7 Tips for Developing Inclusive Hiring Practices
April 27 2022
Having a DEI strategy creates an environment of trust and respect. It also improves productivity, increases employee engagement, and accelerates innovation. To build and maintain a diverse workforce requires change, so don’t fall behind by holding on to outdated hiring practices.
If you want to build a DEI-focused company, begin with hiring. When you attract a diverse pool of quality talent, it creates a positive cycle that propels your company forward. That’s because candidates are increasingly gravitating toward businesses with inclusion in mind. For example, 74% of millennial employees believe an organization with a culture of inclusion is more innovative, and 47% actively look for diversity and inclusion when sizing up potential employers.
As people begin to investigate companies’ DEI policies in more detail, it’s vital to consider how you can develop inclusive hiring practices. To help you, we asked HR leaders and business owners for their best advice on the topic. Read on to gain insight into the different approaches and policies you can adopt to create an inclusive and trustworthy hiring process. Initiating these changes will benefit everyone in the company as the workplace grows into a more diverse, inspiring, and comfortable environment.
Use Job Descriptions to Improve Inclusivity
One of the most effective ways to ensure an inclusive hiring process is to draft job descriptions that employ approachable, comprehensive language. Refrain from packing your job description full of industry or organization-specific jargon that could deter some of your strongest and most marginalized candidates. Additionally, consider including a ‘Company Values’ section—an element of a job posting that will help diversify your candidate pool. Building this section can be as simple as highlighting your organization’s values and welcoming applicants from all walks of life and backgrounds.
Gigi Ji, KOKOLU
Simplify the Application Process
Creating a diverse workforce can be challenging, especially if your area of business is a highly specialized niche. One way to develop inclusive hiring practices is to create an open environment in the hiring process from the start. In other words, you should simplify the application process as much as possible so people with varied backgrounds can apply. It’s also essential to clearly define specific criteria for the role to eliminate the need to check hundreds of applications. Learn more about simplifying the hiring process here.
Salman Aslam, Omnicore
Diversify Your Client Base
Many businesses strive to diversify their talent. Interestingly, one method for recruiting and retaining a more diverse workforce is seeking and maintaining a more varied client base. From my experience, if you do not have a diverse and inclusive client base, your efforts to diversify your workforce will be twice as challenging. Candidates of a diverse background want to work for a company that prioritizes diversity in every aspect of its business strategy.
Sumit Bansal, TrumpExcel
Use Data to Identify and Remove the Influence of Bias
Getting rid of any bias affecting your hiring decision-making helps create a truly inclusive hiring practice. Bias could come from individuals or deep within organizational policies, and both types can be challenging to spot. Tracking your hiring data helps to pinpoint where in the process you’re losing diversity in applicants. If your applicant pool is primarily homogeneous, you likely need to refine your job descriptions or talent sources. However, a diverse range of applicants that yields a homogenous interview pool could point to bias in the selection and screening process. These are just two examples of ways data can highlight areas where improvement is needed to drive more inclusivity.
Archie Payne, Caltek Staffing
For a more inclusive hiring experience, InfoMart’s candidate-facing technology allows candidates to choose from gender-inclusive identity options. To learn more about InfoMart’s background screening technology, click here.
Screen Candidates Using Pre-Employment Testing
Use pre-employment testing to find candidates that are suitable for the position. This way, you use a standardized process to isolate the ideal candidates in terms of skill and ability. It reduces preliminary bias and streamlines the process for the hiring manager. Aside from being inclusive, it’ll give you a better picture of a candidate’s working style and thought process.
Eric Ang, One Search Pro
Establish a Diverse Panel and Avoid Jargon
To make your hiring process inclusive, start by making the interview inclusive. Be sure to avoid jargon and terms that could initiate a bias. If you want to interview candidates of diverse backgrounds, your interview panel should reflect that. Building a diverse panel shows that diversity is a substantial value within your company. It reduces the potential of bias and attracts candidates from all walks of life to your workplace. To learn more about conducting interviews successfully in a remote environment, check out this article.
Natasha Rei, Explainerd
Create a Diverse Network for Executives and Leaders
Inclusive hiring practices start from the top. Having a diverse network helps executives and leaders to better understand and value diverse people and ideas. Look around you: what is the content you consume? If it’s all the same, it’s time to branch out. Luckily, it’s never too late. Diversifying can be simple as following people on LinkedIn who look or think differently than you. Make new friends, talk to others, and be curious. Once company leaders take the initiative to factor diversity into their own lives, the gained perspectives and attitudes trickle down to HR and other employees. Diversity efforts that start from the top feel more authentic and sustainable.
Julie Milroy, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
Though many factors go into implementing inclusion practices, we hope these tips provide a good starting point. As a woman-owned business, we understand the importance of inclusion. We genuinely believe that work environments where diverse voices and perspectives can shine are at the forefront of a brighter future. People care about representation. They want to be seen, heard, and understood. A work environment composed of a wide variety of humans to whom many different candidates can relate offers that reassurance. It shows that you care.
Get started selecting candidates on ability rather than on outside factors that could lead to bias and discrimination. One way to do this is with verifications. Going through a professional background screening company like InfoMart ensures the candidate you want to hire is the applicant you see on paper. Moreover, ban the box laws are one way that some city and state governments have begun efforts to decrease discriminatory hiring practices. Read more about these changes here.
Terkel creates community-driven content featuring expert insights. Sign up at terkel.io to answer questions and get published.
About Tammy Cohen
Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record. To learn more about Tammy, visit www.tammycohen.com.
InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit www.InfoMart-USA.com, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.