How to Recruit with Diversity in Mind

DEI (Diversity, Equity )has become a vital part of business and is one of the metrics investors have been keen on when making investment decisions. When the C-Suite is diverse, companies are 25% more likely to be profitable. Let’s explore ways in which you can improve diversity in your workplace.

Table of Contents

  1. How to Recruit with Diversity in Mind
  2. A Word on DEI… Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  3. Why is Diversity at the Workplace Important?
  4. How to Improve Diversity at the Workplace
  5. Consistent Engagement
  6. In Conclusion

How to Recruit with Diversity in Mind

German Job Descriptions Image Source

You might have noted that German job descriptions have some letters in parentheses after the job title, for example (m/f/d) or (f/m/o), as shown in the image above. You might wonder what they mean. They are simply an indication that the role and company are inclusive and diverse.

The following image shows the meaning of each letter:German Job Descriptions 1 Image Source

Is it obligatory to add the letters in parentheses after the job description, though? According to German Basic law, individuals should not be discriminated against based on gender, where they cannot be assigned the male or female sex, or they do not permanently identify as male or female. In addition, employers are not to discriminate based on gender.

Diversity goes beyond gender. Other aspects of diversity include race, personality, ethnicity, age, religion, disability, socioeconomic status, and education level. If you want to recruit with diversity in mind, then you need to cover as many facets of diversity as possible.

In this article, we explore the benefits of diversity at the workplace, the aspects of diversity that you need to emphasize, and how to recruit with diversity in mind.

A Word on DEI… Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

DEI has become a vital part of business and is one of the metrics that investors have been keen on when making investment decisions.Diversity

Image by Unsplash

The Thomson Reuters D&I (Diversity and Inclusion) Index is one of the metrics that investors use to determine a company’s DEI. The index measures company and organization performance based on factors that define DEI and ranks the top 100 most diverse & inclusive ones globally. The pillar metrics used to determine the global 100 are Diversity, Inclusion, People Development, and News Controversy.

In the 2020 D&I index:

  • Software and Information Technology companies and organizations had the highest diversity scores and came in second with inclusion scores.
  • There were 6 companies from Germany in the top 100, with scores between (69 and 77.75)

Germany is doing well, but there is definitely room for improvement.

It is impressive to see efforts like those being put forward by the European Roundtable of Industrial Pledge (ERT), 55 CEOs, and chairs of major companies in Europe. ERT members pledged to launch campaigns that promote DEI throughout the European continent.

Why is Diversity at the Workplace Important?

The Dzemo Team The Dzemo Team

So, what is all the fuss about diversity? Does it offer any benefits to companies or the individuals working there? Let’s look at some factors that make diversity more than a better idea at the workplace:

Increased Profitability

Diverse C-Suite Image Source

As shown in the above diagram, when the C-Suite is diverse, companies are 25% more likely to be profitable, says a McKinsey study that involved over 1,000 large companies in 15 countries. The study is a follow-up of two other previous studies in 2014 and 2017, where diverse companies were 15% and 21% more likely to be profitable.

The fact that the profitability likelihood has increased over the years shows that this is something that companies need to take advantage of. The impressive thing is that the change has been slow but steady. Since the trio studies used the same data set, it is possible to see how the diverse companies have grown in terms of their revenue.

On the contrary, companies that slacked off in their DEI efforts have seen less significant revenue growth over the years.

Increased Productivity

Studies have shown that diverse teams are more productive. Diversity in 1,069 leading companies in 35 countries and across 24 industries was studied to find the relationship between gender diversity and productivity. Here are some interesting conclusions:

  • A 10% increase in the diversity index (Blau) results in a 7% market value increase. Blau refers to the probability of two individuals, randomly picked from a population being from different races or ethnicities.
  • In Western Europe, the percentage of women working in telecommunication companies was directly proportional to market value.

How to Improve Diversity at the Workplace

Diverse Team Image Source

Diversity is an ongoing process. It is not something that you will discuss and shelve for the next decade. It needs to be integrated with every aspect of your business so that it becomes part of your company’s culture. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

In this section, we explore ways in which you can improve diversity in your workplace.

Explore Your Current DEI Situation

Before you begin to think of making any changes, you need to know your current position regarding diversity and inclusion. There are two ways to go about it – checking your own personal bias and auditing your current company culture.

Checking Your Own Personal Bias

Harvard IAT Image Source

One of the most popular tools is the Harvard Implicit Association Test (IAT) – image above. The test tries to identify implicit bias towards a range of topics, from politics, ethnicity, sports, or entertainment. The tests should take you 10 to 15 minutes to complete. You get to choose between ‘E’ and ‘I’ to represent ‘good’ or ‘bad’ when describing a statement or word.

While the effectiveness of such tests could definitely be questioned, for example, the number of times you need to take a particular test to show implicit bias or lack thereof, they are definitely a good place to help you stop and reflect on whether you might have some personal bias.

