How to Increase Inclusion and Diversity in Recruitment – Practical Tips

Employer branding expert Miikka Huhta shared his lessons on the importance of diversity and its implementation at a breakfast event hosted by the Finnish job board Jobly. Huhta, along with Visa Myllyntaus, has delved into the topic in their upcoming book.

Miikka Huhta, who leads consulting group Miltton’s employee experience and employer branding business, spoke about diversity and inclusion in recruitment at Jobly's breakfast event in November.

Huhta has co-authored the book Monimuotoisuus työelämässä - 100 keinoa kasvattaa organisaation vetovoimaa (Alma Talent), which can be translated to Diversity in the Workplace - 100 Ways to Increase an Organization's Attractiveness with Visa Myllyntaus.

The book is based on 400 different sources and dozens of interviews. True to its title, the book provides concrete ways to increase diversity in the workplace.

– During the writing of the book, I was surprised by how many biases there are in the workplace. Some are unconscious and some are conscious, Huhta explains.

According to Huhta, the three most important biases are stereotypes, prejudices, and discrimination. For instance, the stereotype that young people are lazy leads to prejudices against them. This, in turn, leads to discrimination. If someone believes that young people are lazy, they may not invite younger professionals to job interviews.

Diversity has been extensively studied, but much of the research results are contradictory.

– As business economists, we started writing the book with benefits in mind. But diversity work should not be done just from a benefit perspective, but also because it is the right thing to do.

Diversity work refers to efforts to increase diversity, inclusivity, and equality.

– In practice, it all starts with creating a strategy. It doesn’t have to be called a strategy if you don’t want to, but a plan or concept is needed. The most challenging part is the second phase, which is integrating it into practice. Once you get going, the third phase is doing it together. Diversity work will never become part of everyday life if people are not invited to join.

Inclusive Recruitment

Inclusivity in recruitment can be increased in many ways.

– For example, it’s good to consider should proficiency in Finnish really be mandatory, Huhta says.

Huhta also highlights special measures such as anonymous recruitment and affirmative action.

– For example, symphony orchestras in the United States have made recruitments based solely on auditions. The candidate plays behind a screen and the decision is made purely on that basis.

There are many different levels and options in anonymous recruitment. For example, an anonymous work sample or a test can be a good way to screen applicants, after which CVs can be reviewed and the best candidates invited for an interview.

Employees should be encouraged to recommend open positions also to applicants other than those like themselves. It is also advisable to include a diversity clause in job advertisements.

Huhta emphasizes objectivity in recruitment. This can be helped by a competency-based interview, where the same predefined set of questions is asked of all. Candidates can then be scored using a uniform evaluation matrix.

About Jobly

Jobly is Alma Career’s Finnish job board. Jobly inspires, encourages, and helps you to find and choose the most suitable career opportunities for yourself - easily.