5 Ways To Make Your Employer Branding More LGBTQ+ Inclusive

Attract and welcome diverse candidates to your startup throughout your recruitment process with these impactful steps.

Businesses that formalize inclusive policies see higher financial performance and have higher reported job satisfaction amongst their employees, according to a report published by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Higher job satisfaction reduces turnover and ultimately, hiring costs. 

Along with internal policies, ensuring your employer branding is inclusive and attracting a diverse range of candidates is essential in today’s fierce job market. Internal communication on inclusivity is not enough, your efforts must be clear and practiced in every aspect of business—including your startup employer branding and recruitment. 

As a company, you should be asking the following:

  • Do we have known guidelines and policies in place to ensure inclusivity?  
  • Are we active and continuous in our inclusivity efforts? 
  • Are company leaders modelling what they are asking for?
  • Do we have a diverse group of decision makers? 
  • Is our hiring process inclusive? 
  • Are we using the right job posting sites? 

It is important to remember that being an inclusive company is more than marketing—it is an ongoing commitment to learning.

Here are five ways to start making your startup employer brand more LQBTQ+ inclusive:

Audit your policies and procedures for inclusivity.

Before you can be more inclusive in your employer branding, your company needs to do the work internally. Empty statements will not resonate with talent and could ultimately, negatively impact your company’s reputation. 

Review and update any benefits packages, onboarding material or any other internal paperwork to ensure any gender-coded language is removed from internal documents. Then continue the best practice into external communication (which we will discuss in just a moment). 

Hiring an external specialist for this review and to help educate employees on diversity and the importance of inclusive language, is an extremely valuable exercise. 

Evaluate your startup employer messaging and its delivery. 

Your startup’s external messaging in the form of a careers page, job postings or social media updates should reflect the company’s internal efforts for inclusivity. Along with explicitly mentioning your company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, it’s important to pay attention and evaluate closely to identify what, if any, unconscious bias may be within your employer brand messaging. Using tools such as ONGIG, is a great way to understand how your company’s wording may be perceived by different groupsincluding the LQBTQ+ community. 

After customizing your startup’s EEO AA statement and looking for unconscious biases in job postings (and every other platform connected to the recruitment process), it is time to distribute your message. When choosing your job posting sites, consider diversifying your audience and utilizing platforms such as Pink Jobs or the Transgender Job Bank

Celebrate Pride—and not just in June. 

While celebrating Pride month in June is a fantastic way to support inclusivity and the LGBTQ+ community, it is crucial to do more than just “walk the walk” when there’s a parade in town. 

Buying into a single day of celebration when your startup is not aligned year round, will cause your employer branding to appear empty and inauthentic. Celebrate your employee’s diverse backgrounds and (if they are comfortable) showcase their unique stories throughout the entire year. Not only is highlighting these employee stories in your employer brand helpful for establishing internal bonds as a team, it ensures potential candidates feel welcomed and encouraged to apply as their most authentic selves at your startup.

During pride month, commit and encourage company-wide celebrations and learning. Whether it be a coordinated Pride day representing all the different colours of the Pride flag or donating to a LGBTQ+ organization, internal action is the best way to establish external branding. Remember: your employees are the mouthpiece of your startup’s employer brand. 

Provide an internal, safe space for LGBTQ+ workplace topics. 

Providing a safe space via an internal platform will allow team members to share and educate each other on inclusivity. This non-judgemental space can help encourage employees to feel comfortable expressing and sharing their most authentic selves at work—afterall, we spend more time with our co-workers than our friends, so it is important that each team member can be their full selves. 

This space also creates the opportunity for employees to learn more through conversation and shared resources while in a safe and protected environment. Allow these conversations and learnings to inspire your startup’s internal and external employer brand strategy. 

Show humility in your startup’s journey to inclusivity. 

Potential candidates don’t need to know that you’ve got it all figured out but they do need to know that your startup is making a continuous effort to be better. As your company learns to be more inclusive for the LGBTQ+ community, there are bound to be mistakes. 

Owning up to these mistakes internally (if they were internal) or externally (if they were public) should be a non-negotiable. More importantly, making mistakes should not discourage or cause your company to shy away from its inclusivity efforts—this is an ongoing learning process. 

Driven by the leaders in your company, frequent conversation around workplace inclusivity and the ways to improve it should always be active. Whether the conversation takes place on an active Slack channel or during weekly internal Zooms, each employee within the company should be equally aware of the efforts being made.

Efforts then should then be openly shared externally to ensure potential candidates feel they are stepping into a company that cares. This could be via a company blog, your talent network or social media channels. 

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For guidance on how to create an employer brand for your startup that speaks to and includes all top talent, contact our team today. 

 

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