How to Implement Innovative Hiring Practices for Impact Organisations

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Staying updated with best practices is crucial in the social impact space, and an organisation’s
hiring strategy is no exception. By embracing modern methodologies and technology,
businesses can tap into a global talent pool, ensuring their teams are diverse, skilled, and
values-driven. It is the passion for change which will turbocharge their commitment to the job
and optimise their potential to drive change. Here, we delve into some techniques for attracting
purpose-driven talent, enhancing diversity and inclusion, and adapting to changing work
environments with creative and forward-thinking vigour.

Embrace Remote Work
The transition to remote working has been one of the most significant shifts in the workforce. On
one hand, remote work encourages a broader talent pool, not limited by geographical
constraints, which can enhance diversity and inclusion. On the other hand, it can hinder team
cohesion if not implemented properly, especially among junior team members who may prefer
the mentorship, professional environment and social aspect of an office setting. The key to
attracting strong candidates with an innovative WFH policy is ensuring they are well informed
about the remote work offerings within the organisation throughout the hiring process, and
making sure that these policies are followed through on.

Potential Tactics

  • Adopt a hybrid model, offering flexibility while providing opportunities for dynamic in-person engagement. A UK study by Vitality this year found that 52% of business leaders surveyed believe that hybrid working is the most supportive environment for employee productivity, while 47% of female and 44% of male professionals believe hybrid working is better for their mental health. When applying a hybrid model, consider periodic in-person meetups or co-working days to foster team spirit and collaboration.
  • Develop a detailed virtual onboarding system using interactive tools and platforms to create an engaging experience that mirrors the richness of in-person onboarding.
  • Implement regular virtual check-ins between team members and managers to ensure open lines of communication, provide support, and address any concerns promptly.
  • Provide employees with the necessary technology and tools to facilitate efficient remote work from any location. This includes secure access to networks, collaboration platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams, and project management tools.
  • Cultivate a culture that supports remote work by promoting flexibility, trust, and accountability. Encourage work-life balance, recognise achievements, and create virtual spaces for social interaction, positive feedback and team building.
  • Pair junior team members with more experienced mentors who can provide guidance, support career development, and strengthen professional relationships, bridging the gap that remote work might create.
  • Cater to individual personal circumstances and time zones by offering flexible work hours. Allowing employees to work during hours that suit them best can increase productivity and job satisfaction, making an organisation more attractive to a wider range of people.

Prioritise values-based recruiting
Although innovation often refers to advancements in automation and process-driven techniques,
technical skill sets must be paired with passion, commitment, and emotional connection to make
real progress. Especially in the social space, candidates can experience fulfilment and make
significant change by living their values and bringing their whole selves to work. In recent years,
we’ve seen the benefits of employing a deeply human recruitment process that involves
determining core values and encouraging collaboration.

Potential Tactics

  • Define and communicate organisational values before beginning the recruitment process. Clearly defining your organisation’s core values and including them in recruitment materials, including job postings, career pages, and social media content, will attract candidates who resonate with these principles.
  • Incorporate values assessment into the hiring process by using behavioural interview questions so candidates can explain how they have demonstrated their values in past roles, or situational judgment assessments that present hypothetical scenarios related to your values.
  • Involve current employees in the interview process. Peer interviews can provide insights into how well a candidate might add value to the team and align with the organisational culture.
  • Collect and share employee testimonials. By Sharing stories and testimonials from current employees about how they have experienced and contributed to the organisation’s values, you can demonstrate the real impact of these values to potential candidates.

Leverage AI in Recruitment
AI, including efficient systems and processes can certainly change the lives of recruiters in
terms of precision and speed, as well as creating a less biased process. However, there’s
growing concern about the originality and personal touch in applications, especially with tools
like ChatGPT. The challenge for both the business and the candidate is effectively using AI to
enhance rather than replace the human element in recruitment, especially in the social impact
ecosystem.

