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How to Create More Inclusive and Equitable Hiring Processes

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Creating an inclusive and equitable hiring process is the first step to building inclusive work environments. However, there are significant barriers to equitable hiring – to begin removing these barriers, we must identify, unpack and unlearn some of our deeply held beliefs and behaviours. These beliefs may be rooted in stereotypes, prejudice, unconscious or implicit bias, which may lead to discriminatory beliefs and actions.  

Systemic racism is deeply embedded into society and daily life, such that it becomes normal. Because it’s normalized, continuing daily life without challenging it perpetuates it and it can often go unnoticed by groups that aren’t marginalized. It is visible in areas like health care, criminal justice, employment, and housing.

DCU Center of Excellence states that “Research examining experiences of under-represented people in Ireland in the workplace from different ethnicities found that Black people are three times more likely than White Irish to report discrimination in the workplace.  

Additionally, Asian respondents reported more discrimination than White Irish in private services. Separate studies examine what is called the ‘racial order’ revealing racial hierarchies in workplaces in Ireland, where Black people are more disadvantaged and consistently on the lower order of the labour supply chain.”

Understanding and identifying these barriers are essential to dismantling racist beliefs that lead to discriminatory actions and attitudes. 

First, let’s review key concepts that can be barriers to progress.

Stereotype

An oversimplified or exaggerated belief or sentiment about a group; a broad generalization that doesn’t allow for individual differences. Stereotypes can be positive or negative and can apply to any group based on group memberships around race, ethnicity, age, religion, gender, and other categories.

Prejudice

A predetermined opinion or attitude about a group and its members.

Prejudices are often negative and accompanied by a belief in an “in-group” and an “out-group” that is the target of the prejudice.

Unconscious or Implicit Bias

 A form of prejudice or belief held about members of a group that we are largely unaware of. This can also be described as positions that we hold, filters that we form, or conclusions that we reach – by ways outside of our active thought. They often seem automatic.

Unlike stereotypes and prejudices, these biases may not even enter our awareness – but can drive discriminatory actions.

Discrimination

Behaviour that treats people unfairly, unequally or differently because of their identity or the groups that they belong to.

Discrimination often starts through stereotypes, prejudices, and bias. Discriminatory behaviour can range from subtle actions (like locking your car door when people of a particular group walk past) to hate crimes. 

These concepts work together to perpetuate inequity. 

Tips for creating more inclusive and equitable hiring processes

  • Evaluate and challenge the language used in your job advertisement. What cohort are you appealing to? Who is missing? 

  • Develop recruitment, hiring and retention strategy that support and attract racially diverse talent.

  • Ensure hiring managers are trained to increase their knowledge on qualifications and skills gained outside the country and visa categories as they relate to the country. 

  • Create interview processes that are inclusive, non-judgmental and respectful of different cultural norms.

All your approaches should be multidimensional – working to address biases and discrimination in all aspects of the hiring process. But how will you know if your initiatives are effective? To start: inclusio can help by gathering key D&I metrics at your organisation. After all, without a baseline, it’s difficult to determine the appropriate steps and intervention needed – and nearly impossible to know how effective your initiatives are. We offer deep demographic and scientific benchmarks that identifies gaps and tells you where to take targeted action. Request a Demo to learn more about inclusive and equitable hiring.

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