What LGBT friendly businesses need to know about hiring new staff

So you’ve established that you want to expand your LGBT friendly business and hire new staff. Or maybe you’ve already tried and had little success. Recruiting the best talent is a challenging process. It can be time-consuming, costly and sometimes unsuccessful. On top of that, purposefully seeking out more diverse candidates, in particular talented individuals from the LGBTQ+ community, can pose further challenges. 

When seeking to hire new employees, it’s hugely important, especially as an LGBTQ+ friendly business, to have a considered and consistent approach. Knowing where to find diverse talent, how to appeal to a diverse and inclusive audience as well as retain employees in the long term, all comes down to the quality of your recruitment and onboarding processes. So, how can you ensure you are setting yourself up for the most seamless recruitment process as possible? To help you out, here’s an overview of exactly what you need to know. 

We are going to look at some key questions:

  • How can you make your diversity and inclusion policy more visible?
  • As an LGBT friendly business, what are candidates looking for?
  • What are the latest recruitment trends?  

What is your diversity and inclusion policy?

When recruiting LGBTQ+ talent, it’s important for them to know your inclusion policies from the get go. According to surveys by Out Now Consulting, over 40% of lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals, and nearly 90% of transgender persons have experienced discrimination in their place of work, ranging from mistreatment to harassment by co-workers. These figures really hit home about the underlying discrimination which still plagues the workplace. 

Crucially, for your business to be truly LGBTQ+ friendly and attract the broadest scope of talent available, it’s essential that you survey your own staff to have complete transparency about your employee’s experiences at your company. This analysis will allow you to draft and implement diversity policies which are tailored to your situation, needs and goals. In doing so, you can foster a more positive work environment where all your staff feel safe, confident and fully equipped to do their job.

If you’ve already surveyed your staff and drafted your policies, it’s time to get vocal about the fact that you are an LGBTQ+  friendly business. There are a few ways to do this. You can support local LGBTQ+ charities, run diversity and inclusion programmes such as workshops and training, or look at sponsoring Pride events. Whatever you feel fits your brand and business purpose, this will give your approach a three-dimensionality that will be recognised and appreciated by new and current staff. If you need more support, there are various LGBTQ+ professional organisations who can provide resources such as advice, training, and help with drafting policies. 

How can you make your diversity and inclusion policy more visible?

A job advertisement, in this day and age, might be the first point of contact your potential employees have with your company. Even if you haven’t been purposefully discriminating in the past, you may have been giving the wrong messages or employing unconscious bias in your recruitment process. So it’s crucial that it effectively communicates your diversity values in some way. 

We recommend enlisting the help of experts to craft LGBTQ+ friendly language in job postings and recruiter communications, so that the potential candidates feel comfortable throughout the whole process. You should also look at where your job advertisements are placed. Consider using leading online job boards such as LGBT Jobs, who specialise in facilitating employers’ inclusive recruitment policies. 

What are the latest recruitment trends? 

Building on what we already know about building a LGBTQ+ friendly recruitment process, let’s take a look at the latest trends in recruitment and talent acquisition, to see how your LGBT friendly business can find, hire and retain the best talent out there.

LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends outline four worldwide trends that are transforming the modern workplace:

  • Workplace flexibility (allowing work from home or flexible hours)
  • Focus on soft skills (creativity, persuasion, collaboration etc.)
  • Pay transparency (outlining salaries on websites or job ads)
  • Anti-harassment in the workplace (having policies in place to tackle workplace harassment)

It’s worth considering whether you can adopt some of these practices, such as allowing flexible working where necessary. Doing so will mean you appeal to a broader audience. Techniques such as using Q&A formats instead of CVs, will mean you can capture a more diverse talent selection that you might normally would, through minimising unconscious bias. LinkedIn also recommends using salary transparency, as it reflects an honest and open company culture. 

For the LGBTQ+ community, anti-harassment in the workplace is critically important, so it’s worthwhile to see what other companies are doing to tackle this. Although LinkedIn has seen a +71% year on year increase in workplace harassment content shared on the platform, a lot still needs to be done to ensure the physical and psychological safety of employees on a global scale. 

What’s next?

So there we have it. A round-up of what you and your LGBT friendly business need to know about hiring new staff and the best principles and practices to think about when doing so. As Janine Yancey (CEO of Emtrain) says, “You have to create a culture of respect to ensure a safe workplace,” so by implementing these strategies you are building a positive framework for your LGBT friendly business. If you’re still unsure, feel free to get in touch with the friendly staff at LGBT Jobs for more information.


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