Potential Tactics

  • Use AI programs that will make the hiring process more equitable by analysing hiring patterns and decision-making processes to identify bias within the recruitment process. Some examples are HireVue, Textio and Entelo.
  • Use AI-driven platforms to check that applicants have written their own application rather than outsourcing it to ChatGPT. One of the most popular platforms with this function is Applied but this also has its limits in terms of addressing diversity and inclusion.
  • Develop AI-driven skill assessments tailored to the specific needs of the role and the organisation’s mission. These assessments can evaluate technical abilities, problem-solving skills, and even alignment with the organisation’s values. You can also introduce gamified elements to assess candidates’ problem-solving abilities and values in an even more engaging and dynamic way. Examples include Pymetrics, Vervoe and Mettl.
  • Some recruiters espouse the use of AI chatbots to enhance candidate engagement and reduce pressure on the hiring team by providing timely updates, answering FAQs, and maintaining a line of communication with candidates. Some of these systems include Olivia by Paradox and Fountain. However, in the bespoke world of social impact recruitment where emotional engagement and passion for change is vital these AI tools can seem somewhat abstract, disconnecting the candidate from the fundamental values they are keen to integrate into their working lives.
  • Utilise AI for dynamic job matching by analysing a candidate’s profile, skills, and preferences against available roles. This streamlines the matching process and uncovers opportunities that might not have been immediately apparent to recruiters or candidates.

Implement Inclusive Hiring Processes
Inclusivity is critical to building a diverse, dynamic, equitable team capable of innovative
solutions. We discuss some strategies for effectively facilitating justice, equity, diversity, and
inclusion (JEDI) in our article, Empowering Change: Strategies for Fostering Inclusivity in Impact
Investing. In the post-COVID era, there is a heightened focus on creating hiring processes that
are inclusive, including accommodating different ways of working and living.

Potential Tactics

  • Use structured interviews to minimise bias; this involves implementing a consistent set of questions for all candidates to ensure fairness.
  • Consider part-time, flex-time, and job-sharing options to accommodate candidates with different life responsibilities and needs. Highlighting these options in job postings can attract a more comprehensive selection of applicants and provide opportunities for talented people from various demographics.
  • Utilise transparent communication about the organisation’s commitment to JEDI. Make your organisation’s diversity and inclusion policies publicly available on your website or job postings. Regularly report on diversity metrics and goals to demonstrate commitment and progress.
  • Contact diverse talent pools through targeted recruitment drives or partnerships with organisations focused on historically excluded groups.
  • Involve a broader range of employees from different backgrounds and departments in the hiring process to ensure new hires will contribute positively to the team and organisational culture. This collaborative approach can lead to more inclusive and cohesive workplace dynamics.
  • Use inclusive and welcoming language in job postings. Tools like Textio can analyse job descriptions for exclusionary language, suggesting better alternatives.
  • Ensure your hiring process is accessible to candidates with disabilities. This can include website and application portal audits, offering alternative formats for application materials, and ensuring interview locations (on or offline) are accessible.

Embrace Technology
Embracing technology in the recruitment process can be a valuable decision for social impact
organisations looking to attract top talent in a competitive market. By integrating these programs
into their recruitment strategies, businesses can improve the efficiency of their hiring processes
and provide a more engaging and candidate-friendly experience.

Potential Tactics

  • Use VR technology to create immersive simulations of job-related scenarios for candidates. These systems allow candidates to experience what the role might entail or demonstrate how they would handle specific challenges, offering a deeper understanding of their capabilities in context.
  • Adopt blockchain technology to securely verify candidates’ credentials, work history, and professional achievements. Platforms like APPII use blockchain to verify candidate information, reducing the time spent ensuring authenticity manually.
  • Integrate social media into the recruitment process using tools that allow you to post job openings directly to social media platforms and track applicants. This strategy expands the reach and taps into passive candidate pools.
  • Leverage data analytics tools to gather insights from your recruitment activities. Platforms like Google Analytics can track metrics such as source of hire and candidate engagement levels, enabling continuous optimisation of the recruitment process.

With considerations like remote work, new technologies and inclusivity at the forefront, senior
leaders can attract and retain the talent necessary for driving social change and building
resilient, diverse, and mission-aligned teams. Leveraging technology while maintaining human
connection ensures the process remains authentic and inclusive while also easing pressures on
internal teams and candidates. Moving forward, it’s clear that organisations that adapt and
innovate in their hiring practices will be best positioned to forge ahead in creating a more
sustainable and equitable world.

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Date: 4 April 2024 | Posted In: Helpful Guides | Posted by: Careers4change


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