8 Top Tips to help kick start your EDI recruitment strategy

brooke cagle uHVRvDr7pg unsplash scaled 1 | 8 Top Tips to help kick start your EDI recruitment strategy
By Paula Smith | 17th June 2021 | 7 min read

Is EDI recruitment (Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion) that important? According to the HR Director, 4 out of 5 companies in the UK took steps to increase their commitment to ED&I in 2020 - during a global pandemic!

In fact, the over night change in our working environments together with the rise of movements such as Black Lives Matter have simply accelerated the need for organisations and their recruitment teams to address Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) as a matter of urgency. It’s no longer just a ‘tick box’ exercise for companies but an integral part of the future growth of businesses worldwide. 

Companies increasing their commitment to being ethnically diverse and inclusive are 33% more successful, 1.7 times more likely to become leaders of innovation and have higher chances of attracting top talent. 

However one of the key barriers - especially when it comes to EDI recruitment - is not knowing where to start. 

Take a look at our Top Tips to ensures that EDI is at the heart of your recruitment strategy

  1. Improve job Ad Inclusivity 

Take a look at your advert and consider how it will make others feel. Making sure that your advert appeals to the widest possible audience is key to driving EDI across your organisation. 

Take each element of your advert and review it. 

Imagery - Do the images you use reflect your current workforce or the workforce you are trying to attract?

Language - Use a gender neutral copy decoder to assess whether the language in your adverts could be impacting on the applications you receive. 

2. Offer greater flexibility

If there is important lesson that we have learnt from the pandemic it is that when required, entire organisations and their workforce can effectively work from home. Not only that but reports suggest that employees who work from home are not only more productive but also tend to spend more time working than those who have a daily commute to consider. 

This new acceptance to working has essentially opened up new talent pools for organisations which can be capitalised on to support your EDI strategies 

For example, offering new employees the ability to work from home or offering flexible hours can make your advert much more appealing to groups of people who may not be in a commutable distance or need to work around child care commitments and school hours. 

Whilst it is also advised that you clearly define your essential requirements its also equally important to make sure that any essential criteria that you include in your advert really is a ‘must have’ requirement for the role. Could the role be adapted in anyway to support applications from other potential applicants? Eg a Job Share or can they learn some skills on the job? 

3. Expand your talent pool 

If you are wanting to tap into new pools of talent then it’s vital that you explore all opportunities available to you and don’t just simply use the same job boards or processes you’ve used in the past. 

With the rise in organisations looking to address EDI across their organisations, has seen a growing number of job boards designed to support this new approach to recruiting. 

Although many are still in their infancy and only have a handful of vacancies, it may well be a consideration for advertising your vacancies. 

Another option however is the ability to tap into social media.  In fact these platforms have made it easier than ever for organisations to reach and connect with millions of potential candidate from diverse backgrounds. 

4. Develop your corporate brand 

According to a study nearly a quarter of candidates turn to a companies website when looking for a new role. 

Having a strong employer brand has continued to grow in weight over the last few years especially given the importance that potential employees now place on what an organisation stands for when considering job opportunities. 

Making sure your employer brand is in line with your corporate values is key not only to help recruit better candidates but a more diverse pool of candidates too. 

5. Remove unconscious bias 

People unknowingly suffer from unconscious bias and this can impact the way they recruit. Essentially people will gravitate towards people that are considered to be similar to them but the problem is that the person that you like best might not actually be the best person for the job. 

Organisations need to educate their current workforce and especially recruiting managers to firstly understand what unconscious biases are, how they are likely to impact their decisions and show a commitment to introducing practises that tackle these potential biases when it comes to recruiting. 

Anonymised scoring tools, structure interview processes and asking employees to conduct job related tasks can all help to remove unconscious bias throughout your recruitment process. 

6. Look at tools that can help 

Having the right tools in place can help ensure that any applications you do receive are dealt with in a fair and consistent manner without being impacted by unconscious bias. 

Whether you simply wish to remove personal information so that applications can be shortlisted without potential bias or wish for a panel of employees to score applications a good recruitment software solution will provide you with the latest technologies to help. 

Using Automation and AI technologies as part of the recruitment process is a growing trend that not only aids efficiency, but the greater EDI recruitment strategies being adopted too. 

The use of such technologies is undoubtedly going to continue to increase in 2023 and beyond and needs to be part of your recruitment strategy too.

Networx Recruitment software, from IRIS, is the perfect recruitment solution to pair with an established HR software tool to give your business the leading edge on not only recruitment processes, but also HR training for later EDI development.

7. Ensure an inclusive interview process 

Whilst structured interview questions can set the stage for a more consistent and fair interview process, organisations that wish to be truly inclusive need to challenge how interviews are conducted and whether or not they are the best they can be. 

Ideally employees should be interviewed by a panel of people which represent different backgrounds, personalities, ages and experience levels. It is important however to avoid creating a group of people who all think the same. 

How you conduct interviews plays an integral role into your EDI recruitment strategy. To have a truly inclusive process then you may need to offer several options. Whilst face to face Interviews in an office location help support a more consistent approach and environment in which to interview candidates, attending these during normal working hours may prove difficult for some candidates. Alternatively in line with the increase in virtual recruitment if you are considering the use of video interviews it’s important to recognise that some people may find it difficult to find a quiet place with a strong WIFI signal etc.  

Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, and we all have different lives that we lead. In order to be inclusive, the interview process needs to be as flexible and adaptable as possible to reflect these differences whilst simultaneously maintaining a consistent approach. The complexities of this is which is why having a clear ED&I recruitment strategy is so important. 

8. Challenge your own culture

It is widely recognised that a strong diversity and inclusion strategy can help your organisation attract top talent, but creating an inclusive culture can often be more difficult than expected. 

Companies need to provide all employees with an equal opportunity and give them a voice that is going to be heard. 

Spending time to understand how employees feel across all levels of your organisation, what they think can be improved on and what barriers they believe need to be overcome is the first stage. 

Once you have the information then its imperative that you act upon it and put in the necessary policies or processes in place. 

Essentially an inclusive culture will take time to deliver but by having the right principles in place is paramount to making the first steps. 

Find the right place to start planning and implementing your EDI recruitment strategy can be a daunting prospect, but with the right approach and latest technology to support you, as an organisation you will be able to quickly reap the benefits. 

Take a look at our handy resources page for more information or alternatively feel free to reach out to our team and we will be happy to help.