Inclusive Hiring Practices: Why You Should Change the Way You Screen Employees

african american man shaking hands with 3 employers

The more diverse your team is, the better your business outcomes can be. According to a January 2018 report by McKinsey & Company, inclusive hiring can lead to results like these:

  • Companies with more gender diversity at the executive level are  21% more likely to have above-average profits than businesses in the lowest 25%
  • Companies in the top 25% for ethnic diversification on their executive teams were 33% more likely to have above-average profits than businesses in the lowest 25%
  • Cultural, ethnic and gender diversity is correlated with improved financial performance across multiple countries worldwide
  • Diverse companies are better able to attract top candidates, improve customer orientation, decision making and employee satisfaction

Traditional hiring methods may cause hirers to make snap judgements about candidates based on appearance or for irrelevant, superficial or unfair reasons. Inclusive hiring practices have been shown to produce hard-working employees, morale improvements, a diverse workforce and other benefits.

What is Inclusive Hiring?

Inclusive hiring, also known as diversity hiring, is the conscious effort to create a diverse workforce by hiring workers with varying backgrounds and opinions. Of course, experience matters when hiring someone to perform a job duty, and eliminating biases throughout the hiring process gives organizations the opportunity to hire team members who bring unique viewpoints to the workforce and ignite new ways of thinking.

For an idea of how to begin the process for inclusive hiring, use the following tips.  

Want information on diverse staffing and recruitment services? Contact TERRA Staffing Group.

Changing views in your organization

Inclusive hiring begins with a top-down approach, with a public commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Managers from CEOs to team leads that support diverse hiring enjoy the following results:

Achieving greater financial performance: 

A 2018 study by the Boston Consulting Group that looked at 1,700 different companies across eight countries found companies that have more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenue due to innovation.

Fueling innovation: 

The “Forbes” Insights report Global Diversity and Inclusion: Fostering Innovation Through a Diverse Workforce found that diversity is a key driver of innovation. That’s because innovation requires a diverse set of experiences, backgrounds and perspectives to develop new ideas. To illustrate, a 2018 report by the Hamilton Project found a direct correlation between high-skilled immigration and innovation.

Attracting more talent: 

Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce, according to Pew Research Center. According to Gallup, by 2025, 75% of the workforce will be millennials. A study by the Institute for Public Relations found that 47% of millennials consider the diversity and inclusion of a workplace important in a job search, while 33% of Gen Xers and 37% of baby boomers feel the same. Attracting top talent requires promoting a defined diversity and inclusion strategy.

percentage of millennials in the workforce

McKinsey & Company reports that top-performing companies invest in internal research to discover the specific strategies that best support their business-growth priorities. The Society for Human Resource Management has a guide on how to develop a diversity and inclusion initiative for your business.

If you would like assistance in making a more inclusive hiring process, contact TERRA Staffing Group. We can help you expand your reach into talent pools that bring more diversity to your business.

Contact TERRA Staffing Group

Educate your team about diversity

Get team buy-in for a diverse workforce with inclusion and diversity training. A training program should educate your team on how to:

  • Reduce discrimination and prejudice
  • Engage in positive and respectful interactions
  • Mitigate factors like unconscious bias
  • Embrace diverse perspectives

Training provides business value by helping your business avoid legal risks, as well, by avoiding discriminatory practices in a workplace.

You might also open up an online forum where employees can continue to take part in a dialogue about diversity issues. You could use an enterprise social media tool like Yammer to give employees a place to connect and celebrate diversity in the workplace.

Build a diverse talent pool

To attract diverse talent, your business needs to communicate how it values inclusion. This is more than a written mission statement; organizations need to lead by action.  Some ideas include:

  • Feature diverse employees in marketing materials, on your website and on social media channels
  • Send diverse employees to public speaking engagements, like panels and conferences
  • Include a specific page on your company website about your inclusion and diversity values and initiatives
  • Communicate diversity and inclusion values in job descriptions and on your company’s LinkedIn profile
  • Recruit from diverse sources. For example, for entry-level positions, look at colleges and universities with diverse student populations

You should also widen your recruiting efforts. For example, you might use channels like Instagram and Facebook to post jobs and reach a more diverse audience with your openings.

Inclusive Hiring Practices

Make diversity and inclusion a priority at every point during the hiring process. If you notice you’re getting similar types of applicants for certain positions, it may be time to shift your strategy.

Some ways to widen your candidate search include:

  • Use inclusive language in your job listings: Make sure your job listings include language that speaks to your diversity and inclusion efforts. Adjust restrictive language that may be turning off potential diverse applicants.
  • Focus on skills and experience: Look specifically at how a candidate’s qualifications match up with a job. Hirers should also avoid looking at social media channels when considering candidates. During the interview process, make interview questions the same and implement a scoring method to eliminate bias.
  • Use tools for inclusive hiring: There is a variety of diversity hiring software available to help employers increase inclusion. Some tools to help with inclusive hiring include:
    • Blendoor: Anonymizes candidates based on qualifications
    • GapJumpers: Provides blind hiring solutions
    • Toggl Hire: Offers pre-employment skills testing

Your organization can test these hiring methods within departments that need the most diversity improvement. Measure how inclusion strategies and hiring decisions impact business results, then apply successful strategies throughout the organization.

Involve diverse people in the hiring process

Your diverse team members will be able to provide you with different perspectives on candidates. Involve a diverse team when:

  • Creating job descriptions
  • Screening candidate applications
  • Performing interviews and sitting on group interview panels
  • Deciding on candidates to offer positions to

When gathering feedback on candidates for specific teams, make sure diverse employees from that team are included.

Expand your network

Look at where your most recent hires have come from. If they’ve been from similar sources, it’s time to expand your network. Use the following methods.

  • Make an effort to attend diverse networking events
  • Post job listings in new places where diverse candidates will see them
  • Increase your community visibility by promoting your business in diverse places, both in person at events and through diverse advertising or marketing channels

Enlist your diverse workforce to share job listings with their networks. Many diversity-focused organizations also have job listings sections on their websites. Share your openings on sites like those.

Make Diversity and Inclusion a Priority in Your Workforce

The business case for inclusive hiring is proven. Integrating a variety of backgrounds, viewpoints and experiences on your team helps you innovate. That can lead to increased profits and better talent attraction and retention.

If you would like assistance in making your hiring process more inclusive, contact TERRA Staffing Group. We can help you expand your reach into talent pools that bring more diversity to your business.

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