Diversity and Inclusion are one of our foremost priorities and, as a business, Saxton Leigh is committed to promoting workplace diversity and inclusion in 2023 and beyond.

We are seeing that workplaces are beginning to look at how they can improve their workplace culture and are making diversity and inclusion part of a recruitment strategy.

Many studies have shown that creating a workplace that has a diverse workforce benefits from more innovative ideas and processes being implemented. Allowing a broader range of skills amongst employees, as well as an abundance of diverse experiences and perspectives, which in turn increases the potential for further productivity.

Unfortunately, many businesses including those in the financial services sector are struggling to become more inclusive and diverse, this can be due to several factors, but we are finding through our clients that this is mainly due to current recruitment practices.

Diversity and inclusion must and should be part of all business strategies going forwards. Inclusive and diverse recruiting should be broad, covering areas such as gender, age, class, race, religion, and so much more, ensuring that you are interviewing and hiring individuals equally across a diverse range of backgrounds.

Our top 5 tips for anyone wanting to embed diversity and inclusion into your recruitment strategy:

Job Adverts

Go beyond your usual reach and work with agencies that use numerous networking groups, especially those specifically targeting under-represented groups.

Make sure that you have a clear and concise job description that defines what the job entails, and the specific skill set required. Ensure the role is described in a way that anyone outside of the organisation will understand. Use simple but direct language to avoid confusion for candidates move away from using unnecessarily complicated business terminology. Overly complicated language can be off-putting for younger and inexperienced applicants.

Review your previous recruitment adverts and descriptions as you will likely notice areas to implement changes that fit a broader diversity range. These changes can be as simple as the language or imagery used. Try to avoid using language which alienates certain groups as well as alternating between male and female pronouns in descriptions.


The Interview process

The application process should be simple to avoid confusing applicants. Make sure that any messages and or instructions during the application process are welcoming and inclusive, not overly and unnecessarily formal with complicated language.

During the interview, it is vital that you create a completely unbiased interview process. Where possible having a diverse panel of interviewers will help candidates feel more comfortable as well as demonstrating your organisation is inclusive.

You could also consider ‘blind’ interviews – when working with a recruitment agency you can request that all candidates put forward are done so this way giving you a chance to start the process of interview completely free of bias. Blind interviews are implemented by creating an evaluation of a CV that removes information on demographics like gender, race, and ethnicity from the initial stage.

Create a clear scoring system for those involved in the interview process. Scoring systems allow the panel to make more evidence-based decisions. Preparing for an interview this way will allow you and the participants the opportunity to get the best out of the interviewee as well as setting the right tone.

Time to break the mould

Consider bringing in a candidate who will add to your culture rather than fit it. Candidates can have great qualities which are different to the normal personality traits that fit your business, this change could bring something new with it, new thinking and new ways of working.

Start at the top 

To create a diverse and inclusive organisation and culture, ensure a leadership team manages the business leading by example. Having individuals within the company championing this change who are diverse themselves, will create a brand and public awareness of your inclusiveness.

Finally, and most importantly – Educate

Educating your team with internal and external training will move the team and business forward. Bias can be unintentional and relate to characteristics other than gender, race, or religion. Training and educating your senior leaders and having this filter down into the team will help spot bias and support their team members too. Effective training and working together towards this goal will also improve employee engagement, diversity and well as culture.

Saxton Leigh believes the benefits of a diverse culture does not simply come from hiring a broad range of individuals. Workplaces need to create a culture of respect and inclusion for all. Every employee should feel appreciated, valued, respected, and empowered by their team and seniors.

Get in contact with our specialist corporate governance recruitment consultants to discuss how we can help you hire and create a diverse team that brings with them a broader range of skills, as well as a plethora of diverse experiences and perspectives.

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