People are from all diverse backgrounds, ages, genders, abilities, sexual orientation, and beliefs a fully inclusive workforce should reflect this. A truly inclusive workforce also includes more flexible roles and recruitment to actively encourage people with health or caring needs to be able to apply for a wider range of employment. There are huge benefits to having a more inclusive workforce, especially in decision making and marketing.
How can I recruit a more inclusive workforce?
Review your current workforce and compare with the local demographics. Think about how current recruitment and retention practices may negatively impact on recruiting and retaining people from diverse backgrounds. Ask whether your current roles could be more flexible to allow people with health conditions, with disabilities or with caring responsibilities to take up work?
Why is this important?
People are your most valuable asset; commitment of your staff is key to your organisation’s success. Yet businesses are missing opportunities to recruit, promote and retain some of the most talented and driven people in our country.
For many years, the application form and panel interview has been the routine method used to identify the new members of our workforce. But how effective is it? Is it fit for purpose? And if not, what can we replace it with?
How will this benefit the employees?
People enjoy working in environments where all people are treated with respect and encouraged to share their skills and expertise. With a more diverse group you get a much richer talent pool and range of knowledge/understanding.
How will this benefit employers?
When you adopt a more diverse recruitment strategy you increase your talent pool, especially valuable with the current recruitment issues. When coupled with more progressive hybrid working or flexible working you can significantly increase your potential to fill vacancies.
Offering flexible working explicitly in job adverts increases applications by up to 30% (indeed 2021)
"Offering flexible working explicitly in job adverts increases applications by up to 30%"
Where to start
Review your current workforce as above. Consider seeking support from The Charter signatories, community groups, specialist groups or training providers who work with a wide range of people from diverse backgrounds. The Jobcentre, Skills Launchpad Plymouth and The Adult/Youth Hubs also can support with both recruitment and skills.
Assessing CVs by removing the name, gender, and age. This can help fight against unconscious bias, racism, ageism, and sexism.
Supporting those with challenges to fill out an application form, or even showing candidates a completed application form.
Font, text, size, colour, read aloud forms, are all simple ways to ensure that recruitment processes from the start are inclusive.
Giving more time for someone with for example dyslexia, to complete any written or reading that are part of the interview process.
Circulating interview topics or questions prior to the interview, to allow people to prepare. This could help people with English as a second language, people with anxiety or people with neuro diversity needs as well as helping you to get the most out of all applicants.
Consider an informal meet/coffee with the applicant prior to the interview.
A balanced & fair representation on the interview panel.
Consider various options; Virtual interviews might really benefit some people and are worth considering.
For those who are part of the recruitment process, managers, supervisors, day to day staff. Training on ‘the unconscious bias’s’
How to achieve changes
Take a decision to act and seek support from both your workforce and colleagues, encourage a desire to change.
Seek support from Charter Champions, Department for Work & Pensions, Skills Launchpad Plymouth.