Guidant team members with Adam Tobias

Diverse and inclusive recruitment: why it matters, and how to make it work for your business

At Guidant Global, we have significant experience working with our supply chain to find the right candidates with the right skills for our clients.

As part of our drive to strengthen our supplier and strategic partner relationships — leveraging their knowledge within the recruitment industry — we recently invited Adam Tobias from our long-standing strategic partner, Wells Tobias, to share their diversity and inclusion (D&I) expertise.

The session was, as expected, well-received by #TeamGuidant. It produced some great takeaways to share with our clients to support their own D&I initiatives. Here are some of them…

Why does inclusion matter?

It allows businesses to outperform the competition

Businesses with a healthy gender balance are 15% more likely to outperform their competitors —those with employees from a good mix of ethnic backgrounds are 35% more likely.

Businesses can better relate to a changing customer base

Minority ethnics in the UK will become the majority in the UK by 2060 (by 2050 for the US) and having an ethnically diverse workforce enables businesses to understand their customer base.

Inclusion drives innovation

With new technologies and digital transformation driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution, diversity is a key driver of innovation and a critical component of being successful on a global scale. A diverse set of experiences, perspectives and backgrounds is crucial to innovation and the development of new ideas.

How can we drive inclusion?

To reap the benefits of a diverse workforce it’s vital to have an inclusive environment where everyone feels welcome and is able achieve their potential. So how do we do we do this?

Employee resource groups (ERGs)

These groups create a safe space and an inclusive open forum for employees who share common interests/concerns to meet and support one another, giving them an opportunity to be heard and valued.

Additionally, ERGs can assist organisations in reaching customers by tapping into new markets by providing further intelligence and insight — ultimately giving businesses a competitive advantage.

Get leadership/management teams on board

Inclusive leaders not only embrace, value, and provide a sense of belonging to individuals, but they also act as role models and can help drive a more inclusive culture.

Mentoring

Senior leaders can mentor junior employees to help them navigate the corporate world. Conversely, through reverse mentoring employees from diverse backgrounds can also mentor senior leaders on diversity and share their experiences.

Recruiting diverse talent

Diverse and inclusive recruitment starts at the attraction stage. To appeal to the broadest audience and drive diverse applications, businesses need to focus on their employer branding and position themselves as an inclusive employer using the following methods:

  • Use company website and social media channels to their full potential — extending reach and communicating company values and D&I activities.
  • Utilise employee resource groups – the power of personal recommendation should not be underestimated, and potential candidates gain a first-hand insight on what it’s like to work for the business.
  • Write inclusive job ads and descriptions – the language used subtly sends candidates underlying messages about the company culture and its outlook on the workforce and could deter them from applying. Fortunately, there are online tools available to help ‘decode’ any non-inclusive language such as Textio which analyses job descriptions and suggests improvements to make language more inclusive to all applicants.
  • Consider various application methods – one application method doesn’t fit all and giving candidates a different way to engage with a business and demonstrate their skills is impactful. For example, neurodiverse candidates can help solve a problem that an organisation has been struggling with for years and gamification could be great way for them to demonstrate their problem-solving skills.
  • Monitor applications – encourage disclosure for diversity and be honest about the reason why — e.g. to help improve the recruitment process.

Making recruitment processes fairer

Unconscious bias can hinder recruitment decisions, employee engagement and limit diversity. Often, employers can overlook talented people and instead favour those who share their own characteristics or views.

Equipping your business with the right tools and processes can significantly reduce the impact of unconscious bias on your recruitment process and develop and maintain an inclusive workforce.

As a starting point, unconscious bias training can make employees aware of their own unconscious bias and provide steps to reshape their thoughts and decisions. However, for it to be effective, unconscious bias training needs to be ongoing and not a one-off.

Conclusion

Businesses with diverse workforces perform better. Diversity can help companies evolve, innovate and problem-solve. Furthermore, diverse organisations offer employees a better sense of belonging, increasing engagement and creating a more positive workplace.
Diversity isn’t something that can be achieved easily. But an amalgamation of small changes can make a huge difference and, ultimately, give businesses a competitive edge.

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