17th June 2020

How to recruit inclusively

Organisations can be allies in the fight against race discrimination by making sure they are hiring from a diverse talent pool, says Vanessa Harvey

'I think we can all agree that 2020 is going to be a historic year that we all remember. The future generations will look back and reflect on this year as the catalyst for change – hopefully.

The killing of George Floyd at the hands of the police in the US two weeks ago shocked us all, and the subsequent worldwide protests against race discrimination that reignited the Black Lives Matter movement resonate deeply with me, not just as a black woman, but as someone who is passionate about living – and raising my children – in a world full of equal opportunities. The black community is desperately calling on allies to action positive change and to make a tangible difference by levelling the playing field. 

One step you can take to help is to ensure you are recruiting from a diverse and wide talent pool, and that those people have equal access to development opportunities. There are simple ways to make sure your organisation starts doing this:

  • Focus on career development. According to the McGregor-Smith review into race in the workplace, only 6 per cent of top management positions are held by people from a BAME background. Look at career development specifically for your BAME employees, and ensure that open conversations are being held about promotion and the steps needed to achieve it.
  • Don’t wait for BAME candidates to come to you. Proactively engage with the black community – explore using BAME-focused recruitment companies that have a more diverse database of candidates and are well-connected in the community to attract diverse talent for your organisation. 
  • Overhaul your recruitment process. How inclusive is your hiring? What improvements can you make? Do you need to make CVs blind, for example? And once you’ve shortlisted, how diverse is your interview panel? If necessary, work with an external company to get a different perspective and make changes – there are plenty out there who have expertise in this area.
  • Set targets, and keep them. Make sure you agree on company-wide diversity targets, and hold your recruiters and hiring managers to account in meeting them. If they don’t meet them, have a frank discussion about the reasons, and work together to make improvements.
  • Harness the power of mentoring. Set up a scheme to sponsor or mentor a BAME employee – or more than one! – in your organisation every year. Reverse mentoring for senior leaders and more junior BAME employees is also highly effective at opening eyes to others’ experience in the world of work and beyond.
  • Network, network, network. Sign up to your organisation’s BAME network – allies are needed now more than ever. And if your employer doesn’t have a BAME network, why not create one?

Doing something is better than nothing. Now is not the time to stay silent and hope this will all go away; it’s the time to use your position of power to implement some positive changes. 

Throw away any signs of tokenism and instead look at implementing long-term measures that will attract, retain and promote black talent in your organisation.'

Vanessa Harvey is recruitment manager at a London law firm


source: https://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/voices/comment/how-to-recruit-inclusively?utm_source=mc&utm_medium=email&utm_content=pm_daily_10062020.Opinion%3a+How+to+recruit+inclusively&utm_campaign=7295441&utm_term=5683613