In the latest White Paper from The Business of Fashion, 8 global experts within the D&I space shared their knowledge and expertise on four crucial areas businesses in every industry need to be assessing and overhauling within their hiring process in order to create a more inclusive recruitment process. We’ve put together a series of blogs that highlight the key takeaways from their report and panel discussion that can help you to work through your own hiring process and route out outdated practises in favour of more forward thinking and inclusive strategies.

Improving diversity amongst your hires is only the first step. In order to retain those hires you need to ensure that your workplace is inclusive and allows people to show up to work as their most authentic selves and that your culture nurtures diversity of thought. 

Step 4: Post-Hire

Onboard for success:

Thinking about diversity must go past the recruitment stage in order for it to be successful by retaining new employees and making your workplace safe and inclusive for everyone. The onboarding process is your new employees first real impression of your company’s culture and is a key part of integrating them into your team. This can particularly be a challenge whilst onboarding new recruits from home. Be mindful and aware of imposter syndrome and make a conscious effort to reiterate to your new hires why you hired them and check in with them regularly, asking what questions they have instead of if they have any questions to normalise their uncertainty.

Make space for allyship within your team:

In order for your workforce to progress towards an inclusive culture, you need to provide them with the resources necessary to build a shared knowledge base. For example, offering information around different pronouns helps to diminish microaggressions. Employee resource groups (ERGs) can both encourage a sense of inclusion and belonging, as well as enabling underrepresented groups and their allies within the business to further efforts to support their unique needs, ensuring that businesses and leaders alike are held accountable to their D&I commitments. But it should be reiterated that these types of conversations relating to diverse groups within the business should not be confided to ERGs. The responsibility to raise awareness and improve representation of these groups belongs to the company as a whole, including the leadership team.

Keep measuring where your company is at and where you need to improve:

Continual and regular anonymous surveys are great ways for employees to be honest about how included they feel and what they may need from you in order to feel included, allowing you to monitor your progress but also what goals you need to set. But it’s important to be aware of the law in your country around collecting this kind of sensitive data from your employees. Always read up on it first.

Making your recruitment process more inclusive should be a priority and will ultimately help your business at the bottom line. As Jane Hatton brilliantly stated in the live panel discussion, it helps to see this as an opportunity to find the absolute best talent for your business by expanding your searches and improving your processes, rather than looking at D&I as yet another factor that you have to think about. Diversity of thought allows you to create a product or service that is reflective of and accessible to all the communities that you aim to serve, and as Suezette Yasmin Robotham pointed out, this can be the difference between millions and billions in profit. There is no doubt that building a diversity roadmap can be a long and complexed process, but its about taking it one step at a time, seeking knowledge and best practice from others in order to make informed decisions, which will ultimately make the process that little bit easier.

We hope that this blog series has been useful in helping you on your way to a more diverse and inclusive recruitment process.

For a more indepth guide to assessing the incusivity of your recruitment process, be sure to read the White Paper produced by the Business of Fashion here & for further insights, watch the panel discussion here.