5 tips for identifying an inclusive employer

July 9th, 2021
HireVue Team
Diversity & Inclusion

In recent years, social movements such as Black Lives Matter and #MeToo have challenged individuals and businesses alike to take a hard look at discriminatory practices and behaviors that have been ignored for far too long.

And with competition for great employees tougher than it’s been in a very long time, employers have begun speaking out about their new commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

But as a job seeker, you don’t just want to hear about what employers are saying about their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts - you want to know what they’re doing about it.

And you’re not alone. A new Glassdoor survey conducted by The Harris Poll reports that 63% of employees believe the company they work for should be doing more to promote DEI.

So if you’re a current job candidate eager to find an employer who fosters a sense of belonging for everyone in their workplace, look for these practical indicators:

1. Notice language in job postings

A job posting is often your first impression of a company’s culture and values. How so? Because the words that are used—or not used—are a clear indication of a company’s stance on inclusion.

Keep an eye out for gender-coded words that may be difficult to relate to. Words that show a gender stereotype such as “dominate” or “guru” may show that the employer is not taking inclusion seriously.

Also, watch out for long lists of skills, degrees, experiences, and other “must haves” that, in most cases, aren’t necessary. Many candidates will not apply if they don’t feel 100% qualified, which limits an employer’s pool of diverse candidates. Inclusive employers understand that many candidates have the skills to get the job done, even if their resume doesn’t reflect direct experience.

Finally, look for companies that talk about their commitment to diversity and inclusion explicitly. Here’s ours:

“As a critical component of our mission, we are relentlessly focused on developing fair and objective hiring solutions to help our customers and their candidates. We embrace this same focus of fair and objective hiring when we hire for our own team, striving to build a diverse and inclusive culture based on a foundation of respect and inclusion. We know that a cornerstone of our success is the diversity of thought and experience of our team members. We value diversity and encourage people from all backgrounds and experiences to apply to join our team and to help broaden our perspectives in everything we do. Inclusion is a cultural value that starts with our leadership and inspires and informs all of our team members around the world.”

2. Seek out inclusive benefits & professional development

While the benefits of ping pong and pool tables may appeal to some, they won’t be enticing to all. An inclusive employer will offer benefits and perks that fit into a diverse set of lifestyles. 

For example, look for things like flexible schedules and remote work options for working caregivers; free or subsidized mental health counseling for veterans; tuition assistance for employees and families; and gender identity options.

By empowering employees to not only belong as they are, but also to become the best version of themselves, employers demonstrate that they care about the well-being of their entire workforce.

3. Review employer websites

Check out the company’s career site. This will give you an inside look into company culture long before you ever step foot in the office (or in the Zoom room).

Is the company displaying pictures of its own employees? Although stock photos may be fine to use in certain instances, they don’t work on career pages. Why? Because this is a prime opportunity for companies to show off real employees—emphasizing their diverse work environment and their commitment to authenticity.

Most companies understand the importance of their brand as an employer, and are actively highlighting areas that will help them stand out. Be on the lookout for office videos, employee testimonials, and core value statements.

Sprout Social is a model example. They reveal their inclusive environment with photos and videos of real employees. And they dedicate a section of their site purely to their DEI efforts, showing the value they place on an inclusive workplace.

4. Discover what past employees are saying

You may not be able to talk directly to past (or present) employees, but checking out company reviews is the next best thing. Sites like Glassdoor give employees a place where they can freely talk about their experiences at a company—good or bad.

Keep in mind that some reviews may not accurately reflect a company’s way of operating, as disgruntled employees are more likely to write a review than happy ones. However, averaging the ratings of all reviewers can be incredibly telling.

For more inspiration, check out Great Place to Work, which includes lists of top companies with great workplace cultures. If the company that you want to work for is certified by Great Place to Work, you can bet inclusion is a priority.

5. Analyze how hiring panels make you feel

When you walk into an interview, take a look around. A diverse hiring panel represents the company’s commitment to different perspectives and points of view.

As an employee, it’s important to feel a sense of belonging. Does the leadership team make you feel welcome? Do you feel out of place or comfortable? Does the diversity of the panel represent what you’d like to see in the office? How a company makes you feel speaks volumes about their employee culture and how they prioritize inclusion.

And when a company does not care about creating a place where everyone feels like they belong, it often bleeds over to poor performance and stunts company growth.

A Qualtrics study backs this up by showing that only 20% of employees who don’t feel like they belong are engaged while a whopping 91% of them are engaged when they feel included.

Find a company culture where all belong

Now it’s your turn. Use these tips to scout out which companies you’ll want to work for—and which ones you will not. Remember, a company that fosters an inclusive workforce is a company that cares about diversity, fairness, and belonging.

Are you looking for a new place to work? Many interviews are still online. HireVue can help you feel ready to rock your next interview with these tips on prepping for a virtual interview.