How to diversify your recruitment pool
The business benefits that a diverse team can bestow can be transformative. UK culture in general is becoming more open about difference, and more emphasis is placed on being supportive of the diversity that is inherent within our society.
Therefore, in order for businesses to stay relevant to the needs and views of the world in which they operate, it’s important they are embracing diversity within their teams and talent pools.
This means actively working to seek people of different races, gender identities, socio-economic backgrounds, religions, sexual orientations, ages, experiences, and pathways.
The benefits of a diverse team
Better representation – how can you cater to the general public’s needs and expectations of your business and industry if your team only represents a small slice of society? Bringing diverse team members to the table means you can benefit from insights from a more varied collection of backgrounds, values, and experiences.
Improved innovation – people from a shared background and life experience will most likely share similar ideas of ways forward or problem solving. Introducing more diversity into your business means that you’re more likely to benefit from a wider range of ideas and new approaches, helping your business innovate and grow.
Attract more candidates – particularly with Gen Z workers, more and more work seekers are placing importance on the values of the company they work for. In a recent study by Intel, 56% of Gen Z work seekers in the UK would be hesitant to work for a company that did not have diverse representation in senior leadership roles.
Improve morale and image – diversifying the talent in your business is a political message. It demonstrates a commitment to equality and equity in the workplace, and is a step towards a more accepting and less prejudiced society. Existing team members are more likely to feel proud of their work if the company they represent is advocating for equality.
How to attract more diverse candidates
Widen your search
Where you advertise your vacancies and where you source potential candidates to approach is paramount. Stray further afield from your usual websites and networks, and reach out to networks and associations that already cater to diverse candidates.
No one wants to work in a position where they feel unwelcome or unsupported because of their identity. Therefore, to attract candidates of different backgrounds, it’s important to demonstrate that your business values diversity through your employer branding. This means being clear about your approach through images, wording, and messaging. It’s also worth being direct about your intention to diversify your talent pool within your messaging. Saying that you want to increase diversity within your team shows a willingness to improve and invites people of different backgrounds to apply.
Start with management roles
The best way to diversify your talent pool is to begin by focussing on building a diverse management team. This is not only the quickest way to see the benefits of diverse hiring in your business, but also shows a commitment to diversity. By ensuring that diverse people are strongly represented within senior roles, you are building a culture of support for diversity within your business, meaning when diverse candidates apply in future, they’ll be more likely to stay.
Starting with policy, ensure that your company is geared towards supporting diversity. This includes LGBTQ+ friendly, gender equality, anti-racist, and anti-ageist policies, as well as being aware of the needs of your team. For example, where feasible, offer flexible and remote working options, and provide time off for different religious holidays. The most powerful recruitment tool you have is word of mouth, and if your existing team members feel supported, you’re more likely to attract quality candidates.
Be mindful of how you describe your ideal candidate
Diverse hiring means being open to candidates reaching you via different pathways and experience. Be careful not to be prescriptive about qualifications, for example, as you might miss out on excellent candidates who have years of relevant experience but no formal certificates. It’s also important to be sure no discriminatory language makes its way into your job descriptions. For example, saying “recent graduate” could imply that a certain age of candidate is expected, while changing this simply to “graduate” welcomes applications from prospective employees of all ages.
Ask your existing team for referrals
If your team includes people of diverse backgrounds already, leverage their networks. Word of mouth and referral is a powerful tool in attracting the best candidates, and if you already have access to networks via your existing team members, then it’s worth exploiting those connections.
How can Reed Screening help?
Whatever the make-up of your team, when hiring it’s important to ensure that risk is minimised through thorough screening. With over 60 years of experience in recruitment, and over 12 years’ experience as screening specialists, Reed Screening is ideally placed to advise your business on the best way to ensure that new hires are a boost to your company’s performance.