Photo: Eric Prouzet / Unsplash

collaborative post | Inclusivity is more than just a buzzword. It’s a necessity in the modern world, ensuring everyone is able to find meaningful work they’re passionate about. While inclusivity obviously benefits employees and society at large, it can also be a powerful positive force within your organization. From innovation and creativity to productivity and team cohesion, you have plenty of advantages to look forward to if you do the work to develop workplace inclusion strategies

To get you started, here are five strategies you can use to develop inclusive hiring practices and attract a diverse group of talented individuals. 

1. Be mindful of the language in your job descriptions

The first step in inclusive hiring is to ensure your job descriptions are free from bias. Many traditional job postings unwittingly discourage certain groups from applying. To create more inclusive descriptions, consider the following:

  • Use gender-neutral language: Instead of using words like “ninja,” “rockstar,” or “salesman,” use terms like “skilled,” “collaborative,” or “team player.”
  • Focus on skills and qualifications: Emphasize the skills and qualifications required for the role rather than educational backgrounds or specific experience. This allows a wider range of candidates to see themselves in the role.

2. Use diverse recruitment channels

To tap into a diverse talent pool, you must cast a wide net. So don’t make the mistake of relying solely on traditional recruitment channels. They might not reach a diverse range of candidates, so instead, seek out different platforms, job boards, and community organizations when sourcing candidates. 

Not only should you use these alternative platforms but you should also make the extra effort to build relationships with diversity-focused organizations and universities. This is an incredibly effective strategy for getting the first pick of the best candidates. These channels can also help you connect with talent from different backgrounds and experiences.

3. Use structured interviews to control for unconscious biases

Unstructured interviews can be breeding grounds for unconscious bias. To mitigate this, implement structured interviews where all candidates are asked the same set of questions and evaluated based on predetermined criteria. This ensures fairness and consistency in your hiring strategy. It’s also worth setting up a diverse interview panel, as this can help minimize biases and deliver a more inclusive perspective on candidates.

4. Bring diversity training into your workplace

To create a truly inclusive hiring process, provide diversity training to your employees. Specifically, you want to educate your hiring teams on the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion. This training can help your team recognize their own biases and take steps to overcome them. Encouraging open and honest conversations around diversity can foster a more inclusive work environment and make inclusive hiring practices a natural part of your company culture.

5. Launch mentor programs and Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

Once you’ve successfully hired a diverse group of employees, you’ll obviously want to retain and support them. Mentorship programs can be highly effective in helping new team members acclimate to the company culture, particularly if they’re from underrepresented backgrounds. Mentors can also help with career advancement, as can Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). These groups provide a space for employees to connect, share experiences, and advocate for change within the organization.

By following these strategies, you can tap into a diverse talent pool and create a workplace that values and celebrates differences. Remember that inclusivity is an ongoing journey – each step you take will bring you closer to a more equitable and successful future for your company and society as a whole.

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