Inclusivity Begins During the Hiring Process. Here's How to Do It. If you want your company culture to be truly inclusive, you have to build the perspective of mattering into your systems and processes.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Inclusivity is an important part of any healthy company culture. It's one of the key ingredients that ensures your employees are satisfied and given an environment that they can thrive within. But inclusivity doesn't start on the first day your new hire joins the team. To be effective, inclusivity begins during the hiring process.
New hires are more likely to be dealing with some kind of mental and emotional fallout from the pandemic and self-isolation. By being cognizant of the unique struggles new hires are facing today, you can adjust your hiring and onboarding processes to meet their needs in an online environment.
Here's how you do it while putting mattering, an important component to inclusivity, at the forefront.
Mattering is a non-negotiable
Mattering is the part of someone's identity that tells them how valuable they are to others. When someone says that they want to make a difference or contribute, they're saying that they want their life, actions and words to matter to the people around them. This also applies to how your employees approach their work.
Mattering is one of the foundational components to inclusion. If you want your company culture to be truly inclusive, you have to build the perspective of mattering into your systems and processes. That means when you consider how your organization's leadership conducts their meetings, reviews, communication practices and other interactions with your employees and potential hires, the question, "Where in this process is there a demonstration that my employees and their efforts matter?" needs to be asked.
When employees feel like they matter, it has a direct impact on their performance and how they show up for work. Employees that believe their contribution counts have higher self-efficacy and self-esteem, resulting from being recognized as valuable and an understanding that their contribution to the group at large (in this case the company) is appreciated. So the question remains — how do you attract new employees through mattering?
Mattering in the hiring and onboarding process
After months of hiring freezes and insecure working conditions, many potential hires simply want to end up at a company that sees their value and will pay them well for their contribution. So it's important to remember that at each stage of bringing new team members on, potential hires get a taste of your culture. They get to see glimpses of how your company communicates and operates. It's important that you set the standards early in the process for how you evaluate and speak with your employees.
For example, during the interview process, you can ask questions about a prospective employee's contributions to past organizations and speak to the importance of your employees feeling like they matter. You can find out the ways potential hires most like to contribute to the organizations they work with and the opportunities they're looking for over time. These kinds of conversations are based in impact and inclusivity so that the expectations being laid out are setting the foundation for mattering to be a key piece in the organization potential hires are considering joining. Involving additional team members in the interview process is another way to show the candidate that your employees matter.
Once you have selected a new hire, it's time to onboard them. How you onboard new team members makes all the difference in how your existing employees and your new employees interact with one another. This will either enhance existing inclusivity or chip away at it. That's why creating an intentional onboarding process that begins integrating new employees into your inclusive culture is crucial.
For example, when introducing a new hire to your existing team, make sure to share what your new employee is bringing to the table and how they will elevate what your current team is working on. Likewise, when introducing existing employees to your new hire, share the unique contributions each employee brings to the team. This allows each employee to feel seen, recognized and important so they can get a deeper understanding of their place within the organization. The more your new hires and team members feel like they matter to one another and your company at large, the stronger your culture and reputation will become, attracting the highest caliber talent to your organization.