6 Tips to Consider When Hiring a New Team Member

Inclusive workplaces are long overdue but still few and far between. MediaStyle included.

These conversations seem to be taking place in many Canadian organizations, but the focus typically is on the issues and challenges, with few solutions. While we don’t have the solution, I wanted to shed some light on the things we are doing to try to improve.

Specifically, we have put in place a hiring process that is internally blind.

One of my goals as MediaStyle’s CEO is to help build an inclusive and diverse team. Inclusive workforces are stronger and more effective, and come up with a wide range of solutions to issues that don’t lean on the same old ways of thinking and problem solving.

We are a small team, so the opportunity to hire doesn’t come often. That’s why we want to make sure our hiring process is as equitable and inclusive as possible.

An inclusive economy is one that creates opportunity for all people of all backgrounds and experiences to live with dignity, to support themselves and their families, and to make a contribution to their communities. Access free resources from B Lab to build a more inclusive economy through your business.

We are working to recognize our unconscious biases and find ways to address them. It’s not an easy road, and it’s one that we are walking carefully. In our last round of hiring we realized that we needed to do more than just lightly update and reuse the old job description, as it was laden with potentially problematic language and overreaching requests.

Here’s a quick checklist for the next time you go out to hire. It’s by no means exhaustive, but it includes a few things we’ve been working on at MediaStyle to build a more inclusive process.

Always post the job.

When you rush to hire friends of friends, you are making your pool quite narrow. Quick hires are rarely diverse hires.

Be mindful of your words.

Research shows that the language in a job description affects who applies. For example, words like “rock star” and “ninja” that emphasize assertiveness may discourage women from applying.

Meet candidates where they are.

In addition to reaching out on our usual social channels, we post and advertise in different spaces and ask for help from organizations outside our typical networks. Hire Immigrants Ottawa and OSCIO are two that we’ve been working with to build relationships in the past few months.

Use a blind hiring process.

When we vet candidates, only one person sees the names, which are removed before we rank applicants.

Let people know you are inclusive.

We’ve added the following language to our job listings: “MediaStyle promotes the principles of anti-oppression and adheres to the tenets of the Ontario Human Rights Code. We encourage applications from people of all genders, races, ethnic origins, religions, abilities and sexual orientations. We strive to reduce unconscious bias throughout our hiring process.”

Hire outside your comfort zone.

We often look at applicants’ passions and extracurriculars outside work. We don’t just want eight people who have the same degree from the same school.

The work doesn’t stop when hiring is done. Unconscious bias requires constant checks. Examine everything from your onboarding process to your workflow to how you handle team meetings and lunches to find ways to improve.

Inclusion isn’t an end point but a journey.

Caitlin Kealey is MediaStyle’s CEO. B the Change gathers and shares the voices from within the movement of people using business as a force for good and the community of Certified B Corporations. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the nonprofit B Lab.

Building a Better Business Through Diversity, Equity and Inclusion was originally published in B the Change on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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