Diverse team at workplace

HR 15 min

Global Study: Inclusive hiring practices to start today

Written by
Nadia Vatalidis

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The importance of inclusive hiring practices

Inclusive hiring practices are crucial to the success of any organization. They have a significant influence on whether an organization is able to attract and retain top talent, foster a positive work environment, and create a rich company culture.

When inclusive hiring practices are not in place, organizations risk missing out on a key source of innovation and creativity. However, by prioritizing diversity and inclusion, they can ensure that they are able to tap into the full potential of the workforce and create a more inclusive environment for all.

At Remote, we spoke to 1,250 hiring managers, employees, and business owners across the UK, the US, Canada, Germany, and France to investigate the state of diversity and inclusion in the hiring process in 2022.

Our survey explores what diversity means to businesses, its impact on the workforce, and the difficulties faced when trying to implement an inclusive work environment.

See also: Building a globally inclusive hiring strategy (Webinar)

49% of job hunters have faced discrimination in the hiring process

Our survey asked employees across the world whether they’d ever experienced or witnessed discrimination in the hiring process, nearly five in 10 (49%) 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.

Country

% of employees who report experiencing discrimination in the hiring process

United States

56%

France

54%

United Kingdom

50%

Germany

48%

Canada

36%

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

Our 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.

Country

% of employees who have experienced discrimination in the workplace

United Kingdom

59%

Germany

59%

France

55%

United States

54%

Canada

46%

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

What does diversity and inclusion mean to employers?

Our unique backgrounds, personal attributes, and life experiences all directly influence how we define diversity and inclusion in the workplace, which explains why the concept means something slightly different to everyone.

To find out how definitions vary from employer to employer, 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 included in the table below.

Response

% 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

37%

Hiring a wide range of candidate backgrounds and perspectives

36%

Providing a voice, equal access to opportunities, resources and support to all employees

35%

Asking candidates about any adjustments you can make to assist them during the hiring and interview process

33%

Ensuring the use of inclusive language in job descriptions

31%

Educating employees is deemed the most important for employers, with the most popular answer (37%) being “acknowledging and educating team members on unconscious bias and working to eliminate this within the organization and recruitment process.”

When it comes to setting targets for improving diversity and inclusion, it can be helpful to start with one agreed-upon definition for these terms. Ideally, this is a combination of different viewpoints from people working within the company.

From there, employees can work collectively towards a common goal that meets everyone’s criteria, and satisfies several definitions of workplace diversity and inclusion.

The most commonly used practices to promote diversity and inclusion in the hiring process

Just as definitions for diversity and inclusion differ from one workplace to another, the practices companies use to incorporate DEI in their hiring processes vary widely too.

See also: 10 inclusive workplace practices for your remote team

We 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.

Practice used

% of employers who responded

Offering workplace flexibility

23%

Acknowledging holidays of all cultures

21%

Providing awareness training and implementing diversity and inclusion policies for HR or People teams and hiring managers

20%

Implementing scorecards to support managing bias during the hiring process

20%

Advertising roles through new channels that target diverse candidates

19%

Promoting pay equity in job descriptions

19%

Having an interview panel of diverse set of colleagues

19%

Encouraging referrals from diverse employees

18%

Offering paid internships and entry level opportunities to underrepresented groups

18%

Measuring and tracking diversity efforts

18%

When it comes to attracting diverse employee candidates from different backgrounds, workplace flexibility is the most popular offering for employers. Just under a quarter (23%) of hiring managers and employers internationally stated that offering workplace flexibility was their company’s most common approach.

After that, 21% of companies acknowledge the holidays of all cultures, and another 20% offer awareness training as well as implementing diversity and inclusion policies for their HR or people teams and hiring managers.

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 diversity and inclusion is essential for each and 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 diversity and inclusion when hiring, and companies should periodically review their practices to ensure that the most successful methods are always being used.

The benefits of hiring diverse talent in the workplace

Actively seeking out and hiring diverse talent brings a host of benefits to a business, from improved retention rates and happier staff to 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, they must also ensure that they 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.

The top challenges businesses face when implementing an inclusive work environment

Despite the many benefits that diversity brings, it’s common for businesses to face challenges in creating an inclusive work environment.

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 on their journey towards creating a more inclusive work environment.

Difficulty

% of employers who responded

Managing inequitable inclusion, e.g. the concept that diversity means different things to different people

36%

Communication issues, e.g. language barriers, slang, colloquialisms and cultural misunderstandings

35%

The time to train employees about different ways of thinking and approaching the same scenario

34%

The money to ensure you are implementing the training and tools for a diverse and inclusive workforce

32%

Detecting and removing stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination among employees

31%

Ensuring there is inclusion as well as diversity

29%

Slower decision making, e.g. allowing more time to debate ideas

28%

Visa requirements and costs for accommodation

27%

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.

See also: Understanding and supporting LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace

Remote’s stance on facilitating belonging, inclusion, diversity, and equity in the workplace

At Remote, we believe an inclusive work environment is a necessity. We proactively embrace, nurture and support job candidates and employees of different backgrounds and identities, and we encourage all other organizations to do the same.

To learn more about how Remote embraces diversity in a remote environment — and to borrow our strategies for yourself! — view our public company handbook, which highlights not only our commitment to belonging and diversity, but also our policies on remote work, async communication, and even global compensation.

Resources and methodology