Have you ever heard of bias in the interviews? Special treatment of exclusive employees who are close with upper management and they get the job opportunities – vacancies first? There is “hidden job market”( aka referrals of your in group network ) and by not practicing Inclusive methods in recruiting we continue to have this repeated cycles and exclusive mindset coming into the organization. Inclusion can be used as a recruiting tactic the way our company has identified it – Which means we intentionally include all types of affinity groups into the fold. Inclusion is the opposite of feeling isolated and many diverse communities of professionals in the Tech industry feel isolated and never get the opportunity to even be in the in group closed networking groups that get to hear about these job opportunities. We in HR and Recruiting must change our mindset and have inclusion at the gatekeeper level. This is beyond a sourcing talent method but a inclusive recruiting method which somewhat adopts the Rooney Rule as well.
I believe it relates back to the current workforce internally because it helps retention efforts when the affinity groups are shown the companies commitment to being more diverse. Simply just having the inclusive approach vs merely just job postings shows that companies are going beyond the traditional diversity hiring. So maybe I am talking ahead of myself but these are the conversations I currently am having with companies like Microsoft, Expedia, Facebook and Google. But if you only wanted me to give the explanation as it pertains to what is being taught – Our clients are advised to consider Mentoring programs. – Include Entry level to Sr level to expose via shared activity within the company – Intercultural conflict and communication styles workshop – These are just some of the methods to retain employees. Especially in Tech where the unemployment rate is low companies need to protect their employees from being recruited by others so they must provide an environment where they feel they belong by bringing their whole self and have equity a voice.
Also Affinity groups are not ways to keep people separated it is a way for people to see that companies welcome the LGBTQ, Veterans, Asians, Hispanic/Latino, Blacks, and multiple groups that are underrepresented and embracing/empowering them to connect with one another as studies have shown this is helpful to a companies bottom line. I recently spoke at the Washington State Bank of America Employee Networks conference and all the affinity groups came together to network and share experiences and ideas. There were much discussions about ensuring white males and female feel included but if you think about it, white males have always had their own ERG – Affinity Groups and in group network in the workplace which is why we even have EEOC and Affirmative Action to prevent that in group closed group. Lastly I am strong confident that until we starting having inclusive behavior in our talent acquisition methods we will continue to exclude people – make them feel isolated – never progress in our diversity goals and have the people inside the companies feeling more and more isolated because they dont feel their organization is truly committed to the entire D&I conversations through actions and efforts. I recently attended a workshop and Dr Brian Uzzi spoke of networking and why the intent to go outside of the immediate network is part of Inclusion. We can remove the word Recruiting and use networking and within networking outside of your immediate network helps with diversity and practices inclusion externally. Dr Brian Uzzi
Programs that our clients are considering:
- Inclusion starts with your intent during the recruiting – sourcing talent process. If you are not intentionally including people you are unintentionally excluded them. So Inclusion can be used for a recruiting tactic so I have to disagree with the current explanation of how some comments I see that it is not or should not. It is very much part of retention influence based on your intention on how exclusive or inclusive your methods are in attracting talent. I have heard and seen countless complaints from women in Tech based on the lack of attempt to include more women groups into the outreach vs just posting on a general job board.
- Check with your organization on their current level of understanding between the difference of Diversity, Inclusion, Belonging, Equity vs merely EEOC and Affirmative Action
- I would highly recommend a course on Intercultural conflict and communication styles as the barriers to connect and engage one another in further conversation could be facing obstacles as such. Promote exposure within the work place between the various affinity groups aka employee resources groups.
- Don’t be “color blind” be colorful and embrace the differences in your team members.
- Top down. The Management team must be the voice and influence to the growth mindset and promote not only unity but a safe place for the workers so they do not feel they are being marginalized by the organizational infrastructures.
- Be obsessed with Voice of the Employee and Voice of the Customer. Being heard and having the voice at the table sometimes is the first step towards walking the talk – and that’s through LISTENING!