Inclusive hiring is more than a Human Resources concern. At Allyable, we believe that employee diversity should be baked into every organization’s culture throughout all departments, from the top down. What are some specific ways that companies can become more inclusive in the hiring process?
Developing a supportive culture of inclusion and belonging for everyone begins with expanding your recruitment and retention practices to in:
- Assessment – Audit your current diversity hiring process to determine its strengths, challenges, and opportunities for improvement. This will help your organization to define its diversity and inclusion objectives and put processes in place to support them and metrics to track the effectiveness of your program. You may decide to hire an outside DEI consultant or conduct an evaluation internally using resources and checklist templates that can be found online.
- Equality and Equity – A truly inclusive enterprise goes far beyond following non-discrimination practices and mandating representation to fill quotas. Creating a level playing field means actively seeking to encompass a selection of diverse backgrounds and abilities in job candidates. You must recognize and embrace the contributions that varied perspectives—based on race, ethnicity, gender, orientation, age, neurodiversity, abilities, and intersectionality between those populations—can bring to every level of individual and company-wide performance.
- EEOC Statement – Incorporate your inclusion and diversity policies into your fair hiring statement, and share it everywhere you post recruitment ads—on the career page of your website, in online job boards, newspaper ads, etc. Be sure to note that your organization is compliant with current EEOC guidelines.
As an example, here is Allyable’s hiring statement:
As a Disability-Owned Business Enterprise (DOBE), Allyable focuses on recruiting a dynamic, diverse, and inclusive team that represents our customers and greater communities. To increase diversity, Allyable’s recruiting and hiring efforts focus on attracting individuals that are diverse in thought, experience, age, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion or belief, nationality, disability, veteran status, and any other protected status.
- Use Inclusive Language – According to a 2020 Indeed survey, 52% of job seekers said that a job description was a very or extremely significant factor in their decision to apply for a position. To appeal to a broad range of applicants, each job description, from entry-level to executive, should be reviewed for unconscious bias, complexity, or formatting that may exclude diverse candidates from applying. Inclusive job descriptions use gender-neutral terms, minimal industry jargon, and are easy to read and understand by people with varying literacy levels and physical or learning disabilities. List all essential responsibilities, requirements, and physical/mental demands to meet ADA compliance. Test recruitment ads for readability using an app such as Readable, Grammarly or Hemingway Editor.
- Accessible Content – Digital accessibility is essential for all online communications, particularly on your career web page, to support a wide range of candidates, such as those with vision, hearing, cognitive, mobility, or learning disabilities. Follow accepted international standards as delineated in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). For example, use simply written sentences, short paragraphs, larger sans serif fonts, and highlight key phrases in bold, not italics or underlines. Ensure adequate color contrast, make the navigation is operable with keystrokes, include Alt Text descriptions with all images (for screen readers), and add closed captions to multimedia content. (Contact Us to help get your accessibility projects on track.)
- Cast a Wide Net – For recruiting diversity, your organization should advertise job openings outside the conventional outlets. There are numerous job resources that provide a way for companies to target traditionally underrepresented candidates, such as Diversity.com, Fairygodboss, Pink Jobs, iHispano, National Association of Asian-American Professionals (NAAAP), and DisabilityIN. Consider setting up a referral program for minority employees to recommend applicants they know personally, which can expand your diverse talent pool. Your online career page and website should be using real images of your actual employees, rather than stock diversity photos, which supply an authentic view of the company culture.
- Add Anonymity – Blind hiring techniques have been found to foster more racial diversity by removing human judgment from the process, thus reducing conscious or unconscious bias. It involves the removal of all personal information—including names, schools, and addresses—from a candidate’s application before review by a recruiter or hiring manager. This hiring practice can be done manually or by using a special software program. While some experts recommend the use of anonymous pre-hire personality assessments, there is growing evidence that they may have a negative impact on diversity hiring when used improperly.
- Avoid Interview Bias – There are two effective ways to reduce the impact of conscious or unconscious recruitment bias during interviews. The first is to standardize the structure of this process across all applicants using an interview guide and scorecards, along with a prepared script with job-relevant questions. The second is to invite diverse interview panels to support your hiring team in evaluating candidates from a range of viewpoints and insights, thus providing a well-rounded assessment of their qualities relating to the position. Consider including at least two of each underrepresented group.
- Flexible Workplace – In today’s post-pandemic world, organizations must offer competitive benefits to entice, hire, and retain qualified diverse talent. Alongside traditional rewards like medical coverage, 401k matching, and paid time off, workplace flexibility is a key factor for inclusion. Particularly for downtown office locations that are often distant from more diverse communities, resulting in longer commutes for some on-site employees. Since Covid-19, many companies have chosen to continue offering remote and hybrid options, as well as more flexible work schedules, to decrease turnover. Another key factor in optimizing employee retention is internal mobility—so be sure team members have a channel to learn about and apply for advancement opportunities within your organization.
What is inclusive (diversity) hiring?
Inclusive hiring is embraced by companies as a means of avoid discrimination against qualified, diverse job candidates from underrepresented groups or those with unique personal characteristics. The goal of diverse hiring practices is to identify and eliminate potential bias against applicants—whether intentional or unconscious—related to age, race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, disabilities, and other criteria unrelated to job performance, and make employment decisions based solely on merit and job-related skills.
Why is diversity hiring important?
Diversity hiring levels the playing field for all during the recruitment, screening, and advancement of employees, while helping organization create a more inclusive culture. As the U.S. population becomes more diverse, this should be reflected by the workforce at all tiers, from entry level to executive. Inclusive hiring practices allow companies to attract and retain the best talent in today’s competitive environment, make an ethical stand for equal opportunity hiring.
What are the benefits of inclusive hiring?
Enterprises that commit to diversity hiring practices often enjoy improved productivity, better financial performance, increased revenues, greater cash flow, higher ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) scores, and enhanced brand reputation.
Learn more about the history, importance, and benefits of inclusive hiring – read “Diversity Inclusion in the Hiring Process”.