A rapidly growing number of Canadian employers are boosting their company’s EEO policies and procedures to encourage ever more diversity and inclusion in their recruiting efforts. Although it may be surprising, the reason for this trend is not to simply comply with evolving EEO mandates and punishments – although that does factor into their thinking, of course. After all, no Board of Directors wants to subject their company to large fines or even costly litigation.
That said, another important reason for increased focus on diversity in hiring is the fact that employers who are known for their diversity in hiring consistently attract a much deeper pool of qualified applicants. Word of mouth among job seekers spreads fast.
On the flip side of this coin, organizations with clearly biased hiring practices and/or reputations may actually drive potential candidates away. That same word-of-mouth that can build a company into an employer of choice can quickly flag it as a dead zone for opportunity or inclusion.
The Impact of a Growing Millennial Workforce
There’s another factor driving the growth of diversity in employment – and that is the increasing number of recruits coming from the millennial generation. With this unique group, diversity has become for more than just checking off boxes. It’s important to understand that millennials see diversity as a blending of different backgrounds, experience and perspectives within a team. Millennials see this so-called “cognitive diversity” as a critical ingredient for innovation and are 71% more likely to focus on the importance of teamwork than non-millennials according to a recent study. This is in stark contrast to the viewpoint of boomers and gen-Xers who consider diversity to only represent fairness and protection to all, no matter what gender, race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation of a coworker.
Today, HR professionals need to factor in millennial attitudes about diversity because within the coming decade this group will make up almost 75% of the workforce. More importantly, millennials do not stay in one job or company nearly as long as prior generations. In other words, if your company isn’t known for its diversity and inclusion in hiring, millennials will avoid you like a 50-cent cup of coffee.
Maximize Diversity, Minimize Risk
As important as increased diversity is in hiring practices today, it’s also important to know what steps to take during the hiring process in order to minimize any possibility of bias, myths or stereotyping but those doing the recruiting.
- Making sure anyone involved in the recruitment process – whether internally or an outside contractor – is committed to a fair process without injecting their own biases.
- Next, create a job description that lists specific requirements of the job and avoide using discriminatory language of any kind.
- Ensuring that your application process is fair, easy to understand, does not request unnecessary information and that online job portals used are accessible and easy to navigate.
- Advertising the job to attract as wide and diverse a range of applicants as possible.
- Short Listing applicants using only the job requirements as criteria and not allowing personal bias, myth or stereotypes to influence the decision.
- Interviewing this short-list with a set of the same interview questions asked of every candidate and focusing only on specific skills, abilities and experience needed for the position.
- Making sure your final choice of candidate has been made in a fair and non-discriminatory way.
For more information about bias-free recruiting procedures, read the Cegid white paper on this subject
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