What is inclusive hiring?
Inclusive hiring is the act of seeking out and hiring employees who are diverse in their perspectives, backgrounds and thought processes.
Generally speaking, it’s about the recruitment of people from underrepresented groups, such as people with disabilities, racial minorities and individuals from other marginalised groups.
It’s important that you overcome unconscious bias in your hiring and are open to diversity in all forms. Whether that’s diversity of thought, cultural background or embracing differences in gender expression. It’s about recognising that there are different ways of thinking, different experiences and skills that can benefit your company.
At the heart of inclusive and diverse hiring is the need for all employees to feel comfortable working at your company, regardless of who they are and their beliefs.
What are the benefits of inclusive hiring?
Inclusive hiring should be a priority because it makes your teams stronger. It helps ensure that you’re hiring the best available talent for every vacancy, improving your overall business performance. You will now have people in your company who have different perspectives, different experiences and different skills.
With all this differentiation amongst your employees, it will help you approach things in new ways. This can:
- Help you reach new markets
- Bring a new level of innovation to your teams
- Solve complex business problems faster
- Improve your (and your teams’) understanding of bias in the workplace
It can also help improve employee engagement, satisfaction and morale amongst your staff, while making your workplace more diverse, welcoming and productive. Combine all this, and you’ll likely see your retention rates improve as a result!
There has been lots of research into how diverse companies are more profitable than those that aren’t inclusive at all levels within their organisation.
How can you do it?
If you want to hire for diversity and make sure it sticks, you need to develop an inclusive company culture. A culture that truly embraces and celebrates the many differences that make people brilliant – differences in experiences, backgrounds and ways of thinking.
This will allow you to identify ways for people from different backgrounds, who may not have previously felt welcome at work, feel comfortable and empowered to contribute their unique talents and perspectives.
Creating a diverse working environment is a process, not an event. It won’t happen overnight. It takes time. It takes commitment. You need to be ready to invest in the process, be willing to hear new ideas, be prepared to change your own behaviours, and encourage others to change theirs too.
You need to raise the awareness of how important it is to have a diverse workforce. Host events that focus on celebrating differences and diversity amongst employees, keep people informed through articles or your internal newsletter if you have one.
Creating an inclusive work environment and overall culture requires a lot of work, but is ultimately worth it.
Create an environment where everyone can thrive.
It’s not just about hiring a few people from these broader, more diverse backgrounds to make it seem like you’re committed to being diverse; it's about maintaining diversity within your company.
You want to get to the point that each of your employees are thinking in a diverse and inclusive way at all times; that they’re able to talk about it amongst themselves and externally. That they’re not afraid to speak up when your company could be doing better in terms of diversity and inclusivity.
Inclusive hiring is ultimately taking steps towards making your company an environment where everyone feels like they ‘belong’ and can thrive without fear of judgement.