Do you want more creativity from your employees? Does your company want to be at the forefront of innovation in your industry?
A more diverse workforce could be the answer.
Diversity is great for business
With growing diversity in countries and communities, there is general agreement that workforces should reflect this. Indeed, there is a wide range of research on the positive effects of diversity including more innovation, increased sales revenue and increased profit.
Equality is a legal requirement
Companies in the UK are bound by law to be seen to promote equality in the workplace, treating members of all minority groups, and particularly those from areas of protected characteristics, such as ethnicity, gender and age, in the same way, unless there is objective justification not to.
Consequently business benefits plus legal pressure equals ample incentive for companies to employ a diverse range of people.
So, how can you optimise diversity in your employee selection processes?
Step 1 – Evaluate your process
Do you know if your process is fair? Are you using ability tests, or other measures in your selection process with a high level of intellectual demand?
If you are, consider whether they are putting some candidates at a disadvantage.
Ability tests are commonly used in employee selection processes, particularly in high volume situations such as graduate programmes, as they are consistently some of the best predictors of job performance. However, tests of this type show some of the greatest adverse impact on minority groups, particularly some ethnic groups, putting them at a disadvantage compared to other candidates.
Carefully checking how different groups are performing on the tests you use will enable you to work out if this is causing an issue for you. A number of steps can be taken when they are built to make sure they are as fair as possible whilst remaining a valuable tool for predicting job performance.
Step 2 – Train your assessors
The people who help identify talent to join you business – interviewers and assessors – can be unconsciously biased or have some limiting beliefs towards certain groups. Training assessors has been shown to be an effective way to decrease the impact of these biases on a selection process, particularly for more subjective approaches like interviews or assessment centre exercises.
Step 3 – Attract a diverse group of people
It’s common sense that the more diverse your applicant pool, the more chance you have of selecting a diverse range of employees. So using attraction strategies to target specific groups or communicating your employer brand in a way that creates an enhanced impression of “fit” with particular groups, has been shown to support attracting a more diverse applicant pool.
Step 4 – Think more broadly about what good performance looks like
Broaden your thinking about what good performance looks like in role, to consider not just what someone needs to do but also how they do it. Measuring a broad range of factors for a role, such as personality, knowledge, skills and abilities, will allow you offset the possible adverse impact of ability tests and other proxy measures of ability that you may use, such as educational attainment.
In addition, measuring these broad factors through a variety of ways, e.g. through interviews, work samples or assessment centres, is generally more effective than single stage processes to achieve a more diverse workforce.
You will maximise the likelihood of recruiting a diverse workforce by using a combination of approaches from the steps above whilst creating a fair selection process for everyone.
The potential adverse impact of different methods and measures should be considered when choosing selection tools in the first place – the tools chosen need to focus on the needs of the organization and the job, but also should minimise adverse impact for all groups of candidates.
Want to know more or find out about how we could help you maximise diversity in your company? Please get in touch!