Article by Clodagh Murphy September 28th, 2022

LinkedIn is leading the way with inclusive work practices

According to a study by McKinsey, companies with a diverse workforce are 35 per cent more likely to outperform their more homogenous counterparts. They are also far more likely to be able to hire and retain top talent. According to a recent Glassdoor survey, more than three out of four job seekers report that a diverse workforce is an important factor when considering which companies to apply for.

When it comes to diversity and inclusion (D&I) within business, it must start with recruitment – from inclusive job descriptions which, for example, do not include gendered language, to ensuring a wide search for candidates rather than relying on the usual routes, such as university graduate fairs.

From ensuring benchmarks are set and data is collected to understand where perhaps your processes need bolstering to be more inclusive to working with recruitment platforms to showcase your business or agency as an inclusive recruiter.

Most companies in this day and age will use LinkedIn to support its hiring efforts. From highlighting your brand’s reputation to uploading job adverts, LinkedIn – like for 55 million other companies – is an integral asset. Additionally, LinkedIn also plays a part in supporting employers in implementing inclusive processes into their recruitment.

From including pronouns into individual’s profiles to adding live captioning to any LinkedIn Live Broadcasts, ensuring that the platform consistently meets accessibility standards and the ability for users to self-identify their demographics – LinkedIn always has its users and candidates at the forefront.

Most recently however, LinkedIn has gone one step further and included the option for candidates to include career breaks onto their profiles.

But why is this such a big move?

Stigma around career breaks

Career breaks or gaps within someone’s CV have traditionally been viewed as something negative. Indeed, a LinkedIn poll undertaken in 2020 showed that 82 per cent of HR professionals thought there was stigma around unemployment. While this has decreased dramatically in this post-pandemic era, it still lingers. In March 2022, 60 per cent of respondents still believe that the stigma around career gaps exists.

When it comes to inclusive recruitment, the ingrained bias – whether conscious or unconscious – that we may hold around those who have had career breaks may be significantly detrimental to equity and equality within the hiring process.

LinkedIn has taken a stand and is shining a spotlight not only on the importance of eradicating these biases, but also reinforcing that career breaks are normal. Whether it’s redundancy, caring responsibilities, illness or choosing to go and explore the world, the reasons for gaps on CVs are numerous and also incredibly common, with over 90,000 people per year undertaking a career break.

It’s time to spin taking a career break on its head. It’s not about what a person may have missed out on by stepping away from the corporate world for an extended period, it’s about what that time out gave them, how it enriched them and made them stronger, better, more skilful people.

Bravo LinkedIn.

Article by Clodagh Murphy

September 28th, 2022

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