One of the most important questions we believe an organisation can ask themselves is whether they are doing enough to attract a diverse range of candidates to their organisation. You may think that you are doing all that you can to encourage people to apply by advertising a job, but if you really want a more equal, diverse and inclusive workplace, you have to take active steps to achieve that.
Without realising it, you as an employer will have unconscious biases, which means that you will favour some people over others due to societal stereotypes about certain groups of people. This can be uncomfortable and confronting to hear, but it is something that permeates the jobs market, both in the UK and further afield. These unconscious biases can then slip into your job adverts, the messaging you put out as a business, and your overall work culture.
This means you may be shutting yourself off from large groups of talent without even realising that you are doing so. This can lead to your competitors managing to employ more of the most talented people within your industry and your own company can miss out.
Many of people from diverse backgrounds tend to miss out on the positions that they should be getting based on their level of ability. These are often the people who are least represented in high-paid, meaningful careers with good progression and prospects.
Do you feel that your company perhaps has a specific culture that isn’t always welcoming to diversity? Maybe you feel that only one type of person tends to apply for roles in your company. If this is the case, you need to do more to attract diverse candidates. Here are some of the things we suggest.
Job Advert Inclusivity Screening
Like our unconscious biases, we often use language that can exclude certain groups of people without realising it. When writing a job advert, it is essential that you are showing yourself as inclusive of all types of people and using the language to mirror this. Here at Embracing Future Potential, we offer a job advert inclusivity screening service to screen your job adverts against our criteria to see how inclusive the language is of protected characteristics such as gender, religion and sexuality.
Encourage Your Staff to Bring Their Whole Selves to Work
This is a straightforward way to ensure your company has a culture that values people for who they are and celebrates everybody’s differences. By encouraging staff not to hide any part of themselves and share parts of their personal lives at work, you show others that you are a tolerant and accepting organisation.
This will obviously only work if staff are made to feel welcome when they do this and don’t feel like they are shunned or mocked for how they live their lives outside work. This is a work culture issue and ultimately the culture comes from the top. That means that if people do get bullied for their differences by others in the workplace, it is up to you to treat it as a serious matter, and take disciplinary action where appropriate, rather than just laughing off what may feel like a joke to you. Employees need to know that their boss has their back when it comes to matters of inclusion.
Advertise on Diverse Jobs Boards
To reach diverse job seekers, you need to advertise your jobs in a way that will ensure underrepresented job seekers know that you are actively seeking people like them to come and work in your organisations.
There is no better way to do this than advertise your jobs on job boards specifically designed for those particular demographics of job seekers. Our network of websites each has a jobs board designed with a specific type of job seeker in mind. For example, job seekers know that all the jobs on Careers with Disabilities are available and supportive to them as disabled people.
Have a Diverse Recruitment Team
The simplest way to ensure that biases are not getting in the way of your recruitment process is by having a diverse recruitment team. This means having a whole range of ages, genders, races, abilities and personalities in hiring new people.
One person’s stereotypes of what the recruit should look like don’t overshadow the process and result in a homogenous workplace. It means that people’s in-built prejudices can be mitigated and diluted. It is also worth making sure that the recruitment team are aware that they may have in-built prejudices as self-awareness can also act as a bulwark against biases gaining the upper hand.
Improve Your Reputation
As your employment practices improve, you will start to get a better reputation for employing people from diverse backgrounds. When considering whether to accept a job offer, the company culture is one that is taken into account by applicants.
If there is nobody who works from you that is drawn from a diverse background, it may look like a less welcoming potential workplace environment for minorities, even if everything else was equal. We can’t overstate how important this point is, if you are determined to improve the way that your company interacts with a diverse field of applicants, the only way to improve is to start actually hiring people who are getting as far as the interview stage but might otherwise be turned away. Look at ways to move toward reducing bias in interviews, not just in job adverts..
A great way to show job seekers and future employees that you are committed to having a diverse and inclusive staff is through accreditations. There are various accreditations aimed at helping employers support a specific cause or group of people.
Some of the most well-known ones include the Disability Confident scheme, a UK Government initiative aimed at helping employers to feel more confident when hiring somebody with a disability.
If you need help meeting your diversity goals, get in touch with a member of our team today to see how we can support your business.