Promoting diversity and inclusion in recruitment is vital. Doing so means you are more likely to have a broader range of skills in your workplace and a better understanding of different cultures and attitudes. It can also give you access to larger pools of talent. Important movements such as Black Lives Matter have lead to an increased awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion and more and more candidates - particularly younger people - are seeking out businesses that welcome people from a variety of backgrounds. The processes and methods you use to recruit are an important part of broadening representation in your business. Here are some actionable and achievable ways to use executive search to promote diversity and recruitment in your business.
Challenge your own unconscious bias
...and don’t be afraid to admit you are susceptible to bias. We all are, to a point. The first, and important step, is to acknowledge it. Then educate yourself on how to recognize bias when it comes up, and challenge it. Encourage your colleagues to do the same. Set up a forum or safe space where you talk about your experiences with bias and how you might improve the way you confront it. Sharing experiences is important and helps create trust and a sense of responsibility among your team.
Make sure you have a robust diversity and inclusion strategy in place
Like most important projects in business, you won’t get anywhere without a robust strategy in place. Your diversity and inclusion strategy should incorporate all your business activities.
Here is a checklist to get you started:
Look at ways you can attract a wider talent pool
This could include:
Always involve a diverse panel during the interview process
This will show that you welcome different cultures in the business and that you value different perspectives, points of view, and opinions. Even smaller businesses should be able to manage this; for example, including female members of staff or people from an older age group. Not only will this approach demonstrate your commitment to diversity and inclusion, but it will also act as a deterrent to in-group favoritism or in-group bias - a tendency for groups of similar backgrounds to favor others from their group over people they don’t identify with so strongly.
Work with executive recruitment firms that promote diversity and inclusion
There are a number of things you should expect from your recruitment provider; value for money, access to a broad talent pool, good communication, etc. You should also be able to trust them to promote diversity and inclusion in a meaningful way. Ask your recruitment firm to source candidates that represent the racial or gender makeup of your state or region. You must hold them 100% accountable for delivering these candidates or find out why it isn’t possible. Your recruitment firm should be working alongside you every step of the way. Talk to them about your challenges with diversity and inclusion. Their experience and access to the top talent should help you ensure you are promoting diversity and inclusion right across your recruitment processes.
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