To be diverse and inclusive, you have to recruit well.
Watch your language
Check your job adverts and make sure there’s no subtle (or not so subtle) gendered words that have sneaked in. Obviously words like ‘guys’ and gendered pronouns should be avoided, but there’s also a whole load of words which society associate to a particular gender. A great way to check your ads is to run them through an online gender filter that picks up on masculine and feminine coded words. Go on, give it a Google and try it out.
Stick to the must-haves
Studies show that women are less likely than men to apply for a role if they don’t possess all the qualifications and experience listed in a job advertisement. Some put this down to a lack of confidence (which also rears its head when it comes to salary negotiations), although factors like following the rules and fear of rejection are also often cited. So when you’re listing what you need for a role in an advert, make sure you stick to the absolute vitals. You’ll get the opportunity during the interview stage to get more specific, which gives the candidate the opportunity to talk about themselves and why they are suited.
Aim for a target
Set yourself a goal to always shortlist a diverse range of candidates. This will remove any unconscious bias in your decision making at cover letter and CV stage, and allow you to meet a range of people who will all offer something different to your team. And remember, if everyone looks the same, sounds the same and has the same experience, then they’ll probably also think the same – and that doesn’t always lead to the best ideas.
Mix up your interview panel
The saying goes, ‘you gotta see it, to be it’. So if you truly want a diverse range of employees then make sure they are represented on your interview panel. This can again help eliminate unconscious bias from your decision making, while also showing potential employees that you take diversity and inclusion seriously. Having three people called Bob from accounts, ain’t gonna cut it.
Are you talking to me?
A major tech engineering firm have introduced a simple yet effective tool for their recruitment interviews, to help them find people who truly understand gender equality. Their interview panel is always one male and one female and sadly, it’s not uncommon for the male to receive the answer even when it’s the female who has asked the question. Anyone who does this consistently is removed from contention for the role, and just like that, you’ve whittled down your list to the types of people you want working for you.