• Helene Palmer

Diversity and Inclusion in Recruitment

Having spent quite a few years driving Diversity and Inclusion in recruitment I have found it tough and (ironically) isolating at times.

A lot of businesses will pay lip service but when it comes to the crunch you have to ask yourself, are they committed?

Often, like many things, people want the results but putting in the work to get there falls lower down on the priority list. This is where it all goes wrong. An inclusive environment leads to happier staff, it is as simple as that. After all, we all want to be valued, appreciated and to be happy. Right?

The most common thing I hear from hiring managers is “I need someone as soon as possible.”. We need to change the conversation to making “I want the right person” the priority. In addition, recruiters, HR and the business need to understand the value of a diverse workforce within an inclusive environment, in terms of motivation, productivity and of course the financial benefits.

Put quite simply, if you put ten people from the similar backgrounds in a room together then the chances are that they will come up with the same ideas. Now these may be great ideas however, if you put ten people in a room from varied backgrounds then you are going to get a much more exciting discussion with far more varied ideas generated. More ideas and challenges would lead to greater creativity, innovation and ultimately more value.

A diverse workforce equals:

  • a wider range of skills

  • cultural insights

  • increased productivity

  • improved creativity

  • improved employee engagement (happier people!)

  • happier people mean reduced employee turnover.

All the above will then ultimately improve your company's reputation and increase your profits.

However, it all starts with that inclusive environment. You can't recruit, and you definitely can't retain, a diverse workforce if you do not have an inclusive environment.

Questions to ask yourself include:

  • Does your culture support inclusion?

  • What behaviours are driving your culture?

  • How are your leaders driving your culture?

  • Do you have clear values that outline expected behaviours?

  • What behaviours are leaders and senior managers demonstrating?

  • Do your people really feel included and valued? 

  • Are your policies and processes inclusive, up to date and reviewed regularly?

  • Are your communications, facilities, and technology inclusive?

  • Do you provide relevant training? (You cannot assume that everyone understands what diversity and inclusion actually mean.)

Taking all the above into account, the question then becomes:

Is it time to prioritise and move diversity and inclusion up your priority list?

For further advice please contact: info@helenepalmercoaching.com

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