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  • Rachel Doyle

Companies are missing their hiring targets in D&I

Diversity and inclusion are no longer concerns reduced to only the HR department. Companies need to champion policies and workplace environments that support D&I efforts at every level. Sadly, businesses are still falling behind on their efforts in promoting workplace diversity. Nearly a quarter of Black and Hispanic employees reported they felt discriminated against in the workplace and almost half of LGBTQ employees have been harassed, fired or not hired due to their identity. So, what can you do to meet and exceed your D&I targets?

Create an inclusive company culture

Simply hiring diverse talent will not singlehandedly resolve lack of inclusivity in the workplace or the presence of bias. As a business owner, you need to transform your company culture, so minority hires feel welcome and supported. The best way to do that? Be vulnerable and honest with your team, talk about conscious and unconscious biases many people have and offer training, open discussions, and other ways to resolve it. Creating an inclusive company culture will attract diverse talent and retain it for the long run.

Level the playing field

Identify the obstacles that may be standing in your way of meaning D&I goals. Are there any skills or language used in job adverts that may deter people from different backgrounds to apply? Have you considered the individual and intersectional challenges faced by minorities? Does your recruitment process account for those challenges and provide inclusive hiring? If you’ve identified certain skills or experience gaps in your candidates, that doesn’t mean you should write them off! This brings us to the importance of mentoring…

Offer mentorship

We will never reach our D&I targets if we keep treating applicants with equality rather than equity in mind. As a business that champions diversity & inclusion in the workplace, it’s imperative that you look past the credentials and see the potential of your new hire.

For example, they may not have had access to qualifications, but they do have relevant experience or internships that gave them the necessary skill sets (yet). Or perhaps they lack experience, however, they have the essential soft skills and personality that will make them the ideal candidate with a little bit of training.

What’s important to consider is that minority applicants have likely faced greater barriers for accessing education and work experience. If this is the case, you should see this as an opportunity to help them fill the gaps and become a valued member of your team. Mentorship is how you truly change the landscape and become an ally.

Recognise and challenge bias

Companies may inadvertently dismiss hiring from a diverse pool of talent simply because they fear they may need to lower the bar for those professionals. This simply isn’t the case, and it is detrimental to your company culture, as well as the prosperity of your business. As mentioned before, you need to actively eliminate bias throughout your company and let go of any misconceptions you may have yourself.

Some of the biggest hurdles include the commonly held misconception that you will not get as talented an individual if you open out your recruitment to diverse minorities which simply isn't true! While some people may have reservations on hiring people of ethnic minorities, LGBTQ community, or employees who are neurodivergent or disabled, the data shows us that having a diverse team of people leads to increased productivity and earning potential. There is absolutely no doubt that minority hires are just as qualified for the job and bring invaluable insight to the team – there just may be fewer of those applications and they undoubtedly face greater challenges along the way. It’s up to you to recognise that and remove any barriers in your hiring process so you can find your ideal candidate.

If you are struggling with your recruitment this year, and in particular are looking for a recruitment partner who can recruit without bias in a tricky marketplace to hire in, then get in touch with Auxeris here.

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