Diverse and inclusive hiring

With the war on talent raging on, companies need to look differently at HR, recruitment and (re-)skilling. Diverse and inclusive hiring and the way businesses approach this situation differs severely, from  an increase in salary to cultural benefits or worse, endless vacancies. However, in today’s financial reality, these aren’t sustainable solutions. Supported by the Microsoft Partner Pledge, MiCRONOS changed its perspective on hiring new employees to a more inclusive and diverse policy and organized a workshop for its competence centers to deep dive into how they can realize these new approaches.

By Ann De Bisschop

Beyond ‘women in tech’

MiCRONOS is a community of IT professionals, dealing with today’s issue of finding the right people for an increasing number of jobs. To solve this problem, the focus shifted quickly to a more diverse and inclusive recruitment policy. For a lot of IT companies, this means: more women in tech. But backed by the Microsoft Partner Pledge, MiCRONOS wants to go further: how can we involve other cultures and genders and skill or reskill unemployed workers, less educated people or even reorient employees at later ages.

Multiple studies prove that a diverse workforce is more productive. A mix of perspectives makes for a broader, more innovative and more creative palette of solutions. Facilitating that mix will mean a sustainable solution for your organization in the long term. However, you need to get started. This was the starting point for a workshop MiCRONOS organized to inform its competence centers on the matter. Because a more diverse and inclusive workforce comes with a number of challenges:

Diversity in workplace
  • Integration and communication: how do you involve everyone, both internally and externally in your organization? How do you take this perspective into consideration when it comes to communication?
  • Administration: what are the consequences in terms of administration? Do you need work permits? What do you do with different degrees? Are there any legal steps you need to consider?
  • Professional behavior: does every culture shake hands? How do you look at the interpretation of hierarchy, coworking or personal space?

From workshop to next steps about diverse and inclusive hiring

The more diverse your perspective on employment, the more diverse your solutions will be. Because, where do you find the people you want to work with or attract? They seldom turn up in the same talent pond you’re used to fishing. The workshop taught us to be aware. Broaden your view on recruitment and plan actions accordingly. For instance:

diversity in hiring
  • Leave the beaten track: promote your vacancies on other media than LinkedIn or recruitment partners. Go out and reach out to people in markets, or at the school gates. Think of where your target audience hangs out and meet them there.
  • Change your job offers: instead of reaching out to the perfect profile that ticks all the boxes in terms of skills and experience, start looking at competencies and talent rather than skill level. By means of training and the right set of basic competencies, you’ll be able to fill in a vacancy without having the perfect candidate on paper.
  • Lead by example: diversity depends on a different mentality. Show it! You won’t be able to draft an inclusive job description, if you don’t represent this mentality in practice. Besides this, your way of onboarding will change and you need to pay more attention to retention.

First steps in diverse and inclusive hiring

Finally, each participant needed to draw up his or her own plan of action, with specific next steps on how they could actually realize their new hiring strategy. One of those focus points for instance is the realization of a diversity guild within MiCRONOS in order to facilitate action on a larger scale.

“The workshop took place right before summer. The next step is to evaluate which steps the competence centers took in order to achieve their new strategies and to support them in further actions in collaboration with the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) team from De Cronos Groep. Those are important first steps to concretise our vision, because we are aware there still is a lot of work to be done in this matter. To be continued!” Ann De Bisschop