Inclusive recruitment is the action of being included during all recruiting stages. Prioritising inclusivity aims to eliminate as much bias as possible throughout the hiring lifecycle and achieve an all-around fairer hiring experience for everyone.
How? Remove prejudice, bias and stereotypes that could affect the hiring decision. With the goal to build a diverse workforce where skills and experience are prioritised.
We’ll take you through our top fives tips to ensure a fair and inclusive recruiting strategy:
Promoting inclusivity in the job advert
We think it’s important to first look at where candidates interact first… the job advert!
Are you using inclusive language in your job advert text? You may not be aware of the biased connotations inside your job description that could discourage candidates from applying.
Gender-associated terms inside the advert can promote unconscious bias. Studies have shown that certain words can relate more to one gender over another, for example:
“We’re looking for a strong, driven and competitive person to lead the way” – masculine associated term.
“Support the team with strong interpersonal skills” – feminine bias example.
These connotations can have a negative impact on the talent you attract and can slightly appeal to one gender group over the other. Use a gender coder to eliminate gender bias and create an inclusive job description.
Widen your search – look at where you advertise your role
Next, where will you advertise your gender-neutral job advert? Widen your job search to ensure there’s more than a single route to application. What we mean by this is do not have only one method to apply (either via a job board or careers page). The most inclusive job advert is one that is distributed to multiple different platforms. Key job advertising methods to consider:
- Jobs board
- Careers page
- Social media
It’s also important to provide an offline method (such as; trade shows, conferences and networking events) to maximise reach and potentially attract passive candidates.
Screen without your dream candidate in mind
Many recruiters fall into the trap of imagining their ideal candidate before they begin screening job applications. This can be incredibly damaging for inclusivity as candidates stand no chance if they don’t fit into the recruiter’s mould.
Implement the right tools to avoid expectation bias and manage these unrealistic beliefs. Automated CV screening tools have great potential to minimise unconscious bias. Their purpose is to simply focus on the candidate’s job compatibility through the assessment of skills and experience. Leaving little to no room for favouritism due to personal characteristics which then sacrifice recruitment inclusivity.
Build an inclusive interview
Often for a candidate, the scariest part of the recruiting process is the interview. It marks a crucial time to learn all there is to know about the potential new recruit. But if you’re not making candidates feel welcome in the recruitment process it’s unlikely, they’ll feel comfortable moving forward and accepting a potential job offer.
To encourage inclusivity, introduce a two-stage interview process. Start with a blind phone interview before you meet face to face as this will help improve the fairness of the selection process and focus only on candidate capability. In the second interview, to continue an inclusive approach make sure you do these three things:
- Ask the same questions in the same order
- Have an answer framework
- Have more than one interviewer to encourage different opinions
The questions and answers in an interview must be the same for each candidate to enable a fair assessment. Steering off the question framework makes it difficult to compare candidate responses.
Educate your team
And finally, it’s paramount that going forward your team is on board with your company’s mission. To build a truly inclusive workplace that champions diversity, make sure everyone is aware of potential unconscious bias and how to protect against it. There are training courses managers can attend to leverage their awareness and help protect candidates from bias and drive the importance of inclusive behaviour in hiring.