Inclusivity is the essence of new ideas and growth.
While many organizations are now focused on building up the diversity, they are yet to understand the importance of inclusivity. Sure, diversity is important; healthy even. But without the parallel of an inclusive environment, it is but a facade. However, inclusivity shouldn’t be limited to the existing employees, it actually should start from the hiring process.
You shouldn’t be pushing diversity in your hiring practice. You should be pushing for inclusivity!
So why is it necessary to have an inclusive hiring process?
Actively contriving workplace inclusivity can help overhaul stereotypical mindsets and make way for positive changes. When people of different backgrounds and experiences come together to find solutions a wider variety of angles and approaches are presented, that help solve problems more efficiently and creatively. This can also help attract a more diverse group of people.
9 Ways To Ensure Your Hiring Process Is Inclusive
1. Talk To Your Current Employees
To understand someone, the basic rule is to put yourself in that person’s position. Well, here the position cannot be just extrapolated on yourself to understand their psyche. Interviewers cannot possibly comprehend the background and mindset of various candidates.
And by different backgrounds, it is shouldn’t be just restricted to caste or religion. It also means different beliefs, ideologies, physicalities, and individual personalities.
Here the best way is more open and conversational communication with your existing employees who are from different backgrounds. It can help you develop the best possible framework for a job application process. Doing this also ensures you get a fair idea of the existing grievances your current employees may have.
2. Open Information Flow
Another way is accessible information. Being open about strategic and social growth can not only help the company demographics but also give all the employees a clear visualisation of the benchmarks for achievements of everyone. This also ensures every employee feels a part of the company and has a sense of belonging, which is a cornerstone to inclusivity.
3. Open-Book Approach To The Goals Of Your Recruitment Process
Keeping the application and the goals of the requirement process open and transparent can help people from all groups reach out to your company. When people feel included in part of the narrative that you’ve set they are more likely to feel welcome and included among the company circles.
Generate inclusivity in hiring for differently abled candidates and set goals for every applicant pertaining to their calibre and capacity. Make it clear that your recruitment philosophy doesn’t differentiate on the basis of physical and social constraints but only incorporates job efficiency. The job criteria should reflect that.
4. Resumes Without Names And Computerized Selection
At times, names and addresses of a person can have a subconscious impact on how we perceive someone. This unconscious bias is a very real thing.
Resumes should be viewed without the listed names and addresses. Applicants can be asked to appear for tests relating to their applied field of work by giving them computer-generated random codes, to be entered instead of their names. The evaluation results of these tests should be made open and viable to the applicants. Computer programmes can be created, and in fact are available for this specific method.
The selection is based on the algorithm and the programme selects people based on merit. This ensures employees are selected on the basis of their qualities and capabilities; while name, race, gender, religious views, physicalities don’t become a part of the narrative. Once the results are out, these codes can be easily matched to the candidate’s name using the same programme.
The other advantage is the computerised hiring will be based on data and not the gut feeling of the interviewer.
5. Look For More Than Just Referrals
Many employee recommendations are taken into consideration when the hiring process begins. Now, there is no denying the benefits of good referrals, this approach does make the process a bit homogenous. Instead, companies should set out more perimeters and expand their field of inclusion beyond current employee endorsements.
Some ways to reach out more beyond the circle could be visits to job fairs, creating a social media handle to gain access to aspiring contenders, organising seminars and offering internships to young university students who might later love the experience and want to be part of your team. Employees hired on recommendations will tend to flock with their people, and this stops the inclusion part right in its stride. Hiring people from various backgrounds will help avoid the groupism and isolation of other employees further nurturing the inclusivity factor.
6. Maintain Structured Interviews
It is important to consider every single applicant and not make a decision the moment you think you found the right employee. This happens rather slyly than you’d imagine. An interviewer may have a bias – conscious or subconscious for a particular applicant. This could result in him / her overseeing the other applicants. A structured interview could be an answer to this.
In a well-structured interview, the questions are set; as are the acceptable answer patterns. The questions should be based on strictly work and responsibilities of the person, if hired. This helps avoid favouritism, and oversight.
7. No Irrelevant Categories
Make sure that the criteria for the application for the job are relevant to the work you need from the candidates. Do away with categories such as extracurricular activities, if the position you’re offering doesn’t require the person to have them in the first place. This creates a more open mindset and candidates feel more comfortable being themselves and in turn, helps them believe the work environment would be more approachable. Overall, it helps make the hiring process less stressful for the candidate.
Also, questions which you as an interviewer know the answer could be generic, need not be asked at all. For example, questions like your strengths and weaknesses, where you see yourself five years from now, etc. are cliched and really should be done away with.
8. Inclusive Panels
If you’re a company that conducts panel interviews, how the panel represents your entire organisation will ultimately result in promoting inclusivity. Create inclusive interviewing panels that include a range of diverse employees. Reach out to job boards and diversity groups to widen your sourcing footprint. You could also try video interviews to kick-start the hiring process and reach out to many people at once.
9. Inclusivity As A Mindset
Finally, you need to incorporate in the minds that, diversity and inclusivity go hand in hand. You need to become part of a repertoire where diversity is seen as something that enriches a company, brings people together to work towards something that is mutually beneficial.
Having an inclusive hiring process ensures a diverse and inclusive work culture. It also, in extension boosts employee morale and on a broader scope – the productivity.
When you represent inclusivity in action, you prove in theory that ‘diversity at workplace’ is not just another check-box.