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  • Rachel Doyle

Widening the net for talent will boost the bottom line and build talent retention

Despite the slowdown of diversity efforts due to the pandemic, businesses are, once again, looking towards implementing better diversity and inclusion policies, while raising awareness within the company. Hiring talent from different backgrounds is mutually beneficial for both parties. In this article, we discuss some effective ways to break down the barriers and widen your net for talent for your next hiring process.

Diversity and inclusion are vital for business success

Having a strong emphasis on diversity and inclusion in your hiring process isn’t just ‘a nice thing to do’ or ‘being socially conscious’. A diverse workforce can give you invaluable input that can only be learned through lived experiences. This means, you’ll gain insight into new audiences and target markets, as well as ideas and solutions you may not have previously considered. Not to mention, working within a diverse team will give your employees invaluable skills for life.

This isn’t tokenism though and any potential candidate will look at not only how representative your board is but also what they can see when they engage with the business.

Don’t fall victim to diversity hire myths

Often, diversity and inclusion efforts are being slowed down by conscious and unconscious biases. Review your hiring process to ensure you are not rejecting potential applicants based on a disability. Some recruiters worry that neurodiverse and disabled employees will take more sick days, will be harder to provide feedback for and may generally require a lot of adjustments.

This simply isn’t true – neurodiverse and disabled employees are not statistically more likely to be off work. There are government schemes that can help you with making adjustments in the workplace and there is absolutely no need to avoid providing feedback or criticism to diverse employees. Instead, a more positive and proactive strategy is to provide staff training on diversity and inclusion to increase awareness on working within a diverse team with people of varying disabilities. Choose to overlook this rich talent pool and you are overlooking potential to grow your business with exceptional talent.

Inclusive application and hiring process

To widen your talent pool, you need to create an inclusive application and hiring process. This starts with emphasising your commitment to diversity in your job description and careers page, as well as advertising the vacancy on the right platforms. Ensure your job description doesn’t unintentionally rule out disabled or neurodiverse applicants. Consider ways of making your application and hire processes more accessible.

Get more than one person involved in the recruitment process to eliminate the possibility of conscious and unconscious bias. Ensure the interviews are held in an accessible location and provide adjustments as necessary, however, don’t assume who has or hasn’t got a disability. Many people have hidden disabilities, so be mindful of it and focus on providing all the information the candidates need to know about the role, so they know what to expect.

Look beyond university talent

Putting too much focus on metrics like higher education and other qualifications may decrease your talent pool. Sure, there are some jobs where this is necessary, however, gone are the days where we focus solely on technical skills. In fact, recruiters should be putting more value on soft skills, which means it’s better to have an employee that fits within your company values and team, rather than someone with all the technical knowledge who doesn’t. You can always provide training, and giving your candidates the skills they need is likely to result in a loyal, dedicated, and empowered team.

It is time to stop excluding candidates based on social mobility, there are many talented individuals who haven’t had the same opportunities afforded to them. We still see many instances of jobs which ask that candidates have a degree, or even a degree from a Russell Group of universities. This focus on hiring for credentials does not guarantee that you will get a better quality candidate. It overlooks those exceptional candidates who have worked very hard to gain the experience or the qualifications that they do have. Too often we hear about candidates being overlooked or rejected because they didn’t have a degree, despite having +15 years’ worth of experience.

Stop hiring for credentials

Hiring for credentials, such as a particular university group or further education requirement, rather that looking at work experience and potential, excludes talented individuals and won’t help you to attract the best talent or candidate to your role. It can even build a toxic work culture and lead to a poor employee experience. If you become known for this type of selection, you will dissuade potential candidates from applying to your business. It also tells the applicant a lot about the type of business if you are focussed on where someone studied many years’ ago. It doesn’t indicate anything of their recent performance or achievements and leaves the impression that people will be rewarded on relationships and connections rather than proving and demonstrating their ability.

By focussing on building teams of talented individuals with potential, you can also help to build a better retention policy. By supporting staff to develop and grow in your roles you will be helping to build a stronger bond of loyalty and encouraging an inclusive culture across the business.

There are many ways for you to deliver training to skilled individuals and you can even apply for funding support in some instances. There are government funded and supported schemes that can help provide training for businesses who are committed to diversity and inclusivity. So, as you review your hire strategy, consider looking beyond education metrics and think of how you may be able to offer the necessary training to the right candidate for your team.

If you are looking for help with your recruitment processes, speak to Auxeris today. We are the tech enabled recruiter with a network of experienced specialist recruiters, who have years’ experience of searching, finding and helping clients to secure the best talent for their business. Our fees are capped at 15% as we believe in ethical hiring - whilst you still gain access to the best recruiters available to support your recruitment needs. Get in touch today.

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