In this article, we’ll break down what exactly inclusive recruitment is, why it matters to your business and how to effectively implement best practices.
What do we mean by ‘inclusive recruitment’?
Put simply, inclusive recruitment encompasses the entire hiring process from initial attraction and applications to candidate selection and eventual appointment of a successful person.
The aim of inclusive recruitment is to ensure that the hiring process has as few barriers to entry as possible that would make success more difficult for applicants with protected characteristics, like disabilities or being from marginalised groups.
We’ve already covered the benefits of having a diverse workforce earlier.
Why does it matter?
Implementing practices that ensure a diverse workforce will ensure you aren’t missing out on talented staff, as well as making sure people from all backgrounds can bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the table. It will also improve your employer brand and make your company a more attractive place to work at.
Most importantly, you’ll minimise the risk of discriminating against any applicants. There are also laws such as the ‘equality Act 2010’ that provide legal protection for applicants who believe they have been discriminated against. And while we would all like to think we are without bias towards marginalized groups, as we’ll see in this article there are ways that the process itself can discriminate that you might not have even thought about.
Consequences of not hiring inclusively
Outside of simply breaking the law, there are either factors to consider when not recruiting inclusively.
Repeatedly hiring people from the same background as your current staff force will stifle innovation and different perspectives within the business, eventually leading to increased difficulty in remaining competitive.
Due to the current landscape of the job market, there are also huge skills shortages and skilled candidates are in high demand. If other employers are making the process easier for talented people from diverse backgrounds and you aren’t, you will lose out on talent.
Practical ways to hire inclusively
Here are some things to consider utilising in your hiring practices.
Think about the candidate experience
Consider having multiple options available for candidates to apply.
This could be offering application forms in multiple languages or ensuring applicants can submit cover letters to explain their talents outside of just their work history on a resume.
Also ensure you are equipped to make adjustments for candidates with specific needs, such as access for disabled applicants or adjustments to the interview format to make it easier for people to put their best foot forward.
Make the application process inclusive
Evaluate if there are steps in the process that would be more difficult for some candidates (such as disabled applicants) and adjust as necessary.
Consider that many peoples CV’s may not be an accurate representation of their competency. For instance, societal barriers mean many people may have gaps in their CV.
You can make sure you aren’t missing out on talent by employing things like application forms based on competency, or video applications for those who are better at explaining their talents verbally over in-writing.
Think about the language in job adverts
Just by example, when advertising a managerial role language typically associated with masculinity such as ‘assertive’ or ‘competitive’ is shown to be more appealing to men than women.
Consider using language like ‘decisive’ that has fewer connotations to a specific gender and is less likely to alienate candidates.
With any ad, consider how your language words conveys the kind of person you need for the role and not your personal preferences.
How EWS can help
As experts in employment industry, consultants at EWS can guide you through inclusive recruitment practices. Our solutions are here to help your company stay competitive and ensure you aren’t missing out on talent.