Inclusive Recruitment – How To Build A More Diverse & Inclusive Workforce in 2022

Over the years, the E4S recruiter blog has looked at various strategies you can employ for encouraging inclusivity in the workplace and building a more diverse workforce. Some strategies are a direct attempt to build diversity whilst others build diversity naturally. 

There are many benefits to increased diversity within the workplace. 

  • Different ideas and perspectives: If you have a workforce consisting of people from all different backgrounds then they naturally bring with them different skills and perspectives. A different way of tackling challenges that might not have been considered previously.
  • More innovation: When a team of staff work on a project and they are all sharing their different ideas for how to take on the project, this can lead to innovative ways of tackling the project. More creativity from your team.
  • Better decision making: A diverse team of people working on a project will often make better decisions and this can lead to a boost in company profits.
  • More engaged and therefore more productive team: A diverse workplace means your team feels like it is accepted and valued whatever the background of those individual team members. Inclusivity makes for a happier staff and happier staff are more productive and engaged because morale is boosted.
  • Better company reputation: We have written in the past about boosting your employer branding and how this makes recruitment easier. If you gain a good reputation for being an inclusive and diverse company, this will mean people will want to apply for your roles. It can also boost your revenues as customers will want to purchase your goods or services if you are knıwn for your inclusivity. 

Those are just a few of the benefits companies can enjoy when there is inclusivity and diversity within the workplace.

Do you feel you are an employer in an inclusive workplace? You can start by looking at these questions and really asking yourself – and others – how inclusive and diverse the workplace is. 

Graduates and school leavers alike are increasingly researching the inclusivity of companies before they apply for roles. So if you are looking to attract the best young talent to your vacancies, evidence of a genuinely inclusive and diverse workplace is one of the things they will be looking for.  

So, as we adapt to post-pandemic life and running companies within this, how do we make sure we have inclusive recruitment in 2022?

How To Make Your Recruitment Process More Inclusive in 2022

When your recruitment process is built to be as inclusive as possible, this will lead to a more inclusive workplace in the future.

Inclusivity goes beyond diversity. Diversity is about attracting people from various walks of life to your workforce. Inclusivity is about making sure all of those people feel included – they have a sense of belonging to your company.

If your staff has a sense of belonging, this is good for your staff retention.

A more inclusive hiring process needs to be thought through, first of all. Let’s take a look at some of the points to consider before you write that job ad and consider applications.

Be Specific

When you are keen to create a more inclusive workplace, it can be easy to try to recruit as diverse a range of people as possible, all in one go. 

Have a look around your team of staff and decide where you need to start. Who stands out as missing from your team? You could involve your staff in this process and speak to them about the people they think are missing from the workplace. 

Once you have a target group in mind, you can start to tailor your recruitment to encourage those people to apply for your vacancies. 

If you feel that your team of staff is lacking younger people from Generation Z, look to attract those people to your roles.

In the example of trying to be more inclusive by attracting a younger age range to your roles – graduates and school leavers – you have narrowed down the group of people you are looking for and can then really target your job ad to that age range. 

This should make your recruitment process easier as you should be attracting applications from your target group. 

There are some useful suggestions in our article about how to attract Gen Z applicants to your posts, post-pandemic. 

Where Will You Place Your Job Ad?

If you are trying to attract a younger demographic to be part of your company, you need to place your job ads and market your company in the most relevant places. 

Placing your jobs with E4S will mean you are targeting a young demographic so your company will be visible to the right people. 

Consider other outlets where you can have a presence – a presence where potential young recruits are likely to see you. 

Whilst your company might have a recruitment page on the company website, young people will not come across this if you are not promoting it in the right places. 

As well as social media and job boards, if possible, get out there in the local community and make yourself known as a company that wants to invest in the future of young people.Visit schools, colleges, training centres and universities as well as any expos that may be takşg place for young people.

Write For An Audience 

Good writing is all about writing for your target audience and this is certainly true of your job ad. Rather than writing a generic job description, target your writing towards young people.

We’ve written before about how to nail your job ad so that you attract the right applicants. 

We’ve also given some tips about what not to include when you are putting your vacancies out there. 

Your job advert is also your company branding and you need to make that branding attractive to young people. How are you going to stand out so that school leavers, students or graduates choose your company over others when applying for jobs?

Look at ads written by companies who are already up there when it comes to attracting young people. How are they selling their brand?

Do think carefully aboıut the vocabulary you use in your job adverts. If you are fond of job ad jargon and your ad is littered with words and phrases that might seem obvious to you, you could lose out on hooking in that young talent. 

In our article about job ad jargon (linked to above), the figures speak for themselves. A large number of young people out there find job ads ambiguous and they don’t understand what the role is that is being advertised. 

So, the key here is to be very specific in your job ads that are directed to young people. 

As well as getting rid of all the unnecessary jargon and technical language that might not be needed, take a look at our list of tips about what not to include in your job ad

These tips are  relevant to this article as they tackle ways of avoiding discrimination such as age discrimination and gender discrimination, for example. 

Be Upfront And Honest

Make sure those potential young candidates you are hoping to attract have all the information they need about working for you.

Whilst this can include the rate of pay or annual salary and the hours your candidates will be asked to work, there is also ölots of further information you can make available to candidates to show that you are an inclusive workplace.

Your younger candidates are likely to be from various walks of life – different socioeconomic backgrounds, different religions, genders.

What do you have in place within your company to make sure that all your staff feel included and that they belong? If there are any particular initiatives in place, make these known to candidates. Young people will likely be looking for evidence of inclusivity in your company before they even apply for your roles. 

Keep It Simple

For more inclusivity in the workplace, keep the whole recruitment process simple. As mentioned in the section above about job ad jargon, a high percentage of young people feel completely in the dark about what the job they are applying for actually entails. Some even get as far as the interview process not knowing what the job they have applied for is all about. 

Not only is this a waste of their time and your time if they realise the job is not for them, you have also excluded many young people from applying. The language has excluded them because they feel they aren’t qualified enough when they don:’t understand the language on the ad.

Also, make sure your whole recruitment process is inclusive. Whilst you obvioıusly want to make sure candidates are the right fit for the job you are advertising, take a look to see if there are any areas where you could be excluding some people because the process is either too complicated and time consuming or just too difficult. 

If you are looking to employ young people, many of them will have little or no experience of the workplace so make sure language and processes are accessible to all candidates. 

Be Aware Of Unconscious Bias

Whilst this may seem like a strange concept – once you become aware of something, it isn’t unconscious – we have written about unconscious bias in the past. It can be the difference between hooking in the best young talent and not. It can also be the difference between a diverse, inclusive workplace and not. 

This article about unconscious bias lists the different types of bias you might be displaying and also gives you some tips about how to take steps to remove it from your recruitment process. 

By its very nature, unconscious bias is not intentional but making yourself aware of it and acting on any changes you feel need to be ade can go a long way to creating a more inclusive workplace where young recruits feel they belong and are valued just as much as the rest of your staff. 

Taking a look at your recruitment process is just one of the ways you can start to build a more diverse and inclusive workplace in your company in 2022. 

If you think there needs to be more inclusivity within your company, let 2022 be the year where you start to take steps towards this. It’s a win-win situation for both employers and employees.