Think of inclusivity as the underpinning step to successfully supporting a diverse workforce: it’s all about creating an inclusive environment that welcomes and includes each employee, anchoring your decision making to their experience and not their demographic.
As most hiring managers are aware, diversity is not just a buzzword or a box to be ticked. It should be a fundamental aspiration for all organisations. Having a diverse workforce has been proven time and time again to give an organisation the edge. Winning clients, attracting talent, or even securing funding to take a company public can depend on diversity. The returns on diversity are tangible, especially when it comes to innovation: a large survey over multiple countries found that organisations with above-average diversity had, on average, 19% higher innovation revenues and 9% higher earnings before interest and tax margins.
The working world is going through a rapid transformation. The number of companies able to visibly compete for talent is increasing daily and the ‘great resignation’ is proving that a big brand and salary is no longer enough to attract and retain people, especially those in high demand.
Talent is moving from organisations in record numbers in the search of greater work-life balance, purpose and fulfilment in their work.
One of the most crucial ways organisations will need to evolve over the coming years to be able to sustain their talent pipelines is to prioritise the development of inclusive cultures that celebrate and empower people from all communities and backgrounds. It is vital to take a proactive approach to attracting talent from the broadest pools possible.
The key to talent acquisition
Talent acquisition is the single most effective way an organisation can increase diversity within its workforce. This is why so much importance has been placed on the hiring process recently. Human resource specialists need to identify and employ strategies that can increase their likelihood of finding more diverse candidates to sustain their talent pipelines. With this priority in mind, it’s important to look at how we can maximise attempts to remove bias from the hiring process and make attraction from the broadest possible pools a reality.
A recruiter’s goal is to fill a seat with the best available person. However, this is problematic because there is so much room for interpretation around what ‘the best candidate’ embodies, and that subjectivity is where bias creeps in.
Research regularly shows that regardless of how hard we try to eliminate our conscious or unconscious bias, it will always be there and it’s very difficult to mitigate it. And this is no different for HR and recruitment professionals when searching and interviewing candidates.
The danger for recruiters is that with inherent biases in the initial stages of recruitment, you will overlook great talent. Current figures suggest that 43% of CVs are discarded because they are written in the third person and 76% are ignored if you have an unprofessional email address. This results in poor hiring outcomes such as low employee or manager satisfaction, like-for-like hiring, higher turnover as well as the risk of a homogeneous workforce with a low diversity in talent.
Ultimately, we are all human and implicit bias will naturally occur at some stage of the hiring process. However, it’s especially important to try and remove as much subjective decision-making at the early stages such as candidate screening and start being more specific over what we’re looking for – but in terms of skills, not experiences. This allows for employers to assess from a wider talent pool before deciding who will go through to interview. It gives the highest possible chance of a candidate with the best skillsets to be selected as well as enhancing the non-tokenised diversity of a workforce.
As the CEO and cofounder of Clu, we are on a mission to revolutionise recruitment tech and build a democratic job market. We want to be the leader in advocacy for job seekers and ensure no one feels “other” in a hiring process ever again. We give job seekers from all backgrounds a fair opportunity to demonstrate their value to organisations and get hired into roles they would thrive in.
Clu focuses on what job seekers do best. Instead of lengthy CVs and cover letters, it favours snappy information like skills, behaviours, aspirations, and career expectations. We get to know job seekers better and present them with more meaningful and appropriate career opportunities – rewarding a much greater return on effort and up to 60% more responses from organisations.