Diversity and inclusion (D&I) practices are integral to any progressive organisation, with myriad evidence supporting its contribution towards performance, employee engagement and improved decision-making.
In fact, a recent McKinsey report showed that businesses with diverse representation were more likely than ever to outperform less diverse peers on profitability. And that means ensuring you have transparent and equitable recruitment processes as standard, to help you attract under-represented talent. This is never more important than in sectors that are traditionally made up of a certain group of people, such as the typically male-dominated Automotive Engineering sector.
But how do you ensure you meet D&I requirements in a candidate-short market? In this article, we offer our advice on how you can implement inclusive hiring practices to source the very best candidates on the market.
Use Inclusive Language
The way you write your job description reflects your workplace culture and can be a shining light or a warning signal to candidates. It is essential that the language included in the job description and ad is inclusive and doesn’t bias towards a particular type of candidate.
For example, consider some of the adjectives you use to describe the ideal candidate. Phrases like "aggressive" and "competitive" can automatically put off some candidates who don’t thrive in this kind of work environment, or who might assume the company focuses on performance at the expense of its people. And don't forget to check your pronouns and use of gender-specific words like "chairman" – it’s better to use a more inclusive alternative that shows anyone is welcome to apply.
There are plenty of online tools available to review and improve your job descriptions, but our advice is to talk to your recruitment partner for tips on best practices.
We know salary is generally the number one way to attract quality talent, but don’t look past additional benefits that could be a deal maker for some candidates.
Research by UK-based insurance company Aviva supports what we all know to be true - that work/life balance is a high driving factor for candidates looking at new roles ,with 41% of survey participants stating it was a key reason they chose their employer. Other factors included career progression (22%) and people and culture (19%). So, if your company has strong policies in these areas, make sure you are using them as an attraction strategy.
We recommend taking the time to understand what is going to appeal to candidates before starting your hiring process. This could mean talking to your existing staff about which benefits are most important to them, or discussing with your recruitment partner which perks are likely to motivate the talent pool.
Walk the Talk
It’s easy to have a D&I policy written out and distributed to the team, then filed away never to be seen again. The bigger challenge is ensuring it becomes part of the organisational culture, from management through to the most junior employees.
This integration process can include running D&I workshops for employees who want to learn more about how to embrace a more inclusive workplace culture. It might also be checking that managers are open to understanding, and are supportive of, issues that can affect employees within their team. Additionally, it means there are clear processes and structures in place if discrimination or bullying occurs, so all employees understand this behaviour will not be tolerated.
Once you feel confident your workplace is truly diverse and inclusive, you should actively promote this as part of your hiring process.
Even if you’ve put out a job description to the marketplace that follows D&I best practice, it doesn’t mean you are guaranteed a diverse set of applicants. In fact, with some hard-to-fill roles, you might only have one or two candidates who meet the requirements for the role.
There’s no point trying to widen the net just to meet diversity quotas, and in the end, waste both yours and the candidate’s time. But don't be discouraged – if you prioritise diversity and inclusion in your hiring, in the long run, your organisation and people will reap the benefits.
Here at Fields & Rudd, we know the value of a diverse and inclusive workplace and the impact it can have on performance at both an individual and company level.
We are leaders in Automotive Engineering recruitment, with access to a large database of qualified, experienced talent.
Get in touch with us today to discuss your recruitment needs, or if you’d like to chat about how to improve diversity and inclusion practices at your organisation.