How to Recruit for Transgender Friendly Jobs
Society has come along way in accepting the Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual plus (LGBTQIA+) community over the past few years. It has translated into our acceptance in many areas of our communities, including the workplace. However, we have a long way to go as LGBTQIA+ employees still face prejudice, discrimination, and inequality because of our sexual orientation and gender identity. Nobody can identify with this discrimination more so that the trans community. So, as an employer, how do you recruit for transgender friendly jobs? How do you educate yourself in your recruitment process? Here are a few tips to help you get started.
It starts with your policies
A great place to start is revisiting your company policies, from the code of conduct to the company dress policy. Nothing puts off a trans employee from a job than discriminatory policies. Trust remains one of the most significant barriers for trans people in opening up about their gender identity, including gender in your anti-discrimination policies is essential. Ensuring systems are gender-inclusive and non-discriminatory shows that your company is committed to the cause. By no means does this mean that LGBTQIA+ receive preferential treatment, but rather the policies reflecting inclusivity. Providing internal support is critical in terms of counseling and mental health too. Remember, this is a learning experience for all employees, not only trans employees. In many cases, the workplace is often one of the first formal places where heterosexuals come to interact and learn about the trans community.
Another area which is essential to address is education and employee development. We need support and guidance from HR in the form of a guideline to bring awareness when working with LGBTQIA+ and trans employees. It can form part of your standard employee development training and will help to inform and educate all employees. However, changing policy and staff training is just the start. For there to be a real impact, companies need to commit to inclusion and diversity.
Being clear in your intentions
It may sound simple, but being clear in your intentions as an employer is significant. Whether it be in your career’s portal, job ads specification, or even on your website, promoting an inclusive culture is vital. Your messaging around being anti-discriminatory with gender or sexual identity is crucial. Being strategic with your wording is critical! Mentioning that your company is trans-friendly, or trans inclusive, is an excellent place to start. It creates a feeling of inclusion for those that are thinking of applying for transgender friendly jobs. It can help to make transgender people feel more comfortable to apply. In addition to creating an inclusive culture, committing to corporate social responsibility projects which engage in LGBTQIA+ concerns is another way in which you can promote an inclusive culture.
Promote transgender-friendly jobs in transgender spaces
Another great way to recruit for transgender friendly jobs is to ensure your adverts are accessible in spaces which the trans community frequent. It could be on LGBTQIA+ dating sites, social media, bars, or even LGBTQIA+ friendly clinics. Getting the word out in places where the information is much more accessible to the trans community could help in your recruitment process. It will also improve your brand awareness and show that your company is an advocate for LGBTQIA+ people. Even though every job seeker has different considerations when it comes to job applications, ensuring your company is trans-friendly will only solidify your brand identity. It will be seen as a safe and inclusive environment to work for within the LGBTQIA+ community.
Being respectful and friendly during the interview process
As an employer, treating your transgender applicants with dignity and respect is also essential (just as it is with any other interview). Here are a few pointers to consider during the interview process:
Use the name which your candidate introduces themselves by
Even if this differs from their official documentation which they have provided. In some cases, a trans candidate may have one name on their resume and another on their official documents. It’s always polite to go by the name they present themselves. In some cases, they may be in the process of changing their official documentation or feel comfortable letting you know in person that they are transgender. Therefore, it is vital to be cognisant of their circumstance.
If you are unsure of which pronoun to use, it is entirely okay to ask them which they prefer
It is just better to ask someone about which pronouns to use rather than guessing. As a guide, if an interviewee tells you that they are trans and you’re unsure what their gender identity is (this usually happens when they have a gender-neutral name), it is perfectly okay to ask. You could ask, “What are your correct pronouns?” Most trans people would rather have you ask them than be confused.
Do not worry about saying the wrong thing
The key is to be receptive and if you do say the wrong thing, quickly apologise and don’t make the same mistake again. It could happen if you call your interviewee by the wrong name, or even using the incorrect pronouns. Most of us would hope to ignore it in the hope that the interviewee did not notice. However, it is essential to take a quick second to acknowledge your error and apologise. It shows a level of awareness and respect which your candidate will appreciate.
Know your company’s non-discriminatory policies
Many trans applicants may very well ask you directly if your workplace is LGBTQIA+ friendly, and if you have policies and procedures in place to help prevent discrimination. As an interviewer, you should be prepared to answer this, and if you are unsure of how to respond, speak to HR to see if they can assist.
Do not stare or ask any questions that you wouldn’t feel comfortable asking any other interviewee
It’s just polite not to stare and make your candidate uncomfortable. Be sensitive to the questions that you will ask your candidate. You should ask yourself if you’re unsure of any questions, would you ask or say this to another candidate? If you answer, no, then you probably shouldn’t ask the questions. Remember, there are a few exceptions, such as asking them about which pronouns they would like you to use.
So there you have it, a few considerations when recruiting for transgender friendly jobs. It is essential to be aware that not everyone will be open to change. Realistically, cultivating a work environment which is diverse, accepting and tolerant does not happen overnight. It requires a lot of patience, time, and hard work. We could advise setting some realistic, achievable goals in ensuring your workplace is diverse, inclusive and can appeal to all groups. If you’d like more information about us or assistance on how to get started, get in touch with us – we’d be delighted to help.