Inclusive workplaces are rewarding and productive places to work. Companies with a diverse workforce can outperform those without by 50%. Inclusive workplaces typically have much lower staff turnover and can improve how partners and clients perceive your company.

Even without these benefits, improving opportunities for diverse candidates is the right thing to do, and we know it. We all want to make our offices more inclusive, but it’s not always clear how. In this article, we will look at the main pillars of diversity and how you can use them to build your perfect team.

Four pillars of diversity and inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are huge topics, generating countless discussions and suggestions every year. However, when you’re trying to build the best team for your business, the most important questions are, “What do I need to do?” and “How do I do it?”

We’re going to dig down into the four main pillars of diversity and inclusion that you need to consider when making new hires and what practical steps you can take to ensure your workplace is a healthy and productive space for everyone.

1. Hire for merit and ability, rather than perceived culture fit

For years, we all assumed perceived culture fit was an essential quality for a new recruit. We wanted to know that a candidate would fit in seamlessly. Unfortunately, this can make diverse hiring difficult, which results in corporate conformity and lost opportunities.

Rather than asking how well a candidate will fit in with your team, try to evaluate candidates as individuals regarding what they will bring. Each applicant will have their own diverse experiences, which will enhance the development of your team.

Removing identifying information — such as name, age, race, or gender — can help HR departments and team leaders to avoid any “like me” bias and ensure fair hiring decisions.

2. Encourage input at all levels of the company

Diversity is a huge asset, but only if we make use of it. Creating space for all staff members to safely offer their ideas and experiences is essential to produce an inclusive and creative corporate culture.

Ask candidates and new hires about their experience and opinion of your recruitment processes, and act on any concerns they may have had or difficulties they have faced.

Different groups will also have varying preferences for how they communicate ideas or worries to senior management. Some will feel uncomfortable voicing issues publicly and may need anonymous or informal feedback pathways. These might include:

  • Anonymous suggestion opportunities
  • Team-level discussions which then feedback to senior management
  • Monthly informal drop-in coffee meetings attended by senior management
  • Diversity-focused groups, allowing staff to speak freely amongst others with similar concerns

The most important thing is that your staff feel heard. If you’re not sure how best to ensure that, take the first step and ask.

3. Actively recruit in and engage with diverse communities

Few, if any, companies have ‘solved’ their issues around diversity and inclusion. Some communities, such as neurodiverse candidates, remain profoundly underrepresented in our workplaces. If we’re going to address these issues, we need to start doing things differently.

One substantial step companies are now taking is proactively engaging with diverse and underrepresented communities. They might offer work experience placements or internships aimed at helping disadvantaged groups to gain confidence in their desired careers or carry out outreach at local schools.

However you go about engaging with diverse communities, you can tap into a largely overlooked talent pool. This allows you to find and develop exceptional candidates who otherwise might never have crossed your path.

Use technology to focus on diverse candidates

Creating a genuinely diverse workforce is challenging, but an increasing number of technological solutions are available to help smooth the process. Companies can use artificial intelligence to find and target potential candidates based on their background, location, and experience. Our Employer Fencing technology is a perfect example. Our technology allows you to identify candidates who have entered a specific location and presents them with adverts for your job vacancies.

New technologies can also help with things like automatically administering skills assessments to candidates to help gauge their capabilities beyond standard measures of experience.

Finding the right technological solution allows you to ensure that your ideal, diverse workforce sees your adverts.

4. Remove bias throughout the recruitment process

However hard we try, we all carry some forms of unconscious bias. Rather than denying this fact, the best companies are finding ways to overcome this bias through the innovative use of technology.

We’ve already mentioned the importance of race and gender-blind CVs, but technology can go much, much farther. The right tools can carry out the initial screening stages before providing the candidates best suited to your needs. This initial screening can help remove any unconscious biases that crop up when reviewing applicants manually. This is how we approach recruitment at crooton. We let you decide what you really need from your candidates, allowing you to select accordingly.

Remember that diversity is an asset in all areas of your company, including your side of the recruitment process. Ask yourself how diverse your interview panel is. Have you consulted a wide array of people when creating your job descriptions or selection criteria?

Improving your company’s diversity and inclusion efforts by focusing on these pillars doesn’t have to be complicated. Finding the right recruitment partner, who shares your determination, can make all the difference.

If you’re ready to revitalise your recruitment strategy and find high-quality candidates while building on the four pillars of diversity and inclusion, contact one of the team today!

And if you’d like to learn more about recruitment, head over to our blog where we cover topics like common recruitment mistakes and how to avoid them, global recruitment, top tips, and more!