“Strength lies in differences, not similarities”- this quote by Stephen Covey makes a point for why recruiters need to go through Diversity and Inclusion Training. Creativity and innovation thrive in a diverse environment and it is needed to face the different challenges this changing environment is expecting.
BENEFITS OF DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION TRAINING FOR RECRUITERS
- Remove all kinds of unconscious and conscious bias from the recruitment process
- Attract, hire and retain the right talent – not a workforce of similar people but including the differences as well
- Create and boost a brand that employees would want to work for
- Build a competitive advantage for the organization with a diverse workforce
- Sustain an inclusive, collaborative, and innovative organizational culture
Diversity and Inclusion are not new buzzwords for recruiters. However, a moderate percentage of the group has started hiring diverse candidates. According to a survey by Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 57% of recruiters have designed their talent acquisition strategies to attract diverse candidates. Recruiters can introduce diversity in multiple ways into the workforce. One simple classification is of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Intrinsic factors are characteristics like age, sexual orientation, and race that are inherent. Extrinsic factors are those that are acquired such as education, experience, knowledge, values, and skills. An industry survey found that 67% of job seekers look for organizations that are diverse and promote inclusivity.
COMPONENTS OF DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION TRAINING FOR RECRUITERS
Having set the context of “the why”, the following are the different aspects of Diversity and Inclusion Training for Recruiters – “the what”.
- Learn about the various dimensions of diversity and the types of biases that can affect the recruitment process. A survey indicated that 81% of recruiters realize that unconscious bias affects their hiring decision however 42% of that group do not use any strategy to reduce the bias.
- Explore how to create workplace policies (such as flexibility in work schedules, commute, and work location) that are appealing to and inclusive of a diverse workforce
- Practice how to write bias-free and attractive job postings that are open to all diverse candidates. Assigning a specific gender to a certain role before rolling out the job posting is not a best practice. Even, using masculine terms is found to be less appealing to female applicants.
- Understand how to introduce AI in the recruitment process (especially in the initial screening steps), use the blind resume and blind interview technique to eliminate bias
- Learn about the various tools such as psychometric assessments to support hiring/selection decisions instead of only relying on human judgment
- Know about the various sourcing methods to hire diverse candidates rather than only relying on referrals that usually consist of similar demographics
These points provide reason enough for recruiters to enroll themselves in diversity and inclusion training.
WHAT TO DO BEFORE STARTING A DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION TRAINING FOR RECRUITERS – “THE HOW”.
- Eliminate arbitrary job requirements which are not necessary. For instance, if you write that you are looking for someone with a minimum of 5 years of experience, ensure that you don’t hire someone with 3-4 years of experience. A Hewlett-Packard internal report published in a 2014 HR story found that women generally apply for positions where they feel they meet 100 percent of the criteria whereas, men apply for jobs if they feel they meet just 60 percent. We haven’t yet done much research on the third gender. Arbitrary requirements can lead to some candidates not applying for a job.
- Eliminate bias at the sourcing and screening stage. Surveys have shown that recruiters tend to search for more male profiles than females or others when sourcing. Also, candidates have screened out the basis of their name, religion, gender, etc. AI can help to remove this bias from the screening stage in the future. Recruiters, too, must learn to train themselves on spotting biases in the screening process.
- Recruiters must mind their words during interviews. Loose comments and micro-affirmations can have drastic consequences in the recruitment process.
Workplace diversity and inclusive culture are imperative for organizations. This is possible when the recruitment process is following the same. Recruiters must constantly train themselves on diversity and inclusion. They should be conscious of their actions and cautious of their words when recruiting. To achieve this, learning agility is important so recruiters can update themselves to make sound hiring decisions.