Guest Blog from Simon Houlton CEO of www.iscreenyouscreen.com
Diversity and inclusivity is one of the hottest topics in the world of business and HR right now, it is also something employers and managers should be extremely careful and aware of.
Discrimination can come in many forms, whether it is a person’s race, gender, sexuality, religion, or disability, there are now steps and precautions that should be taken to eliminate discrimination in the workplace at every level.
Not too long ago, we saw the BBC reveal the truth about their shocking discrepancies between the highest paid men and women. The list was an uncomfortable read, showing that around two thirds of the highest earning celebrities were male and that there was more than £1.5 million between the highest paid male and highest paid female.
Stories like this shed an embarrassing light on companies that are discriminating in any way, it is important for a business of any size to ensure they are being fair and inclusive from the start.
The highlighted forms of discrimination that are headline news often mask the much less-discussed diversity story of social equality. Do people from a wealthier background get more opportunities and ultimately go on to get better jobs with higher pay?
Digging deeper into bigger, more prestigious organisations and senior management teams that make up the UK’s economic, social and cultural life can conjure a frightening image.
An example of this would be statistics from the top universities that reveal some disappointing disparities in the social groups that apply and attend. The research has shown that pupils from private schools are two and a half times more likely to enter a leading university than their state school peers.
In an article from The Independent, research also showed that graduates from richer families go on to earn 10 percent more than graduates on the same course from any other background.
It is important for businesses to value and promote equality in every form and it starts from the point of hiring.
The most important steps to follow are:
1. Deciding on the recruitment process
Employers can choose how they recruit employees in two ways: in house or via recruitment agencies. They may also outsource a screening company to check the candidates’ references and background.
In-house – If you use your own staff to recruit a new team member, you must ensure they are aware of the obligations to delivering a fair and inclusive process. Remember if they act in a discriminatory way YOU may be liable for their actions.
Recruitment agencies – It is important that if you decide to hire a recruitment agent to short-list applicants they must also be aware of the legal obligations when dealing with discrimination. Both you and the recruitment agent can be held accountable for discrimination if a candidate challenges the process for unfair practice.
2. Creating the job description and advertising the job
When creating a job description, consider the specific requirements of the role and make sure all potential applicants have a full understanding of the skills and duties. Think about maybe including a diversity statement at the end encouraging people from different backgrounds to apply, this ensures the company stands by inclusive and diverse values in all forms.
When advertising the role, make sure that it attracts a diverse range of applicants, using phrases like ‘seeking a mature experienced professional’ may suggest that you will only consider someone of a certain age. Remember to advertise in places where everyone can see it, of course use job sites, but don’t forget local community boards and newspapers.
3. Short-listing and screening candidates
Remember when you begin narrowing down the candidates, you should review the information that describes whether they would have the skills and experience to take on the role. Again, outsourcing companies to screen references and perform background checks takes the power out of your hands. Ensure that they fully comply with promoting diversity and inclusivity, because you may be held liable. Otherwise, keep it in-house and use a software like IScreenYouScreen, it cut costs and speeds up the process whilst ensuring discrimination is eliminated.
Any further steps will be down to the business owner, making sure that diversity, equality and inclusivity is something that is celebrated within their company.
Simon Houlton CEO of www.iscreenyouscreen.com