Workforce diversity is strongly accelerating on a global scale and diversity will conceivably be the epitome of the complex knowledge society of the 21st century. The positive connotation of diversity can be based on a discernment of differences as enrichment and gain guided by the social justice premise that a respectful interaction with individual differences leads to mutual benefits and better well-being. One of the business case arguments advocates that since customer bases globalize at a tremendous rate, this mix of customers with differing genders, ages and cultures should be reflected in an organisation’s workforce.
As recruitment marks the organisation’s initial step in acquiring valuable human capital and thereby changing its diversity; talent acquisition is of paramount strategic importance. This is exacerbated by the power dynamics of the labour markets, where potential candidates often have more control over job choice decisions. Hence, how can corporations diversify their candidate pool within the entire recruitment system?
Preparation of recruitment
At the beginning stands an organizational analysis ensuring that no institutional stereotypes or requirements tending towards virility prevail and competency profiling is executed. The recruitment sources should be defined broadly in order cast a wider net while valuing costs. It can be considered to make use of networks and advocacy groups uniting people with similar demographics or interests (e.g. LGBT, 50+, etc.). Experts also regard executive search firms as valuable source for diverse candidates, since their approach is specific and characterized by direct search and approach of candidates. Gamification recruitment tools can be used to source tech-savvy, often younger workers. On the other hand, radio’s often have a high reach among more senior citizens.
Attraction of applicants
In pursuance of attracting a diverse pool of candidates, the employer brand is a vital component. Diversity statements on the corporation website to neutral terminology in job advertising are signs, which potential applicants are looking for. If organizations are able to communicate the significance of diversity to them, the representation for diversity in the applicant pool should increase because people prefer to work for companies that value their unique individual differences.
Assessment and selection
After the first phase of the “matching”, employer and applicants exchange more detailed information to further determine the fit between both parties. The selection methods should be chosen with smallest possible discriminatory potential. A blend of structured and behavioral interviews, panel interviews, asking for work samples and assessing collegiality and helpfulness are considered appropriate selection methods.
Taking into account that the hiring process is two-sided, the communication along the recruitment process is crucial. Furthermore, integrating diversity recruiting targets in performance appraisals of recruiters and hiring managers are considered to be effective in extending the diversity in your candidate pool.
Article written by Laura De Paolis, CFR Global Executive Search Switzerland
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