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While inclusivity and diversity have been on the minds of organizations for many years, knowing how to translate that into your hiring practices can still be a challenge. What does inclusive hiring look like, and how can you ensure that your company’s practices are unbiased?

Write job descriptions with inclusive language. Language is critical to keeping your hiring practices inclusive, so start with your job descriptions. Ditching any gendered terminology, stay away from industry jargon and be aware of literacy exclusion by keeping sentences short and terms easy to understand. It’s also worth assessing job titles for any hint of industry preference or gender preference, such as eliminating masculine or feminine terms and choosing, instead, gender-neutral terminology.

Develop processes to support your team. For an inclusive workplace, you need to build a culture that’s focused on the well-being of all your staff — and that involves providing mental health benefits and support staff when times are tough.

This might be through employee support teams, counselling at work, check-ins and flexible working for people who need time off to recover from addiction, stress or depression. “A Harvard-reviewed study revealed that up to 60% of people struggling with mental health issues have never spoken up about it at work. What’s more, a number of people who suffer from substance use disorder but are high-functioning might avoid seeking help because they can still perform at work, to a certain degree,” says Olivia Marcellino, VP of research at LuxuryRehabs.com.

Creating a culture of safety and openness means that everyone, no matter their situation, feels supported and valued.

Leverage technology to reduce human bias. Human bias can sneak into our decision making without us even realizing sometimes, but there are tools on the market that can help to minimize this. Job-writing software can help users create a more inclusionary space that helps to foster diversity and sift through candidates to prioritize the skills that are missing in the current team to correct imbalances.

Data can be incredibly valuable in justifying decisions and avoiding instinctual hidden biases, such as spotting racial differences in wages, seniority levels, turnover and retention rates among minority groups, awards, recognition and much more.

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Create your EOE statement. Your website should clearly display the company’s EOE (Equal Opportunity Employer) statement. This is a short paragraph that shows your business’ commitment to inclusion and diversity and highlights the affirmative action it’s taking to improve. While these statements are usually written in standard language, they can be customized to your business’ values and culture to represent what matters to the company.

Establish diverse interview panels. Having a well-rounded panel to assess candidates for a role can help in reducing bias and viewing candidates from a new perspective. If you don’t have the time to form a panel of interviewers, you should gather the top members of your team and conduct a group interview instead, including where possible a balance of men and women and underrepresented groups.

Keep educating your team. Staying on top of biases to ensure that your practices and systems are fair and equitable is an ongoing process, and education should remain at the forefront of a business’s attempts to separate bias from the recruitment process. Educating and training the team to recognize biases and counter those internal prejudices can be a powerful way to improve employee engagement and create a more diverse workplace.

Recruiters have a responsibility to implement inclusive processes when it comes to hiring a diverse workforce, whether it’s changing how you advertise roles, evaluating the tools and software you use to alleviate biases and identify areas where diversity is an issue, or making sure that the people involved in making hiring decisions span a range of backgrounds and experiences.

By following these tips, you can ensure that you’re showing to prospective employees that your organization values diversity and is taking steps to prioritize inclusion.

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