A diverse and inclusive workplace is one where all employees, irrespective of who they are and where they come from, are involved in most activities and feel supported in every area of work. Diversity and inclusion (D&I) are about empowering employees by respecting, appreciating and accepting what makes them different.
Although diversity and inclusion are terms that are used interchangeably, they differ in meaning. Diversity in the workplace implies the representation of a diverse set of people that reflects the society in which it exists and functions. Inclusion, on the other hand, pertains to the integration of the contributions, presence and perspectives of different groups in the work environment.
Diversity and inclusion have become vital components of the recruitment policy in different organisations. An inclusive culture not only attracts diverse talent but also helps retain existing employees. If employees feel that they are treated fairly at the workplace, irrespective of their race, gender, nationalities, sexual orientation, identities, age, etc., they develop confidence in their employers. They take pride in their work and are loyal to the company. On the other hand, if employees feel that they are being treated differently and that their ideas or presence are not valued, they are more inclined to leave the job.
Data reveals that three out of four job seekers prefer to work for companies that embrace the D&I culture. These figures cannot be ignored if you are looking to hire the best talent for your organisation. It should also be noted that 48 per cent of Gen Z are from ethnic minorities. So, if you do not have an inclusive work culture, you will be losing out on a vast talent pool.
The brand value of a company impacts its customers, job seekers and employees. Therefore, a brand must be conscious of what it conveys outside and within the company. A D&I brand image positively impacts the business as it attracts a larger customer base and job seekers. It also fosters a healthy culture within the organisation.
A brand should meet the needs of a diverse set of customers. It cannot afford to ignore the needs of any specific group of customers. This has become challenging in a global market that caters to the needs of a much bigger customer pool.
Businesses that are empathetic must include representatives from their core customer base. Since most brands have a diverse customer base, these representatives can fully understand and empathise with the customers.
Buyers of today relate more to a brand that understands them and speaks their language. Usually, customers have transactional interactions with brands; nevertheless, they build long-term relationships with only those brands that invest in social causes and care about their employees. Customers prefer to associate with brands that align with their values and those of their customers.
Addressing a vast customer base is possible when there is representation by people from diverse backgrounds within the organisation: their voice matters. Hence, it is not just enough to hire people from diverse backgrounds but equally important to ensure that they have a say in the decision-making process of the company. This is the best way to ensure that your brand represents the needs of people from different backgrounds.
Many organisations have made hiring a diverse workforce an integral part of their recruitment policy. However, to cultivate a truly diverse culture, it is imperative to have diverse leadership because only then can your brand have positive interactions with customers from all walks of life. Therefore, businesses must ensure that they have a diverse executive team too. Job seekers seem to prefer organisations that have diverse and inclusive work cultures because it gives them the impression that the brand cares for its employees and listens to them.
A D&I work culture makes employees feel supported. Feeling included and respected imparts a sense of belonging and increases engagement. The productivity of an engaged workforce is much higher, which obviously will help the business succeed.
Look for underrepresented candidates
Here’s how you can reach out to candidates of diverse backgrounds:
Once you have a pool of applicants for a particular job title, shortlist candidates from different groups on merit. While selecting candidates from diverse backgrounds, be clear in your mind that you are offering equal opportunity to candidates from underrepresented groups and not being kind to them. Invite the shortlisted candidates for an interview.
Inclusive interview process
During the interview, find out whether the candidate is open to working in a diverse workplace. You can do that by weaving in the topic of diversity and inclusion during the process. For instance, you could ask them about any previous experience working with diverse teams.
Ensure that the tests and assessments in the hiring process are objective and not biassed.co
Blind hiring process
Blind resumes are an effective way of removing bias in hiring. A blind resume is one in which the personal information of the candidate is blacked out. Data such as the applicant’s name, address, gender, age, ethnicity, etc. are blacked out. Only information that indicates the candidate’s educational achievements, skills, traits, qualities and work experience is displayed in the resume. Application tracking software can be coded to achieve this.
You could conduct blind interviews wherein the candidates answer questions anonymously through text. Blind interviews help eliminate interviewer bias. In fact, blind hiring process is one of the most effective ways to eliminate bias and hire candidates based solely on merit. The candidates, however, will have to appear for an in-person interview during the final stages of the hiring process.
These are some tips for hiring diverse employees. However, to build an inclusive work culture you will need to create a safe work environment where different groups of people are not treated as invasive entities. You can include processes and activities that help create an inclusive workplace. You can have team-building exercises that group together employees from different backgrounds. Also, make sure that there is a grievance process in place, which allows employees to speak up about any discriminatory practices.
Mentoring programmes for diverse employees with seasoned leaders not only help boost the confidence of employees but also enhance their loyalty to the company.
D&I is not just a short-term campaign or project. It is an ongoing process that must be consciously integrated into the hiring policy of the organisation.
How outsourcing helps meet D&I goals
D&I hiring can be outsourced to consultants who will develop a diversity programme that supports cultural competence and diversity.
Outsourcing eliminates costs associated with overheads, personnel, training for required certifications, etc. Besides saving costs, outsourcing also minimises the workload of HR professionals who can channelise their time and resources for other activities. There could be instances where the in-house team lacks the expertise required to achieve the D&I goals of the organisation. By outsourcing D&I hiring to professionals, the company gets directed by experts in the field. Outsourcing partners can also be asked to build a diversity training programme for the organisation.
Careernet is India’s leading talent provider that offers customised recruitment solutions to its clients. Our experienced team works with clients to develop a D&I hiring strategy and helps them achieve their goals. We not only facilitate hiring the best talent but also help build an inclusive culture. Take advantage of our well-established D&I hiring process to achieve your D&I goals seamlessly.
Hiring people from diverse backgrounds is important not only from the point of view of fostering a D&I work culture but also for your brand value. This is because it instils confidence in the customers that they definitely matter. Hence, it is essential that businesses develop a D&I hiring strategy to hire diverse talent. Outsourcing D&I hiring to a professional recruitment company is a cost-effective solution to meet the D&I goals of the organisation.
Please note that Careernet does not practice charging a placement fee from any job seeker across profiles. Word of caution to the fraudulent news and information, if anyone demands any kind of charges from you, in the name of Careernet Consulting.