Maximize Your Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

A proper diversity and inclusion programs ensures you have access to all the best candidates, and even increase your company's performance.

Diversity matters, and if you don’t think it does, take a look at McKinsey’s 2015 report on the matter. In short: companies that maximize their diversity and inclusion efforts, are more successful than their peers that are not.

But remember, diversity is a broad topic. It goes well beyond race, background and gender. While you strive for diversity in those categories, you ultimately look for diversity of thought. Different backgrounds, opinions and experiences will inevitably help in achieving different solutions, approaches and efforts.

Today, we talk about the things you can do to instill a sustainable culture in your organization.

1. Make Diversity and Inclusion a Priority

The policy on diversity and inclusion needs to be a company-wide initiative with commitment from the top. For that reason, it’s not the easiest one to tackle, but it’s important enough to get it right.

Anything your company does on diversity and inclusion has to be authentic and genuine. If diversity is a gimmick, you can rest assured your candidates will see right through it. If you mention on your recruitment landing page that diversity is important, but your senior management bio page contains one single set of characteristics, that will be noticed.

Instead, define a policy around diversity and inclusion, and incorporate this in the relevant procedures and processes. Your talent acquisition processes are an important part of it. For others, start collecting data around equality and diversity. Take a look at the split between genders, races and other (permissible) categories. Where you fall short, launch initiatives and change procedures to make it easier to achieve true diversity. And when you do, report on it and make it known you focus on it, and are successful.

2. Set Up a Diverse Hiring Team

When you are hiring for a role, ensure the hiring team is reasonably big and, for sure, diverse. Time constraints may make it harder for you to have larger hiring teams. However, it is important to have a broad collection of backgrounds and reference points on your hiring team.

People tend to like people more that resemble them, but having a diverse team makes that less of a risk. You can design your team to consist of employees of different generations and age groups, education levels, personalities, gender and race. In addition, think of different routes of progression, and mix people that come from different parts of the organization, and recent hires and employees with longer tenure.  

3. Focus on Skills First

When you assess candidates’ fit for the role, it helps to focus on the required skills first. The job description should clearly state the minimum requirements needed for the job. Focus on technical skills, knowledge and experience. But remember that when you focus on years of service, you may limit the responses. In some cases that may be totally appropriate, but for some, you may want to limit the focus.

You can go as far as to have your candidates fill out questionnaires, answer tests or assessments or execute a trial or test project.

4. Create a Level Playing Field

One of the simplest ways to create equal circumstances for all candidates is to have the setup the same for all. That means that you have the same, diverse, hiring team interview all candidates. Travel and availability will make it more difficult, but the same interviewers will help create a shared, common view across candidates.

If getting everybody together turns out to be a difficult feat, look into using our technology to at least get everybody in front of the team. AskAway’s solution offers recorded video interviews that you can easily share with others, ensuring that all see the same content, interview and responses.

In addition, have the hiring team ask the same questions to all candidates. This makes sure that the focus of the hiring team is the same across all candidates.

5. Think of Where You Recruit

It matters where you recruit. To create diversity, don’t look in a limited number of sources, and elevate your current employee base. I have seen successful recruitment campaigns in schools where leaders and executives have studied, but there is a risk in recruiting from those channels alone. You may get people that are more like the leaders that have went there, and you limit people from different backgrounds and experiences coming in.

If you are like the law firm in the TV show “Suits”, you may be successful in hiring just from Harvard, and still get a diverse group for quite a few categories. But if you usually recruit across schools, not including state or community colleges may mean you miss out on a very diverse pool of people.  

But remember, diversity is a broad topic. It goes well beyond race, background and gender. While you strive for diversity in those categories, you ultimately look for diversity of thought. Maximizing your diversity and inclusion efforts, and striving for different backgrounds, opinions and experiences will inevitably help in achieving different solutions, approaches and efforts.

About us

AskAway disrupts the way recruitment is done, by eliminating the need to plan and schedule time-consuming meetings in packed agendas and by offering tools to record or even prerecord interviews. This allows you and your hiring team the opportunity to share and analyze the candidates for your interviews when it suits you. We pre-screen so you don’t have to: talk about the ultimate time management tool.

Contact us to find out more, or sign up for a no-strings attached free demo of our tool here.

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