PRIDE 2023: inclusive hiring practices for businesses
By Jessie Davies
Today marks the beginning of PRIDE month! 🏳️🌈
At TRIA we firmly believe that diversity and inclusion are not just buzzwords. They are fundamental values that shape our company values and our actions. As we celebrate PRIDE month, we are served a powerful reminder of the importance of embracing diversity, inclusivity, and equality in our day-to-day activities. And as the recruitment sector owns an important role in shaping the workforce, and how other businesses create their own cultures, it is crucial to ensure that this is done in a way that is fair, inclusive, and socially responsible.
1 in 5 workplaces do not have any policies to support LGBT staff - Trades Union Congress (TUC)
As recruiters, we understand that creating an inclusive workplace starts with, but goes beyond the hiring practices. It also extends to the experiences and well-being of existing team members in the company. We recognise the importance of fostering an environment where every person, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, feels valued, supported, and empowered to succeed in their careers.
What inclusive hiring practices are you missing?
Here we share actionable, inclusive hiring practices that help us build diverse teams, support the LGBTQ+ community, and create a workplace where everyone feels valued and empowered. To create meaningful impact, businesses need to provide a safe space that encourages open communication, respects different perspectives, and guarantees a supportive environment where everyone feels comfortable bringing their authentic selves to work.
Our inclusive hiring practices include...
First and foremost; education:
It is crucial that teams are educated and awareness is raised around the experiences, and challenges, of the LGBTQ+ community. To encourage an open dialogue you can look at hosting training sessions and providing resources to ensure you are enhancing your team's awareness and understanding. Though implementing ongoing diversity and inclusion training, you equip your people with the knowledge and tools that foster inclusivity in day-to-day activity.
Using inclusive language for job descriptions:
The journey for inclusive hiring practices should start right from the beginning. Ensure this important first step isn't missed by crafting job descriptions that appeal to a wide range of candidates. Use gender-neutral language, emphasise diversity and inclusion, and highlight examples of your commitment to an inclusive work environment. (For a guide on inclusive language, you can find a useful article here).
Eliminating bias and developing inclusive interview practices:
Training interviewers to focus on skills, experiences, and qualifications rather than personal attributes allows candidates to showcase their abilities and potential. And to confirm that bias prior to interviews is minimised, adopt regular reviews of your current recruitment processes, adjusting and updating when necessary. You can look at implementing blind C.V. screening, structured interviews, and diverse interview panels to establish fair and inclusive hiring practices as part of your selection process. (For more practices, you can find a fuller checklist of considerations here).
Create inclusive groups and partnerships:
Developing relationships with LGBTQ+ organisations, and participating in networking events will mean your business will build a meaningful presence in the spaces that matter, and will expand your reach to new talent. Try collaborating with community groups to create mentorship programs, or internship opportunities for underrepresented individuals. Or, look at establishing an Employee Resource Group (ERG). An ERG serves as a valuable resource for your team to share insights and helping to shape inclusive policies. Providing a sense of community, support, and representation within your business.
Regular review of benefits and policies:
TUC found that HR managers whose workplaces have LGBT policies in place, only around one in three (34%) reviewed those policies in the last 12 months. By regularly assessing the benefits available and company policies offered to your team members will assure your team and potential candidates that they are, and will stay, inclusive and supportive of LGBTQ+ employees. Consider looking at inclusive healthcare benefits, gender-neutral restroom options, and inclusive parental leave policies. Or, you can implement anonymised surveys to gain a real understanding of what would be truly useful to your team members.
Consider your own unique culture and needs
It's important to emphasise that inclusive hiring goes beyond checking boxes or meeting quotas. Every company is unique, and the approach to inclusivity may vary depending on how it operates or its business goals. Which is why it is essential to recognise each require a nuanced approach, tailored to each company's context, and the needs of its team.
Please remember that inclusivity is not a destination; it is an ongoing commitment. By regularly assessing and refining hiring processes, hearing the experiences and feedback of your team members, and staying receptive to new ideas and perspectives we can collectively create workplaces that celebrate diversity, promote inclusivity, and foster an environment where every individual can thrive. Let us make the commitment to the ongoing pursuit of inclusive hiring practices, and build a future for professionals where diversity and inclusion are not just goals to be achieved, but integral parts of business DNA.