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DEIB Recruitment: Inclusion in the Workplace

As the workplace becomes more diverse and equitable, making sure that the company culture reflects your commitment to DEIB is critical. A culture of exclusion, dismissal, or indifference will render any efforts to make the workplace inclusive moot.

What is Inclusion?

Understanding how exclusion works is the fastest way to understand what inclusion needs to look like. For example:


A company hires candidates that represent a broad range of diversity


  • Women, non-binary, trans or non-gender specific individuals in addition to men
  • Blacks, Asians, and other people of color in addition to white employees
  • Atheists, Muslims, and people of other faiths in addition to Christians
  • Employees who are blind, in wheelchairs, and representing other disabilities as well as abled people


However, unless an inclusive workplace is created, these employees will not feel welcomed or supported. Diversity and equity doesn’t stop at hiring or putting policies in place. 


In fact, according to one study of instances of reported exclusion in the workplace, the common denominator involved the behavior of people within the organization (often with multiple sources listed for each exclusion-related experience):


  • Leadership was listed as one of the sources on 58% of all experiences of exclusion
  • Direct managers were listed as one of the sources on 37% of all experiences of exclusion
  • Peers were listed as one of the sources on 32% of all experiences of exclusion 
  • Company policies were listed as one of the sources on only 10% of all experiences of exclusion
  • Reports, customers, and HR were all listed at below 10% in regard to exclusion-related experiences

inclusion in the workplace

Combating Exclusion by Prioritizing Inclusion

The best way to push back against exclusionary incidents in an organization is to build a company culture of inclusion in the workplace. It’s important to get top-down buy-in and to make workplace inclusivity a clear priority for employees at all levels. 


Since inclusion and exclusion are most clearly demonstrated by the behavior of leaders, managers, and peers, instilling inclusive precepts in your company is the most effective way to ensure new hires feel included and welcomed.  

Pursue Inclusivity in Hiring for Greater Diversity  

Inclusivity in recruitment starts with a job description. Ensure that inclusive language is being used, omitting gendered terms and industry jargon in favor of skills wanted, goals to be achieved, and responsibilities that go with the job. Removing gender-coded words allows companies to see nearly 30% more applicants.


Consider removing degree requirements in favor of experience, and consider shifting as many items from the must-have to the nice-to-have column. This opens up the door for a broader range of diverse candidates and prevents the door from being closed on innovative, fresh minds that could benefit the company. 


Consider using job boards where diverse talent gathers to attract a richer pool of talent with a focus on soft skills, and be prepared to back up your claims of being a DEIB-focused workplace.   


[See 3 Easy Steps to More Inclusive Hiring Practices]


Make the Company Brand Inclusive and Accessible

Candidates and future employees know they are well served by researching a company when applying. This isn’t only for their benefit to come off well in an interview, but for their own protection, to avoid hiring on with a company that doesn’t practice workplace inclusivity.


  • 75% of candidates will research a company’s reputation before applying for a job 
  • 62% of job seekers use social media channels to evaluate employer brands
  • A strong employer brand can reduce turnover by 28% and cost per hire by up to 50%


Ensure that language used on the website and social media channels is inclusive, Choose stock photos that represent company diversity. Check the website and social media posts to ensure they are accessible (using image alt text, large easily readable fonts, and clear navigation.) 


Post a statement about the company’s inclusion in the workplace commitment on both the website and social media about sections. Focus on showing potential employees that you’re committed to fostering positive company culture.

Provide Internal Mobility for Higher Retention

It doesn’t matter how diverse an employee slate is if they feel they aren’t included in future plans for the company. Create ways for current employees to voice their opinions, ideas, and concerns. Make sure each employee is aware of opportunities for advancement, and track mobility potential constantly. 


Keep learning and development options open and encourage employees to make goals and plans for vertical or horizontal moves within the organization. Touch base frequently with new hires to find out what their experiences have been like, and head off potential churn. Employees at organizations with high internal mobility stay nearly 2x as long.


inclusion in the workplace

Benefits of Inclusion in the Workplace

Your employee retention rate is a key performance indicator when it comes to your organization’s success in regard to DEIB. Focusing on building inclusiveness into the organization as a core value will deliver measurable ROI in the form of employee engagement and retention, improving the company culture and boosting morale.


Inclusive practices can also head off charges of exclusion or discrimination in the workplace., According to 2020 data from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), there were nearly 68,000 charges of workplace discrimination which ended up costing employers close to $440 million in settlements and lawsuits. The workplace isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s good for the company’s bottom line.  


Diverse teams can outperform their peers, and the performance increases grow when inclusivity and flexibility are added to the mix. Companies with inclusive talent practices in hiring, promotion, development, leadership, and team management can generate up to 30% higher revenue per employee, and greater profitability than their competitors. 


However, a team-centric model comprised of diverse individuals must be combined with a strong culture of inclusion in the workplace to achieve such a goal.  Having one without the other reduces the positive impact of your DEIB initiative, and waters down your commitment.


[Learn 7 Ways To Drive Inclusion While Working Remotely]

Utilize Technology to Reduce Bias

Technology can help you discover whether or not your recruitment processes are empowering inclusion. Job description analysis tools can help you attract a broader range of candidates. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) can surface candidates you need to fill skills gaps and create a diverse workforce. 


Digital reference checking from Crosschq 360 enables you to remove unconscious bias from the recruitment process. By customizing reference-checking questions to focus on what really matters, and getting feedback from former mentors, coworkers, and managers, you can build a clear picture of a candidate’s skill sets and potential culture fit.


Crosschq TalentWall™ makes it easier to spot issues in the talent funnel, and zero in on hiring steps or personnel that may be creating non-inclusive experiences. Where there are bottlenecks or sudden candidate drop-off, you can concentrate more attention to figure out what triggered the exodus. You can also track how recruitment is going in regard to DEI with dashboards that give you a holistic view of the hiring and real-time candidate pipeline insights.


Rapid, confident hiring is possible with Crosschq Recruit, which gives you access to an accelerated hiring process and a diverse talent pool that has opted into a robust vetting process. If you need to replace a problematic employee or manager fast, you can do so with more confidence that you’re getting the right person for the job.


Finally, Crosschq Analytics will assist you in seeing how your new hires are progressing towards their goals, and whether or not their experiences are positive in regard to inclusivity. The ability to track and measure metrics such as quality of hire across your workforce can inform future hiring decisions. Meanwhile, surveys and reporting on employee engagement can help highlight inclusivity successes and failures.

Make your company more inclusive by putting Crosschq at the heart of your Talent Intelligence program. Request a demonstration or start a free 30-day trial today!

Katie Kennedy

by Katie Kennedy

Talent Consulting Lead

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