Creating Inclusive Workplaces Within and Beyond Recruitment

Inclusive Mentorship

Framework curated by Ameera Ladak and Stefan Palios in partnership with MindFrame Connect

Bradley Daye of Placemaking 4G discusses strategies around how leaders can increase the number of diverse candidates they hire and promote.

Building diverse teams is a key priority for executives globally, even amidst economic turmoil and the risk of layoffs. However, it’s a nuanced process. Bradley Daye, an inclusion consultant, and founder of Placemaking 4G, believes it takes a “dynamic” approach that focuses on “belonging and celebration of our uniqueness.”

Laying the foundation for an inclusive workplace before recruiting

Before an organization can recruit, hire, and promote diverse candidates, Daye recommends that workplaces consider five things.

1. Understand your why:
An organization needs to know why diversity and inclusion is important to them. They need to communicate to their staff and communities why they care about issues that affect everyone. Daye cautioned if you don’t start by understanding your why, your efforts could fall apart.

2. Understand your capacity:
Recruiting alone can be a lot of work, and sometimes we don’t have the capacity. To address this, Daye recommends companies invest in a strong bench of recruiter talent.

3. Seek external support:
Daye says to invest outside your organization to get any additional support you need.

4. Be open-minded and creative: An open mindset to trying recruitment strategies that are different from before can set you up for success in the recruitment process.

5. Don’t start with representation alone:
Daye cautions that adding folks for the sake of representation may lead to friction or tension within the organization. He explains that people bring unique perspectives, and you need to establish why that will add value to your organization.

How to ensure recruitment from a wide talent pool

When it comes time to actually recruit, companies will want to ensure they hire from the widest possible talent pool. Daye discusses two methods that can help your recruitment strategy.

Create equitable processes:

A major aspect of hiring from a wide talent pool is creating processes that are equitable. Daye explains “there’s a lot of different ways you can come at that.”

Encourage salary transparency:

According to Daye, “People may not feel comfortable reaching out to the recruiter to ask what that might be” when it comes to salary, therefore being transparent upfront can help.

Maintaining a culture of inclusiveness beyond recruitment

Daye offers three pieces of advice for maintaining an inclusive culture.

Focus on “better” practices:
Daye says “It’s not about having perfect steps, it’s about continuing to take steps”. These “better” steps, as Daye calls them, may be about your strategy, representation, training and education, reconciliation, or simply establishing why this work is important to you.

It’s about the journey:

For a “culture of evolving inclusiveness”, the journey is more important than the destination. Your culture will always be evolving, and your journey needs to continue.

Ensure senior leadership buy-in
Your steps and better practices will be more impactful as long as there is buy-in from senior leadership throughout the organization, and if you are measuring your efforts and engagement.

Determining the communities you can support

When asked how a senior leadership team can ensure they are supporting all communities within an organization, Daye responded with “I don’t know if that’s possible” to serve all communities at all times. He did, however, suggest questions for senior leadership to ask themselves about community, capacity, and community spaces:

Questions about communities you’re connected with:
Which communities are you in? Which communities do you have relationships with? Which communities do you serve and how do you best serve those communities?

Question about capacity:
When you look at capacity and the makeup of your organization, and who you serve, are you actually doing your best to serve that community?

Question about community spaces:
When you talk about community spaces, if you don’t have everyone in that community as a voice or involved in that space, can we really call it a community space?

As Daye says, “whatever got us here won’t get us there.” We need to be mindful of that as we design workplaces that are more inclusive in ways beyond how we recruit for diversity. An organization must know what their communities are so they can look to include the voices that need to be there.

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