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7 easy ways to make your recruitment process more inclusive

Let’s be honest – recruiting is not an easy task, especially when it comes to doing it inclusively. We all have subconscious biases, those complex inclinations, or ideas for or against groups of people, that make it difficult to build your candidate pipeline, grow your team’s diversity and add a range of skills and experience into your team. But how to mitigate your bias?

Martyna Kosmala, Country Manager at MeetFrank.

We at MeetFrank think that inclusive processes should run through all stages of your recruiting. It goes from crafting job descriptions to building a diverse candidate pipeline and from creating thoughtful interview questions to for example making sure your office building is, in fact, accessible for all your candidates. There’s plenty of opportunities to make your recruiting top-notch, but also plenty of missteps to make.

We know there’s never enough of insightful advice and concrete tips when it comes to making your recruiting process inclusive for all candidates. To help you out, we rounded up 7 ways for making your recruiting more inclusive, the MeetFrank way.

1. Define your job criteria

Defining your company's needs come first. What are the exact skills your current team is looking for? What are the most important deliverables from a new team member? Defining your job criteria and the skills you’re looking for creates a base for successful and fair recruiting for all.

For example, with MeetFrank, the app asks you to fill out the most important criteria for your job application, which forces you to think about what matters the most for your company carefully. This is difficult, but important exercise is essential to 1) aligning on your company’s goals and 2) finding the best-suited candidate for your needs.

2. Language matters

We recommend sticking to the universal language that is approachable for many. For example, based on MeetFrank’s data, any software engineering positions located in Finland get 20% more applicants if the opening text is written in English – a find that supports the idea of using a more universal language.

The same goes for word choices. Are you looking for a ninja or a fighter for the job, or maybe your criteria for the person include words like ambitious, analytical, and leader. These are all words that women are proven to deter and shy away from after reading them on a job posting – even if the job itself would be a perfect fit. Next time, think of words that don’t exclude. Focus and carefully consider your language and word choices for the job posting. Test the job posting with someone outside your circles – maybe they catch something alarming or worrisome you didn’t recognize when first writing it. When it comes to posting to MeetFrank, we take notice of your wording and help where needed.

3. Stick to your process

Fair processes are the same processes for all applicants: sticking with the same inputs and asks with every candidate minimizes the natural bias you might have. Have email templates ready to be sent out to all candidates. Stick with the same questions when it comes to interviewing. Review with all the same data points, mirrored with the job description you started with.

For example, with MeetFrank you will automate your first conversation with your candidates so it is easy to compare the relevant criteria and input from the candidates. While it makes sense for the process, it also makes the manners impartial to all candidates – they all have the chance to start the discussion in the same way.

4. Look at the skills

At MeetFrank, we have a saying “we don’t need to know who you are, what we try to find out is what you do”, which is the perfect example of how it’s little about the personal details but much more about their skills, know-how, and expertise. This is why, when you sign up to MeetFrank there is a two to three-minute onboarding, which is completely anonymous.

The same can be applied in all of your recruiting: think skills first. This goes back to the point of defining your job criteria – starting with a strong idea of what you need makes recruiting easier for the job seeker as well. When scrolling through CV’s focus on finding the right keywords. In interviews, make sure your hands-on tests cover exactly what is wanted skill-wise. Ask for examples of previous work and mirror them to your needs.

5. Talent is borderless Think outside the box – and outside the country limits to improve your candidate pool’s diversity. You might find your next developer in Finland, but you also might find them from somewhere else; say Pakistan or Lithuania? Or have you connected with universities and universities of applied sciences?

We think that companies shouldn’t be able to target users based on gender, age, or origin. This can help recruiters aim for greater diversity. Companies often miss out on talent because they lack the necessary tools to know how to find it, while the competition for talent is becoming fiercer.

6. Transparency is key

An employer brand that shows transparently who are working in the company and their diverse teams attracts people from all walks of life. Based on MeetFrank data, job openings where the company profile is over 80% complete, receive on average 44% more applicants. Pictures about the team and office environment are key elements determining the completeness of the company profile. The information about recruiting companies and job market statistics turns doubts of job seekers into the hope of finding a perfect job for them.

Transparency also touches on other aspects of the recruiting process, such as being open with pay. At MeetFrank the pay is transparent and visible for all applicants, which serves especially the applicants to see their options. This is a win-win situation – employers can get direct feedback if their offer meets the market expectations and on the other hand, job seekers feel more empowered.

7. Unconscious bias training is great, but structural changes matter more

It is said, that there are 13 different hiring biases when it comes to recruiting. They range from confirmation bias (making snap decisions based on perceived truths and then spend the rest of the time, subconsciously or not, trying to justify your bias) to the horn effect (where we let something negative from the candidate to cloud our judgment because we believe that if the candidate is bad at A, they’ll be poor at B or C).

We are firm believers in unconscious bias training, company-wide. However, inclusivity starts with your processes and structures. Making structural changes, as we laid out in the points before, in the process is a great start to boost inclusive onboarding, thus your company’s culture.

We want to encourage people from all walks of life to join the discussion on inclusion and diversity – please join and share your tips with us. We are eager to hear from you.

Author: Martyna Kosmala The author is the Country Manager of MeetFrank in Finland. She has extensive experience from working and recruiting in startups in the Finnish ecosystem. Martyna’s core focus in her work has been developing the D&I conversation and practices in Finnish recruiting companies – as, in the end, it’s the skills that matter the most.