Diverse Hiring Practices | How to Hire for Diversity

The benefits of a diverse workforce are many. In recent years we’ve seen greater attention to diversity and inclusion in the workplace and as a result, companies worldwide have implemented policies to ensure proper adoption for their workforces. But what is diversity? All your workers have different talents, skillsets, perspectives, life experiences, life aspirations, and inspirations. Each employee complements the other and, together, team members bring out the best in each other. The results of that are enhanced creativity, productivity, customer service, and profits.

Improving diversity in the workplace can be challenging because there are so many more groups of people identified now than there were say 10 years ago. The global population is divided by age, sexual orientation, race, gender, cultural background, ethnicity, and more. Achieving diversity takes time and will take more than just one recruitment cycle.  It will take careful iteration, thoughtful planning, and consistency in hiring and retaining employees from diverse backgrounds. Here are 5 hiring practices that will help you hire a more diverse set of employees:

 

1. Encourage diversity in your team of administrators

Your company’s executive team, board of directors, talent acquisition teams, and other administrators are the face of the company. In fact, many potential employees check a company’s “About Us” page just to see who the top guys are and what they stand for. It goes without saying, therefore, that minorities are more motivated to work for companies with diverse “About Us”.

The growing awareness of diversity in the workplace has meant that people now understand the concept of “tokenism”. Tokenism is where companies add members of minority groups to their lists of executives simply to check a box. Job applicants want to see someone of their gender, race, marital status, citizenship, religion, age, etc. holding a real office and doing meaningful work at the company.

 

2. Promote diversity and inclusivity in your job descriptions

When creating job adverts, do you consider how minority groups might interpret the message? To be more inclusive, consider the following:

  • The language used in the ads is gender-inclusive so that everyone, whether minority or majority, can picture themselves in the advertised role. For example, replace “he/she/her/him” with “you/your/their”.
  • The list of requirements is clean and streamlined. Avoid adding too many non-crucial requirements and conditions that might end up intimidating some applicants.
  • Create the impression that working for your company is a fun and engaging experience. Don’t come out as a demanding, abrasive employer. Tone of wording goes a long way to creating an overall impression of the company. Many companies now have this included as part of their brand outlines.
  • Make it clear to everyone that you’re an inclusive or equal opportunity employer.

 

3. Support diversity in the workplace

We mentioned previously how showcasing diversity and inclusion in your management team can help attract job applicants from diverse backgrounds. To take it a step further, implement policies that support diversity in the workplace. Having policies for diversity in place also helps with promoting your brand or company.  The policies can be included in branded material and on website and social media platforms, with videos and images of workers that represent the incorporation of such polities in the workplace.

Here are some of the things you can do to support diversity in your company:

  • Liaise with professional consultants to create a training program on diversity and unconscious bias. Emphasize through the course that biases aren’t reserved for “bad people”- that we all have biases that we need to keep in check. Help employees understand how religious beliefs and cultural backgrounds can impact how people think, work, and interact with others.
  • Level out the playing field e.g. by implementing an equal-pay policy for workers with similar roles or responsibilities. This way both new and existing employees see fairness in promotions and performance appraisals.
  • Give cultural, religious, and holiday celebrations the respect they deserve even if you don’t celebrate them. Train employees to be respectful of their colleagues’ holidays and other cultural celebrations.

 

4. Affirmative action in the workplace

Affirmative action in the workplace means adopting policies that give under-represented minority groups a fair chance to compete with the majority. The aim of this is to level the playing field for the minority without disadvantaging the majority. Here are 2 examples of how you can favor under-represented groups:

  • Ensure job adverts are placed strategically for a harder-to-reach demographic to see. For example, for jobs where women are disadvantaged, you can advertise job vacancies on a TV program with a huge female viewership to try and give them a head start.
  • Remove barriers to entry. For example, someone might use an employee’s ability to respond to emergencies at a short notice as a key performance indicator. Women with young children may not be able to compete with young male colleagues who have no one to care for at night. Such a policy creates unnecessary barriers to opportunity. Revising it will give everyone a fair chance to compete for promotions and other rewards.

 

5. Remove unconscious bias from your recruitment process

We all have our own unconscious biases. Your biases can be a hindrance to achieving a diverse workforce. You can combat unconscious bias by, among other things:

  • Encouraging ‘blind applications’ where applicants leave out details that can trigger biases such as marital status, race, nationality, and age.
  • Making data-driven decisions to compliment first impressions when screening and interviewing new recruits. Incorporate data insights in every decision you make.
  • Don’t do it alone. Have a diverse interview panel consisting of panellists who aren’t scared to speak up, should the need arise.
  • Consider changing the use of masculine or feminine coded language (e.g. strong, confident, etc.) or feminine-coded language (supportive, honest, etc.) during interviews, in favor for language that’s more universal.

Conclusion

Is your workforce homogeneous? If yes, now is the time to shake everything up, create diversity, and start enjoying the benefits that come with diversity. The process will be in depth with hurdles and challenges along the way,  but worth it in the end.

CXC is a global HR outsourcing organization with 30 years of experience in workforce management. Our innovative and cost-effective solutions help companies gain a competitive advantage by improving efficiency while reducing risks. 

Contact CXC today to start enabling your future workforce.

 

 

 

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