Why Inclusive Hiring and Retention Strategies Matter

June 10, 2024

We’re excited to share this insightful article on inclusive hiring and retention strategies, emphasizing the importance of mitigating implicit bias and promoting equity at every stage of the talent lifecycle. These strategies not only help build a fair workplace but also align with our commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment. Read on for a summary of the key points and how these strategies can positively impact your organization.

Highlights From The Original Article

  • Holistic Approach to Inclusion: Nikita Steals, Founder and CEO of Northwest Talent Solutions, emphasizes the need for a comprehensive approach to inclusion, analyzing performance management, attrition, and representation across different skill sets and leadership roles.
  • Objective Measures to Mitigate Bias: Using objective measures, like blind resume reviews and panel interviews, can reduce discrimination risks and improve retention. This strategy helps ensure fairness in hiring and promotions.
  • Clear Communication on Equity: Effective communication about inclusiveness and equity helps create a culture where everyone feels valued, preventing non-minority employees from feeling excluded and fostering a sense of belonging for all.
  • Integration Across Operations: Inclusion efforts should be integrated into all company operations, from HR and marketing strategies to job descriptions. This systemic approach helps combat disparities within the talent cycle.

Reflection on Our Values and Direction

This article perfectly aligns with our company’s dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion. By adopting these strategies, we can create a more equitable workplace, reduce bias, and enhance our organizational culture. Embracing inclusive practices not only makes our work environment more enjoyable but also provides a competitive advantage, driving higher profitability and employee satisfaction.
 

Original Blog Post

 

Inclusive Hiring and Retention Strategies for Leaders

In the current climate, many organizations are focused on retaining employees – including their diverse talent. Yet, implicit bias can affect retention, making that goal challenging.

To build an inclusive workplace, savvy companies are going beyond diversity recruiting tools to address inequalities at the source by mitigating implicit bias and promoting equity at every stage of the talent lifecycle, including hiring and retention.

 
Nikita Steals, Founder and CEO of Northwest Talent Solutions, partners with clients to review fairness in hiring, performance reviews, and promotions. “Every inclusion initiative needs to have a very holistic approach,” she says. “An organization may need to look at performance management and reducing subjectivity in that cycle, or they may need to analyze attrition across the employee lifecycle to determine whether there are hotspots in the business in terms of skillset. With tech and finance clients we often need to ask whether there is a level where fewer women are represented, for instance, in leadership roles? Or is it the top of funnel? Each organization has its own challenges.”

Companies should analyze these processes to find and fix any biases. Instead of using quotas or targets, which can be illegal, BiasSync’s co-founder and CEO recommends that organizations have goals around inclusion as it pertains to all types groups of individuals. “In fact,” she says “when companies use objective versus subjective measures, it can mitigate the risk of discrimination claims and reduce retention issues.” To do this, organizations often implement a strategic plan for diversity, equity, and inclusion (Workplace Civility) initiatives, supported by an equity audit, equity barrier analysis, and culture climate or inclusivity surveys.

Steals agrees. “We don’t place targets within an organization. We place systems that are inclusive in the organization, and that’s really the key and how companies are going to go about this important body of work. This is where I believe a lot of the tension is in the system.” Steals also strongly believes in the strength of using data-backed approaches. She starts by asking how does an organization become data backed? “Where do we extract that data? Which data is compliant? And when we have the data, how do we distribute it? How do we create impact around data in a way you’re able to affect and to handle the change management and thought leadership piece around this as well. Tools like BiasSync’s 8-Touchstone Equity Barrier Diagnostic® can be incredibly effective in supporting this work.”

Using Objective Measures in Hiring and Retention

Using objective measures is essential to eliminate implicit bias in hiring and retention. This means ensuring all processes are fair and unbiased. For example, companies might use systems such as blind resume review (removing all personal and demographic information from the resume review process). Another best practice is to institute a panel interview process (as opposed to one-on-one interviews) to ensure a variety of perspectives when evaluating candidates. Systems like this work to ensure that every candidate an equal chance and can increase the diversity of applicant pools as well as ensure an equitable process.

Clear Communication about Equity and Inclusiveness

It goes without saying that clear communication is key to building inclusive recruitment and retention programs. Organizations benefit when they clearly state that inclusiveness and equity mean that everyone is valued. This prevents non-minority employees from feeling left out and helps create a culture where everyone feels included. “Everyone, irrespective of race or ethnicity, needs to feel that they are valued in the organization and they belong. And if you think about it, at some point everyone has a high likelihood of becoming part of a disadvantaged group, especially if you consider age and disability biases,” notes Ruiz. Effective communication also helps in retaining diverse talent by reinforcing a culture of respect and value for all employees.

Integrating Inclusion in All Operations

While some companies are making headlines for either reducing or doing away with their Workplace Civility departments, Steals says they are still focused on inclusion and belonging and looking at ways to incorporate those goals company-wide. For an inclusion effort to be effective, it must be integrated into every aspect of the organization. Steals sees this trend with high-performing clients. “Right now, what I’m seeing is that the folks that are making the impact in terms of building a diverse workforce are really looking at systems and mechanisms and less at actual demographic of underrepresented groups. And they’re saying, how do we mechanize against disparity within our talent cycle?” This means aligning marketing and HR strategies, ensuring job descriptions are inclusive, and using data to guide decisions.

By making inclusion and belonging a core part of the companys operations, organizations can create a truly inclusive workplace that promotes equity and reduces implicit bias.

Conclusion

Creating an inclusive workplace requires deep, intrinsic motivation and a commitment to real change. By examining the talent lifecycle for equity and fostering clear communication, companies can make lasting changes. As Steals notes “there is definitely an overwhelming desire for workplaces to be inclusive and for everybody to feel like they belong. Intuitively, we all know that there is wisdom in the crowd. We also understand now that organizations that have diverse thinking and diverse experience have a much higher profit yield. Leveraging inclusive hiring and retention practices doesn’t just make the workplace more enjoyable or mitigate risk, it is a competitive advantage for the organization. Everybody benefits.”

If you are interested in learning more about BiasSync’s data-driven approach to equity and inclusion, we encourage you to contact the team. For additional strategies on inclusive hiring and retention, we encourage you to watch the full webinar.

Link To original article: https://biassync.com/blog/inclusive-hiring-and-retention-strategies-for-leaders/

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