Seeking a More Diverse Workforce? Start Here.


Seeking a More Diverse Workforce? Start Here.

It’s easy to tell your hiring managers and recruiters to be inclusive in their hiring practices, but sometimes we don’t all agree on what that means. Going beyond the standard “hire based on merit, not bias” line requires digging into the details and making sure everyone on the hiring team really understands how to approach inclusivity proactively.


Hiring based on merit means using only job performance (specific skills, capabilities, knowledge, etc.) to assess a candidate’s worthiness of a job offer. Hiring based on bias means using age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or other personal and non-job-related characteristics to assess their worthiness of a job­ (even if their job performance is also being considered).


It can be hard to remove bias from most decision-making processes involving people because all people have biases. But inclusivity is important for a number of reasons, the first being that all people deserve to be treated fairly. Plus, it’s been proven that a diverse workforce can help a business achieve greater success! Also, it’s required by federal anti-discrimination law.


It’s Starts with Seeking Candidates from a Diverse Pool


Inclusivity at work starts with the recruiting process. Businesses must identify places where diversity can be improved in their current workforces simply by examining demographic data. Once those areas of opportunity have been identified, a search process that reaches out to diverse candidates needs to be created. Businesses can’t sit back and wait for diversity to find them; they must actively encourage it by seeking it out.


Reaching out to diverse candidates isn’t the final goal, though. In order to make sure these efforts are actually leading to a more diverse workforce, your business has to establish ongoing points for evaluating its efforts. What will those be? And when? If hiring goals aren’t on track, processes will need to be adjusted.


Make Your Interview Process an Even Playing Field


Once those diverse candidates are in the running, efforts toward inclusivity have to continue! The interview process can be rife with biases. One way to start on the path toward negating them is by using consistent questions and rating systems in each and every interview. Then, use a diverse panel to review interview results.


Ultimately, being inclusive starts with adding diversity to the hiring process. It’s a Catch-22! But the active efforts to include diverse opinions and resources on the front end of the process will pay off in a workforce chock full of varied personalities, talents, skills, and ideas.


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