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7 Steps to Inclusive Recruitment

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​7 Steps to Inclusive Recruitment

A Diverse & Inclusive Hiring Process

Gender diversity is a hot topic in the Danish legal market right now. 65% of females firmly believe there is a problem.

For some firms they see it as corporate social responsibility or simply an issue of regulatory compliance. And then there are those that see it as a force for good and a competitive advantage and they’d be right in thinking so. Almost all research points towards diversity improving decision-making, innovation, brand awareness and profitability.

A research paper written by Harvard Business School ‘found that 67% of job seekers overall look at workforce diversity when evaluating an offer. Top female candidates, in particular, care about gender diverse work environments… 61% of women look at the gender diversity of the employer’s leadership team when deciding where to work. The takeaway is the most talented individuals go to places that do better with diversity, and this may be what is driving diverse firms in certain contexts to outperform their peers.’

To address the challenge our industry faces we need to collectively cultivate a positive, solution-orientated and growth mindset. With so much negativity in the world, we should not altogether ignore it, but we should focus on key actions that can improve companies and which will have a positive impact on the industry. This is not to forget or or diminish anyone’s hardships. These are very much real. My point being is that to focus on the negative can incense friction and rebutal. Ultimately, we are striving towards a modern meritocracy where everyone belongs and everyone can perform. Inclusion leads to better outcomes.

In a report by PWC it asked what did the participants feel are the most significant barriers to increased levels of female experienced hires. 45% of females believed that this was down to the impact of gender stereotypes/assumptions in the recruitment process.

One piece of the jigsaw which I wanted to explore a little further was diverse and inclusive hiring processes. It’s a small part but if practiced alongside your inclusion journey can be utilised to great effect. So how can you embed diversity and inclusion into your recruitment process?

 1. Audit Your Job Descriptions & Job Adverts

Take a look at your old jobs adverts. Do your adverts speak to a broad range of candidates? Is the language geared towards a particular demographic? Men will apply for job adverts if they meet 60% of the criteria, whereas will women will only apply if they meet over 90%. It’s important to understand that adverts alone have a significant impact on your potential talent pool.

 2. Make Your Headhunter Accountable

Top executive search firms will have a relevant expanded network of diverse talent. Headhunters should be providing a talent pool that represents the demographic of an industry or country. Make the search firm you’ve hired commit to bringing in a representative pool of talent and hold them accountable to what it is they need to deliver.

3. Anonymised Resumes

Blind CV’s are becoming increasingly popular. By removing identity details from resumés and applications it creates a means of eliminating potential bias and in turn promotes diversity.

 4. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Another way to avoid unconscious bias in a companies assessment of job candidates. For example, a Lawyer who went to private school may be naturally drawn to the CV’s of those candidates who have also been privately educated. AI has been shown to result in a fairer system. A recent study from Korn Ferry (UK) demonstrated that ‘it has changed the way recruiting is done in the majority of organisations with over half (51%) saying roles are now filled in a more timely manner.’

5. Diverse Hiring Panel

How diverse is your hiring panel? A diverse panel will improve your decision-making process when hiring and it will help steer away from unconscious bias. It’s also an opportunity for existing employees to grow. Importantly, it provides candidates with a better experience.

6. Interview Questions & Scoring

It’s important that companies make an evidence based decision when hiring. Consider the importance of asking consistent questions and understand how you will score each applicants answers. Being able to comparatively measure candidates answers will lead to better outcomes in the decision-making process. The ‘gut feeling’ that people have is exactly the type of unconscious bias that should be avoided. Steer away from questions like ‘what do you think of them’ as the answer will almost always be subjective.

 7. Education

Companies and teams are generally a reflection of those that lead them. It’s important that leaders educate their employees about the benefits and importance of diversity and inclusion. Through training and workshops you can help your team to better understand and recognise their unconscious bias and strive towards creating an inclusive work environment.

Diversity and inclusion doesn’t come in the form of a D&I policy, publicly partnering with a relevant foundation or even a shiny press realise. Diversity and inclusion requires an organisation to undertake a complete cultural shift. It requires it to change its character. It is important to recognise that if how we want to be perceived versus how we behave is not aligned, the result will be companies and brands that people will ultimately not trust.

To conclude, creating a diverse and inclusive organisation starts at the top. I strongly believe that it is something organisations should commit to, but let’s not hide from that fact that it is a difficult journey. Greater diversity and inclusion will not happen by accident so intention, intervention and accountability are required. Being committed to diversity and inclusion makes it clear to your employees, clients and network that you are company that does the right thing. Championing diversity will allow you to attract the very best talent in the market and if it is a genuine effort you will reap the benefits earlier and outlast and outperform your competitors.

For more information on how Anzurra can support you in building a diverse and inclusive organisation please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can reach our CEO, John Murphy, on +45 32 74 15 93 or alternatively send an email to