An organization’s approach to recruiting talents influences the dynamics and performance of its teams. Transform your workforce and the future of your company by prioritizing diversity recruiting. Emma-Jayne Broadway, the CEO of Talent Partnership Consulting, was hosted by Annette Behrendt to discuss ways to reap the benefits of a diverse and inclusive (D&I) approach to recruiting and why it’s crucial for the future of work.
The past years’ major news events, coupled with the increased time we get at home during the lockdown, have made many people think more about their work-life balance. People that are currently working or in search of a job are more aware of what they want, such as:
- What kind of company they are willing to work for?
- Whether a company’s values match well with my own values
- How can my skills and personal development be aided by an organization?
- How to divide the time between work and my personal life
Read on to see how utilizing a D&I recruitment approach will help you in addressing these questions, some best recruiting practices, and tips from Broadway on how to kickstart your very own recruiting process.
What is diversity recruitment?
It is the process of strategically attracting, engaging with, and hiring individuals from various backgrounds, with different experiences and expertise. The importance is recruitment is best described by Broadway herself: “People are the beating heart of an organization”. You can shape the way employees work, the dynamic of teams, and your company culture all by building recruitment processes that invite and nurture diverse talents. When recruitment is executed properly, your newly hired employees and existing employees will feel empowered and proud to be a part of the organization. Building a happier workplace will have a major impact on your bottom line.
Why is it important to have a diverse hiring strategy?
People from all corners of the world, that are equipped with distinct experiences and skills, are all participating in the labor force. To not be an inclusive organization these days is not an option. Companies that want to succeed in this digital, globalized new way of work need to form their mission and culture around the inclusion of different cultures, races, genders.
The differing expertise and mindsets of a diverse workforce present endless possibilities for tackling business scenarios. Broadway discussed how a start-up environment, typically manned by a millennial workforce, would perceive the importance of diverse recruitment. A young company with a long-term goal to become an enterprise may consider hiring a slightly older dynamic into the workforce. Introducing another perspective could help make this a reality and could later open more markets.
A new wave of how B2B sales organizations operate and recruit will pave the way for the future of work. They will encourage the blend of varying expertise and competencies of our global community, building a company culture that authentically embraces the differences between individuals to reach their organizational goals.
What does a successful, fair, and diverse recruitment process look like?
Recruitment starts with a company’s brand. It is what the company represents externally, but also within its walls. This boils down to the culture, the mission, and the red thread that weaves through the entire organization to connect all its employees. To kick off your recruitment strategy and process, contemplate and define your core organizational values and why a new talent should join. These are some of the main questions that candidates will have when considering a role with your company, all the way through to the attraction stage of recruitment.
Many further questions will arise during the attraction and engagement stages. Candidates will want to know how it feels to be a part of an organization and the value they can bring. You need to carefully think about how the recruitment team is interacting with potential talents:
- Are they bright and friendly?
- Do they embody the spirit and resemble the culture of the business?
- Are our recruiters empathizing with the situations and backgrounds of diverse talents?
This close focus should follow through after an individual is hired, as they will ask why they should stay. Share the different pathways and possibilities that will allow employees to grow throughout their time at your organization. Also try to prepare an assortment of personal development or career options, to address the different priorities of a diverse workforce. Wherever a person first lands in an organization depicts the first chapter in their journey with your company. A subsequent aspect of successful recruitment is presenting a plan to progress into further chapters.
Treat the stages and overall process of diverse recruitment as a customer-journey
Adjust your perspective to view the recruitment process as a customer journey. If you work with sales enablement or are part of a customer-facing department, you are familiar with the importance and mindset of guiding a client through their entire experience with your company. Transfer this approach into your recruitment process to ensure that new employee candidates are accompanied with the right information and feel well-treated.
Get all your employees involved
Including all employees in your recruitment strategy fosters a stronger brand atmosphere, both internally and externally. Earlier on, recruiters were perceived to service candidates and were the only touchpoint with an organization. Now, however, Broadway expressed how the process behind finding talents has drastically changed with the introduction of social media.
