Does Your eLearning Recruitment Plan Include Enough Diversity?
Most employers understand the value of greater diversity in recruitment because it brings new perspectives and knowledge to an organization. The eLearning market benefits in particular, because a great part of corporate learning comes from exposure from other cultures. Yet, for some reason, eLearning recruiters tend to approach and hire candidates who are much like themselves.
A study conducted by Kellogg School of Management, headed by professor Lauren Rivera, found that in many cases hiring managers are looking at candidates that are potential ‘friends’, and that while they were also looking for competency, they preferred candidates who were culturally similar. This is unconscious bias at its worst.
In order to avoid making this same kind of mistake in your eLearning recruitment practices, it’s time to ask if your methods make room for enough diversity in hiring. Here are some key questions to use when evaluating your recruitment strategy.
1. Is Recruitment Global-Oriented?
As you begin to evaluate the diversity value of your eLearning recruitment process, the main goal is to ask yourself if there is room for the entire world, or not? Creating a culturally and skills-diverse team starts with a global mindset. Without this, there is no hope that you can maintain a recruitment program that honors all types of candidates, from different regions and backgrounds.
2. Are eLearning Job Ads Blind?
Very often, job advertisements can turn off certain types of diverse candidates, with subtle wording. This can flow subconsciously out of even the best eLearning recruiters. A keen example of this is using words like “young” or “native” in job ads. Even the branding of a company may lead some candidates to not feel comfortable applying. Using a blind advertisement approach, companies can more effectively recruit for a more diverse candidacy.
3. How Are Candidates Pre-Screened?
The ways in which you encounter new eLearning candidates can dictate how far in the process they get. Therefore, a review to ensure that an unbiased approach is used when pre-screening candidates needs to take place. Consider things like names, accents, career and educational experience which can signal that candidates are from certain backgrounds. Are there ways to leave out certain candidate identifiers during this pre-screening period to cut down on bias?
4. What Is The Interview Process Like?
For every eLearning candidate you process, the interview phase should be consistent and unbiased. This means having a series of interview questions, assessments, and other tools that have been proven not to weed out candidates based on protected statuses. How are phone vs. in-person interviews handled? Take the time to go through the process as a candidate to see what it’s like.
5. Is Diversity Tracked For All Job Types?
Under current workforce laws in the US, UK, and other developed nations, there are specific guidelines about hiring for diversity and then reporting on this at least once a year. Pull up the EEOC website and review these guidelines, then have a way to track them in your applicant tracking system.
6. Who Makes The Final Hiring Decisions?
While you can do your best to develop an eLearning recruitment plan that encourages the hiring of a diverse pool of candidates, often the decision-makers in your organization are the ones carrying out bias. They may be picking people who most closely resemble who they imagine for each role, rather than having the insight that you’ve gathered. Before presenting candidates to the powers that be, introduce them for their innate strengths and suitability based on talent, not other factors.
7. How Is New Hire Onboarding Managed?
Another area that doesn’t get nearly enough attention during the eLearning recruitment process is the onboarding phase. Yet, this can be the most critical aspects of a new hire’s experience and one that can last a long time. Is there a strong orientation program in place that all employees can follow? Are there mentors who will work with any of the new hires, or do they show preference for certain types of people? Is the learning material presented in such a way that honors all types of learning styles and methods? Are managers inadvertently creating bias in the way they relate to new hires?
8. What’s In Place To Deal With Cultural Or Language Barriers?
A big issue in many eLearning recruitment processes and later on in the employment experience is that of language and cultural barriers. How can candidates overcome any potential obstacles to not being able to read or write the native language, or complete a job application form? Are there translation services or people within the organization who can help them achieve this goal? Are job advertisements offensive to some candidates, based on cultural differences? All of these things should be evaluated by a third-party to determine how to overcome them.
Hiring eLearning candidates is never an easy thing. There are not only many technical aspects of each job type that need to be clarified, but also unconscious bias that can occur innocently enough in any company. Diversity is a beautiful thing that brings global perspectives, talent, and resources to your organization. From the time you post an eLearning job advertisement to the time you onboard a new hire, be sure to eliminate as many of the discriminatory factors as possible by following the above tips.