Key steps for an inclusive recruitment process

How recruitment experts can help you lead from the front on diversity

Key steps for an inclusive recruitment process

The need for equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace is widely understood, but how do you translate your EDI commitment into concrete measures? How do you ensure your workforce represents all sectors of society – including indigenous groups, ethnic minorities, those with a disability, those who identify as LGBTQI+, women, and mature workers?

An important step in dismantling some of the barriers to EDI is for hiring managers to ‘lead from the front’ as self-aware champions of change, says Shane Little, managing director Hays Talent Solutions.

“They should learn to recognise their own unconscious biases so they are able to mitigate any unintentional consequences these may have on the demographics and culture of the organisation they lead and the people they recruit. Undergoing unconscious bias training can help in this but it won’t address the problem in isolation.”

Cast the net wide

Organisations should also source staff from the widest possible pool, which means working with an expert recruiter – of both full-time and temporary staff - who understands how to attract talent from traditionally underrepresented groups and has existing relationships with specialist communities. An MSP can help you extend your reach, to meet your EDI goals. It’s important not to overlook temporary staff in your EDI strategy, says Little, not least because they do on occasion become a part of the permanent workforce - and in some organisations can make up 40% of the total workforce at any point in time.

Involving a diverse range of stakeholders when reviewing CVs will help mitigate bias during the recruitment process, says Little. He also advocates ‘blind’ decision-making when shortlisting candidates to ensure selection is based on core skills and competencies only. You can do this by removing one or more elements of personal information from CVs before review – such as name and university.

A group interview involving a diverse panel with different perspectives and demographic profiles can support an inclusive selection process, favourable for both the hiring organisation and the candidate, says Little. It can also help mitigate a ‘similar to me’ bias.

Track your targets

All organisations have operational targets in place at any given time, and this can be extended to EDI – for example setting shortlist targets to ensure diversity in the candidate options. However, target-setting is controversial, says Little, as it risks being viewed as a tokenistic measure that fails to build a solid foundation of EDI values for sustainable change.

“If targets are set, they must be measured and tracked effectively in order to deliver results. Data must be captured, analysed and linked back to targets. Progress must be reported on internally. This ensures an organisation that uses targets does so in an informed way.

“Ultimately, organisations must be clear that the crucial work lies in establishing diversity in the business, fostering the inclusive leadership and culture that allows everyone to flourish and providing equitable opportunity for all to advance.” 

Whose job is it anyway?

Responsibility for EDI doesn’t rest solely with HR; however HR needs to lead a business, its leaders and its hiring managers in the right direction, says Little. Ultimately an organisation’s approach to ED&I starts at the top but must transcend all layers of the business – as the term ‘inclusion’ suggests. For instance, at Hays, EDI is a recurring item at board meetings and their leadership, not just HR, is committed to clear EDI objectives.  

“Organisations must embed equitable, diverse and inclusive practices within their workplace culture with the ability to drive these sustainably across an inclusive talent management agenda, including talent attraction and selection, internal training, career progression programs, and employee mental health and wellbeing support.”

 

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