An employee referral scheme is a strong motivator for employees to search their networks for suitable new hires. For example, if you are looking to hire a technical sales engineer, the best people to start asking or talking to would be the existing employees in the department. They are most likely to have a personal contact or LinkedIn connection with other sales engineers. This increases the chances of finding a candidate that either understands your industry or has the experiences required to be successful at their new role. This approach supports the recruitment team in building company awareness by sharing internal stories with the outside world. Additionally, you can be assured that new hires will get attention and support from their colleagues if your referral scheme awards a bounty after a given time (e.g. 3 months). People are the soul of a company so having incentives to build connections with new, diverse hires welcomes new perspectives and strengthens the bonds between teams.
Social media is one of the most powerful tools for hiring and recruiting talent
Like with many other examples, social media has planted itself as a critical aspect of the recruiting process. There are now multiple entry points for both diverse candidates and recruiters to find information on each other. Glassdoor is a widely used platform that allows employees to give reviews of their job and employers, giving others a peek into the internal working environment of many companies. If you receive a bad score on a site like Glassdoor, this will greatly impact who and how many people will be willing to work for you.
LinkedIn is another major tool that organizations can use to appeal to potential hires, with the help of your existing employees. From Broadway’s experience and observations, you can achieve a great impact with your employer branding when “more people that are onboard [are] sharing what a great organization they work for”. People that are scrolling through their feed may see some posts or messages about an organization that piques their interest. This is a more subliminal approach, but it seeds the thought in one’s imagination of how it would be to work at your organization.
To make the most of your social media efforts, Broadway suggests that organizations undergoing change should fixate their efforts on integrating this tool into their diverse hiring strategy. She and her team currently use a competition-based system to stimulate the creation of engaging and captivating content. It also adds an edge to the working routine of the recruiting team, which is a definite win when building a new and inclusive strategy.
Growth Mindset: the golden ticket to diverse hiring
The importance of the growth mindset in diverse recruitment (but also for the rest of an organization) was heavily emphasized during our talk with Broadway. It teaches you to change your thought patterns and ask questions that challenge the norm, which may include:
How should we change our job specifications and expectations to attract and recruit a more inclusive workforce? How can we optimize our recruiting processes to broaden our reach and receptibility to a greater audience, but still filter for exclusively qualified individuals?
If we hire a sales manager from a close competitor of ours, how can they contribute to growing our business to the next level?
Do we want to hire a candidate based on their futuristic, inclusive characteristics or should we look at their hard skills? How about a mixture of both? What would this type of combination look like in an individual?
How can we restructure the team dynamics to enable the unique qualities of our diverse new hires? Is there a way to integrate driven and passionate individuals that may lack some experience or technical knowledge?
Some final words on D&I recruitment...
- Take the time to scrutinize your internal and external recruitment processes. Empathize and imagine yourself as a diverse candidate. Think about what they prioritize in their professional life and whether they would feel welcome in your organization. Adjust to accommodate for individuality when creating a D&I recruiting strategy.
- Equip your recruitment leader and team with the appropriate communication skills for having difficult conversations. This is a critical competence when making this transition into a new way of working and hiring talents.
- Offering flexible hours is almost a must for a diverse workforce. It is an imperative step to being a more inclusive company.
- Creating an inclusive company culture will work best if it starts with your leaders. They need to demonstrate the reasons why this shift matters and how it benefits everyone. This line of messaging should be rooted in authentic intentions, rather than a performative aim.
About Emma-Jayne Broadway
As the founder and CEO of Talent Partnership Consulting, Emma-Jayne Broadway is dedicating her career to building a fair, inclusive, and equitable world. She assists companies to transform their workforce through their recruitment activities. Her mission to adapt to the new way of work is 3-fold: assisting growth for start-ups using their people strategy, integrating processes that attract more diverse talents throughout the entire recruitment procedure, and discovering methods to intermix more diversity into the C-suite.
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