Auditing your Current Company Culture

After checking your personal bias, it’s time to understand where you are as a company regarding diversity and inclusion. The good news is that a culture audit does not have to be complicated.

Here are the major areas of focus:

  • Communication style – is communication usually one way, from the leadership to the team members, or can people communicate freely? How is change communicated within the organization?
  • Decision making – is collaboration encouraged? Or is decision-making hierarchical? Is there an emphasis on results or methods and processes?
  • Physical location – are there team members who work remotely?
  • Risk tolerance – how risk-averse is the company?
  • Does the company’s vision include diversity and inclusion? What practical steps does the company take to ensure diversity and inclusion?
  • How central are customer relationships? How well are complaints handled?
  • How diverse is the executive team?
  • Does the company offer any benefits? Do they benefit everyone?
  • How transparent is the company?

As you explore the above areas, you will see where you need to begin your diversity and inclusion journey.

Train current Staff Members on DEI

All members of the team need to be aware of the importance of diversity. One way to do so is to carry out training via workshops or even short courses. These courses should be optional but highly emphasized and encouraged. Even though you might need to hire experts to do the training, it is a worthwhile investment. Training should focus on characteristics like using inclusive language, conflict resolution, and even dealing with impostor syndrome.

The good thing is that the training does not have to be a one-off thing. The Financial Times together with Statista, ranked the 700 most diverse countries in 10 countries in Europe. The companies were ranked based on how well they promote different aspects of diversity. The companies surveyed were both private and public, with at least 250 employees.

The number 2 company on the list, Colgate-Palmolive, offers diversity and inclusion training programs in its various locations all over the world. The Decide Program, for example, is targeted at all leaders in the company and is aimed at helping them to eliminate unconscious bias in decision making and business. 75% of the leadership has already gone through the training program.

You can choose to implement a program that even new members of the team can take up when they join the company or create mentorship programs to help minority groups represented in your company advance faster in their careers.

Implement Diversity and Inclusion in Company Policies

If your current company policies are not diverse and inclusive, then you can amend them. Your company policies influence every aspect of your business, including hiring. Some policies might include goals like increasing the number of female executives by a certain percentage.

Some examples? Willmott Dixon, the third company on the Financial Times top 700, is to achieve gender parity in the workforce by the year 2030, and Infineon, a German company that was 4th on the list, achieved the goal of having 10% female executives in 2019, where there were 15% already.

Today, their worldwide workforce is composed of 64.7% males and 35.3% females.Infineon Diversity Distribution Worldwide Image Source

Coming up with anti-discrimination policies and measures to be taken against discrimination should also be part of policymaking.

Change your Hiring and Recruitment Practices

The hiring process needs to embrace diversity from the get-go. Here are some interesting ways to go about it:

Check for Bias in your Job Ads

The job description itself needs to encourage diverse candidates to apply for the job. After you have drafted your job ad, you can use various tools to check for bias. For example the gender decoder tool checks for language that is typically male or female. When you copy and paste your job ad, it shows whether the ad is ‘male’ or ‘female’ coded.Gender Decoder for Job Descriptions Image Source

Add Letters in Parentheses After the Job Title

Do you remember the job descriptions that had some letters in parentheses after the job title, that we talked about at the beginning of this article? Yes, that is one way to encourage people from different ethnicities, genders, and religious affiliations to apply for a role.

Share Job Ads in Unusual Places

Sharing your job ads in spaces or communities that are ‘unusual’ can help with recruiting with diversity in mind. This means forging partnerships with organizations and centers around minority groups and initiatives and sharing job opportunities with them.

Only Ask for the Necessary Requirements to Perform the Job

Is a degree necessary for a candidate to perform their duties effectively? Maybe it’s time for companies to follow in the footsteps of Ernst & Young in the UK and come up with policies where a degree is not required to work for the company.

Create a Culture of Diversity

While recruiting diverse people in the company is an amazing achievement, keeping them also needs consistent effort. Here are a couple of ways to go about it:

  • Celebrate holidays that are important to your team members, and allow them to take the day off if possible. On our top 700 list, Infineon has gone the extra mile to encourage staff members to create a cookbook with recipes that represent the diverse team members. During Pride Month, the company also waves its Rainbow Flag.
  • Adapt the working spaces and time to fit diverse people, for example, moms with little children, flexible working hours.
  • Plug into communities. PwC has a social-mobility support group that reaches out to students from lower social classes. Such initiatives demonstrate to both staff members and customers the company’s dedication to diversity.

In Conclusion

The topic of recruiting with diversity in mind is definitely broad. There are so many aspects of diversity that you need to consider. Moreover, it will take everyone in the company to achieve diversity in recruitment.

However, the good news is that it’s not something that you need to fix in a day. Today, you can begin the long, seemingly daunting journey of working towards diversity in your recruitment. It might take years, but as we have seen, it will be a worthwhile effort.