Promoting workplace diversity as an HR
Firstly, why do we emphasize diversity in Recruitment and what is it all about?
Diversity has different sub-classifications, such as gender, age, race & ethnic belonging, religious & political beliefs and more. However, on a general note — it is the process of accepting and valuing those who are different from you.
It is easier to encourage and maintain a diversified workplace when you have set the foundation right, rather than to start thinking about it only after the team is formed. According to a Forbes report, “companies that have more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenue due to innovation.”
What are the benefits of diversity?
- Engagement: you promote inclusion among employees, and a climate of trust which leads to higher levels of engagement. In its turn, these allow teams to be more creative, innovative, and flexible.
- Productivity: you work with people who think in ways that never crossed your mind. This provides you with fresh options to approach situations and solve problems.
And for the company as a whole, the above two lead to better financial performance and company reputation.
What are the steps to build diversity?
- Measure your candidates’ cultural fit.
Here’s how. Firstly, understand that businesses have their “personality” just like human beings, and for each company the personality is unique. A culture consists of:
i. the accepted behavior
ii. formal and informal communication
iii. written and unwritten rules
iv. interpersonal interactions within teams
v. stories, messaging, managerial styles, decision-making principles and much more…
Cultural fit doesn’t assume thinking or working in the same way and it is neither about the feeling of comfort of being surrounded by “your type of” people. Instead, cultural fit means that a person is able and willing to work in a culture similar to yours (companies’).
At Magnus, we measure the cultural fit by:
- Translating company values into action. For example, the value “Treat your team like a family” would be translated into action as cooperation and teamwork.
- Researching the candidate’s career path, revealing their main motives and comparing those to the culture we offer.
2. Practice Blind Hiring.
Mature labor markets use technological tools for Blind Hiring, allowing to eliminate the factors that cause potential bias in the hiring decision. These tools take out data such as name, age, photo, address and more so that the recruiter stays focused on the applicant’s skills and experience.
Alternatively, AI-based shortlisting can be applied, in which case the software itself will automatically shortlist the applicants and avoid any anti-diversification bias.
Blind hiring can extend to encompass interviewing as well: this can be implemented after the HR and professional interviews aiming to evaluate specific criteria with no prior info.
3. Use data.
Use Recruitment metrics to measure the diversity of your workforce with concrete, measurable data. Use this to target your candidate pool (however, do not confuse targeting with discrimination) and reveal the possible factors excluding in your hiring that could wrongly exclude qualified candidates.
For example, suppose only millennials are applying to the given position. In that case, there may be some exclusion in your recruitment against people of older ages (e.g. all your ad campaigns are on social media only, while elderly people use other channels to read news or job announcements).
4. Eliminate unconscious bias.
Bias does not always mean negative opinion. You may have a biased positive attitude when you meet someone who has the same background as you (coming from your village, having studied or worked in the same institution/company, etc.). Alternatively, you may have your stereotyped idea of professions (think for a moment: what comes to your mind when you think of a “designer?”).
How to overcome bias? The answer is — there is no ideal or ultimate solution. The first step is to try to see and acknowledge it for yourself.
5. Engage more people into the hiring process.
First, train the team by talking with your hiring managers about diversity. Next, organize team interviews with as many team members as possible to evaluate the candidates’ cultural fit (presented above).
6. Use structured interviews.
While the so-called organic non-structured interviews are nice, a recruiter should always have a structure on the table. It’ll make you compare candidates based on the same criteria and avoid measuring one’s experience against another’s smile :))
Stepping out of your comfort zone may be hard, especially when it assumes leading change for your surroundings. But diversification is worth it (examples of Google, Netflix, and other global leaders have proven to deliver excellent outcomes).
At Magnus, we use tested techniques to measure personality types and find out if a candidate is right for a company or not. If you would like to learn more or ask questions, feel free to drop us a message on Facebook.
P.S. the following resource: Technology tools for promoting diversity and inclusion will provide you with some useful AI-based solutions for fostering diversity.