The Strategy for Achieving True Diversity: Diversifying Your Workforce Made Simple

True diversity extends beyond the visual differences between different groups of people. True diversity finds its home in an organisation with diversity of thought, thinking processes, and personalities. 

You can contact our specialist teams, and request Amberjack’s full insight paper, Optimising Diversity in Future Talent Recruitment, via the form on the right! 

What is True Diversity? 

Organisations committed to true diversity should think broader than ethnicity, race, religion, and gender; achieving representation from different groups does not guarantee diversity of thought. 

For example, organisations should embrace applications of BAME candidates for all the reasons why they are different from white applicants, rather than trying to find those BAME applicants who would merely maintain the status quo, and so are more likely to share similar perspectives already present in your organisation. 

Usually, success profiles and hiring criterion are anchored in the evaluation of what has worked historically and what good currently looks like in people performing that role within your organisation. The issue arises because, typically, examples of what good looks like in your organisation will be dominated by majority group characteristics. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the majority group applicants prove more likely to share these characteristics. 

For organisations who genuinely value different backgrounds and inputs in their workforce, exploring how you can optimise your recruitment process is key. 

It has been proven, beyond doubt, that there’s a positive correlation between organisational diversity and the robustness of decision making, creativity, and innovation.

By now, you’re probably wondering how your organisation can utilise Amberjack’s template for success, and reap the benefits of diving below surface-level inclusion, to establish true diversity. 

Objective 1: Design a selection process free from direct discrimination 

You are likely to set out on day one and want your process to be free from discrimination. Therefore, you don’t add any criteria in there that means any one group of people absolutely won’t be able to achieve it. But, before you start to design your selection process it’s about really challenging the criteria of the role and understanding where that comes from. Is it because you have the analysis to show what’s very predictive of successful performance in the role or it is because that’s the way it’s always been done? It could be your stakeholders have always received quality hires and therefore it’s not broken so don’t fix it.  

Creating change requires some thought in this area… If you want to create change, it’s likely you’re going to have to adjust your hiring criteria. We recommend, thorough job analysis to understand the requirements of success in the role and test against the legitimate criteria. Ask yourself: 

  • Can you defend every element of your listing requirements? 
  • Does this negatively impact underrepresented groups? 
  • Would people with certain backgrounds, upbringings, life opportunities, or neurodiversity statuses, be shut out by your criteria? 

Objective 2: Design selections tools which will not advantage one group over another

The next step is to design your selection tools to make sure that one group doesn’t have an advantage over another. If you are basing your design on your high achievers and they are currently a set of people from one demographic, it’s unlikely you’re going to get that diversity of thought through your job analysis. It’s critical to ask the business for the right representation.  

We can all appreciate for a lot of businesses this is difficult and, often, there won’t be the diversity of stakeholder required. But, there are other ways of gaining this information. You can ask underrepresented groups directly, you could talk to your stakeholders about making changes, and you can work with a consultancy, such as Amberjack, for outside research and knowledge. Subsequently, benefiting from their other experience.  

Piloting and testing your selection process tools, across demographics is important. You can use the data collected from testing to see if adverse impact is present. If it is, then further analysis should be carried out to see whether this is a whole tool issues, or if the issues arises from a particular question or criteria, and determine and implement changes. 

Objective 3: Monitor the effectiveness of each tool, the whole process, and those receiving an offer

Once you bring candidates into the process, it’s crucial to monitor the effectiveness of each of your tools to see how well they’re achieving against your sift-out rates and pipeline control. Adverse impact analysis should be conducted at various different stages.  

Keep an eye on the whole process. When we think about being inclusive, it’s about who’s getting the job offers. By monitoring each stage, you can see where people are potentially being discriminated against, and ensure underrepresented groups are getting offers.  

The training and monitoring of your decision-makers is nothing new: assessors should be trained in Unconscious Bias, and we want to take this a step further. Assessors need to understand the benefits of diversity in the business and why the business is trying to achieve this. Bring your assessors into the process, as stakeholders and educating them on including strategy and the benefits of implementation, will go far as a catalyst for change and creating impact. 

Objective 4: Take action when needed 

Data is your roadmap to creating an evidenced-based, fair, and effective hiring process. Making sure you collect, review and analyse data is extremely important. You should be aware of all the potential flaws that could come into that data to make decisions at the right time, and with the appropriate amount of sample data. The more data you have, the more confident you can be. 

We also advise to break down BAME groups, instead of reporting them as BAME vs Non-BAME. By breaking down BAME groups, you are likely to see different outcomes. It’s likely you will see that one group is more adversely impacted and skewing data.  

If your objective is to bring in true diversity, then what’s the point in ticking the box to say I’ve grouped all the BAME candidates and it’s meeting the 80:20?  

Objective 5: Positive Action

Positive action, as permitted by the Equality Act, is one of the more powerful tools available to organisations who truly want to turn the dial in relation to diversity. It is something that needs to be applied with care, to make absolutely sure it is fair and lawful.  Where organisations are able to provide concrete evidence of underrepresentation, they may prioritise applications from members of those underrepresented groups, over those of majority group applicants, in situations in which those applicants can be considered of ‘Equal Merit’. 

Now, it’s time to utilise these insights and start benefitting from diversity in your workforce. 

Let us help you work towards diversity of thought in your organisation! Fill out your details to find out more from our team about the innovative technology and services offered by Amberjack, or to request a copy of our free insight paper: Optimising Diversity in Future Talent Recruitment.

Share this Article

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top