Recruiting for an Inclusive Culture

Recruiting for an Inclusive Culture

Diversity and inclusivity have become real buzz words in recruitment, but they’re more than just a passing trend, they’re part of an important shift in culture and values. An inclusive culture provides more opportunities for success on both an individual level, and for the company.

Multiple studies into the performance of inclusive companies make it clear just how profound the benefits are. McKinsey found that companies promoting inclusivity and diversity were likely to have 21% greater profitability and 35% likely to have higher financial returns. Deloitte’s conclusions were similar, with inclusive companies twice as likely to exceed their targets. Both Deloitte and Forbes pointed out the value of inclusivity at all levels, including leadership. The latter found that an inclusive leadership boosted team collaboration by 29% and team performance by 17%.

An inclusive culture benefits everyone, and more importantly, it’s the moral and ethical way to do business. However, with unconscious bias still prevalent, being inclusive at every level can be a challenge. Here are a few ideas about how to ensure your recruitment is inclusive and how to maintain an inclusive atmosphere in the workplace.

Ensure the Recruitment Panel is Inclusive and Diverse

Confirmatory bias is a type of unconscious bias that can be common, and can prevent inclusive recruitment. If you hold an unconscious bias, you will probably look for behaviours and indicators which support your opinion. This isn’t something that’s done deliberately, but a common part of the human psyche. Unless you’re primed to be aware of this bias, it can be very hard to avoid.

Using a panel of recruiters can help to overcome this, and it’s particularly helpful if they are representative of a diverse culture. Having a recruitment panel which includes a broad cross-section of society sends out the message to candidates that you practice what you preach, as well as ensuring you don’t fall into the trap of just recruiting someone who fits a familiar mould.

Widen Your Search Pool

Most companies have tried-and-tested ways of recruitment, using channels which have proven to be fruitful in the past. However, this may mean that you’re not reaching every section of the industry, leaving some groups at a disadvantage when it comes to applying for your vacancies.

Using large and international recruitment agencies such as Xplore can help you to extend your reach further. Specialist recruitment agencies often have a diverse network of contacts that a typical job ad wouldn’t reach. They are experts in finding the very best professionals in the market, and this can infinitely improve your application process.

By doing what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always had. In order to become a more inclusive company, you’ll need to be willing to do things differently.

Consider your Process

When you’ve been at a company for a while, the abbreviations and jargon become second-nature. It’s easy to forget that outsiders won’t necessarily be able to follow the references, or easily understand exactly what you’re looking for.

To ensure you don’t accidentally disadvantage any candidates, carry out an objective review of your recruitment process. Look at any forms which need to be completed and the language used. Ask yourself whether the language is inclusive and welcoming or punitive and harsh. If you were filling in the forms as an outsider, could you follow the instructions without any confusion?

Of course, you’ll also need to ensure that you are willing and able to make any necessary, reasonable adjustments. It’s good practice to check with a candidate in advance whether they need any reasonable adjustments to be made. This is a critical part of the process; companies have fallen foul of tribunals for failing to make adjustments during recruitment.

Finally – Make the Environment Inclusive

No matter how well you succeed in ensuring the recruitment is inclusive, if it’s not matched by your company culture you won’t retain the best staff. To make sure everyone feels valued and included, you should commit to both training and promoting inclusivity.

Many employees may be unaware of practices which aren’t inclusive, or of any unconscious bias they hold. Diversity and inclusivity training can help to see things from a new perspective, as well as identify processes and thoughts which are problematic.

Keep dialogue open and non-judgemental at all times. It’s important to remember that this continues to be a learning process, rather than a one-time tick-box exercise. To be really committed to maintaining an inclusive culture, you’ll need every member of staff from the top to the bottom to be willing to embrace innovation and new, positive attitudes at every opportunity.

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