At our recent Gather event we heard from a fantastic line-up of leaders and experts who shared their insight and wisdom on hiring and retaining talent. ED&I consultancy The Unmistakables delivered a great workshop on the benefits of building a diverse team.
They busted some myths and gave some practical steps to drive change. Here are some of the key takeaways from the workshop:
Takeaway One: Inside out inclusion
The Unmistakables believe that diversity and inclusion is everyone's business. Their 'Inside out inclusion' framework is all about the internal and external factors that contribute to organisational change. Thinking about internal factors like leadership, strategy, culture and learning alongside external factors like communications, audience understanding, and inclusive brand strategy makes diversity and inclusion tangible and actionable across your business.
Takeaway Two: The role of recruitment
Recruitment can be a multi-faceted driver for diversity and inclusion. It's an opportunity to build inclusivity into your hiring process. You can position who you are and show how serious you are about diversity. And with every hire you have the chance to change the shape of your workforce.
Takeaway Three: Look beyond the optics
Diversity and inclusion need to go beyond the obvious. When you're thinking about your team consider visible and non-visible identities. Visible could include age, gender, language, clothes, physical characteristics, whereas non-visible is really wide ranging and could include patterns of speech, body language, religious practices, sexual identity, skills and nationality.
Takeaway Four: Recruitment myths
The Unmistakables shared 3 common recruitment myths:
Myth 1 - I need to hire someone who 'fits'
'Fit' implies that you're looking for a particular kind of person that will know how to do things your way. If you instead look to 'add' to your team it shows you value and welcome differences because it will make you stronger.
Myth 2 - I'm after the 'best person' for the job
If you're hiring for diversity, it doesn't mean you're not hiring for the best person for the job. In the UK it's actually illegal to positively discriminate and hire someone just because they have a characteristic that fills a quota. Positive action is an alternative - and legal way - to more diverse hiring.
Myth 3 - We don't attract X people
Getting candidates from backgrounds you're lacking doesn't happen by chance, you need to be proactive. Intentional hiring needs a strategy and more precise recruitment. Think about things like job boards and media aimed at different demographics.
So, what are some other practical steps you can take?
Diversity and inclusion can seem like a mountain to climb but here are some tangible actions you can take.
- Demonstrate your commitment
83% of millennials are actively engaged when they believe the organisation fosters an inclusive culture, compared to just 61% when they don’t believe it fosters an inclusive culture (Deloitte). And 80% of Gen Z said that it’s important for brands to address diversity and inclusion (Quantilope).
When you consider these stats showing people you take diversity and inclusion seriously is vital. Make sure you're communicating this in your online presence and through every applicant touch point.
- Use inclusive imagery and language
Consider the image and language you use carefully. If you're looking to attract more women or ethnic minority candidates for example include them in images. And when it comes to language used in any materials look out for gendered language that can alienate applicants. Check out resources like Textio, Witty Works, and Microsoft’s bias-free communication style guide for support.
- Work with a variety of recruitment agencies
If you use the same recruitment agency, you’re likely to get the same candidates. Using a wide range of agencies will open up the pool of potential candidates and help you reach more diverse talent.