Updated: Apr 14
Inclusive hiring and inclusive workplaces have become a common topic of conversation in many industries. This is primarily because diversity, equality, and inclusion are increasingly important factors in examining a company's growth and success. When organizations move toward an inclusive workplace, an important idea to keep in mind for true inclusivity is to walk the talk! Having an inclusive hiring practice is a crucial first step to diversifying your workplace and building a welcoming organization. With a well-run inclusive hiring practice, your potential employees can have a truly accessible journey in becoming an employee.
Getting Started: Your Inclusion Statement
To begin, a basic way to increase awareness of these initiatives is by placing a diversity, equality, and inclusion(DEI) statement on your website, hiring pages, and job postings. Similar to a mission or value statement, your DEI statement is an important and clear way to state your company's values, expectations, and goals. It confirms your company's intentions to both outside parties and reinforces these intentions internally.
Here are two DEI statements from Monster.com that can help make potential applicants aware that your organization follows inclusive practices:
Remember, an inclusion statement is never enough on its own - these words must also be turned into actions. To incorporate inclusive hiring into your process, you need to:
Reassess your hiring process
Expand your pool of qualified candidates.
Questions to Consider
Analyzing whether your inclusive policies are sufficient is a difficult task. Having an inclusive hiring practice is about supporting potential candidates through the process, so keep an open mind and be ready to make changes as you go. To prepare for the many employee concerns that can come up, being communicative about reasonable accommodations and being receptive to requests is part of ensuring equal opportunity and finding the best candidate for the job. Here are seven questions about accessibility to ask yourself when developing or analyzing your hiring process:
Is your hiring process unnecessarily complex? Complex applications and hiring processes can deter qualified candidates from applying. Be critical of whether the number of steps and other criteria within the process is needed.
What is your formatting like? Fonts (like italics), the size of the letters, and the colors used can all hinder a qualified candidate from applying. The National Disability Sources’ Guidelines are an excellent source for making your website (and job postings) more accessible.
Do you have videos on your company’s website or in the hiring process? Add transcripts and captions, and ensure that users can navigate your website with accessibility tools (this also helps potential customers).
What language/terms are you using? Word choice is essential to creating a welcoming environment. Many terms are considered exclusionary. For example, ‘able-bodied’ is often regarded as discouraging and offensive. One service that can help decode the language used in your company’s publications and the job posting is Textio. (Monster.com 14)
Do you offer more than one kind of interview? Everyone has a different way of communicating and showing what they can do. So, consider incorporating a working interview option into your hiring process! A working interview is when you ask the candidate to perform one or two tasks they would do regularly should they get the job. This accommodation allows candidates who have difficulty communicating in traditional interviews to put their best foot forward and show you what they can do. Read all about working interviews on our blog: 10 Key Steps to Run a Successful Working Interview.
Do you have a process in place for accommodation requests? Be open and receptive to the accommodations that candidates ask for. For example, providing options for multiple interview locations is one way to accommodate candidates of all abilities (i.e., Online/phone/in person). Learn more about your Duty to Accommodate in our blog: Fulfill Your Duty to Accommodate in 3 Simple Steps.
Does your staff understand their responsibility in providing an inclusive workplace? Creating an inclusive work environment doesn’t start and end with the hiring process; training your employees on their biases and implementing inclusive thinking and practices at your organization are just as Important. (Heaslip)
Remember, more than ever, employees want to work for companies that align with their views and can walk the talk. So, create a plan, track your efforts, implement it, and see results! You can track the success of your initiatives by incorporating key performance indicators based on application quality, employee retention, and candidate experience surveys. Inclusive hiring benefits everyone but must start with employers ready to make these changes. By making the effort, your company will gain a:
Positive impact on the bottom line,
Increase in innovation and productivity
Be the company that qualified candidates leave their employer for! Take steps today to make your hiring process more inclusive. Read more about how inclusive hiring can benefit your company here; Inclusive Hiring: What It Really Means and Why It's Important.
Are you an employer located in Ontario, Canada? Discover how you can become a more inclusive employer through LCOworks Click here to learn more
References Adecco. 7 Steps to an Inclusive Hiring Process. 3 April 2022. July 2022. <https://www.adecco.ca/en-ca/blog/7-steps-to-an-inclusive-hiring-process/>. DeHaas, Deborah, et al. Unleashing the Power of Inclusion: Attracting and Engaging the Evolving Workforce. 2017. Deloitte. <https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/about-deloitte/us-about-deloitte-unleashing-power-of-inclusion.pdf>. Evalguard. Inclusive Hiring: Meaning and its importance. n.d. July 2022. <https://evalground.com/blog/inclusive-hiring-meaning-and-its-importance/>. Hayton, Erica. 5 Proven Practices for More Inclusive Recruitment. 13 June 2019. July 2022. <https://harver.com/blog/inclusive-recruitment/>. Heaslip, Emily. 8 Inclusive Hiring Practices You Need to Adopt Today. 6 June 2022. Vervoe. July 2022. <https://vervoe.com/inclusive-hiring/>. Inclusive Recruitment. n.d. July 2022. <https://www.workplacetesting.com/definition/5541/inclusive-recruitment>. Johnson, Alexandra. 6 Must-Know Tips for Writing Inclusive Job Descriptions. 28 July 2020. July 2022. <https://harver.com/blog/inclusive-job-descriptions/>. Kim, Jennifer. Inclusive Hiring: Why it’s hard, why it’s important, and how you can start making a difference. 4 May 2020. July 2022. <https://medium.com/awaken-blog/inclusive-hiring-why-its-hard-why-it-s-important-and-how-you-can-start-making-a-difference-cddd803109de>. Monster.com. Diversity & Inclusion: How to build a more inclusive hiring program. 2021. Monster.com. July 2022. < https://media.monster.com/marketing/2021/inclusive-hiring.pdf>. National Disability Authority. Make your websites more accessible. n.d. July 2022.