How Inclusion Can Help You Attract and Retain Top Talent
There's a lot more to building an inclusive company than just hiring more people from diverse backgrounds. So, how can you build an inclusive culture that will help you attract and retain a diverse group of employees?
As part of a series on Diversity and Inclusion, we spoke with PowerToFly's Strategic Global Enterprise D&I executive, Dionna Smith-Keels, about the most effective ways to recruit and retain underrepresented talent. Learn about her four top tips below:
Write an Inclusive Job Description
One of the best ways to attract inclusive talent is by having a job description that has inclusivity baked into it. Here are a few ways to do that:
- Be open to transferable skills. For example, a recruiter has plenty of transferable skills for a sales role, but if the job description says 5 years of sales experience is required, that former recruiter may not apply to the job. Not being too rigid here could help open up your candidate pool to more diverse applicants.
- This is also true with technology. While some technical skills are not transferable, a candidate may have a software skillset with a program very similar to yours that is transferable.
- Be clear on what you do need. If your job description includes "must be able to lift 25 lbs" even for a position that does not require a person to carry any weight, you may be unintentionally excluding great applicants who are disabled.
- Be intentional in your inclusivity. Avoid using gendered pronouns for roles, and do include information about your D&I initiatives in your "about the company" section.
- Use the tools available to you. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lays out guidelines of inclusive language that can be used in your job descriptions.
Make the Interview Process Inclusive
Not only do we get to know the candidate better when we do an interview, but the candidate also gets to get a glimpse of the company and its employees during an interview. Here are some suggestions to make the interview process more inclusive:
- Have a diverse panel interviewing the candidates, even if they are pulled in from other departments. Having a diverse panel can make the candidate feel more comfortable; alternatively, a lack of diversity can be seen as a red flag. It also gives better insight into the candidate when you get feedback from people with different backgrounds.
- Do interview training. Trained interviewers can make more thoughtful decisions both during the interview and when choosing whether or not to move forward with a candidate.
Avoid Making New Hires Feel Like the "Diversity Hire"
There is little as uncomfortable as feeling like you were hired just to hit a quota. Unfortunately, we have all heard stories of whispers in a company that a person got hired (especially when for a leadership position) just because they were a woman, a person of color, etc. Here's a few suggestions Dionna had to remedy this situation:
- When any new hire comes on board, share with the team about the new team member's background and the great things they have to offer your organization. Also, let them speak at town halls so that employees can get to know them better.
- Encourage mentorship. Strong leaders from all backgrounds can be instrumental in helping marginalized people feel set up for success. It makes people feel seen and can give opportunities to those who may not have known certain doors were open to them.
Create a More Inclusive Workspace
When a company is lacking in diversity and a person from an underrepresented background joins the team, the difference is apparent to the new employee and everyone else. It can feel a little awkward at first when a woman joins an all-male team, for example. Dionna gives this tip with making your workspace feel more inclusive.
- Don't avoid the elephant in the room. If your office is new to inclusivity, the changes will seem obvious and sometimes this means having uncomfortable conversations.
Finding the right talent is one of the most important initiatives any company can take. Ensuring that diverse voices are being heard is what helps companies stand apart from their competition and thrive. Working collaboratively with those differences that help nurture success. Ask hard questions, be intentional, and provide training to help foster the inclusivity that you are searching for both when recruiting diverse talent and keeping them around for the long hall.
To hear more of Dionna's chat and to learn even more about recruiting and retaining underrepresented talent, click here.
