When positioning diversity and inclusion on a career website, it’s critical that employers focus on more than just policies and positioning. You can’t just talk the talk. Instead, organizations must focus their efforts demonstrating diversity and inclusion using proof points and real-life examples. In this blog, we provide both guidance and tactical directions to authentically showcase diversity and inclusion at your organization.
Written by Brooke White, Sr. Employer Brand Specialist
Highlighting Diversity & Inclusion On Your Career Site
INSTEAD OF LISTING POLICIES, FOCUS ON DEMONSTRATING INCLUSION
When positioning diversity and inclusion on a career website, it’s critical that employers focus on more than just policies and positioning. You can’t just talk the talk. Instead, organizations must focus their efforts demonstrating diversity and inclusion using proof points and real-life examples. It doesn’t matter if an employer has great strategic messaging, it matters that they live up to it.
“Diversity is the mix. Inclusion is making the mix work.”
DEMONSTRATING INCLUSION ON YOUR CAREER WEBSITE
To prove that an organization is living up to its diversity and inclusion promise, employers need to find ways to demonstrate inclusion authentically. Candidates don’t need to see the percentage of diverse employees at your organization, they want to know how they’re celebrated and treated as part of the team. To showcase this authentically, employers can include the following:
Photos of diverse teams and colleagues in organic settings.
For this, it’s important to use real employees and avoid stock images. The goal here is to show the people of the organization, not to paint an inaccurate picture of your workforce. If you don’t have a diverse workforce yet, find examples of diversity that currently exist and leverage these. Regardless, you should avoid stock images for diversity and inclusion at all costs – they’re inauthentic and candidates notice.
Employee stories of experiences in terms of team, collaboration and openness.
When including employee stories, organizations mustn’t focus on employee differences and how they feel included despite them. To be effective, employers need to re-focus testimonials on painting a picture of a healthy, welcoming culture. Again, candidates don’t want to hear testimonials about how Susan feels included despite her differences, they want to hear about her experience working in a team that celebrates her value and welcomes her with open arms. When you focus on differences, testimonials feel too corporate and miss the primary goal: highlighting an authentic culture that candidates want to be a part of.
Statistics and proof points that demonstrate retention of diverse individuals.
Often times organizations focus on their diversity statistics in terms of employee demographics, losing sight of the inclusion aspect. To combat this, employers can highlight the percentage of diverse employees that have a tenure longer than 5 years (for example) and compare it to that of non-diverse employees. When employers hire based on diversity and forget to foster inclusion, retention rates suffer and will expose this gap. This section can also be coupled with an employee testimonial that reinforces the messaging.
CANDIDATES TRUST EMPLOYEE STORIES
The most impactful voices when influencing candidates are those of current employees. To authentically and credibly demonstrate a diverse and inclusive culture, it needs to come from the voices of employees directly. When putting together your panel of employees to do so, it’s important to prioritize diversity within this group. For example, employers shouldn’t only include diversity in race, but also prioritize diversity in gender, age, ability and sexual orientation. In addition to this, it’s also beneficial to include stories and testimonials from non-diverse employees on the topic. For example, you could interview a manager of a veteran employee on the unique value he or she brings to the organization.
These stories should be embedded throughout the website in different forms of media. This can include anything from video interviews, to personal blogs, scribed interviews, and traditional testimonials. In these, each employee should also have a short blurb or abstract about who they are.
DIVERSITY OF THOUGHT AND EXPERIENCES
To demonstrate a true understanding of diversity, it’s important to position it as a strategy from more than just the traditional sense. Diversity doesn’t only define employee segments in terms of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and ability. For a truly inclusive approach, we must also look for and celebrate diversity in the backgrounds and experiences of employees.
This can mean celebrating anything from past jobs, to education and odd hobbies – it’s answering the question “what makes this person different and interesting?” It’s our experiences that truly diversify us and make us stronger as a collective. Typically, organizations hire in terms of traditional employee segments (i.e. race, gender, etc.), but if we focus on the unique experiences of these individuals it will create a more human and authentic message.
For example, we can highlight Alexa, a developer at Company ABC who is also a black female. We can assume that Alexa is both black and a woman in STEM by seeing her headshot and job title, so instead of focusing on that, let’s highlight that she also volunteers at a local charity teaching code to young girls. When we look deeper at who the employee is, we can begin to build meaningful stories that showcase their identities and how they contribute to the cultural diversity of an organization.
THE PURPOSE OF DIVERSITY
When we approach diversity from this perspective in combination with the traditional sense, it helps employers demonstrate that their diversity strategy is more than a tick on a business checklist. Instead, employers can prove that they care to know and appreciate each individual for who they truly are.
The purpose of diversity and inclusion is to enrich a team with diverse experiences and perspectives. When employers can combine the learnings from this blog to position diversity and inclusion at their organization, the career website will be infinitely more effective in converting diverse candidates.