It goes without saying: companies with great diversity and inclusion policies have a greater advantage over companies that don’t. This bleeds into every aspect of that company, from idea generation to overall competitiveness. In fact, the only way to stay competitive and continue to hire the best talent is by practicing diverse hiring.
If we all know this, then why does it seem so difficult for companies to put diversity and inclusion into practice?
Here’s how you can drive diversity and inclusion through your hiring process:
A diverse work environment begins with the job description you write. You should make sure to write yours in a way that doesn’t alienate members of different groups and is inclusive and welcoming of everyone.
As a general rule, you should avoid language that implies gender (such as using businessman when you should use businessperson) or has racial undertones.
Other good rules of thumb: only include job “must-haves” (and phrase your “nice-to-haves” in a way that’s friendlier) and avoid using industry-specific jargon. Various studies have found that women are less likely to apply to a job that they don’t feel they’re fully qualified for, while men will apply for one even if they don’t think they entirely fit the bill. By phrasing “nice-to-have” skills in a way that doesn’t make them sound mandatory, you’ll potentially increase your pool of female candidates. Your job description is also a great opportunity to re-affirm your company’s commitment to a diverse work environment.
Another tip: pay attention to where you post your job postings. A great way to build a diverse talent pool is to post in places beyond the obvious LinkedIn, Glassdoor, etc. Innovative Employee Solutions recommends posting in communities like the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers, the National Society of Black Engineers, and more.
Interview Panel Selection
The interviewers that you select will, in part, determine whether or not you have diversity and inclusion in your company. And, oftentimes, you’ll find that it’s not the talent pool that’s not diverse, it’s your hiring process that isn’t conducive to diverse hiring.
Fix that by creating diverse interview panels that reflect the talent you’d like to bring. For example, if you’re looking to hire female engineers, make sure you have at least one female engineer in the interview panel. Like Intel, you’ll find the number of diverse hires will increase.
There’s more to bias than the obvious gender, race, and disability discrimination. Little things like if you perceive the candidate as blinking too much, if their handshake wasn’t “firm enough,” or even if they have similar mannerisms to someone you disliked in college can impact the future hiring decisions you make.
Explore how to combat unconscious bias further here.
There’s no “i” in team, but there’s one in “inclusion.” Inclusion is important for absolutely everyone, it’s everyone’s responsibility, and it starts at the top.
While diversity means a range of different individuals from different nationalities and backgrounds, inclusion is the community feeling that one gets from being part of the group. In order to drive diversity through your hiring process, you need to make sure that you have an inclusive company environment.
Create an inclusive hiring process by including Alt Text or video captions in any blog or hiring material. Taking the extra step to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity is important!
Having a diverse and inclusive hiring process doesn’t have to involve a complete overhaul of your existing processes. By ensuring that members of historically underrepresented communities are included in interviews and paying attention to the language you use in your job descriptions, you’ll be on the fast-track to create a more open and thoughtful work environment in no time!