Visas and Work Permits — 4 min
Inclusive hiring means something slightly different to everyone. Our unique backgrounds, personal attributes, and life experiences all directly influence how we define inclusion and diversity in the workplace. Think of inclusive hiring as a comprehensive practice — it’s about supporting diverse employees to feel comfortable during their recruitment and employment.
At Remote, we spoke to 1,250 hiring managers, employees, and business owners across the UK, the US, Canada, Germany, and France to explore what inclusion and diversity means to them in 2022. We asked business owners and hiring managers, “What does inclusivity and diversity mean to you the most as an employer?” The top five answers are in the table below.
% of employers or hiring managers who responded
Acknowledging/educating team members on unconscious bias and working to eliminate this within the organization and recruitment process
Hiring a wide range of candidate backgrounds and perspectives
Providing a voice, equal access to opportunities, resources and support to all employees
Asking candidates about any adjustments you can make to assist them during the hiring and interview process
Ensuring the use of inclusive language in job descriptions
According to our survey, educating employees on unconscious bias was the most important factor for employers to practice inclusion and diversity. Our survey also explores what diversity means to businesses, its impact on the workforce, and the difficulties faced when trying to implement an inclusive work environment.
Inclusive hiring is crucial to the success of all organizations. It leads to attracting and retaining top talent, fostering a positive work environment, and creating a rich company culture. Studies show that an inclusive company culture leads to higher employee engagement. Without inclusive hiring practices, organizations risk missing out on a key source of innovation and creativity.
By prioritizing inclusion and diversity, organizations can tap into the full potential of the workforce. Diversity and inclusion are key factors that impact employee satisfaction as well as overall business performance.
Hiring diverse talent and making sure that all employees are included brings a host of benefits. Through inclusive hiring, organizations can experience improved retention rates, happier staff, a better understanding of consumers, and improved creative thinking. See also: How to support neurodivergence in the workplace with remote and async work
To explore the full scope of benefits that diverse talent can bring to a workplace, we asked employers and hiring managers to outline the ways that hiring diverse talent had a strong positive impact on their workforce.
Employers stated the three main benefits of implementing inclusive hiring practices are a widened talent pool, improved employee engagement and performance, and increased creativity and innovation.
Employers should keep in mind that it’s not enough to simply hire diverse candidates. Organizations should also ensure that diverse employees are empowered in their positions at work too. Failure to do so would mean the company loses out on the many benefits that a diverse workforce brings.
Define your goals together
When it comes to setting targets for improving inclusion and diversity, it can be helpful to start with one agreed-upon definition for these terms. Like we saw from our survey results, the meaning of inclusive hiring can slightly differ for everyone. Ideally, the goal for inclusion will come from different viewpoints within the company. From there, employees can work collectively toward a common goal that meets everyone’s criteria and satisfies several definitions of workplace inclusion and diversity.
Include a variety of topics
It’s important to educate your workforce on cultural diversity throughout the year. Provide actionable strategies for incorporating inclusivity into daily interactions. Training can cover topics like unconscious bias, cultural competency, and communication styles.
Support interaction and collaboration
Constantly remind your workforce that inclusivity drives innovation. Provide opportunities for cross-functional collaboration and knowledge sharing. Allowing your employees to interact and learn the unique perspectives of others is a great hands-on approach to inclusivity training.
Proactively seek a more diverse pool of candidates.
Talk about the role internally, in public channels, and contact people who might be interested in the new role. Seek out any channels, tactics, or opportunities to expand the search for more diverse candidates. Pro tip — try not to close a position until you have a diverse pool of applicants.
Invite candidates to share their demographic information
At Remote, we invite candidates to share their demographic information with us. The questions are optional and voluntary, and will not have any impact on hiring outcomes. This information is only used to help our hiring process to be inclusive, and make sure that people of all backgrounds are represented in our talent pool. We offer this voluntary option to ensure we are actively reaching out to underrepresented groups and increasing our team’s diversity.
Respect the location and preferences of your candidates
In a diverse work environment, you want every candidate to feel included regardless of their location and timezone. Have an internal team member who has the closest time overlap interview a promising candidate. Don’t ask a candidate to interview in the middle of the night. This can make the interviewee feel excluded and pressured to work outside their timezone.
Just as definitions for inclusion and diversity differ from one workplace to another, what companies practice for inclusive hiring vary widely too.
Still, there are great ways to practice inclusive hiring right away. Here are a few tips from Remote:
Diversity in all positions. Make sure you have a diverse group of people representing different ideas, cultures and backgrounds in all positions. This includes the hiring and leadership team. If this is not the case, it can be a sign to redouble your efforts for a diverse applicant pool.
Ask for pronouns. Be proactive and get pronouns ahead of time. It’s okay to ask for pronouns, preferably before the interview through a friendly way. This little effort can show respect and builds trust with the applicant.
Avoid making cultural assumptions. Each individual has their own customs and traditions, so avoid making assumptions based on someone’s cultural background.If you’re not sure, all you have to do is ask respectfully.
