Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) in the workplace is becoming increasingly important across all sectors. Due to increasing pressure on businesses to improve their D&I companies often assume that they will have to compromise on talent in order to force diversity into their environment. This stems from the illusion that merit-based recruitment and diverse recruitment are two separate hiring methods. This is not the case. A cohesion of both and hiring without bias, can often lead to an effective hiring process, whereby you attract and retain top talent, whilst also encouraging D&I. By hiring diversely, businesses experience higher levels of productivity, creativity, and problem solving, whilst also reducing the number of skill and experience gaps within the workforce.
At Maxwell Bond, our job is to drive technological and digital growth, change and progression by ensuring that businesses can access, attract and retain the top talent, whilst also putting people first. That’s why all of our recruitment is based on both merit and diversity, so that our clients have access to the largest possible talent pool available. This is how we do it.
Focus on the Right Candidate Attributes
Every role with have a certain set of core skills that are fundamental for the job, and therefore all candidates must exhibit certain talents and abilities required for the role. We acknowledge that for many jobs, there are some skills that are simply a must. To measure a candidate’s suitability for the role, only these core skills, demonstrable experience and achievements, and character-based attributes such as drive, and passion should be considered.
What should be dispelled from consideration during the recruitment process, is anything pertaining to age, gender, sex, sexuality, religion, ethnicity, race, or country of origin, or any other inherited characteristics. These attributes are of no detriment or benefit to the functionality of the job and are therefore irrelevant in finding great candidates. That’s why Maxwell Bond strips the CV’s down to only relevant information, so that our clients can assess candidates without unconscious bias that any hiring manager is often prone to.
Language in Job Adverts is Important
Granular details, including the language used in job adverts, have an impact on the candidates that you attract and encourage to apply. Studies have shown that women become deterred from applying for jobs that use language such as ‘competitive’, ‘enforcement’, ‘exhaustive’ and ‘leader’, whilst they are more likely to apply for job which emphasises words such as ‘interpersonal’ and ‘support’. Even adapting your job adverts to use neutral language that is still descriptive and conveys culture, whilst also attracting more varied talent is an easy win for businesses.
Years of experience in the recruitment industry have given our consultants the knowledge they need to identify and substitute any language within their adverts that are specifically masculine or feminine in tone. By opting for neutral language, we can attract an optimal number of candidates and applicants for our clients, exposing them to a higher amount of exceptional talent, that could have been lost in the process.
If we persist in seeing people and candidates through the same outdated lenses and stereotypes of perceived capability, businesses will lose their competitive advantage and start to fall behind companies who are much more progressive with their D&I. Importantly, hirers and decision makers should abstain from closed-minded ways of analysing certain aspects of CV’s. This includes perceiving the absence of university degrees, maternity breaks, and career breaks as negative and deductive. Rather than immediately write off people who don’t automatically tick every box, look at examples of where they have shown a willingness to learn, consider family as a huge motivator, and enquire about how they used their time away from work. Overall, a basic consideration that people’s life journeys are all different, and their routes into their current position will all vary. This doesn’t necessarily make one candidate any less valuable than another.
Maxwell Bond values relationships, and that’s why our consultants put time into really getting to understand our candidates and their journey’s. This allows us to find candidates whose CV might not have immediately stood out, but who will add lots of value to certain roles and businesses. We help clients identify candidate value-adds where they might not be obvious. ≠
Difference ≠ Conflict
Another mistake that hirers tend to make, is believing in the ideology that hiring people with identical characteristics equates to cohesive workplace culture. Whilst workplace conflicts can arise from cultural misunderstandings or clashing beliefs, they can also arise from friction caused by two people who have the same personality trying to achieve the same thing in two different ways. Diversity within the workplace can actually improve cohesion, enhance problem solving, and maximise productivity.
Additionally, it reduces the amount of skill and knowledge gaps in the workplace. If you hire people who are all the same, skill gaps are all going to be in the same place, whereas if you hire people with different backgrounds and experiences, more of those gaps will be covered. A diverse workforce also better represents the world, and therefore, the company’s client base. Operationally, people with varying knowledge, experiences, backgrounds, and approaches are more likely to be successful.
Say No to Token Diversity Recruitment
Representation in the workplace is key, but only if it is genuine. The worst thing you could do is hire somebody unqualified for the role, purely because that are part of a minority group. This doesn’t address the core diversity issue. For example if a woman is employed as a ‘diversity token hire’ into a leadership position, and she is unsuccessful in the role, this could promote the idea that, either women do not make good leaders, or that the business has hired one woman and they don’t need to do anything further. Those that are hired purely for D&I quotas, often feel undervalued and used, leading to low morale, motivation, and a poor business reputation.
Everyone, regardless of who they are, or where they come from, deserve to be hired on their own merit and given equal opportunity to grow and learn in a role that is suited to them. That’s why we only match up great jobs with great candidates, and we firmly believe that finding the right role for the candidate is imperative.
Merit-Based and Diversity-Based Recruitment are the Same
Effectively, the basic conclusion is that diversity is great for business success and is becoming fundamental in an increasingly connected and culturally diverse world. Diverse recruitment doesn’t mean that businesses need to compromise on talent, just to show D&I within their business. Rather, they simply need to remove the chances of any unconscious bias from their recruitment process, to ensure merit based diverse recruitment that encourages equal opportunity. This means focussing only on the required information on a CV and ensuring an inclusive work environment through training and education. Together, Maxwell Bond can help you move away from tick-box recruitment, embrace a wider candidate pool without compromising on talent, and attract a more diverse workforce, thus improving your general D&I. Additionally we have recently released our EMPOWER whitepaper, which aims to help people who struggle with impostor syndrome, self-doubt and confidence, as well as mentors and leaders who will be onboarding, managing, and developing employees who might struggle with the above.