Last Wednesday, Leila, Olivia and I went to the PRCA’s Diversity Group event: How to create a more diverse workforce, which was hugely insightful and really got us thinking about how we can advise our clients on the most effective ways to diversify their teams.
Often, we think of diversity as being about gender and race, but diversity actually spans age, weight, attractiveness, skin colour, gender and disability. We may also use less visible categories like accent, social background, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, education and job status to make judgement on someone.
This led onto ways we can eliminate implicit bias (unconsciously held associations about a social group) from the hiring process. We make 11 judgements in the first 7 seconds of meeting someone without us realising, hence, when interviewing candidates, clients need to be overly aware of how their implicit bias could influence their decision-making process.
Ways to remove implicit bias:
- Have a blind application process
- Install an application process, don’t just look at CVs – this stops clients focusing on years’ experience
- Use an objective scoring system and avoid terms such as “I feel that they’d be a good/bad fit”
- Make the interview process at least 2 rounds
- Avoid creating an ideal candidate in your head
Having a diverse workforce brings with it a significant amount of benefits, but it also makes sense on a commercial level. Clients are diverse and so teams need to be diverse too in order to fully understand their needs. In addition, having a diverse workforce is said to increase financial performance, employee engagement and creativity. As a recruitment agency, we find that a lot of candidates are wanting to join a diverse workforce so if companies are wanting to grow their teams, they must take diversity into consideration.
Thank you to the PRCA for hosting such an insightful event and for providing us with some really interesting statistics. If you would like to find out more information on the PRCA and Diversity within the PR industry, please follow this link https://www.prca.org.uk/campaigns/diversity-pr-industry