Diversity and Inclusivity: Practices to Employ in 2021

Diversity and inclusivity has been a hot topic in the HR world for a while now – and it is not without warrant. With technological development and easier means of transportation and communication, many businesses are becoming more globalized. But what does diverse hiring really mean?

Diversity embodies a multitude of characteristics – from gender and race to also including different experiences, educational backgrounds, and opinions that can contribute to your company in different ways. Having a range of languages and age between your employees should no longer be seen as an issue but rather an advantage for your company. Below are some practices you could employ to help you hire a diverse team in 2021!

Inclusive Job Descriptions

Employers sometimes like to throw in buzzwords to make the job description more personable. But any misuse can create the opposite effect. Although explicit references to men or women have largely been eliminated from job postings, certain gender-coded buzzwords can still slip into the advertisement and discourage candidates from applying. Tools like the Gender Decoder can come very handy in helping you check whether your job ad is masculine or feminine-coded.

Your “ideal candidate” may have a long list of qualities, but that does not mean including every one of them on the job posting. Studies showed that women usually don’t apply for jobs they don’t 100% qualify for. When writing job ads that are too specific, you are unknowingly missing out on potential candidates who may have experiences or skills that will benefit your company in a different way than you had originally imagined.

Widen Your Candidate Pool

In order to attract more diverse talents, it’s crucial to first widen your candidate pool. That, however, does not mean you have to lower the bar for who you are hiring. In fact, diversity and inclusivity can not be achieved just by hiring an unqualified “token -insert niche characteristic here-“. By addressing implicit biases and rejecting hiring that is based on gender, age, race and more, you can find yourself with a truly more diverse group by the end of your recruitment.

Involve More Diverse Voices in the Hiring Process

In order to be able to hire more diverse, it’s important to first have a diverse voice on the recruitment side. People tend to automatically agree with and favour opinions that are similar to their own – it’s human nature. To keep your hiring process fair and unbiased, you can get feedback and evaluations from employees with different perspective and needs – shedding light on the strengths and weaknesses of a candidate that may not seem apparent to you before. From resume screening to the interview process to onboarding, through continuous communication with various team members, you can further refine your process of diversifying your workplace.

Asking the Right Questions

Many interviews start with the classic “Tell me about yourself” or “What relative work experience do you have?” Though these are important information to know your candidate better, it should not be the only basis of judgement. After all, school and work experiences cover only one aspect of a candidate. To diversify your employees, it’s better to get to know them as a person rather than a student from a certain school or an employee from “x” company. Try asking more introspective questions that will help you find out:

  • Does this candidate show potential for growth at your company?
  • What other experience or skills does the candidate have that are not traditionally required for this position?
  • What role may this candidate take on in a group setting?
  • How may this candidate go about communicating with those that they may not agree with?
  • What are their broader motivations and goals?

This process can also be simplified with the use of pre-assessment tools that are designed to help you identify a candidate’s aptitude, personality, and motivations, which is useful for preparing interview questions that target specific characteristics of the candidate.

Foster an Inclusive Environment

On top of emphasizing diversity during the hiring process, it’s just as important to continuously foster an inclusive environment within your company. Employees who feel like they are the only ones who don’t fit in won’t be happy in the long run. Find employees with a unique perspective but also remember to give them the opportunity and comfort to be able to express their alternative opinions. Although you cannot force an inclusive workplace, by taking initiatives such as holding training and seminars can be a great place to start. Make 2021 the year your company truly integrates diversity and inclusivity into the core of your company’s values.