How does my team become more diverse? It is obvious to look for the solution to more diversity in recruiting. However, the most important work should start before the actual hiring. Because the ground for the success of diverse teams is the inclusive corporate culture.
1. define what diversity, equity and inclusion mean for your organization before prioritizing diversity in recruiting.
These are big strategic questions that should not be answered by the voluntary diversity community alone in a self-organized way. D&I is a strategic business decision that should be made together with the leadership team. The management level itself should exemplify inclusive behavior and also play a key role in shaping the corporate culture in this direction. This is not just about avoiding open discrimination in compliance with the General Equal Treatment Act. It is about developing a vision for D&I. What do you want to stand for as an employer and as a company? What values shape the organization - from interpersonal issues to the product or service? What do you want people to say about the company on Kununu or Glassdoor? We are happy to support you in clarifying these questions with our proven workshops. Because the diversity & inclusion strategy precedes the diversity in recruiting strategy.
2. learn more about inclusive hiring and diversity in recruiting yourself
Diversity & Inclusion are often new topics for people in Talent Acquisition. Inclusive hiring means actively incorporating the diversity of candidates, with all their qualities and perspectives. It is not about simply hiring more people with marginalized identities. It's still about hiring candidates with the best skills and competencies for the job. The only difference in inclusive hiring: it's practices that actively acknowledge that opportunity inequities and implicit biases exist for people inside and outside of the norm. To do this, you must also address your privileges and assumptions about people.
Inclusive Hiring thinks of all talents
An example: A company is looking for developers. An implicit bias here is that the vast majority of people spontaneously and subconsciously imagine a developer as cis-male and white, a person around 25-40 years old and socialised Christian and not having a disability. Very few people imagine, for example, a Black queer non-binary person over 40 with a disability. This is problematic because people prefer to confirm their stereotypical images rather than refute them. Or also because they prefer to prefer people who are like themselves. In the hiring process, this could lead to the Black queer non-binary person not even being considered as a candidate with the same qualifications, because biases unconsciously prevent this. Inclusive hiring means valuing the whole spectrum of talents and recognising one's own biases. You can find more information in my workbook here.
3. design your careers page in a way that is appealing and usable for all talents
It is often the small, unconscious first impressions that either lead to candidates finding the company attractive or not. The most important question: Is the site accessible to all people? It's best to audit your careers site and consider: do the photos on our site represent the entire talent pool we want to reach? Have we communicated transparently in a statement that we truly value diversity? Do we share examples of our D&I work? It is important to remain authentic about progress. If candidates won't find a diverse team, then the career page should honestly communicate that - along with the company's honest D&I goals. An outside perspective also helps: Learn more about my assessments here.
4. formulate your inclusive hiring strategy with concrete objectives
Especially when your company is growing rapidly, D&I and fast hiring are often opposites. It simply takes more time to find, target and hire marginalised talent. That's why it's important to create a strategy, get buy-in from senior management and set goals. Perhaps individual colleagues can develop a strategic diversity active sourcing. Then set firm team goals together with the hiring managers. Or partner with different organisations, such as Sozialhelden e.V. or the Swans Network, to connect with marginalised talent. There are many ways to do this and it should suit your organisation. The important thing is to keep at it.
5. inclusive hiring: structure your interview process instead of relying on gut feeling
There are several studies on the effects of different names on identical CVs, for example with a traditionally white-sounding name and a traditionally black-sounding name, studied by Bertrand & Mullainthan from the University of Chicago in the USA. The name that is unconsciously assigned to a Black person receives fewer invitations to get-to-know-you interviews: Lakisha and Jamal (black read names) received 50 per cent fewer callbacks and had to prove eight years more work experience than Emily and Greg (white read names).
In Germany, Doris Weichselbaumer of the Institute of the Future of Work in Bonn presented in a study found that a person called Meryem Öztürk received far fewer callbacks than Sandra Bauer - with an identical CV and all the identical qualifications. If Meryem Öztürk wears a hijab in the picture, she even has to wait four times longer than Sandra Bauer to get a callback.
Structured hiring processes contribute to fairer selection by limiting the impact of unconscious bias. This means thinking about which skills and competencies are important for the job and assessing them using a scorecard. Every decision, from screening documents, to specific job tests, to the interviews themselves, is then based on concrete measurable attributes and prevents the rushing in of a prejudiced gut feeling.
6. develop your D&I employer brand
Employer branding is your chance to bring the culture you live internally to the outside world. If your D&I strategy is internally credible and authentic, you will be able to reach and convince interesting potential candidates externally through your employer branding. Maybe it fits your corporate culture to write about your D&I strategy and process on your corporate blog and share these articles on Linkedin or Twitter. Maybe you have individual, very committed D&I ambassadors* who talk about the corporate culture via their social media channels. Or you might host a free panel discussion on a socially important topic, e.g. anti-racism in companies, and invite an external audience as well. Find out what suits your organisation.
7. grow with the challenges
The exciting thing about D&I work is that a lot of it is about trying, failing, improving and trying again. There are, of course, practices that have been proven to lead to more diversity, such as the structured interview process. However, most of it happens in the here and now. The most important thing, therefore, is the mindset: D&I work is an attempt to bring about equal opportunities in long-standing, inequitable structures. This takes energy and time. We should therefore also regularly celebrate the big and small successes in order to gain energy for the next stages.