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Create a More Inclusive Hiring Process in 7 Steps

Inclusive hiring refers to the practice of hiring people from underrepresented groups in order to give opportunities to untapped talent that may otherwise be untapped. This involves revamping hiring practices in order to level the playing field for talent from underrepresented backgrounds. When a company undergoes this process, it needs to identify and eliminate parts of its procedures that may make it difficult to create a truly diverse and inclusive workplace environment.

Why Is Inclusive Hiring Important?

Inclusive hiring is important for several reasons. One is because as locations become more diverse, consumers want to do business with companies that are a reflection of their communities. As a result, companies that are more diverse are able to earn higher revenues than those that are not. Also, inclusive hiring practices ensure that candidates are all treated as fairly as possible, which can go a long way toward protecting companies from legal liability and a bad reputation in the community. 

In addition, talent is increasingly concerned about working in diverse environments and will actually consider the extent of a company's diversity when deciding if they want to accept a position there. And this diversity pays off: When workers are in diverse companies, they are more productive, more creative, and happier than they are at less diverse companies. This can also increase innovation and reduce turnover.

What Are Best Practices for Inclusive Hiring? 

There are several ways that organizations can incorporate inclusive hiring practices into their daily operations. The following are some best practices that can help an organization boost its diversity and inclusion hiring to create a stronger workforce.

1. Define Diversity

An organization cannot increase its diversity, or even create effective inclusive hiring goals, if it does not first define what diversity means in the company. This does not just have to be about characteristics like race and gender; a company may increase diversity in terms of employees’ age, veteran status, and ability. In addition, it's also important to keep intersectionality in mind when thinking about diversity in an organization because, for example, a white woman will have a different experience from a black woman, and a black woman will have a different experience from a black man.

2. Understand Bias

Although recruiters may have every intention of being fair when evaluating candidates in the hiring funnel to ensure that untapped talent is shortlisted and eventually hired, bias can still be embedded in the process—making it imperative for all hiring managers to understand bias and how it affects their decisions. There are several types of hiring biases, many of them unconscious, which may influence the way recruiters see candidates—including biases that can create negative judgments related to anything from applicants' race to educational background to personal appearance to skills.

3. Create Diverse Hiring Panels

Having diverse hiring panels lets historically excluded candidates know that their specific group is represented at an organization if they choose to work there. In addition, diverse hiring managers can be an advocate for underserved job candidates because they bring a different voice and perspective to the table. This can help reduce bias during the hiring process and also give all hiring managers the opportunity to learn more about candidates from other backgrounds.

4. Draft Inclusive Job Descriptions

Job descriptions should be as clear and concise as possible. It's important to remember that industries, and even individual organizations, have their own unique language, so the use of jargon in a job description can alienate potential candidates. In addition, the language in job advertisements should be as neutral as possible so they don’t subconsciously telegraph that companies prefer a certain type of candidate over another. Some ways this can be done is by removing gender-based language and focusing on the duties of the job, rather than requirements.

5. Expand Recruiting Reach

Organizations that want to increase the diversity of their workforce may need to expand their reach when it comes to where they find candidates. Some ways to do this is to have a presence at networking events, job boards, social networks, and job fairs that cater to underrepresented communities. Whether it is online or in-person recruiting, organizations can make it known to different candidate demographics that they value diversity and are interested in hiring great underrepresented talent. 

6. Use A Data-Brave Approach

How can you make any progress if you don't know where your company currently stands with its diversity data? This is why you need to know the diversity of your pipeline and also where underrepresented talent is dropping off. A Diversity Recruiting Platform lets recruiters analyze their hiring funnel in unprecedented detail. With self-reported diversity data (race, gender, veteran status, ethnicity, etc.) a DRP gives recruiters a clearer view of their representation gaps and the tools they need to fix those gaps.

7. Make Internal Recruiting More Diverse

Getting great talent into the organization is a step toward meeting diversity goals, however, if the hires are not retained, these efforts will be for naught—and companies will have to go back to square one. One way for companies to create an inclusive workplace, and ensure they hold on to the talent they attract, is to emphasize diversity in their internal recruiting. To do this, organizations should track the vertical and horizontal movement of underrepresented employees to determine if they are getting a fair chance at advancement within the company. If they aren't, it's imperative to find out what obstacles are keeping these workers from internal opportunities and address those problems. 

Diversity hiring is beneficial to employers and workers alike, so it's important for companies to make it a priority. By incorporating these inclusive hiring practices into their diversity recruitment plans, organizations can meet their goals for attracting underrepresented talent, and retain them after they have been hired.

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