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Inclusive Hiring in the Workplace

Updated: Oct 6, 2022

Is Inclusive Hiring in the workplace important?


Did you know that diverse teams are 87% better at making decisions?


Diversity, equity, and inclusion – especially when it comes to recruitment and retention – are topics that are trending because organizations are realizing the importance of creating diverse teams – especially in today’s society.


So, the short answer is YES! When making efforts to hire diverse candidates, organizations – statistically – will thrive.


Let’s chat about what inclusive hiring REALLY means. As Vervoa.com defines it, “Inclusive hiring is a recruitment process that not only recognizes the importance of diversity but embraces the needs of diverse candidates with hiring practices that aim to level the playing field for all. Inclusive hiring practices work to overcome unconscious biases that can impact hiring teams.”

We sat down with the Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion of the Capital Region Chamber, Jason Benitez, to chat more on the subject. The hiring landscape shifted following the height of the pandemic. We’re now more focused on a candidate’s skillset rather than educational background.


It goes both ways as well. As newer generations begin entering the workforce like Gen Z and Gen Alpha, for instance, they look more and more to the values of the company and what an organization stands for. A candidate is more likely to apply to a company that values DEI than one that does not.


The organization, McKinsey, found that corporations that identified as more diverse and inclusive are 35% more likely to outperform their competitors. It’s simply good for business.


We also spoke with our Chief Human Resources Officer, Brett Annette, who specializes in topics like these and encourages hiring managers to partner with their human resource team. He says, “Having this important conversation on Inclusive hiring in the workplace demonstrates Berkshire’s commitment to building an inclusive, varied agency welcoming to people of all backgrounds. Similar to having mission and value statements, our attention to creating awareness around inclusive hiring is an equally important topic.”


For more on partnering with your human resource team, click here.


Berkshire’s DEIB Impact


At Berkshire, we acknowledge the value and importance of having a diverse workforce, more so - one that is representative of the client population that we serve. “Effective representation helps shape effective service plans by more accurately identifying the needs of families and ensuring that services are tailored to them.” - Casey Foundation


Berkshire has made a commitment to become intentional about diversifying our workforce from our Board of Directors to our Front-Line staff. The implementation of inclusive hiring practices is an integral part of our five-year strategic plan. The work will begin in early 2023. Our Director of DEI, Markeia Robinson, has laid out six necessary concrete steps for implementation.


1. Job Descriptions: Review and Revise Job Descriptions

  • Certify that job descriptions are not written in a manner that may be exclusionary to marginalized groups of people

  • Examine and be intentional with the language that is used

  • Ensure that the qualifications are not exclusionary and that the requirements are actual education, experience, skills, talents, and characteristics necessary for the successful occupation of said role

  • Be intentional about using explicit language to attract diverse candidates to add additional value

2. Job Postings: Review and Revise Job Postings

  • Ensure that job postings are in direct alignment with the job descriptions

  • It is critical to ensure that the language used to market and attract talent maintains neutrality and cannot be viewed as gender or race specific

3. Recruitment: Diversify Recruitment Efforts

  • Identify diversity-centered job boards and platforms for the advertisement of BFC opportunities

  • Partner with a platform that provides concrete analytics for data and tracking purposes

  • Build relationships and partnerships with community-based organizations to expand access to greater pools of diverse talent

  • Implement a formal and structured employee referral system that allows BFC to tap into the social networks of existing staff of color

4. Interviewing: Create and Implement a Structured Agency-wide Interview Process

  • Identify set interview questions - a mixture of situational, behavioral, and role-specific

  • Ensure every hiring manager has the set interview questions for the roles under their purview

  • Devise a diverse interview panel

  • Educate the panel on interviewing expectations, guidelines, and awareness and removal of bias in decision making

  • Pre-determine interviewing schedule and identify re-occurring days and times that interviews will take place

5. Candidate Selection: Adopt a Standardized Rubric

  • Create/adopt a standardized rubric with a scoring system that ensures that all applicants are assessed and scored according to the same requirements and characteristics

  • Remove the possibility of bias that may influence decision-making

6. Retention: Execute Retention Efforts

  • Implement internal supports like employee resource groups

  • Outline resources such as mentorship access, and equitable access to opportunities

  • Create and implement standard operating procedures (SOPs) for addressing employee concerns related to diversity components (ex. race, religion, gender, etc.)

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