Diversity and inclusion (D&I) should be a fundamental consideration for businesses across the world, and in recent years has come to the forefront like never before. The idea of making people feel welcome and valued as equals should be a given, especially for any businesses that want to attract and retain a talented and dedicated team of employees, and many organisations strive to create inclusive workforces. Sometimes, however, there are challenges when it comes to execution. In this blog, we’ll explore what diversity and inclusion really means for your business as well as the steps you can take to help create a more inclusive and accessible onboarding experience.
What does Diversity and Inclusivity mean for your business?
This encapsulates the idea of embracing and valuing diversity as well as creating inclusive cultures that allow individuals to be a true reflection of themselves, regardless of their background and experiences. As part of this, inclusive hiring aims to level the playing field for applicants by making the initial hiring process fair, ensuring the onboarding process is accessible, and aims to remove any barriers that could hinder or prevent them from joining.
A candidate-centric approach to hiring
As we emerge from the pandemic, and with the pivot adopted by a huge number of businesses to transition their workforce to a remote environment seemingly overnight – in many instances the pendulum has swung in favour of a candidate-centric approach to hiring. By this, we are talking about the empowerment of candidates, as this has opened the door to international opportunities, increased flexibility, and more importantly, created a level of accessibility in the hiring process that we may not have seen before. It’s important to note that inclusive hiring practices and cultures go way beyond the typical protected characteristics, but manifest across culture – for example from the way people feel to how they are treated.
With so many choices at the fingertips of candidates, employers are having to sell themselves and their cultures, as the competition for talent is higher than ever. This should be far more than a feel-good corporate policy, but a reflection of the company values, transcending to its hierarchy and people.
On the other hand, an employer’s willingness to adapt and trust their employees during these times, regardless of where they are based, may only have strengthened during this period – which should help with productivity, employee satisfaction, and retention. Research has shown that a diverse workforce is strongly correlated to employee retention, due to the feelings of acceptance and respect. Retention may be one significant benefit, but there are many more that come with a diverse and inclusive workforce:
Cognitive diversity: referring to the diversity of thoughts, values and personality which can become key to a thriving and innovative workplace – this can enhance team innovation by up to 20%
According to Glassdoor, a diverse workplace is one of the main factors employees consider when weighing up a job
Diverse and inclusive organisations are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their national industry averages
With such clear benefits, is there more your organisation could do to improve its company culture or to create inclusive experiences for all? Let’s look at how this can be done.
Lead by Example
While diversity and inclusion should be embraced by all, the leadership team of an organisation should lead the charge for initiatives and inclusive hiring practices. Here at Sterling, we’re proud to have a Chief Diversity and Social Responsibility Officer who holds responsibility for the organisation’s global inclusion strategy from conception to development and implementation. Whether that’s by providing the opportunity for every employee to partake in D&I training to greater understand the challenges or privileges faced by some, or by providing the platform for employees to voice how they feel. Keeping a finger on the pulse and working to create more inclusive working environments has never been more important. As your people become more aware of the key D&I topics and considerations, this will embed itself into the foundations of the organisation.
Tackling bias in the hiring process
While it may be difficult for us to think we would ever discriminate or judge an individual based on certain characteristics, unconscious bias can even contradict our own values. By unconscious bias, we mean negative stereotypes that we hold outside of our conscious awareness – to read about this in more detail check out our blog ‘The Unconscious Bias: From Awareness to Action’ which offers an insightful perspective into our minds and the steps you can take to help reduce bias.
The background screening process, done through a trusted screening partner such as Sterling, can provide tools to help remove bias in the onboarding process and associated discrimination by taking an impartial and technology-enabled approach. For example, for Social Media searches, Sterling leverages consistent automated processes to screen publicly available content, and to identify any negative or positive behaviours to better inform hiring decisions. While the statistics suggests that nearly half of employers check up on their staff via social media, getting this right ethically, while also avoiding recruitment bias and discrimination, can at times be a very tough task to achieve – which is one reason many businesses choose to outsource these kind of checks.
Guided Background Checks
Whether you have a senior executive that’s lacking in time, a candidate with limited access to technology or perhaps needs a little extra assistance, our guided background checks are all about welcoming and creating a great first impression — after all, they do last. When a candidate has made it through the interview process, accepted the offer, and succeeded through what may be the toughest part of the process, the rest should be straightforward and simple!
Guided Background Checks also help to ensure no one is left behind in the onboarding process, with accessibility and convenience a key factor in enhancing the experience of applicants. The candidate or employee can schedule a phone call with one of our dedicated concierge team members and be personally guided through the screening process allowing information to be captured quickly and efficiently – all through a single point of contact. All of which, streamlines and accelerates the screening process.
This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.