Top ten factors to improve your EDI

How to improve your brand’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and attract the candidates you really want.

Top ten factors to improve your EDI Featured Image

Building a diverse workforce and ensuring an inclusive workplace is a fundamental and essential component of any organisation’s success from recruitment to profitability. 

EDI comprises Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and concretises the requirement to provide individuals with the same resources, the same access and the same opportunities regardless of their demographics, particular needs or other defining factors.  It appreciates the distinct needs and circumstances of those individuals from under-represented communities, cultures and identities and it advocates for a culture of understanding, respect and inclusion.

An organisation which prioritises diversity and inclusivity is also an organisation investing in their own success, whether new ideas, or innovation, or the creation of a culture of understanding. Perhaps even more compelling is that companies who do embrace a more inclusive culture are shown to attract and retain a wider diversity of talent and produce better long term profitability. 

Inclusive recruitment guarantees the widest variety of staff and also the best possible choice of candidates. With candidates listing ‘diversity’ as an important factor in their job search, it’s crucial that employers take the time to consider their own EDI and where, if necessary they can improve. 

An organisation which prioritises diversity and inclusivity is also an organisation investing in their own success

– Emma Murray

Top Ten Factors to Improve your EDI

1. Invest in your employees education

Whether you are in an active recruitment cycle or not, it’s advisable to invest in the employees you already have in place. If you can foster a culture where every voice is heard and respected, you’ll set the tone for a diverse and inclusive workplace. Recognise that unconscious bias exists and take action to educate your team on recognising those biases and working to move past them. Offering workshops, seminars and talking groups that focus on relevant topics allows your employees to expand their own understanding as well as to foster empathy and understanding for future employees who join the team. 

2. Focus on inclusive job descriptions

Take time to really think about your job description. Are you aware of the language and terminology you’re using? Is it gender neutral? Is it clear and concise? Does it exclude anyone? Are the job description and skills required clear and the instructions to apply comprehensive and accessible? If you find anything confusing, if there are any barriers of language or administration, take time to remove those before making it public. The more open and clear your job description, the wider the pool of candidates you’ll have to draw from. 

3. Ensure CVs are blind

Recognising that unconscious bias exists in all of us, putting in place a process of blind CV consideration is an important EDI leveller. Allow someone external to the application process to remove all personal and identifying features from each CV, from name to gender, age to schools attended. This allows each CV to be considered on qualification, experience and skills alone.

4. Consider how to make interviews inclusive 

Inclusivity extends to the interview process and the more you can to do ensure it is accessible to all the better. Implement an option for video interviewing which removes geographic and financial barriers that candidates may face. Allow for flexibility in the scheduling of interviews to provide accommodations for family, personal or accessibility challenges. Agree what your interview candidates need in order to make attendance at your interview barrier free and you’ll be ensuring that you can make a decision based on evidence rather than the ability to attend. 

5. Encourage mentoring and sponsorship 

It can be incredibly useful to invest in a programme of mentoring and sponsorship so that individuals from diverse backgrounds can be paired with a mentor whose role it will be to offer guidance, support and to push for career development opportunities. Having an advocate can offer employees a sense of equality and security that they may otherwise feel is lacking.

6. Hire for skills

Reframe how you understand the value of an employee or an applicant. Rather than pursuing the standard number of years of experience, or certain degree type, turn your focus to skills. What exactly are the skills you require for the role? What training can you offer? What appetite for improvement does your target candidate need to possess to allow them to move into and grow into the role in question? Removing barriers to entry that might deter potential candidates from even applying to the role immediately opens up your pool of talent and rightly recognises the need for skills over credentials. 

7. Recognise and respect culturally significant dates

Use a centralised calendar system to recognise key religious and cultural holidays and celebrations. Making this information available as part of your corporate calendar shows respect and a sense of value of each individuals beliefs. It also allows your team to schedule meetings and events with these key dates always in mind. 

8. Ensure equal pay and related conditions

Both a legal (Equality Act 2010) and a moral responsibility, ensuring that you provide equal pay for equal work to men and women is essential. Extending this understanding of ‘equality’ to the conditions under which your team work, to recognising needs and limitations and to offering support to all, is a clear way to truly value the equality and inclusion of every individual in your employ.

9. Ask for and listen to feedback

It’s often the case that when employers receive feedback (sometimes negative) from their employees, they listen but they don’t take action on it. Be the change here. Capitalise on the information you’re receiving, it’s invaluable in that it’s real and specific to your organisation. Invite feedback. Offer your employees the chance to submit feedback anonymously. And when you do receive comments, consider them seriously. There may be areas in which you can take comments on board, where you can mobilise change and where the feedback you receive will be invaluable to the growth of a better EDI and recruitment process.

10. Review your EDI policies regularly

Nothing in business is static and your EDI policies are no difference. Make a point of reviewing your policies regularly, ideally once annually and certainly following any large recruitment changes, loss of employees or increase of job postings. Industry standards shift quickly and the culture of job seekers, the economy and expectation-setting are moving all the time. Be aware, keep learning, review your findings and don’t be slow to learn from your mistakes.

Wherever you are with your EDI policies, recruitment and retention of the right talent continues to be of prime importance to organisations whether in active recruitment or not. Put in place the correct edits to your corporate policy and build a culture of acceptance, inclusion and compassion and you will feel the benefit of retention now and in the future.

Inclusive recruitment guarantees the widest variety of staff and also the best possible choice of candidates

Emma Murray