Diversity and inclusion in the workplace are critical to a thriving business. However, despite the recent wave of high-profile companies taking diversity and inclusion to new heights, diversity hiring is still challenging for many recruiters. This is often because most recruiters aren't strategic about creating more inclusive and diverse workplaces. With that said, if you are going to commit to diversity and inclusion in the workplace, then you have to do it right. In this post, we will be discussing the most common mistakes recruiters might be making in their diversity and inclusion recruitment practices.
The strategy doesn’t run deep enough
Most of the talent out there is interested in a company's branding, and because of this, recruitment teams usually paint a picture of a diverse and inclusive company to attract candidates. However, with companies often hesitant to take action on inclusion, such new diverse hires usually quit soon after hiring and as expected, the word of mouth on their reasoning for quitting rarely favours the organization.
The point here is that diversity and inclusion should always go hand in hand. A diversity recruiting strategy only covers the first step - bringing in new employees. It's not worth the time and effort of the recruitment team to bring in new hires from diverse groups if the company will not follow through on inclusion. It's great to have an effective diversity strategy for recruitment, however, without a similarly effective plan to create an inclusive culture, then you can be certain those new hires aren't going to be around for very long.
To ensure that your diversity and inclusion strategies aren't just surface level, they must be fused with the core values of your company. You can start with educating and training your team on biases, how to recognize and check such biases which go beyond gender, sexual orientation, race and religion. Bias training can provide insight on how to create a more inclusive workplace for diverse groups in the company, where they can feel comfortable and valued.
Not utilizing the right technology for sourcing
Technology is great for sourcing candidates. However, you shouldn't be fully reliant on it as technology is not without its shortcomings. If the humans using it don't act responsibly, then technology will not work to the standards you expect. AI is not free from bias, which should not be surprising as these AI tools are designed by humans who hold certain biases themselves.
As such, the first step to ensuring better sourcing is not necessarily using technology but implementing better values and beliefs. Granted, AI tools and platforms are great but unless they are supported with a healthy diversity strategy, then such technology will always fall short. Better sourcing starts with better beliefs, and that's a fundamentally human issue that AI can't deal with.
Implementing a new AI recruitment tool with diversity and inclusion training is one way to remedy this. Select the tools and platforms that work for you and back them up with a strong culture and strategy. The way you define your culture and your strategy is what will guide the technology you use. Social media and smart recruitment management tools can help recruiters root out bias and create better-balanced talent pools by expanding your talent pool and screening the right people.
Companies don’t loosen up enough
For some companies, diversity and inclusion are just corporate buzzwords to the internal stakeholders who would rather stick to long-standing traditional rules/policies. These policies might be in the form of unnecessary hiring barriers or under the pretense of "cultural fit" or additional skills screening designed to screen out candidates from certain groups or minorities.
Nonetheless, as a hiring manager, it's your responsibility to eliminate the bias from your hiring process. There is always more to gain than lose in improving your company’s diversity and inclusion policies. Offer flexible work options, recruit on platforms with a more diverse audience, diversify your panel of interviewers, write job descriptions and postings that will attract the broadest pool of diverse candidates, offer employee benefits that are attractive to diverse candidates and so on. Also research what other companies are doing, especially your top competitors in the industry.
Trying new approaches might be challenging and getting some pushback is something you should expect, but the corporate world as we know it is changing and if you do not want to be left behind, sooner or later you will have to adopt these hiring initiatives. Wouldn't you rather get on board now than later?
In all, it's important to understand that diversity hiring is not enough. Extensive retention strategies are essential to support and promote diversity and inclusion throughout the employment life cycle. Hopefully, this article helps you revamp your diversity and inclusion strategy to enable you to get the most out of your recruitment and employee retention plans.