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Checklist: How to Create an Inclusive Employer Brand

An inclusive employer brand is highly desirable to today’s workforce, and talent will not work for organizations that don’t have one. In order to attract talent (as well as customers), it is imperative to build an inclusive employer brand.

5 Ways to Create an Inclusive Employer Brand

Just as inclusive recruitment is a strategy for hiring talent from underrepresented backgrounds, inclusive employer branding is the process of incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion into your brand promise so potential candidates know these values are important to you. Creating an employer brand that is inclusive begins with a solid plan, and the following tips can help you create one.

1. Rethink Employer Branding

Some organizations approach employer branding as a one-time campaign they mistakenly believe will improve their image among job seekers for years to come. But employer branding is not just about some ephemeral social media posts or statements on a website. Employer branding must be embodied in an organization every single day, and it includes not only how a company communicates to the outside world, but also how it treats the people in the organization. To create an inclusive employer brand, companies must make DEI principles the center of how they treat their employees, communicate with candidates, and make hiring decisions. It must be reflected in the salaries and benefits they offer, the opportunities they provide to employees, and the way they handle their hiring process. Inclusive employer branding demands a holistic approach where all candidates, as well as employees, feel welcomed and appreciated at the organization.

2. Get Leaders Involved 

People from historically underserved groups want to know they’ll be included in any work environment and receive access to the same opportunities as everyone else. One way to create an employer brand based on inclusion is by getting leaders from underrepresented groups involved. Tell the story of these company role models and let candidates know there’s a path for them to succeed and excel at your organization. Have these leaders talk candidly about the challenges they needed to overcome and how they did it, so candidates from underrepresented groups can see themselves becoming successful too.

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3. Educate Staff On DEI Issues

If you work in the DEI space, you are already familiar with its challenges, issues, and language. Employees, however, may need education on unconscious bias, how to reduce prejudice, addressing microaggressions, and more. By creating educational programs for all employees, everyone can get on board and participate in helping your company reach its DEI goals, as well as understand how their own unconscious biases can influence the way they treat each other. 

4. Use Inclusive Language 

An inclusive employer brand isn’t just about what you say, it's about how you say it. In all of your communications, use inclusive language so everyone reading connects to the message. This can include using gender-neutral language, as well as avoiding words and phrases that are racially and culturally insensitive, ableist, ageist, sexist, and homophobic. Create an inclusive language guide that all employees can use in their own communications, so not only will candidates be exposed to inclusive language throughout the hiring process, but they’ll also feel comfortable after they get hired.

5. Share A Vision

It's always best to be authentic in your employer branding, however, that doesn't mean you can't share your vision for the future if you haven’t quite met your goals. For example, if your company isn't as diverse as it could be, be honest about that, and let people know that you’re striving to increase the representation of untapped groups in your organization. This provides a realistic picture of what's going on but also lets people know you're not resting on your DEI laurels. This honesty and vision will impress candidates as you work on diversity recruitment goals.

In today's increasingly diverse workforce, an inclusive employer brand has never been more important. These tips can help foster employer branding that is built on inclusion, which will in turn help you attract the talent you want and be able to retain them.

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