Numerous studies have shown that having a diverse team, which includes people of different genders, ethnicities, and other demographics, leads to much more fruitful and creative discussions around business decisions. Informed discussions mean that you carefully consider your options before committing to any dramatic business changes. Here at VERCIDA, we understand the power of diversity. It isn't just something which is useful for businesses to have - it is an essential component of long-term success and innovation.
Diversity won't happen on its own, however. Unless you and your business make a conscious effort to diversify and to make use of diversity where it does exist, then you will struggle with a narrow pool from which to draw ideas and will quickly find that your business's output stagnates.
What follows is a brief guide to how we here at VERCIDA think you can most effectively attract a more diverse range of candidates to apply to work for your company.
Know your business and your applicants
To attract the most diverse range of applicants possible to any job that you advertise, you will need to make sure that working for your business is attractive and appealing. A candidate from a completely different ethnic or cultural background might be nervous about diving into a new business environment. It is your job to make them feel comfortable. You will find that businesses who demonstrate a seriousness about equality find it much easier to attract diverse pools of candidates.
Networking is one of the most powerful tools available to the modern business person. Networking is an opportunity to meet new people who may be able to provide services to your business, either now or in the future. You should never pass up networking opportunities and, more fundamentally, you should always be on the lookout for new opportunities to network.
By looking for events which are tailored towards the specific groups that you want to attract to your business, you can easily identify numerous opportunities to network with groups that you otherwise wouldn't have encountered. This is a no-brainer from a diversity standpoint.
Don’t look at personal info
If you are using an external department or organisation for recruitment, then consider asking them to blank out the names and other information about applicants, leaving you with only their professionally relevant statistics to consider. No matter how committed you might be to the goal of diversity, we are all subject to inherent biases that are far beyond our ability to control. The only way to be certain that these don't play a role in the decision-making process is to remove the opportunity for bias entirely.
Referrals are another integral part of the business landscape. Referrals allow both employers and employees to demonstrate that they have a reputation for high standards and for good quality work. Where you have already successfully implemented diversity measures in your workplace, ask for feedback in the form of testimonials and referrals.
You could also ask candidates for feedback following the recruitment process and ask them for any advice they have on how you could have performed better from a diversity perspective.
Often, when companies approach us, we find that they have given only the smallest consideration to how much difference word of mouth, and referrals, in particular, can make to the image a company projects. For many individuals who come from certain backgrounds, hearing first-hand accounts from others of how a company is committed to equality and diversity can be the difference between applying and not applying for a job.
Identify your goals
VERCIDA can help you to achieve your diversity goals and we hope to make the process of transforming your business as simple and painless as possible. However, we can only advise you on what to do. Only you can really measure the success of your diversity program and it is important that you set yourself clear goals beforehand. Without clearly defined goals, it will be difficult to objectively measure the success or failure of any measures you take.
Once you have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve, you can then go about formulating the best plan for achieving it.
The exact shape and nature of your plan will depend on your individual goals. VERCIDA will be able to assist you at every step of the way. Achieving diversity in the workplace is possible for any business willing to truly commit to the idea.
VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email [email protected] for more information.
We are also officially recommended by Disability Confident as a step on achieving Employer status, please click here for more information.