Diversity and inclusion are relevant to every stage of the employment relationship, starting with the recruitment and interview process. There are many steps that employers can take to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace, ultimately resulting in a happier and more productive workforce. These include:
To secure the most talented people, employers will need to adopt a conscious and innovative approach to access more diverse talent pools. Employers should ensure that their recruitment strategies reach candidates regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability or socio-economic background. Organisations should ensure that job adverts and job descriptions use language that does not imply that the organisation is looking for a candidate from a particular background. It is particularly important for anyone drafting job advertisements or participating in interview panels to be aware of their own bias. Anti-bias training can be highly effective, allowing managers to identify areas where they may have their own unconscious biases, helping them to approach recruitment more objectively. Removing certain information from application forms, such as the name and gender of the applicant or the name of the school they attended, can also help employers to minimise the impact of unconscious bias by encouraging employing managers to focus solely on the applicant's qualifications and experience. At the interview stage, employers should also make sure that they are prepared for an inclusive interview. It is important for organisations to consider the composition of the interview panel e.g. is the panel composed of a range of diverse characteristics such as gender, age, race etc. as well as asking candidates if they have any accessibility requirements.
It is important for organisations to develop a strategy around diversity and inclusion in the individual workplace. Diversity and inclusion has traditionally been within the merit of the human resource function of organisations. In order to effect change in a workplace's culture, it is necessary to have engagement regarding diversity and inclusion from senior management in the first instance. A governance structure needs to be implemented in order to support the organisation's diversity and inclusion policies.