Diversity And Inclusion In Recruitment

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Diversity And Inclusion In Recruitment

Let's talk about DEI. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion have their own meaning to every person who hears the term. In fact, the biggest challenge is removing personal bias around the topic long enough to get on the same page about the impact DEI can have on your team. So let's start with that.

The principles of workplace diversity and inclusion have been a pivotal pillar of workforce representation- giving employees at companies large and small a voice no matter their background, gender, religious beliefs, or other defining factors. Starting with this methodology as you build your team sets the stage for a robust and innovative workforce that can solve unique challenges in creative ways. This is accomplished by intertwining the myriad of perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds into a team culture.

Now before we get into diversity and inclusion in recruitment let's talk about the foundations of DEI.  Diversity is all about representation. In a diverse team, you will find individuals from different backgrounds, lifestyles, cultures, perspectives, and experiences. On the other hand, inclusion refers to creating an environment where every individual feels valued and respected regardless of their differences. It involves promoting a sense of belonging and ensuring equal access to opportunities for everyone.

The origins of DEI in the workplace can be traced back to various civil rights movements that championed equal rights for all individuals. While no single person can be credited for "inventing" DEI, it has been progressively shaped by thought leaders, activists, and forward-thinking organizations over decades. Its popularization is largely due to increasing global communication, the rise of social media, and the recognition of the business case for diversity by industry giants.

Research from McKinsey & Company and other institutions has repeatedly shown that diverse teams outperform their less diverse counterparts. When studied, teams at Google, Pixar, and NASA all found that there was a direct correlation between team diversity and innovation. Fundamentally, it allows for teams to challenge the status quo and generate new perspectives on complex problems. Together, these companies and many others built the foundation not just for the sake of compliance, but for a culture that breathes vibrancy into every corporate decision and strategy.

However, recently, we've seen what happens when DEI becomes a 'buzzword' instead of a philosophy. On one hand, companies have been called out for their lack of commitment to DEI, and there have been instances of performative diversity that actually hurts company culture. This is where diversity and inclusion in recruitment come into play. Recruitment is the first step towards creating a diverse and inclusive team, as it sets the foundation for your company culture.

Effective diversity and inclusion in recruitment examples showcase a handful of important factors to consider when building your strategy:

1. Find an Internal Champion: Having a passionate unbiased person drive these team innovations will change the game. A passionate internal champion will accomplish more than a compliance team or an initiative ever will. An internal champion also brings an authentic voice to the discussions and is critical in creating a supportive, inclusive culture.

2. Identify Biases In The Recruitment Process: This is where companies tend to struggle the most- self-assessment on bias. Work with your team to identify potential biases in recruitment materials, screening procedures, and interview techniques. This could involve conducting blind resume reviews or using structured interviews to limit personal bias.

3. Expand Your Talent Pool: This could involve partnering with diverse organizations, attending job fairs, and utilizing social media platforms that cater to diverse communities. It is also important to consider alternative sources of talent, such as community colleges or trade schools, to broaden the pool of qualified candidates.

4. Create an Inclusive Onboarding Process: Once you have a diverse team, it is important to make sure they feel welcomed and included from day one. This could involve providing resources for new employees to learn about the company culture and values, as well as implementing diversity training for all employees.

5. Find the Right Tools to Support Your Goals: AI sourcing tools, interview intelligence, and diversity recruitment platforms can all help support your DEI goals. These tools can help remove unconscious bias in the recruitment process, identify diverse candidates, and track metrics to measure progress toward diversity and inclusion.

At the end of the day, implementing diversity & inclusion in recruitment is not about checking boxes or meeting quotas. It's about creating a strong and dynamic team that represents different perspectives.

Significance Of Diversity And Inclusion In Recruitment

Building on our last section, understanding how to improve diversity and inclusion in recruitment is pivotal in tapping into a wide range of talents and perspectives that foster innovation and growth. The significance of diversity and inclusion in recruitment resonates beyond mere numbers; it acts as a catalyst for creating a workplace environment where all employees feel valued and are given the opportunity to do great work and thrive. An inclusive recruitment strategy ensures that the hiring process is fair and equitable, giving each candidate an equal opportunity to showcase their skills.

Another consulting firm, Deloitte, conducted studies revealing that inclusive companies are twice as likely to meet or exceed financial targets, and three times as likely to be high-performing. Similarly, a study by BCG found that companies with above-average diversity teams reported innovation revenue that was 19 percentage points higher than companies with below-average diversity scores. Adding to that, data from a McKinsey report indicate that companies with gender-diverse executive teams were 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability, and ethnically diverse teams were 33% more likely to see better than average earnings.

These are all vital metrics to consider when discussing the benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. But there's one that we don't talk about nearly enough - the positive impact on the employee, individual satisfaction, and employee engagement. Creating a positive and inclusive workplace culture fosters a sense of belonging, leading to increased employee satisfaction and engagement. Employees who feel valued for their unique backgrounds are more likely to be invested in the company's success and contribute to its growth. This, in turn, leads to higher retention rates and ultimately saves your company money on turnover costs- which adds to your bottom line.

Diversity And Inclusion Recruitment Best Practices

To implement a true DEI strategy you must first understand diversity and inclusion recruitment best practices. Companies that take best practices and build them into a holistic strategy will see the most success in creating a well-represented workforce.

1. Develop a Written Diversity and Inclusion Hiring Strategy: Documenting your commitment serves as a north star for your company’s efforts. For instance, Johnson & Johnson publicly shares its diversity and inclusion strategy, which emphasizes hiring leaders who foster an inclusive environment, making diversity a daily consideration.

2. Identify an Internal Champion: An internal champion who's passionate about people and culture will be far better at implementing a DEI strategy than the vast majority of HR teams. The reason for this is a passionate advocate is often better at getting others to rally around a cause than a manager with a checklist.

3. Utilize Bias-Reducing Technologies and Interviewer Coaching Tools: Tools like Pillar and Textio help to neutralize job descriptions, and coach interviewers through unbiased experiences that may deter diverse applicants.

4. Implement Diversity and Inclusion Recruitment Training: Training programs for HR and recruiting teams are essential to understanding the different dimensions of diversity and how to engage effectively with candidates from all walks of life. Adobe, for example, implements mandatory unconscious bias training for its employees, facilitating a more equitable selection process.

5. Establish Inclusive Interview Panels: Having a diverse group of interviewers can reduce individual bias and allow candidates to envision themselves as part of your team. Accenture employs this practice to make its hiring process more inclusive.

6. Create Candidate Evaluation Rubrics: This ensures that all candidates are assessed against the same criteria. Slack has successfully used structured interview processes to evaluate candidates consistently and impartially.

7. Implement Continuous Improvement Mechanisms: Use metrics and feedback to continuously refine your recruitment practices. Google’s annual diversity report shows its progress and areas for improvement, a practice that holds the company accountable for its diversity goals.

8. Partner with Diverse Professional Organizations: This can help widen your talent pool. For example, Intel partners with the National Society of Black Engineers to recruit talent, significantly contributing to its workforce diversity.

9. Use AI-powered Interview Intelligence (our shameless plug!): Pillar's interview intelligence software was designed to help you make better hiring decisions with predictive analytics and data. Our suite of tools was built to help you create unbiased interview experiences that drive high-quality candidate experiences (CX).

In conclusion, diversity and inclusion hiring strategies are crucial elements of any successful team. Implementing best practices like these will not only help you create a structured or semi-structured interview process that offers a fair and balanced perspective of every candidate but it will also help you continuously improve processes to make better hires.

If you'd like to see how Pillar's interview intelligence can help you reach your ideal DEI impact, book your demo today!