In Canada, Human Rights legislation, both provincial and federal, promotes and ensures that the social fabric of a particular workplace is reflective of its external cultural environment. The law is clear in stating that discrimination against individuals is prohibited for purposes of employment. The consequences of non-compliance with the law are also quite clear. They come in the form of monetary fines, negative media coverage and social shaming, and frequently lead to costly business losses and diversions such as public apologies and reconstructive public relations campaigns.
Human Rights law tells us what not to do. It does not tell us what we can do to ensure that our recruitment practices encourage and support workplace diversity. In some jurisdictions, employment equity targets may continue to be in place with varying degrees of success. How can we progress beyond compliance with the law and equity targets that come from a restrictive perspective and move into a positive, pro-active commitment that builds much-needed workplace diversity?
According to a recent Fast Company article, ensuring a commitment to diversity in the workplace can be achieved with three fairly simple, but significant, steps.
As we note in this article, the promotion and implementation of workplace diversity must move along a continuum, beginning with the recruitment process, working through an inclusive culture and ensuring that change is driven from the top.
Changing the recruitment process does not mean that we need to eliminate job-related requirements. Instead, we can create opportunities for candidates to participate in specific recruitment practices, such as skills based testing, using neutral, non-identifiable elements for the purpose of skills evaluation. We can also create opportunities for ourselves, as the human resources professionals managing the recruitment process, by participating in bias training to reduce the risks related to potential discrimination.
When we are able to lead by implementing specific changes to recruitment practices, Human Resources will be able to lead the need to ensure that diversity matters in all corporate practices.
- What are the benefits of having ‘blind’ skills-based testing done prior to face-to-face or in-person interviews?
- How can an organization increase its diversity profile through pro-active recruitment strategies?
- In your opinion, what part of the recruitment process has the highest risk of personal bias and what part has the least risk of personal bias?