The dos and don’ts of attracting diverse talent

17th June 2021 by Ellie Thompson

An organisation that attracts, welcomes and includes diverse talent will be rewarded with new innovations, supported and satisfied employees and a great reputation. Not to mention the fact that welcoming diversity is just the right thing to do!

But how can you attract diverse talent? And what actions may you be taking that are in fact undermining your efforts?

Not to worry! With our lived experience and expertise in diversity and inclusion, we’re here to share all the vital dos and don’ts of attracting diverse talent.

Do make it clear that you don’t just accept diverse talent, but value it

With the business benefits of diversity and inclusion now well evidenced, wake up to the fact that inclusion is so much more than a legal requirement. As Adam Hyland, Co-founder and Director of Accessibility and Inclusion at D&A, says: “businesses should be shouting from the rooftops about their desire to recruit diverse talent”.

Research by the brilliant disabled-led job board Evenbreak showed that, for disabled candidates, the biggest barrier to accessing employment was finding employers that are truly disability confident. So buck the trend, show how much you truly appreciate diversity, and get access to a new world of diverse and enabled talent!

Don’t wait to offer adaptations at the interview or offer stage

Add that you can offer adaptations from the very first stages of the recruitment process, including them in every job advert. You never know who you could be excluding by not outlining that your recruitment process is flexible and gives diverse candidates the opportunity to show themselves at their best. Adam notes that you should even give examples of possible adaptations (such as submitting a video application instead of written, rest breaks during interviews and sending over questions in advance).

A woman of colour smiles and signs in American Sign Language to a laptop as if it's a video meeting.

Image credit to Disability:IN

Do continue offering remote options, even when you’re back in the office

One of the positives to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic is that remote recruitment and working are not only possible, they’re enabling for so many workers. Consider who you may be including in the potential talent pool by offering remote options from the very start: disabled people, people with chronic illnesses, those with caring or parenting responsibilities, and anyone who feels more comfortable, safe and productive from home!

Don’t stop at unconscious bias training

See unconscious bias training as part of the journey to inclusion, but not the destination. At Diversity and Ability, our workshops delve deeper into our biases, where they come from, and the systems that uphold them. This is the only way we can start to break down the real barriers to equitable access.

Do ensure your interview panels are diverse

A diverse interview panel is a must for recruitment. You need to actively counteract in-group favouritism; a psychological phenomenon that shows us demonstrate bias towards those who are similar to us. And make sure you consider all aspects of diversity, including individuals from different spheres of the organisation in hiring decisions so you find the candidates that truly are the best fit for your workplace.

Do make inclusion a priority throughout the organisation

It’s one thing to talk the talk of inclusive recruitment, but if your diverse hiring processes aren’t echoed in inclusive employee engagement, retention and support, you won’t get very far. We’ve written all about how you can ensure your employee engagement, retention and talent management are all equally inclusive, showing potential employees that you truly welcome diversity.

If you consistently center diversity and inclusion in all business conversations, and truly commit to an inclusive welcome for all, the diverse talent will find you. And your business will thrive as a result!

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