Here are 5 Strategies Companies Can Implement for a More Inclusive Hiring Process

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k
April 15, 2024 at 7:6PM UTC

Companies with racially and ethnically diverse leadership teams are 35% more likely to financially outperform companies with limited diversity. And yet despite the obvious benefits of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace, too many organizations continue to fall short.

First, it’s important to note that workplace discrimination is illegal. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Companies that truly want to commit to building a nurturing and more diverse and equitable workplace must start at the very beginning — with the recruitment and hiring process.

1. Define DEI.

To start, you need to know what DEI means to you and what it will look like to have a diverse, inclusive, equitable workforce. This should include a transparent statement on diversity and your company’s mission with regard to creating a workplace that promotes, supports, cultivates and nurtures it. 

2. Write and place inclusive job descriptions.

The hiring process needs to begin with inclusive job descriptions. Too often, language is unconsciously unwelcoming to candidates from a range of backgrounds. Instead, it must welcome applicants from diverse groups. It might, for example, be gendered or include idioms that aren’t inclusive of all people.

Be conscious in your approach to creating these job descriptions. In addition to removing any language that could be perceived as exclusionary, include information about how your organization seeks to promote diversity and inclusion.

3. Educate all employees.

Leaders are not the only ones who need to be educated on diversity and hiring practices. Everyone at your company should understand the nature of biases and assumptions, how they can creep into the hiring process and how to prevent them from interfering. Ensure all your employees go through rigorous diversity training. Remember, too, that this is something to should take place on a regular basis.

4. Standardize your recruitment and interview processes.

Different hiring managers have different approaches to interviewing and selecting candidates. To make your processes as equitable as possible, standardize the process within your organization. This will help make the experience consistent and mitigate any possibility of bias creeping in. The company can control the types of questions that the interviewer asks, the order in which they ask them and how they engage with a variety of candidates.

5. Reconsider how you source candidates.

Where are you looking for your candidates? Where are you finding them? It’s important to take a close look at where you’re placing your ads, how you’re being connected to candidates and networking opportunities. If you’re continuing to see a pool of applicants from similar backgrounds, this might require an overhaul and an ample dose of creativity.

Consider, too, the requirements you are laying out for your applicants. Perhaps there are certain barriers you’re putting in place that are unnecessary, such as educational requirements or experiences.

Many organizations are touting their commitment to diversity these days. But in order to really put your money where your mouth is, you need to start at the beginning — by ensuring that you’re hiring with DEI front and center.

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This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance editor and writer based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab-mix Hercules. She primarily focuses on education, technology and career development. She has worked with Penguin Random House, Fairygodboss, CollegeVine, BairesDev and many other publications and organizations. Her humor writing has appeared in the Weekly Humorist, Slackjaw, Little Old Lady Comedy, Flexx Magazine, Points in Case, Jane Austen's Wastebasket, and Greener Pastures. She also writes fiction and essays, which have appeared in publications including The Memoirist and The Avalon Literary Review. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.

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