How critical are hiring managers to ED&I success?

Written by Tom Lakin  • Equality, Diversity & Inclusion  • 4 December 2023

Your hiring managers hold the paint brush for your workforce canvas. 

Interviewing and approving new hires, communicating corporate values, facilitating their team’s contributions to overall business strategies – their decisions are broad brushstrokes that seep into the fabric of the organisation. An example is Citi Group, which increased its gender diversity from 8% to over 30% in 2019 and attributed their success to a focus on targeted recruitment, talent development and retention, and promotion paths and processes – all organisational facets that hiring managers can directly impact.

The same logic applies for your organisational ED&I efforts, which should be part of your core business goals and KPIs. We shed light onto how hiring managers hold the key to better inclusion, and how best to empower this responsibility.

Hiring managers hold control over key hiring decisions

Job adverts are often the first touch point a candidate has with your organisation and employer brand so bias minimisation tech, such as RSAdify, which identifies gender bias and accessibility barriers in job adverts, makes for an excellent start to building a more diverse talent pool. However, the next step is to ensure that these underrepresented candidates are given a fair and unbiased interview process.

Encouraging an active practice of inclusion-positive behaviours throughout their touchpoints with prospective talent, usually through targeted training, will go a long way. Targeted training such as the Innocent Ignorance and Inclusive Recruitment Training from RS Consultancy can ensure targeted interventions have measurable impact.

Diverse Interview panels – in which the panel broadly reflects the wider demographics of society – can help minimise bias in the selection process as well as showcasing a more inclusive and diverse employer brand, reassuring all candidates that everyone can bring their whole selves to work.

Hiring managers define your company's first impressions

In a climate where candidates have more options than ever before, their image of your company matters. Recall your interviews when applying for your current place of work, and how you first felt when engaging with those who eventually became colleagues - more often than not, hiring managers were a key variable in this picture, and will be so for all future hires.

Hiring managers curate team culture

How do teams work in an organisation? More often than not, their objectives and means of attaining them are shaped and proposed by the manager. In the context of ED&I, it determines the degree which an underrepresented talent has their work supported, their opinions corroborated, and ultimately their career empowered.

After being a key catalyst to talent entry, hiring managers essentially hold the key to talent retention as well. If done right, the culture that they build become beacons for inclusion, inspiring fellow teams to hire, retain, and promote inclusively as well. With this much potential for positive change, making your managers key advocates of ED&I can be the start of many virtuous cycles, both ethically and financially

So, how can we prepare our hiring managers for ED&I success?

Hiring Managers often have disproportionate influence in your organisation’s ED&I endeavours. However, this does not mean an equivalent ability to identify and mitigate pitfalls – like all of us, their experiences and their resultant propensities to bias affect them in profound ways.

Unlike unconscious bias training, our Inclusive Recruitment and Innocent Ignorance training focuses specifically on immediate behaviour change. Training is delivered in engaging, scalable virtual sessions by our award-winning Diverse Hiring Practitioners, and seek to flag our ‘innocent ignorance’, while providing practical steps to minimise or remove bias in our behaviours.

Our Inclusive Recruitment and Innocent Ignorance training is just one tool within our suite of Diverse Hiring solutions, which have helped our global partners create deliberate, measurable and impactful diverse hiring outcomes. Explore our award-winning Diverse Hiring solutions today, or contact our Diverse Hiring experts for an exploratory discussion and find out how we can significantly impact your diverse hiring recruitment goals.

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