Inclusivity is unfortunately not everywhere. We needn’t look any further than the movements garnering a lot of attention in the last few years to see that. However, out of such negative causes do come great responses and steps towards results. In a similar sense, opportunities for women have increased dramatically over the past few generations. Great efforts are being made to increase inclusivity and fairness in the world, however, there is still a way to go.
The same can be said for the world of recruitment. People may not be offered a job not because of their qualifications but their race, gender, ability to walk, even their name. This, as I hope you would agree, is both unjust and unfair. So, how do we combat this?
How do we ensure inclusive employment?
What is inclusion?
Before we delve into exactly how to ensure inclusion, we need to fully understand what it is. An inclusive workplace is a space or environment where people from any background or anyone with the appropriate skills can not only be hired but also they will be treated the same as everyone else. Inclusion means everyone is one and the same with no special treatment being given that isn’t earned. When employees are made equal, they’ll feel happier and safer which will be reflected in their work and see a boost in team morale.
In recruitment terms a bias could also be something as simple as you don’t like the way they act in a certain environment and therefore, you won’t give them a chance. Perhaps you thought they sounded a tad arrogant on their CV and you are looking to prove this so you can skip to a different candidate. It is something that can happen a lot in all walks of life, an almost subconscious bias that you have to force yourself not to fall back on.
Why don’t we start on the inside? For hiring purposes, it is the people making the recruitment decisions who need to ensure they understand the importance of inclusion. It is important that this training or education isn’t a one-and-done job, but something that is revisited often to ensure the inclusion does not dissipate.
The training doesn’t need to be anything too strenuous, just reminding people why inclusion is so important for the business and the team. Highlight areas that you think will most benefit and inspire. Also, ensure that people are aware of subconscious bias so that they can work to filter it out of any decision-making. Once again there is nothing fair about choosing someone over another because of something as trivial as a name.
Does geography really matter?
Almost everyone in the UK is now working from home, but it doesn’t stop there. People all over the world have been introduced to remote working in the past year. Therefore, if you don’t need someone in the actual office, you can hire from almost anywhere. Don’t limit yourself to a certain area of the county, country, or world, the perfect candidate could now be in Australia and it doesn’t matter, apart from maybe the time difference.
With a cross-continental team, you will encompass any and all walks of life. Whilst it’s important to have accessible offices regardless, remote working is a way to ensure that if you employ someone with a disability that they won’t be at a disadvantage and are able to work in a familiar environment.
Reduce the ability for bias
You could have weekly training sessions on inclusion and diverse hiring processes, but people can sometimes revert back accidentally. If it is close to lunch or the end of the day, your mind begins to wander and you click no instead of maybe, maybe instead of yes, etc.
A way to reduce such biases further is to change applications slightly. Have information such as an address, place of birth, and gender removed from the application. You only need to see the important information, such as qualifications and skills. This can also be done by removing the name from the application, to be seen after a decision has been made.
These small tweaks allow decisions to be made by merit alone.
A diverse recruitment team
A great way to be inclusive in your hiring, is to be inclusive in your hiring team. If you have 5 white British upper-class males making the hiring decisions then there is a lot of room for bias. Change that to 5 people of mixed race and genders and you reduce potential bias exponentially, especially when it comes to having a group discussion on hiring.
It also helps for the interview process, if candidates are seeing that there are many different people in different roles and with different positions, it will help put them at ease and feel more comfortable.
At Cameron Kennedy, we ourselves are totally inclusive with no bias at all. We look for the right people for the right roles. We care about our clients but not about how they look. We strive to be inclusive in all areas of our recruitment process and look to find the right person for the job regardless of their race, gender, religion or medical condition.
We care about a company’s and a client’s needs and will look to cater to all. We have connections all over the world and across many industires and will use them to ensure that the right person is found for the right job, and the right job is found for the right person.
If you need help in enhancing your recruitment to ensure you have a more inclusive and diverse workplace, then look no further than Cameron Kennedy.