Since the rebirth of the Black Lives Matter movement following the murder of George Floyd, employers around the world have turned their focus internally and looked at the diversity and inclusivity of their workforce and hiring practices to recruit and retain a variety of staff. Whilst many big brands have chosen to reveal their diversity statistics, policies and progress publicly, not all have – and for many small businesses the challenge remains that they don’t have many applicants approach them for vacancies; or are unsure if non-white people are.
Businesses can flourish from embracing diversity and difference amongst their workforce, but it’s still important that employees are hired on their merit, as well as their other attributes: and no one wants to feel like they’ve been hired as tokenism.
There’s a variety of ways employers can look to broaden their hiring horizons to include better candidate diversity… and here’s just some of those practices.
Whilst you may not have considered it before, there is a degree of unconscious bias that many apply to CVs and job applications based on names. Recent research from the University of Oxford shows that Black applicants have to send, on average, between 70-90% more applications than white candidates to get hired. Name-blind recruitment refers to the practice of removing names, addresses, school and university names, and years from applications to allow for no bias against gender, race, nationality, ethnicity, age or background.
Use Specialist Recruiters
A number of specialist recruitment agencies exist focusing on BAME jobseekers. Whilst these, as any recruitment agencies, shouldn’t be your sole hiring partner, many employers find benefit in scoping out candidates from these firms alongside their usual hiring channels.
Work On Outreach In New Areas
BAME candidates often don’t understand the variety of careers on offer within different industries; because the advertising around them doesn’t include relatable people, figures or content to them. Employers engaging in employment outreach such as job fairs and careers guidance can easily extend this to schools, colleges, libraries or groups involving under-represented minorities, as well as reviewing back over their external communications to ensure they’re diverse and have a wide appeal. Targeted internships and scholarships can be beneficial, as can improving and promoting your internal diversity and inclusivity policies and initiatives.
Train Management In Diversity
As best practice, every member of staff that manages people or is responsible for any part in the recruitment process should be fully trained on diversity issues and unconscious bias. This can form part of your standard staff training or something specifically created for people managers, but should be consistent, up-to-date and regular. Whilst looking at offering training to management, businesses should also consider the ethnic, age and ability diversity of their management teams. How many Black employees do you have at C-Suite level? How many women? How many people of faith? How many people with a disability? Your management team should represent a cross-section of society – and that’s not just white, middle class men.
To get expert support and advice, contact Natalie at Rebox HR; firstname.lastname@example.org to see how they can help you strengthen diversity and inclusion in your workplace.