Why a Diverse Workforce Can Be Your Organisation’s Secret Weapon (And How to Attract One)
Having a diverse workforce can benefit your company in a myriad of ways. Here’s how to ensure you’re attracting a diverse set of candidates to your newest roles.
Forget sales quotas and outdated employee engagement techniques. If you’re really looking to maximise your company’s performance, diversity and inclusion are the silver bullets you’re looking for.
Not only is creating a diverse workforce more inclusive, but it’s actually good for business. In fact, inclusive companies are 1.7 times more likely to be innovative and 35% more likely to outperform competitors.
So, if you’re looking to make your recruitment process as inclusive as possible, we’ve got you covered. Follow these key tips to start attracting a more diverse set of candidates.
1. Create an inclusive company culture
The key to attracting a diverse range of applicants to your role lies in having a genuinely inclusive workplace. It’s not enough just to talk the talk - you have to implement real change to see a difference.
Applicants who care about inclusivity will search for key company metrics such as your gender pay gap and equality and inclusion policies before considering a role at your workplace. They might even head to sites like Glassdoor to see how previous employees rate your inclusivity.
With this in mind, implement measures such as unconscious bias training, inclusive language, and a company holiday calendar that recognises a wide range of cultural and religious celebrations.
By integrating inclusivity into your core values, you’ll automatically become more attractive to applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds.
2. Set goals for recruiting diverse talent
Take stock of where your business currently stands on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and establish the metrics you’ll use to judge your progress. You’re more likely to take action if you pair your objective with set criteria and goals.
Instead of saying “I want to have a more diverse workforce”, for example, try “I want to proactively source 5 candidates from underrepresented backgrounds for my next hire.”
The more specific your goals, the better your chances of success.
One metric worth focusing on to ensure a diverse workforce is recruiting students from a range of STEM backgrounds, not just Russell Group university-educated graduates. Consider candidates with other qualifications, such as apprenticeships and vocational qualifications, or candidates from adjacent industries with similar skill sets.
3. Implement flexible working policies
You might not realise it, but your company policies could be preventing people from certain backgrounds from applying to work with you.
People with childcare responsibilities, for example, may not be able to attend the office on a 9-5 schedule. Instead, they might prefer to start at 10am and finish at 6pm, so they can drop their children off at school.
To make your workplace more inclusive for everyone, be as flexible as you can on both working hours and opportunities for remote working.
4. Create a fairer hiring process
Bias - whether conscious or otherwise - is often a barrier in the hiring process that makes it harder for people from minority backgrounds to get jobs. If you’re serious about making your workforce more diverse, your hiring process is a great place to start.
Having your HR team or recruiter remove the name and gender from CVs before they reach your desk is a great idea, as it removes any bias that comes with certain names or personal details.
To avoid hiring on the basis of personality or personal preferences, set up a skills-based interview process, in which you ask applicants questions that centre around their experience, knowledge, and skills.
Questions like “tell us about a time when you showed initiative” are much easier to score fairly than ‘tell us about yourself’.
It’s worth considering how neurodivergence can affect performance in interviews, and adjusting your expectations accordingly.
Making interviews accessible is important, too. To cater to candidates with complex responsibilities and those who may struggle to pay travel costs, allow for remote interviews, especially for hybrid and remote roles.
These are just some of the ways you can attract a more diverse set of candidates. If inclusivity is at the top of your priority list, discuss with your recruiter how to make the hiring process accessible and welcoming to all.
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