When organizational leaders push diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, it's essential to start with recruiting and hiring. Diversity gaps cause hiring bias simply by who's doing the hiring, and those gaps stall any progress to attract more diverse applicants. The shift to creating a more inclusive hiring process doesn't have to be a dramatic overhaul but can instead start with small steps toward a more comprehensive program.
Define what diversity and inclusion mean for your organization.
Remember that diversity can be based on different types of people and intersectionality within those types. Most often, gender and race are mentioned as defining diversity, but there are also generational, neurodiversity, ability, veteran status, and other factors to consider. For example, the experiences of a Black woman will differ from the experiences of a White woman even though they are of the same gender and may have held similar roles.
Write inclusive job descriptions.
How do you write an inclusive job description? Use inclusive language for hiring, which includes leaving out gender-based language and terms, as well as industry jargon. Start with a job title that leaves out any hint at gender or industry preference. Keep it simple and focus on the job at hand. Likewise, work on eliminating masculine and feminine words from the job posting. According to Textio, “using gender-neutral language fills jobs 14 days faster than posts with a masculine or feminine bias, and attracts a more diverse mix of people.”
For example, Zillow Group attracted 10-11% more applicants who identify as women than average by using certain words in their job postings.
Use short sentences and brief paragraphs. Instead of italics or underlying words, simply use a larger font and embolden words you want to highlight (for candidates who may have visual problems or dyslexia). Emphasize job responsibilities rather than requirements, including removing degree requirements where they are not essential.
Make inclusion a part of your employer brand.
Find ways to communicate your commitment to inclusion to different groups of applicants. Be honest if your organization is not yet where you want to be and let people know what your plans for supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion are.
Chipotle Mexican Grill is a restaurant chain headquartered in California. Inclusion is a key part of their employer branding. The company frequently shares how their employees with diverse background experience working there. These people represent more than two-thirds of Chipotle’s workforce. What’s more, over 70% of their general managers have been promoted to the role internally.
Let recruitment technology help you.
The use of recruiting technology can support more diverse hiring. For example, implement an applicant tracking system like Seamless Search QuickApp or another integrated applicant tracking partner with built-in functionality to help reduce bias and assist you in making objective decisions. The features include grading take-home assignments anonymously, defining key decision criteria for a role in advance, or collecting and tracking demographic data.
You can also use a job description analysis tool to remove biased language from job ads.
Over to you
It is essential to review your hiring process and understand where you are potentially excluding people. Even if you don’t have the capacity to overhaul your whole hiring process at once, start with implementing small changes and work your way toward more inclusive hiring at your organization. Investing this time and making inclusivity a part of your culture is worth the effort.
If you want to learn more about diversity and inclusion and future-proof your HR skill set, have a conversation with us and see how we can help!