Inclusive Interview Practices

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Inclusive Interview Practices

One of the most important aspects of today's workforce is our ability to provide equal opportunity to everyone - and the only way to accomplish this goal is to create inclusive hiring practices for a diverse workforce. When implemented, these practices will counter biases, and create a fair and inclusive environment for every candidate. And these practices will pay dividends in the innovative mindset, problem-solving abilities, and cultural relevance of your team.

As organizations focus on creating an inclusive hiring process, they see powerful growth in their teams and organizational ability to attract top talents. Companies like Google, SpaceX, Tesla, PayPal, Apple, and others have shown that there are tremendous upsides to taking a stance on this topic that's open to all because the best and brightest want to work for organizations that are supportive, forward-thinking, and innovative - and these practices are the core of an inclusive environment.

It's fair to say that creating this type of environment begins with diverse talent acquisition and inclusive interview practices - which is what we're going to be focusing on today. If you're just beginning your foray into inclusive hiring practices, or are looking for ways to improve your current process, the following guide can serve as an overview of what an inclusive interview process looks like.

Fair interview practices actually start long before the interview. The job description is the first place that bias can creep into the process. When writing a job description, make sure to avoid unnecessary qualifications and gendered language that could deter qualified applicants from applying.

Next, look at a wide range of talent platforms to source top talent. These can include everything from the standard job boards and social networks like Indeed and LinkedIn, but should also include local job boards that tailor to communities, industries, and areas of expertise. For instance, our HQ is in Indianapolis. 

Indianapolis offers many opportunities for underserved talent. Indy Women in Tech, Powderkeg, and others offer resources to support connecting women, minorities, veterans, or other underrepresented groups with opportunities.

Once you have talent pools identified, now it's time to move on to the actual interviews. Have an impartial team of interviewers that represent diverse backgrounds and perspectives. This is how you'll ensure a fair, unbiased, and equitable environment for the candidate. Ask questions that will help to identify areas of potential growth, as well as demonstrate analytical and problem-solving.

At Pillar, we like open-ended, semi-structured interview questions that give the candidates the opportunity to showcase their best side - which is why we've included a library of more than 1000 interview questions in our interview intelligence software.

Inclusive Interviewing Training

One of the common practices we see that negatively impacts a diversity and inclusion hiring strategy is the explicit statement of inclusive practices on a company's website and other promotional materials, but the lack of follow-through and training in how to implement such practices.

If you've seen this, you know how detrimental they can be, and how quickly a company can get a bad reputation online if they're not living up to their commitments. Inclusive interviewing training begins with a recognition of an interviewer's biases and a willingness to address them. There's a great test you can take to identify unconscious biases that were a collaboration between Harvard and Project Implicit. This free test will help you uncover areas where you may be unaware biases are creeping in.

Next, start by actively looking for underlying biases and assumptions that may be influencing your decision-making. Create tools to help assess, track, and monitor diversity to ensure that bias is eliminated - such as blind interviewing practices. Lastly, create training programs for your interviewers on the importance of inclusive interviewing and setting expectations. Topics should include resources on inclusive talent acquisition, equitable interview questions, and non-discriminatory language.

At Pillar, we provide a full suite of interviewer coaching tools to help our clients quickly eliminate biases from their recruitment and talent acquisition practices. Our video interview platform is powered by Ai-driven interview intelligence technology that provides candidate scoring and unbiased feedback on candidate performance, while our library of more than 1000 curated questions helps create an equitable and inclusive hiring environment. The software was built with diversity in mind to empower both the hiring team and candidates with the tools they need to create a fair and equitable hiring process.

As you interview, note that Inclusive interview questions are an essential cornerstone of creating great teams. Interviews should focus on a candidate's qualifications, relevant skills and abilities, past performance, and direct questions about experience are also helpful. Interviewees should be asked to explain their thought processes for solving problems, how they've handled challenges in the past, and how they would approach a variety of tasks.

Inclusive interviewing is easy once you have the systems and awareness to implement it. By actively engaging in these practices, you can create a hiring process that is equitable and free from bias - which will ultimately benefit your team in the long run.

Equitable Interview Process

Inclusive interviewing practices are essential in making sure that the interview process is equitable for all applicants and free from bias- we all know this, but with workforce shortages, downsized teams, and other challenges, we have little bandwidth to focus on anything more than our small sphere of tasks. With everything on our plate, focusing on something that "may" affect someone else's life "in the future" doesn't seem pressing enough to take our focus from all the fires burning around us. Unfortunately, this is why inequitable interview processes were practiced for so long.

Inclusive interview questions are one of the fastest ways to shift a potentially off-putting interview process to an inclusive one. To see our library of more than 1000 inclusive interview questions book a demo to chat with someone from our team. We'd love to show you how we've helped companies lower employee turnover by more than 50% and increase diversity by more than 30%.

Putting inclusive hiring practices into action may seem challenging, and conversations around this topic can be sensitive and difficult to have. But the good news is that it doesn't have to be. The first step to making diversity and inclusivity common practice within a team is to find an internal champion who focuses on the unity and diversity of the whole. Someone who loves people is supportive, unbiased, and ready to take on the challenges of talking about sensitive topics with care and concern. Next, companies should have a transparent, fair, and consistent recruitment process that is accessible to all potential applicants, and build a culture of inclusion through training programs. Lastly, make sure that your job descriptions are written inclusively and avoid gender-coded language or phrasing.

At Pillar, we're committed to helping companies build and maintain more equitable interview processes, which is why we provide a suite of tools to that end. Resources such as our library of inclusive interview questions, AI-driven interview intelligence technology, and video interview platform are just a few examples of how we're helping companies create an equitable hiring process that benefits everyone.

These resources will also save you time and money, as it takes a fraction of the time to set up and get started. Plus, our team is always here to answer any questions that may arise. So get started today and create an inclusive interview process that everyone can be proud of!

Inclusive Job Descriptions

No one who's implemented a diversity and inclusion hiring strategy will tell you it's easy... because it's not. People are complex. They're people. Equitable hiring practices require that you step into the emotional energy around equality, something that people are very sensitive about.

We all want to feel seen, respected, and appreciated. And job descriptions are the first point of contact for candidates with companies looking to hire. When the job description is inclusive and free of bias, it sets a tone of respect for everyone who reads it - both potential employees and businesses alike. Inclusive job descriptions should be written in a way that is free of language and phrasing that could prevent people from applying, such as avoiding gender-coded words like "ninja" and instead opting for terms like "expert".

However, diversity and inclusion in recruitment isn't always just about the words, (though your words are very important) - it's about the way we make people feel when we meet them. That's why you should always strive to make sure that everyone on the hiring team is well-versed in diversity and inclusion training, and that interviews are conducted in a way that is respectful and equitable.

At Pillar, we're here to help you create an inclusive environment that sets the tone for a great recruitment process. If your team is less diverse than you'd like it to be, or you're not seeing the results of your inclusion efforts, book your demo of Pillar today. We'd love to show you how VCs. SaaS, Data, Tech, and Ai companies have lowered cost-to-hire, decreased time-to-hire, and built better teams.