Workplace diversity is a fundamental mechanism for a driven, inclusive and proactive workforce. But bad hiring habits can put this at risk. Often formed as a result of different factors that will influence the outcome of a hire leading to negative implications for diversity and inclusion within the workplace.
4 common culprits that impact diversity:
1. Hiring based on a ‘feeling’
A feeling is often persuasive reasoning for many hiring managers to choose their next recruit.
“I just know they’ll make a great hire.”
But how do they know? Usually, through years of combined experience recruiters and hiring teams have a pretty good idea about what makes a successful hire. Previous decisions have led them to understand which hires were a success and which were not.
Therefore, it makes it easier for them to detect the ideal candidate, by scouting for desirable quality traits, requirements and personalities to fit into a potential new role. Whilst this is a fair argument it still does not tackle a prevalent issue of unconscious bias in recruitment.
Often as humans, we’re told to rely on our gut and for many people, they will base the root of their decisions on this. However, within recruitment, a gut-feeling can compromise on diversity and influence choices that are not of best interest for the employer. Due to the fact that these decisions are incredibly difficult to justify valid reasoning, that’s free from bias.
2. Allowing social media to dictate perceptions
Social media is used more than ever to scope out potential candidates. A method carried out by some – to get to know the applicant on a different level rather than their professional presented self (i.e. how they come across on their CV or interview).
There are pros and cons to this method. Positively, social media can be used as an additional screening method. Where a recruiter can validate a candidate’s application and gain a greater understanding of their career history and education. For example, LinkedIn is a great technique in doing this.
However, some employers dig a little deeper and take a look at the candidate’s, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts to source for information that may affect their hiring decision.
But this isn’t always entirely fair. What a recruiter deems as unprofessional or negative is completely subjective and will differ from one professional to the next. If they pass judgement on these perceptions, their belief that a candidate will make a bad hire is based on opinion and presumption. Derived from the subconscious that will affect overall diversity.
3. Picturing the ‘ideal’ candidate… before you hire them
Before beginning the hiring process some recruitment teams will manufacture their ideal candidate profile. In an attempt to map out desirable qualities for a given position. Often this helps establish a clear overview of skills, experience and qualifications a successful candidate must possess. As well as understanding favourable candidate characteristics such as work ethic, attitude and adaptability.
Diversity is compromised when the quest for the ‘ideal’ candidate goes one step further. A step, where recruiters scope out employees based on their preference of candidate personal attributes and traits. In doing so, the job ad, screening process and interview stage will become centred on finding this so-called perfect candidate – that may not even exist. Bypassing other (equally-qualified) candidates because they do not possess ‘perfect’ candidate qualities.
Instead, it is far more effective to focus on the skills and experience necessary to advance within the role. Disregarding external factors such as a candidate’s nationality, gender, age, appearance, etc. as components affecting a hiring decision.
4. Working against the clock
A rushed hiring stage damages a fair hiring process. The urgency to select a candidate or make a decision due to time restraints and a sheer volume of applications for multiple different roles, will result in rushing.
Take for instance a busy recruiter who may feel more inclined to scan quickly through a leftover pile of CVs, once they have already found a promising application(s). Leaving remaining applicants (who may be perfectly qualified for the role), with inferior attention, time and care spent reviewing their CV. This creates real inconsistencies within the hiring strategy.
The most effective and inclusive screening strategy is one that reviews each application for the same amount of time. To ensure all applicants are given an equal opportunity to advance. This consequently will provide a foundation for hiring that promotes equality.