marketing campaigns that have failed due to a lack of input from a diverse range of people. So how can you ensure you recruit from a diverse range of candidates?
Attract the Right Candidates
To have a diverse pool of candidates to choose from, you need your job adverts and descriptions to be attractive to a diverse range of people. One of the ways that you might do this is by advertising your willingness to provide a flexible working environment that can work for many, from parents to disabled people. You might offer flexible working or show how you support your employees in their work, and even in their personal projects and their work-life balance. Rather than listing a long number of candidate requirements, stick to your “must haves” to encourage applications from people who might be put off by additional “desirables”.
Choosing your language carefully is another way to bring in the right candidates. Try to avoid gender-coded language, which includes words like “dominate”, “self-confidence” and “superior”. Avoiding the use of industry jargon and corporate speak is also a smart idea. It encourages applications from people with all kinds of experiences and backgrounds, especially entry-level candidates.
Highlight Your Commitment to Diversity
If you want to let people know that you welcome a diverse range of applicants, saying it outright is one way to do it. A statement about your company’s commitment to diversity on job descriptions and on your website, company profile on recruitment sites, or other relevant places, allows you to say it straight. There are a few approaches that you might take to a written statement. Some companies place the focus on specific characteristics that they don’t discriminate against. However, other companies write an inclusive statement that focuses on encouraging diversity, not tolerating discrimination in any way and creating an inclusive environment.
Have Diverse Recruitment and Interview Panels
A diverse range of voices and input during recruitment will help you to ensure you’re drawing from a broad talent pool. Although a panel of people with similar backgrounds might try to make their recruitment an interview processes work for a diverse range of people, everyone has blind spots and unconscious bias. Different perspectives can help your recruitment team to look at candidates in different ways and see the potential in those that you otherwise might not have considered.
Use Ways to Weed Out Unconscious Bias
Unconscious bias is a big problem in recruitment. Many people think that they don’t have any prejudices, but we can all unconsciously make choices that disadvantage certain groups. One of the most important things to do is ensure you examine your own biases and try to develop more awareness of how they might be affecting your choices. There are also techniques that can be used to help reduce bias, including hiding or removing names on CVs or even using software to help identify strong candidates without the human bias.
By appealing to people from a range of backgrounds, you can ensure you have a diverse selection of candidates to choose from. When it comes to narrowing down your candidates, you need to take steps to ensure diverse hires too.