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4 ways you can engage with inclusive hiring

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​Inclusive recruitment is no longer just a buzzword; it's become an essential aspect of any modern business strategy. Preliminary findings taken from our hotly anticipated Creative Industries Census reveal that over 66% of businesses are looking to hire and our data continues to emphasise the need to invest in interventions that attract and advance diverse talent. Business leaders are encouraged to take a strategic and proactive approach to build diverse teams and creating a culture of inclusion, to remain competitive, encourage innovation and meet the changing needs of the market.

It is no surprise that businesses that prioritise inclusive hiring practices are more likely to benefit from a more diverse and engaged workforce, as well as improved innovative practices and diversity of thought and experience. With more clients increasingly placing a premium on diversity, equity, and inclusion, do leaders wanting to participate know where or how to start their journey?

Common challenges such as a lack of diversity in the pipeline, unconscious bias in the hiring process, and a lack of support for underrepresented employees once hired mean that often, the long-term plan for inclusive hiring can go flat. To help bring some inclusive practices back into perspective, we’re sharing our top 4 ways you can improve your hiring practices to be more inclusive:

Embed DE&I at every stage

From the beginning to the end of the recruitment process, businesses can arm themselves with fairer and more robust hiring practices at every point of the process.

While entry-level positions are a great place to start, it's essential to create a hiring process that is accessible and fair for everyone. Workshops and reasonable adjustments can help to level the playing field and ensure that candidates of all backgrounds have an equal chance to succeed. Referral programs can be useful, but it's important to be aware that they may not always result in a diverse candidate pool. That's why it's important to engage with organisations like 20/20 Change, who can offer support and resources for inclusive recruitment. As you move beyond entry-level positions, it's worth considering the use of long list quotas to identify a wider range of candidates.

In the early stages of the process, hiring managers can make use of ‘long list’ quotas and diverse job boards to support more underrepresented groups or those that face barriers in the industry with employment opportunities. For those who face existing barriers as underrepresenting groups in the creative industries, ‘long list’ quotas allow hiring managers to locate candidates who have transferable skills, stepping up the ladder or looking to get back into the industry after a break.

Similarly, investing in diverse job boards help to support the diversity of talent pools across gender, disability, sexuality, age and race. By investing in diverse job boards, businesses have the opportunity to network with inclusive organisations and nurture these relationships to support wider DE&I action.

Employers may also choose to opt into masked recruitment rounds where certain demographic information about job candidates, such as their name, gender, race, or age, is concealed during the initial stages of the recruitment process. Group Commercial Director, Rosa Rolo shares, ”the challenge around anonymised recruitment processes is that it doesn’t address the bias in the organisation. This gap could negatively impact a less inclusive organisation and therefore affect retention of diverse candidate pools.” This highlights why a one-size fits all approach is not effective and likely can do more harm than good. Ultimately, it is about ensuring that at each stage of the process has DE&I recommendations against it.

Data, Data, Data

Measuring the success of your hiring initiatives is crucial to ensuring your processes are purpose-built and remain effective long term. Though it may seem attractive, the ‘one size fits all’ approach to inclusive hiring does not support today’s creative businesses.

Instead, focus on what your data is telling you. As a crucial research tool at the disposal of hiring managers everywhere, data can help to reveal blind spots and unique issues facing your businesses. From the percentage of hires from underrepresented groups to retention in these spaces, metrics can help identify trends and make data-driven decisions to improve their hiring practices. This makes strategy planning a far more tailored and purposeful exercise, where you’re more likely to carve out a more realistic and grounded plan for change.

Establish an open dialogue

Remember, inclusive hiring is not a tick-box exercise and though data can help target areas of improvement, regular feedback is imperative to make hiring and wider operational processes airtight. Implementing regular opportunities for feedback and collaborative decision-making, gives employees the opportunity to feedback and critique, helping shape a far more well-rounded business. According to a study by Deloitte, companies with an established diversity and inclusion council are 3.7 times more likely to be able to respond to changing market conditions and customer needs than those without one. The study also found that companies with a diversity and inclusion council were 2.3 times more likely to be innovative and agile, and 1.7 times more likely to be a leader in their industry. Though the forum format can differ depending on the business, groups such as these ensure a continued commitment to inclusive practice across the business as well as allow employees with vested interests in DE&I, a place to make a difference in their workplace.

Make an impact no matter what where you are in your DE&I journey

No matter where you may be in your journey, adopting inclusive practices only prove valuable for today’s leading creative businesses.

As creative talent experts, speak to one of our consultants here to learn how we can help you in inclusive hiring journey or for bespoke staffing consultancy.

If you’d like to learn more about inclusive hiring processes and or our partnerships, please reach out to our team directly.