Diversity matters. It matters so much that 37% of candidates want to know what a business is doing about diversity. If you can’t answer that question, you risk losing out on talent. One of the first steps is to ensure that you have an inclusive hiring process.
So, what can you do to make your hiring process more accessible and inclusive?
Use clear language in job descriptions
The clearer your job description is, the better the fit any candidates who apply for the role will be.
Think of your job description as a way for candidates to self-select. They can use it to decide if it’s exactly what they do—or don’t—want from their next role.
Also consider the fact that most people applying for a job will look at multiple jobs in multiple places.
This can be tiring and stressful.
If you cut the fluff and tell candidates exactly what they need to know in easy-to-understand language, they’re going to associate you with a better experience from the get-go.
This means they’re more likely to apply, and be enthusiastic about working for you.
Be inclusive in your language usage
I was reading a job description the other day that listed the company’s brand values. The first was “diversity.” The third was “craftsmanship.”
While it’s only three letters, the use of “man” inside of the word does influence the connotations of the role—and the company.
Sometimes it’s better to use a few extra words and be more inclusive over choosing the shortest phrase.
HBR found that 40% of employees don’t feel they belong at work. If you want to make them feel like they do from the start, the language you use matters. This is true on both a conscious and subconscious level.
There are lots of tools out there that you can run your job descriptions through to ensure that they’re aligned with an inclusive hiring process.
Nobody is perfect when it comes to this stuff. What matters is that you’re open to improving and adjusting based on feedback.
Make the application process easy and accessible
The clunkier or more confusing your application process is, the more candidates you’ll lose in this early stage.
And this won’t help you weed out candidates from the start, it’ll just annoy everyone who might be interested. Meaning many will take their valuable time and skills elsewhere.
Does your application process require a resume, a cover letter, and candidates to manually enter their job history? This unnecessary repetition could be losing you candidates. If you have their resume, you have their job history. They shouldn’t need to give it to you twice!
To make for an even more accessible and inclusive hiring process, consider optimizing your application form for mobile.
If you’re not optimizing for the mobile experience, you’re probably missing out on people. For instance, the ones who may be casually browsing on their morning commute or during a break.
If they can’t apply on their phone, it may make them question your commitments to accessibility. They may also question how modern and forward-thinking your business is. This could ultimately put them off the role and your business as a result.
Ask for what you need and nothing else
If you’re not interested in someone’s gardening adventures, don’t ask for information on their personal life in the application process. Make sure that in the application, you’re asking for exactly what you need and nothing else.
Almost 60% of job seekers will quit an online job application halfway through if it’s too long or complicated. That’s a lot of potential hires you risk missing out on from one step.
Say you’re hiring a copywriter. Is it more efficient to ask for samples of their writing that you can analyze to see if they can adapt to your company’s tone of voice, over asking about their formal qualifications?
What about some statistics about results they’ve helped businesses achieve in the past?
Sometimes these things can get lost in favor of more obvious criteria that don’t matter when you’ve got proven experience. For instance, someone’s educational background is a big one.
Many people I know who now work in marketing don’t have a traditional marketing background or marketing degree (myself included). Those things can be nice to have but don’t guarantee someone will bring you the results that you want.
Ensuring you’re not eliminating people based on irrelevant criteria is a key factor in building a more inclusive hiring process.
Make the assessment process inclusive
One of my pet peeves is when businesses say they’re inclusive but don’t have evidence to show that they are. More and more people are starting to see through this tokenism.
Saying that you’re inclusive, and actually being inclusive, are two very different things and require two very different approaches.
My friend is job hunting right now, and they were given a choice between an initial phone call or a video interview during the early stages.
In a later stage, the hiring manager sent them the interview questions in advance so that they could prepare.
The company even sent over a flyer explaining their process and sharing tips like how to handle interview nerves.
In the flyer, they also shared that some of their best employees didn’t get the job the first time around!
How can you make this level of inclusive hiring a reality at your organization?
To find ways to implement more inclusive hiring practices, it’s important to consider how other people—including people you haven’t met yet and who have a different background/worldview from you—experience the world.
Explain your interview process upfront
Interviews can be stressful. If you can explain to people what your interview process is upfront, it can alleviate some of that stress.
Another thing you can do to lower interview stress and be more accessible to neurodiverse employees, is provide interview questions before the interview.
Needing extra time to prepare isn’t a reflection of someone’s intelligence, or even how fast their brain works.
Providing the questions allows candidates to find relevant achievements from previous roles, statistics that show what they’re capable of, and anecdotes that showcase their skills.
This extra time to prepare means you’ll get better quality answers and can make a more informed decision.
Some of the things on this list may seem insignificant or finicky, but they’re small things that help you stand out from your competitors as a better place to work.
It’s embracing things like inclusive language that will help you achieve your diversity and inclusion targets. You’ll also reap the benefits that you get from having a more inclusive working environment.
Aside from a bit of effort to get there, there’s essentially no downside to transitioning towards a more inclusive hiring process.
If you’re looking for ways to extend your inclusive hiring practices through into your employee experience, Workrowd can help. With a one-stop shop for all your employee groups, programs, and events, it’s easy for everyone to get fully immersed in your company culture from day one.
Plus, with automated data collection and analytics, you always know what’s building real belonging for team members and driving ROI for the business. Check us out online or write us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.