Inclusive and diverse workplaces don’t just happen overnight. By rights, they should, but they don’t. The hold of ‘this is the way we have always done things’ is a strong one and it will take a bit of effort to change things.
If you wish for your workplace to reflect the world we live in now, representation and equality have to be baked into your hiring policies. Whether the diversity is religious or racial, around sexuality or gender, or whether your employees have disabilities or are neurodivergent, what is required is an open mind and an appreciation that every person is different and may having differing life experiences and viewpoints.
Experience and knowledge vary from person to person and can lend a diversity of skills which will benefit the company in the long term. These acquired attributes, and the need to find them in prospective candidates, will drive future growth and adaptability.
Innovation will speed up and business decisions will become less theoretical. A more inclusive workplace results in greater work satisfaction and higher staff retention. And all it takes is a little work to start off with.
Unpaid internships create a situation whereby only those from higher socioeconomic backgrounds can afford to partake in such an invaluable opportunity. Targeting internships at those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and those from diverse backgrounds helps the next generation get a leg up and also helps you discover them before your rivals do.
Whether its via your website, your marketing collateral or during interviews, it is always important to convey a sense of diversity and understanding. Your branding should reflect how the business as a whole views diversity and the values that candidates should come to expect.
Swiftly becoming a trend is the idea of ‘blind recruitment’. Some companies require the candidate to submit a photo of themselves but we feel that that is quite unnecessary. Blind recruitment takes it a step further, so that the candidate’s name, address and educational record are not to be viewed by hiring managers. This weeds out any unintentional bias in the recruitment process.
Job adverts should also be double-checked for signs of any bias sneaking in. If we look back into the not-so-distant past, specs have been written with language that brings to mind whether the job is viewed as masculine or not. There may have been unnecessary requirements of education which could be viewed as exclusionary. Whatever the past mistakes, we must make sure not to continue to make those same mistakes into the future.
Where the candidates are sourced from can help. Job boards have been used previously as the go-to place to find candidates, especially for contingency recruitment firms. Spreading the net wider can help deepen the experience well. Utilising your workforce’s networks can also help.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to a change of mindset which leads to a change of work culture. It isn’t difficult but it can require some soul searching. Does the colour of someone’s skin matter really, when, after getting to the heart of what your organisation values, they are a match in those terms? Many companies are shooting themselves in the foot when not tackling long-held assumptions head-on.
There are recruitment partners who can point you in the right direction, if needed, and the results will help ensure a strong future for your company.
Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.