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Building a diverse workforce

10 Steps towards a diverse workplace

Workplace inclusion and diversity are vital to healthy and effective businesses and improving them has key benefits for your company. Ultimately, having a diverse workforce with employees from all walks of life will equip your business with a wide range of experience and skills, and make you more attractive to potential employees.

It’s no surprise then that, according to some research, companies with significantly diverse personnel are outperforming their competitors by 35%. That’s a good reason to learn how you can improve your workplace diversity.

Developing an effective diversity policy

Here’s our Conspicuous step-by-step guide on how to create an effective policy to diversify your existing workforce and make your company an employer of choice.

Step 1: Reword job ads

Eradicate unconscious bias from your job ads. For instance, you don’t want to scare women away with a bunch of stereotypically masculine ‘required skills’. Make sure your job ads read gender neutral.

Step 2: Advertise in minority publications

Reach out to a wider pool of talent by advertising in specialist publications that are tailored to minority groups.

Step 3: Implement blind applications

Reduce the risk of bias within the hiring process by introducing blind applications, (e.g. no name, gender, age, educational institution and disability). Your decision-making process will run objectively this way.

Step 4: Advocate diversity on your company website

If you have a diverse senior team and/or recent graduates on board, showcase this on your website. This will create a sense of belonging for individuals of minority groups. Inclusion is key if you want to attract a broad range of candidates.

Step 5: Give your company’s culture a health check

Some long-standing company cultures can be a deterrent for certain individuals. Women or those with a disability might be put off by an overly macho vibe or a long hours tradition for example.

Step 6: Make sure your interview panels are diverse

Create a diverse panel and make sure they are thoroughly trained. It’s important that their comfort levels with candidates of similar backgrounds don’t bias the process; for example, they need to ask each prospective employee the exact same interview questions.

Step 7: Ensure your online interviews are fair

In hosting a face-to-face interview you wouldn’t expect a candidate in a wheelchair to walk upstairs. Equally, you shouldn’t deny access to, or hinder your online application process for those with visual impairments or dyslexia for example. Online applications need to be accessible to all.

Step 8: Employ job coaches

HR won’t always have the specialist knowledge required for providing solutions to disability related problems or alleviating workplace exclusion. Hiring temporary or permanent work coaches with valuable insight can provide support to your employees and ensure they are comfortable at work.

Step 9: Raise awareness internally

Implement diversity training through seminars and workshops to get everyone up to speed. Your employees shouldn’t just be tolerating workplace differences but appreciating them too. Help everyone see the value in having a diverse workforce.

Step 10: Create employee forums

Introducing employee forums and culture societies will generate a sense of belonging and promote that all-important inclusion policy. You can take this further by celebrating festivals of all different cultures, and even send your employees on trips to various countries to gain invaluable insight into other cultures.

Next steps

For more information about diversity and inclusion or how to build brilliant teams, please get in touch.

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