Studies show that there is a direct link between our unconscious thinking and our actions and behaviour. When it comes to making decisions at work, it is essential that those decisions are not based on bias, and equal opportunities are available to a diverse group of people.

First of all, what do we mean by ‘bias’?

Bias stands for prejudices and stereotypes that are deep-seated within us as a result of our socialization, spanning across race, gender, appearance, age, wealth, and much more. No matter how unbiased we think we are, we may have subconscious negative opinions about people who are outside the group of people we closely resonate with.

That is why it is common for recruiters to hire people who have similar interests and qualities, thinking that this will make the team work better. However, the underlying like-likes-like dynamic, or focus on Culture Fit, can create a compounding, degenerative effect on an organisation’s diversity and performance.

Why should you consider the Culture Add approach?

The Culture Add approach to hiring encourages companies to employ people depending on the skills required to improve the culture and performance of the company. This approach ensures a consistent growth and improvement of an organisation.

If the goal of the company is to become a more efficient and diverse organisation, it should strive for more inclusive recruitment practices and communication strategies, to attract a more diverse pool of candidates to choose from.

Here are some points you should consider if you are ready to switch up your recruitment practices.

Use Inclusive Language in Job Descriptions

The language used in job descriptions can attract or discourage certain types of people. You should avoid gender and age language bias, which would predict the nature of the applicant you are going to hire.

Studies show that job descriptions with gender-coded words can significantly reduce the amount of female applicants. Ensure that the job description contains a balanced mix of words like “analyse” and “determine”, which are normally associated with males, and “collaborate” and “support”, which are considered more feminine traits. Here is a list of gendered words, according to a study from Duke University and the University of Waterloo.

Ageism is another prejudice that should be avoided during the recruitment process, therefore shy away from using words like “too experienced” and “overqualified”.

Look beyond Culture Fit

Instead of looking for candidates to match the current company culture, choose to look for ones that relate to your company values and bring a unique set of skills to the team. Organisations that embrace a diverse workforce and create systems that support it can reap numerous benefits, including increased adaptability, better customer service, greater innovation and easier recruitment and retention.

Check Your Recruiters' Unconscious Bias

Is your company giving equal consideration to all applicants? Conscious or not, bias starts with the name on the resume. Ensure that the recruitment team is considering a diverse selection of applications, because hiring managers cannot hire diverse teams if they don’t have diverse applicants to choose from. Engaging external recruiters can also benefit the diversified recruitment strategy, as external agents are more likely to be objective regarding the skills and competencies the company is looking for, and less likely to hire for culture fit only.

Implement Diverse Sourcing Initiatives

If you want to create a diversified workforce, a diverse sourcing strategy needs to be implemented. Ensure an exceptional candidate experience by integrating diversity recruiting throughout your organisation’s social media, career page and collateral. Diversify your sourcing initiatives to include targeted organisations, college and university recruitment, community associations, and news outlets. This will open up your search to applicants from various backgrounds.

Offer Remote Work Opportunities

One of the best ways to reach the most diverse talent is through offering remote work opportunities. Technology today allows companies to create remote work environments, this way broadening their candidate search. This opens up the talent pool to all the job seekers everywhere, providing the company with more backgrounds and experience. The more expansive your search is, the more diverse your team will be. Creating remote work opportunities may also improve employee retention as it creates a better work-life balance, as well as a culture of responsibility and ownership, benefiting both the company and the employees.

The above mentioned are only a few points you should consider if you are looking to build a diverse company culture. If you are interested in hiring new talent that fits and adds to your company culture, kindly fill in your details here, and we’ll contact you to get a deeper understanding of your job vacancy and the candidate who would be the perfect fit for the position.