Inclusive Hiring - 8 Practices You Should Implement |

What do we mean when we talk about inclusive hiring? Inclusive hiring means that not only do we embrace diversity in our recruitment process and open our talent pools up to people from all backgrounds, but also that we recognize and support the different needs of these people. If we aren’t inclusive, then we stymie the diversity of our workforce, so we must make efforts to be inclusive. Taking steps towards inclusiveness ensures that we create a welcoming workplace for all employees.

To help you out with inclusivity in your hiring process, here are eight practices you can work on.

1. Crafting inclusive job descriptions 

Job descriptions signpost to candidates just how inclusive you are before they’ve even set foot through the door (or joined a video call!). To make your job descriptions more inclusive, use gender-neutral language throughout and avoid any jargon that might deter people from applying.

Make your job descriptions clear and concise, and highlight your inclusion policies by including a statement about your commitment to diversity and inclusion.

2. Diversifying recruitment channels

Limit your recruitment channels and you’ll limit your potential hiring pool - it’s that simple. Job boards like DiversityJobs and Pink Jobs exist to promote candidates from underrepresented backgrounds. Making use of these platforms increases your reach and improves your chances of finding a wide array of candidates.

You can also partner with community organizations and educational institutions in your local area as many of these work with diverse populations. This way, you all learn and benefit from each other while getting your company name out there.

3. Implementing blind screening processes

Blind screening is the process of removing any information about an individual’s identity - such as sex, age, or ethnic background - from the hiring process. A Hiring Manager can screen for these characteristics before sharing an application with the team they’re hiring to minimize unconscious bias in the initial resume screening phase.

Blind screening allows those hiring to look past any characteristics of a candidate and instead focus on their skills, experience, and potential.

4. Structuring the interview process 

Interviews shouldn’t include any questions that have been included concerning a candidate’s background or circumstances. Instead, Hiring Managers should devise a consistent set of questions for all candidates to ensure fairness and objectivity in the hiring process. These questions should focus on the candidate’s skill set and workplace experience.

Hiring Managers should also advocate for diverse interview panels. These panels should, where possible, reflect the diversity you’re looking to build in your organization. Diverse interview panels help with inclusive hiring by bringing a varied range of perspectives to the process and showing your candidates that you’re committed to inclusivity as they’ll be able to see it in action as part of their recruitment process.

5. Providing training on unconscious bias

Unconscious bias refers to the subconscious judgments people make about others based on preconceived notions. These judgments may even be informed by stereotypes, which we must remove from the hiring process. Training can teach interview panels and Hiring Managers to recognize their own biases, as well as those of others they’re working with, and how to work past them.

This education can be extended into the wider workplace, fostering a more inclusive mindset for all employees.

6. Offering inclusive benefits and policies

Your benefits and policies should cater to the diverse needs of your workforce. Flexible working hours, cultural leave, and the option to job share among other things show that you’re committed to including people from all backgrounds and lifestyles in your organization. From a hiring perspective, this will attract more talent to your job postings, and help you retain those people for longer too. Hybrid working is one particularly effective policy that many job seekers are looking for right now - 69% of UK workers say the ability to work from home is important to them.

To get the most out of these policies when recruiting, be sure to include details of these policies in job postings and reiterate the information at interviews. Ensure those on hiring panels can answer any questions about these policies and encourage them to share their own positive experiences of these benefits.

7. Encouraging employee referrals while maintaining objectivity

Employee referrals are a valuable tool for inclusive hiring. Whether incentivized or not, if you encourage your diverse workforce to refer their connections to Hiring Managers for roles, you can broaden your talent pool.

When making use of this recruitment strategy, it’s important to remain fair and objective. No candidate should get preferential treatment just because they were referred by an existing employee - the steps around blind screening, structured interviews, and unconscious bias still apply. Another bonus of employee referrals - referred employees tend to stay in their jobs longer than other hires and they are more likely to refer future candidates, saving time and money.

8. Continuously evaluating and improving your inclusive hiring practices

Once a hire has been made, you should solicit feedback from your new employee and the other candidates about their experience with your hiring process. This can shine a light on any further areas for improvement - you can ask specific questions about inclusivity in this process.

HR teams and Hiring Managers should be open to the information gleaned from this feedback and committed to using it to improve their approach to inclusive hiring. The requirements of inclusive hiring change with new policies and shifts in society, so it’s important to always be learning and adapting.

Leveraging Thomas’ support

Thomas exists to support Hiring Managers with tasks such as inclusive hiring. With our assessments and tools, you can implement all of the above eight steps confidently - our assessments help with blind screening, and we can train your teams on unconscious bias. Partner with us to refine your hiring process, and succeed in aligning them to your diversity and inclusion goals.

Transforming your hiring process for greater inclusion

Our hiring practices have a significant impact on our workplace culture and success - they’re how we get the right people through the door and keep building. Inclusive hiring should be at the forefront of our minds when seeking the best talent, showing that diversity is not only welcome but celebrated in our workplace.

Speak to one of our experts at Thomas today and learn more about how we can improve your hiring practices when it comes to inclusivity. Commit to the process today and you can create a thriving diverse, inclusive organization.