The Importance Of Championing Inclusivity And Diversity During The Recruitment Process

The value of having an inclusive and diverse workforce is well-attested. Diversity equates to a greater skill selection, a wider knowledgebase, and a working environment that inspires innovation. Despite this, many companies struggle to achieve authentic diversity, leaving them at a disadvantage.

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Here’s how you can overcome the barriers through proactive recruitment strategies.

Inclusivity and Diversity: Why Do They Matter?

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), an

inclusive environment is one where “everyone feels able to participate and achieve their potential.” This goes beyond simply hiring employees from a range of genders, backgrounds, and experience pools, and refers instead to creating a workplace where diversity empowers positive involvement, growth, and development. Employees feel the benefit in the form of increased intrinsic motivation, organisational loyalty, and creativity. For companies, this translates into healthy productivity.

Why Does This Matter At The Recruitment Phase?

Recruitment is a critical element in building a truly inclusive working environment, and this is due to a phenomenon known as unconscious bias. Notoriously challenging to recognise, unconscious bias refers to the assumptions that people make about the capacity of others. This is endemic throughout the recruitment process and can cause even the best HR leaders to unwittingly let their own opinions influence the decision-making. Importantly, unconscious bias is often present from the point of the initial job advertisement.

How Does Unconscious Bias Affect Job Advertisements?

Unconscious bias is often seen in advertisements that make assumptions about the type of person required for a role. For instance, the advertisement may stipulate that the perfect fit for the position is someone dynamic, punctual, hard-working, and the suchlike. Advertisements will also frequently narrow the field by introducing limitations such as required availability, which often instantly excludes individuals with caring responsibilities. Such limitations are counter intuitive. For instance, compassionate people with the ability to juggle complex responsibilities are often a perfect fit for SMEs.

How Can I Remove Unconscious Bias From My Advertisements?

The first step is to remove the notion that a particular type of individual will fit a certain role, and instead focus on precisely what that role requires. Clear, precise, and thoroughly articulated explanations will enable potential applicants to determine whether they feel like they can bring something to the company, offering candidates an opportunity to make their case in the interview phase. This evens the playing field and offers employers a much more dynamic applicant base to work with.

How Else Can I Reduce Unconscious Bias?

Software options can dramatically decrease the influence of unconscious bias. Recruitment software targets a diverse range of sites, therefore broadening the applicant reach. In addition, automatic processes such as psychometric testing can offer an objective, non-biased insight into what makes applicants stand out from the crowd, helping to eliminate factors that may sway the decision, such as gender, age, and sociocultural demographic. Companies who follow-up carefully worded job advertisements with comprehensive software have the opportunity to greatly increase their inclusivity and diversity and reap the productivity benefits.

What Next?

The right blend of strategy and technology can transform the recruitment process into a powerful vehicle for unlocking organisational inclusivity and diversity. For more information, please get in touch with one of our knowledgeable recruitment support team.   

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Image Source: Unsplash

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