How can we promote diversity at the point of recruitment?
There are a number of aspects to a recruitment process where diversity can be improved. Firstly, it is important to get a diverse pool of candidates applying for a role. Then you need to manage the recruitment process to treat them all fairly. There are aspects of the recruitment process which are very structural so it is possible to put processes in place to ensure they can be fair. Finally, there’s the softer side to consider as well, such as training and cultural workshops for existing staff to ensure that people stay.
If you are not attracting a diverse candidate pool applying for a role there are a few things that you can try:
- reviewing the wording on role descriptions, for example ensuring that “required skills” really represent those required for the role and checking that you are not writing your role descriptions with a bias to either gender - you can use http://gender-decoder.katmatfield.com/ to review this;
- using different candidate sourcing to reach out beyond the usual attraction pool, for example using a different agency with a different focus that may generate a more diverse talent pool;
- using a different approach, for example offering flexibility in the role, whether part time or full time, for example home/office split, compressed hours or reduced days. There are a huge range of flexible working options, different things work for different teams and roles. Offering some flexibility can massively open up the talent pool.
2. Fair treatment during the recruitment process
In order to remove unconscious bias the recruitment process needs to be more structured, for example using question sets and testing for required skills, eg Excel. This helps to ensure that candidates can be fairly reviewed and helps to reduce grey areas such as “cultural fit”.
Interview panels are another way to ensure that unconscious bias is eliminated, by introducing a diverse interview panel to ensure that interviewers aren’t all the same type of person.
3. Training for existing teams to ensure the new hires are happy and stay
It is important to ensure that you have an inclusive and understanding culture in your business, to ensure that diversity is promoted and you retain the talented people that you have recruited. This can be supported by training and awareness workshops.
We all know that an open work environment, where opinions are valued and different views encouraged, is very valuable to business performance. However, does everyone in your leadership team support this?
Finally, data monitoring and MI can be really valuable in reviewing where diversity is falling down – at the attraction point, interview point or shortly after hire – the results may be different than you think! Consider what diversity really means to you when gathering the data.
“We need to look beyond the ethnic appearance of a person when looking at MI. A black person who has been to private school will be very polished at interview. So while it might seem like an ethnic thing, it’s actually more important to look at social mobility, the school and all those aspects, so we can pinpoint things down.” Angela Appiah Shippey, Client Director at FD Works