At Genesis we believe that diverse teams make all companies better. We think that diversity recruiting is important from a moral perspective, but there are also multiple business benefits.

Research shows that diverse companies are 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders in their market segments. On top of this, companies with diverse management teams have 19% higher revenues.

Diversity is important to candidates too. In fact, one survey found that a whopping 67 per cent of job seekers say that diversity is an important factor when considering an employer. So, there is a lot more to diversity than ticking a box.

Clients often ask us how they can improve diversity through the recruitment process.  Here are three things that we tell them.

 

Develop a company brand that puts diversity in the spotlight

Candidates will go out of their way to apply for roles at companies that bang the drum for diversity.

If your company genuinely values all people then don’t keep it to yourself, actively talk about the importance of diversity and make it part of your company culture.

This isn’t a process that happens overnight, but in time your reputation for valuing diversity will become part of your brand.

As we’ve said, candidates seek out companies that are diverse, so it’s worth playing the long game. After all, you reap what you sow.

 

Create company policies that value diversity

 When it comes to diversity, it’s important that you back up your values with company policy. If you don’t do this then it could appear that you are merely paying lip service to the idea of diversity without doing anything concrete.

There are lots of ways that diversity intersects with policy, but a big-ticket item is flexible working. You can also make sure that your leave policy considers religious holidays and community events.

Crucially, you need to ensure that there is a mechanism in place for people to speak up about policies that aren’t working for them.

 

Increase diversity in candidate screening

The recruitment process is perhaps the most important way you can attract and retain a diverse workforce.

Start with an audit of your current process. Look at any recruitment ads you have put out over the last year and look for opportunities to speak to a wider audience. Even simple changes to the language you use can make a job ad more appealing to people from diverse backgrounds.

It’s really important to be aware of unconscious bias during the recruitment process. To eliminate this, we recommend using ‘blind resumes’ during your screening process. This means that all the personal information is blanked out before it is passed on to the recruiting manager.

Of course, it’s also important that any recruitment agencies that you work with are up to speed with your diversity strategy. Ask recruiters to tell you how they eliminate unconscious bias from their screening process to make sure that you are all on the same page.