Offer “floating” holidays. When you have a diverse workforce, each employee will have different public and religious holidays. Instead of unifying which dates your employees should take off, empower your employees to choose their paid leave. This will also help with team coverage. For example, someone who celebrates Chinese New Year may be happy to work during the Thanksgiving period. See also: How to manage an unlimited PTO policy
Respect time zone differences. For global-first businesses, it’s important to consider employees in different time zones. Be mindful not to schedule meetings outside of their core working hours, and ensure they’re able to take time off despite possibly not having as much coverage support as those in larger time zone locations. See also: Why you should be working asynchronously in 2023
Make inclusivity a core value. To ensure your employees are aware of the importance of inclusivity, incorporate it as a core value within your company’s mission statement. When inclusivity is positioned as a central value, it becomes a part of the everyday language and mindset of the company. Make sure that everyone in and outside your company can access and read your inclusivity statement.
Walk the walk. Leadership sets the tone for your organizational culture, so lead by example. Make sure people in leadership positions come from diverse backgrounds and are committed to creating an inclusive culture. This can be through respecting diverse viewpoints, and actively seeking out different perspectives in decision-making processes.
Remote also asked our survey group which practices they use to promote diversity and inclusion in their hiring processes to explore the most commonly used methods. The table below shows their top ten responses.
% of employers who responded
Offering workplace flexibility
Acknowledging holidays of all cultures
Providing awareness training and implementing diversity and inclusion policies for HR or People teams and hiring managers
Implementing scorecards to support managing bias during the hiring process
Advertising roles through new channels that target diverse candidates
Promoting pay equity in job descriptions
Having an interview panel of diverse set of colleagues
Encouraging referrals from diverse employees
Offering paid internships and entry level opportunities to underrepresented groups
Measuring and tracking diversity efforts
Curiously, while employers seem to agree that diversity is important, only 18% of respondents said they are tracking diversity and inclusion as part of their hiring processes.
Implementing hiring practices that promote inclusion and diversity is essential for every workplace, but it’s important that employers use the most effective methods for their unique workplace. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to promoting inclusion and diversity when hiring. We also encourage periodically reviewing organization practices to ensure that the most successful methods are always being used.
49% of job hunters have faced discrimination in the hiring process
Our survey asked employees whether they’d ever experienced or witnessed discrimination in the hiring process. Nearly five in 10 (49%) employees said they had experienced it themselves and more than half (52%) of respondents said they had witnessed it.
See below the experiences of job applicants in the hiring process split across the US, France, the UK, Germany, and Canada.
% of employees who report experiencing discrimination in the hiring process
Out of the countries surveyed, the United States has the highest percentage of job hunters who have experienced discrimination in the hiring process at 56%.
France and the United Kingdom follow in second and third place, both with more than half of applicants claiming to have faced discrimination in the hiring process.
Across all countries surveyed, self-reported discrimination occurs more with male applicants than female applicants on average, with 44% of female applicants reporting discriminatory experiences compared with 52% of male applicants.
Young people appear to be the most vulnerable to workplace discrimination, with two-thirds (69.23%) of applicants between 18-24 having experienced discrimination in the hiring process. Reasons for this spike could be increased consciousness of issues related to race, gender, and other potential factors for discrimination in younger applicants.
55% go on to experience discrimination in the workplace after the hiring process
Remote’s investigation discovered that discrimination becomes slightly more prevalent after the hiring process ends, with 55% of employees reporting that they have experienced workplace discrimination and 59% saying they have witnessed it.
Once again, the people who report experiencing discrimination the most are between the ages of 18-24. By gender, 56% of male employees said they experience discrimination at work, while 52% of female employees reported the same.
See below the experiences of employees in the workplace split across the UK, Germany, France, the US, and Canada.
% of employees who have experienced discrimination in the workplace
At 59%, the United Kingdom and Germany are the countries with the highest percentage of employees who have faced discrimination in the workplace.
See also: Remote work mental health resource pack
Despite the many benefits that diversity brings, businesses face challenges creating inclusive work environments.
To find out what kinds of hurdles inclusive workplaces have to overcome, we asked our survey group about their experiences. The table below shows the most common challenges that companies encounter creating a more inclusive work environment.
% of employers who responded
Managing inequitable inclusion, e.g. the concept that diversity means different things to different people
Communication issues, e.g. language barriers, slang, colloquialisms and cultural misunderstandings
The time to train employees about different ways of thinking and approaching the same scenario
The money to ensure you are implementing the training and tools for a diverse and inclusive workforce
Detecting and removing stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination among employees
Ensuring there is inclusion as well as diversity
Slower decision making, e.g. allowing more time to debate ideas
Visa requirements and costs for accommodation
Managing inequitable inclusion is the biggest challenge that UK employers and hiring managers face, with 36% listing this as the difficulty they face the most. Inequitable inclusion refers to the concept that diversity means different things to different people, which we explored earlier on in our survey.
This is closely followed by communication issues relating to language barriers, slang, colloquialisms and cultural misunderstandings (35%), and the third most common challenge is finding the time to train employees about different ways of thinking and approaching a scenario.
All data collected in this study was based on a survey of 1,250 hiring managers, employees and business owners across the UK, the US, Canada, Germany, and France in September 2022.
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