In the world of HR, building diverse and inclusive teams has never been more important. The events of the past year and a half have fundamentally altered our ways of working — possibly forever. And in order to build a better future for all, we need to meet the moment today. But though we’ve seen a renewed interest in discussions around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), the business case for DEI has long been established.
A diverse team is made up of individuals with myriad differences in identity, opinions, and lived experiences, and leveraging those human differences in pursuit of a common goal directly translates to better business results. Not only are diverse companies 35% more likely to outperform their less diverse peers, but they also experience higher cash flow per employee. And a PwC report found that of the 64% of companies with official DEI strategies, 85% said that those strategies have helped grow their bottom lines.
DEI can also help with recruitment, hiring, and employee retention because it’s strongly linked to on-the-job satisfaction. A 2021 survey found that almost 80% of employees want to work for companies that value DEI. Compared to companies with low diversity levels, employees at diverse organizations are happier and more fulfilled, which is essential for metrics like workplace retention and absenteeism rate.
That said, DEI won’t spring forth organically, nor are there any quick fixes. DEI is a continuous journey full of milestones and challenges. But when you take deliberate steps to practice inclusive recruitment, you’ll grow your team, keep employee retention high, and help your company remain relevant in a rapidly changing business world.
Best Practices of Inclusive Recruitment
In short, inclusive recruitment is the method of evaluating, interviewing, and ultimately hiring a diverse collection of candidates by working to understand and appreciate their differences in race and ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, and physical ability — just to name a few. To get started, follow these inclusive recruitment best practices.
1. Educate your recruitment team.
Bias is one of the biggest foils to DEI, but it’s also part of the human experience. We make so many decisions throughout a single day that we often don’t clock the many biases that influence those decisions. So step No. 1 in inclusive recruitment is educating yourself and your team on what these biases look like and how they manifest.
Take confirmation bias, which is our tendency to focus on evidence that confirms existing beliefs. In the recruitment process, this might translate as heavily weighing a quick judgment about a candidate that confirms an original assumption while discounting a skill that would actually make the candidate a great match. To identify individual biases, have your team take the Implicit Association Test, which assesses our subconscious attitudes and beliefs about groups of people.
2. Make it collaborative.
To create a diverse team, consider involving diverse people in the process. Just make sure they’re tuned into the whole process — from evaluating résumés to interviewing candidates to extending offers. When you collaborate with people from various backgrounds, you can gather multiple ideas, perspectives, and opinions that will ultimately strengthen your recruitment and hiring process. After Intel introduced diverse interview panels in its hiring process, for example, it increased the diversity of hires from 31% to 45%.
Achieving the level of diversity you want in your hiring committee might mean reaching beyond the recruitment and hiring team, and that’s OK! Just make sure you’re gathering people from all levels of the company. Inclusive recruitment isn’t the sole job of leadership — it requires commitment at every level.
3. Broaden your search.
Ensure your candidate pool isn’t too narrow. Switch up where you advertise your job openings. For instance, if you’ve sourced applicants from the same university for years, it’s not surprising you’re getting similar candidates. Expand your search to different schools, job boards, and even social media platforms.
It’s also a good idea to assess the language used in your current job descriptions. For instance, are you using gender-coded words like “assertive,” which may turn women candidates off? Similarly, too much corporate jargon may keep talented candidates from applying because they feel like outsiders.
4. Create equal access to benefits.
The benefits you offer employees are another key piece of the DEI puzzle. After all, a more diverse team means a team with more diverse healthcare needs. With almost half of Americans acquiring their health insurance through their employers, it’s important that you view your plan options through the lens of fighting healthcare inequalities, which disproportionately impact marginalized groups. Taking a one-size-fits-all approach to benefits has the opposite effect: disadvantaging those who are most vulnerable to the forces of health inequality.
You can mitigate health disparities among workers by building a working environment that promotes work-life balance and encourages preventive care. For example, flexible work arrangements allow your employees to schedule doctor’s appointments during working hours so they can take care of themselves without using precious PTO.
One of the best ways you can promote health equality is ensuring employees can afford the care they need. Offering Paytient alongside your benefits package will help increase affordability without substantially increasing the cost to you. Using Paytient, employees get access to funds to pay for care at the time of service. Then, they can pay back the bill over multiple paychecks without accruing more interest. To learn whether Paytient is right for you, contact us today.
Views about DEI have reached an important tipping point, and we’re now seeing companies of all stripes committing to putting the right processes and systems in place to build diverse teams. Inclusive recruitment is an important step in your DEI journey, so use these four tips to get started.