Originally posted on the ISL Recruitment blog, by Alan Furley.
According to Badenoch & Clark, one in five candidates have hidden their age, disability, social background or sexuality when applying for a job. It might not sound like a lot but one in five is still too many.
It makes sense really. In the same report, it was uncovered that the majority of employees questioned doesn’t believe their organisation embraces diversity and inclusion at a board level. With that in mind, how can you create an inclusive recruitment process whilst avoiding positive discrimination?
Know Your Agency
If you’re using an agency, make sure you use one that has consultants that are clued up on diversity legislation. In addition, find an agency that has empowered consultants who will say no to employers who request discriminatory searches towards certain populations. Empowered consultants should be asking for your diversity metrics too. It will help them have a better understanding of your company and how to find the best person to fit into the culture.
Check Your Algorithms
Conscious human bias has always occurred in the recruitment process. There are endless reports on how a name affects the chance of being hired. So, we moved to computers. However, Financial Times recently reported on data-driven recruitment algorithms that are unconsciously filtering out minorities. While some argue algorithms actually help hire diverse employees, you should still check that your algorithms aren’t filtering out diverse top talent.
‘Blind Recruitment’ is when you ask for depersonalise CVs as a way to eliminate unconscious bias. By asking candidates to omit name, gender, age and other demographic information you could stop bias from occurring.
However, going blind isn’t always enough. Hays Journal notes that managers need to be aware of their unconscious biases. Through better training, managers will recognise their judgement and start selecting diverse candidates.
Use Diverse Platforms to Attract Talent
Create a new job description and don’t just dust off the old one. Think of the tone and language that you use, it could be excluding diverse talent. Ensure that the job ad covers any specific support you provide to candidates with disabilities too. Moreover, post these job adverts in diverse communities. Sticking to one platform can limit your talent pool.
Ensure that those interviewing the candidate are clued up on cultural issues as well as their unconscious bias. Even better, include a diverse interview panel. That way, you represent your organisation’s diversity plus candidates will response favourable to a diverse panel.
Be conscious of issues such as prayer times on Fridays for Islamic candidates and issues around special times such as Ramadan. Moreover, make reasonable adjustments for disabled candidates when they arrive for the interview.
While cultural fit is a very important factor, you should not boil your unconscious bias down to what you may consider a cultural factor. For example, dreadlocks are not a factor that you can consider being a cultural fit. You must look at the skills of the candidate.
CIDP have a factsheet concerning diversity in the workplace which will be helpful if you’re looking to make your recruitment process more inclusive.