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Diversity Reboot 2021: The One Hundred Day Kickoff<p><strong>When</strong>: February 1-5, 2021</p><p><strong>Where</strong>: Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Free!</p><p><strong>Where to register: </strong><a href="https://summit.powertofly.com/" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>We had to include our own Diversity Reboot on our list of the best diversity and inclusion events to attend in 2021 because we know firsthand how the quality of 100+ expert speakers, the enthusiasm of 10,000 participants, and the cutting-edge tech that enables meaningful virtual networking and job fairs combine to create a truly epic five-day experience. This year, the theme 100 Day Kickoff harnesses the energy of the new government's first 100 days in office to help jump-start personal and professional plans to build more diverse and inclusive workplaces. </p><p>Following the February summit, we'll have a monthly series of smaller virtual summits on topics spanning everything from returnships to LGBTQ+ advocacy, so be sure to stay tuned for updates!<br></p>
The Future of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 2021<p><strong>When</strong>: February 3-4, 2021</p><p><strong>Where</strong>: Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Free</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://www.hr.com/en/webcasts_events/virtual_events/upcoming_virtual_events/the-future-of-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-2021_kcxf8glq.html#detail" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>This virtual conference put on by HR.com focuses on how social movements like #MeToo and Black Lives Matter have pushed DEI at work beyond legal compliance and into a major factor of any company or brand's culture, employee engagement, and performance. Topics include how to uncover and resolve pay gaps across your team and hire top-level diverse talent.</p>
Workplace Revolution: From Talk to Collective Action<p><strong>When</strong>: March 8-12, 2021</p><p><strong>Where</strong>: Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register: </strong>$820</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://cvent.me/ZQ4BbE" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>The Forum on Workplace Inclusion's 33rd annual conference includes 12 session tracks, from DEI Strategy to Social Responsibility, along with 59 workshops and daily networking sessions. This year's theme focuses on one question: "What will it take to start a workplace revolution that moves us from talk to action?"</p>
Diversity: How Employers Can Match Words With Deeds<p><strong>When</strong><strong>: </strong>May 19, 2021</p><p><strong>Where:</strong> Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register</strong><strong>: </strong>Early bird registration is $49 and general admission is $149</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://hopin.com/events/may-virtual-conference-diversity-how-employers-can-match-words-with-deeds" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Here</a></p><p>From Day One is hosting monthly conferences in 2021 focused on different ways for companies to foster strong relationships with their customers, communities, and employees. May's half-day virtual event is focused specifically on how companies can make diversity promises that don't fall flat and features workshops, panels, and a fireside chat.</p>
Hire with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion<p><strong>When:</strong> August 18, 2021</p><p><strong>Where: </strong>Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register: </strong>$195</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://www.hci.org/conferences/2021-virtual-conference-hire-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-august-18-2021" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>This conference put on by the Human Capital Institute is one of 12 virtual conferences that HCI has planned for 2021. This one focuses on fair and inclusive talent acquisition, including how to attract diverse talent, implement inclusive hiring practices, and addressing bias in employee selection. Other conferences will focus on optimizing talent strategy, engaging employees, and developing your workforce.</p>
Virtual Grace Hopper Celebration 2021<p><strong>When:</strong> September 26-29, 2021</p><p><strong>Where:</strong> Virtual, broadcast from Chicago, Illinois</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Was $799 for regular access to the virtual conference in 2020; 2021 pricing hasn't yet been announced</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://ghc.anitab.org/attend/registration/" target="_blank">Here</a>, though 2021 registration wasn't live at the time of writing</p><p>Grace Hopper might be the best-known conference for women in tech. Through keynote presentations, networking sessions, job fairs, and community-building activities, vGHC reached over 30,000 women for their 2020 conference and are expecting even more in 2021! While not a conference focused exclusively on diversity and inclusion, many speakers plan to focus their talks on creating environments for women to thrive in the male-dominated tech field.</p>
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AfroTech 2021<p><strong></strong><strong>When:</strong> November 8-13, 2021</p><p><strong>Where:</strong> Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Early bird pricing is $149 for individuals and $249 for corporate attendees; regular pricing hasn't yet been announced</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://experience.afrotech.com/" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>AfroTech is a conference hosted by Blavity, a tech media platform for Black millennials. It focuses on emerging tech trends, connecting Black talent with top tech recruiters, and providing networking and educational opportunities, with an overall goal of building a strong Black tech community. Over 10,000 people participated in 2020. While the conference isn't focused specifically on DEI, its main audience of Black tech talent is an important one to understand and to engage at work and beyond, and several speakers plan to focus on issues of race and inclusion at work. </p>
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