Updated: Apr 14
In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of diversity and inclusion in the workplace; You may have already heard the term “inclusive hiring”, but there's a lot of misconceptions about what it truly means. Before you can become a more inclusive workplace, you’ll have to understand what inclusive hiring is and why it’s so important. This article will cover the basics of inclusive hiring and why it should be a priority for your company.
What is inclusive hiring?
Inclusive hiring is a purposeful initiative where employers take steps to allow for greater diversity on their team.
The term often refers to diversity in religion, race, or gender. However, a truly diverse workplace should also include diversity in abilities. Inclusive hiring doesn’t end with placing an equal employment opportunity statement on the page; that’s only a small part of a much larger process. An equal opportunity statement is important as it increases the awareness of opportunities for minority communities. However, to be an employer with a genuinely inclusive hiring process, a company needs to make modifications to ensure that every community has an equal opportunity and experience as an employee.
Why is inclusive hiring important?
There are endless benefits and positive outcomes to inclusive hiring, but here are the four main reasons that inclusive hiring is essential for your business:
1. Increase Innovation and Productivity
By leaving people with disabilities out of your hiring practice, you’re losing an opportunity to consider candidates from a resilient and innovative demographic. People with disabilities often need to adapt to their environment; as a result, they “develop strengths like agility, persistence, forethought and a willingness to experiment” . These strengths impact productivity levels. A DuPont employee survey found that “90 percent of workers with disabilities receive performance ratings of “average” or “above average.” . When Walgreens made modifications at one of its distribution centers to increase accessibility, its productivity rose 120%. With the push toward a work-from-home lifestyle, the opportunity exists to use this increased accessibility and hire a willing, capable, innovative, and productive workforce.
2. Improve Your Reputation
An inclusive hiring process positively impacts your business’s brand, which results in higher employee retention and applicant interest. By creating a diverse workplace, you can fill in the modern job searcher’s need; A report by Deloitte shows that 39% of employees would leave their workplace for a more inclusive one, and 23% have already done so. Demonstrating that you are an inclusive, welcoming, and worthwhile environment makes working at your organization more desirable for employees and job candidates of all abilities.
3. Gain a Competitive Advantage
Your company and its employees should be reflective of our society! Additionally, a more diverse pool of employees provides a better understanding and depth of your customers. Rue Dooley, an advisor for The Society for Human Resource Management, states, “Your revenue is tethered to culture whether you like it or not, and culture includes all of your contributors… If the best talent yields the best result, diversity is necessary to compete.” . Having employees with disabilities adds a layer of oversight that ensures your products are inclusive and accessible to all your customers. It’s worth noting that people with disabilities are considered “the third-largest market segment in the U.S.” —the number of potential customers increases when caregivers and other consumers who prioritize inclusive initiatives know you represent their interests.
4. Create a Better Bottom Line
Businesses that prioritize diversity and inclusion have proven to be more successful! The Disability Equality Index(DEI) helps companies build and measure a more inclusive work environment. Those with scores over 80 are considered the “best place to work for disability inclusion.” What’s interesting about these findings is that businesses which score over 80 have an average of 30% greater profit margin and twice the net income! . You can build a stronger and more profitable company by becoming a more inclusive hirer and improving your workplace diversity.
We all benefit from inclusive hiring practices and diverse workplaces. Now that you know what Inclusive Hiring is and why it's important, it's time to start evaluating your current process, noting where it falls short, and creating a new plan that allows your company to go into the future with a genuinely inclusive hiring process and employment experience. The next step will be learning how to incorporate this process and better your company. Stay tuned for our upcoming article to learn how you can include more opportunities for inclusion in your hiring process.
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Accenture. "Getting to Equal: the Disability Inclusion Advantage." 2018. Accenture. Accenture. August 2022. <https://www.accenture.com/_acnmedia/pdf-89/accenture-disability-inclusion-research-report.pdf>.
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>.
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. <https://nda.ie/resources/accessibility-toolkit/make-your-websites-more-accessible/>.
Stephens, Rachel. "An Untapped Talent Pool: The Opportunity in Employing People with Disabilities." 3 November 2017. Medium. National Governors Association Economic Opportunity. August 2022. <https://medium.com/nga-economic-opportunity/an-untapped-talent-pool-the-opportunity-in-employing-people-with-disabilities-77be9f76339c>.