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For many businesses, diversity and inclusion is one of the leading issues on the agenda as we move into 2021.

Although simply saying that you welcome, recognise and champion difference in your workplace seems to be the norm at the moment, actually striving to back up this statement with data can be a little more challenging. The reality is that many employers can struggle to quantify how their talent acquisition strategy does, or in some cases does not, drive diversity and inclusion.

If you’re keen to understand and improve inclusion and diversity throughout your talent acquisition process, the following tasks and considerations will help you to recognise, evaluate and better your approach when engaging with new talent, whatever the role you may be looking to fill.

Take a closer look at your current data

The first stage to evaluating and improving your talent and acquisition strategy in terms of inclusion and diversity is to call on the data you already have readily available within your organisation.

Are you failing to attract applications from a certain demographic? Are certain people more prone to applying for a role with you? If so, who are they?

By studying existing data, you can pinpoint any areas where diversity and inclusion may be failing within your application process. Flagging this up for further investigation is a powerful first step towards driving truly inclusive and diverse practices across your recruitment activity.

Is your application process inherently diversity and inclusion friendly?

Delving deeper into every element of your application process can involve asking the tough questions. Could you be unconsciously putting off some people from applying for your vacancies for example?

Does the recruitment area of your website depict plenty of white, able-bodied personnel and leave out images of people from different ethnicities say or with disabilities?

How (and by whom) are your applications being pre-screened? Is unconscious bias being allowed to creep in even before you get to see the short listed applicants?

Could it be that the forms used as part of the recruitment process, or even the job specs themselves, fail to explicitly state that you welcome applications from people with different backgrounds?  Is it possible that your job advert may be off-putting to those with mobility issues thanks to the unconscious use of terminology such as ‘climb the ladder’ or ‘step up to the challenge’?

Although these aspects may be subtle, they are barriers to diversity and inclusion in the modern workplace.

Reconsider your selection panel

Finally, you’ll need to remove any unconscious bias at the final part of the recruitment process.

Take a closer look at your selection panel. Are the people seated on that panel representative of inclusion and diversity in your workplace or are they all from similar backgrounds? Have they been given any training on inclusion recently?

These are all questions that need to be asked to ensure a ‘recruit like me’ mentality is removed from every stage of the recruitment process. It is only by reassessing your talent acquisition process and asking the difficult, probing questions that turn a spotlight on existing practises that you can truly identify and overcome any barriers towards being a workforce that celebrates, nurtures and champions difference.

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