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How to recruit your leaders with ED&I in mind in engineering, manufacturing and supply chain

Equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) in business is a hot topic around the world. There are many advantages for your business in having a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Diverse businesses are more productive, more innovative, and ultimately more profitable. Being more inclusive can also help you attract and retain employees with sought-after skills and experience. But some industries are less diverse than others and some groups, particularly women, face difficulties in reaching senior leadership positions because of this in Thailand.

There is good news! Thailand currently ranks 79th out of 146 countries in the World Economic Forum’s 2022 Gender Gap Report. In 2020 the WEF estimated that by the end of the year women would make up roughly 35% of top management positions in firms and 16% of representatives in parliament. Those figures have been supported by the fact that Thailand is now one of ten countries in East Asia and the Pacific which have seen an increase in the share of women in senior positions such as legislators, officials, and managers. Our own efforts have contributed significantly to this development as 52% of our placed candidates in 2022 were female.


4 leadership hiring techniques to promote diversity when hiring in Thailand

Developing strategies to improve equality, inclusion, and diversity in the ways we hire often leads to an increase in the numbers of diverse entry-level candidates. However, promoting diversity in leadership requires a unique approach.

If we want to create equal-opportunity recruitment strategies for senior leadership positions, we need to create a workplace where highly-qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds want to develop and grow their careers. Here are four leadership hiring techniques you can employ:

1. Make ED&I a company priority

Placing ED&I strategies and initiatives at the core of your company values and mission is attractive to high-quality leadership candidates. A survey by the Boston Consulting Group found that South East Asian employees saw a correlation between diversity and competitiveness yet only 58% of those surveyed said that their employers had established formal diversity and inclusion programmes compared with 96% globally. 

Committing to making ED&I a priority, rewarding work on diversity initiatives, and communicating your commitment in your employer branding can position you as an employer that values inclusion.

2. Encourage internal talent

When a leadership position becomes available in an organisation the default choice can often be to hire an external candidate. However, that can lead to talented people within your company being overlooked for promotion despite possessing the skills and experience you need. 

Looking internally and even considering moving personnel horizontally from other teams and departments can be a cost-effective and efficient way to encourage diverse viewpoints and champion diverse talent. Putting in place mentorship programmes and offering leadership training to high-potential employees can help you nurture internal talent.

3. Improve diversity in mid-level roles

To ensure you have enough internal candidates available for leadership positions, it’s important to improve diversity when hiring lower down the ladder, particularly in mid-level roles. Unconscious bias, where hiring managers and interviewers form opinions about candidates based on their gender, ethnicity or age, can make the process unfair and result in your business missing out on talented individuals. 

Standardising your recruitment process for all roles, working to eliminate unconscious bias when hiring and considering accessibility and flexibility in your hiring process can help you attract diverse talent. Explore new talent pools and consider ways you can bring talent into the sector. For example, re-entry programmes can help women return to the workforce following maternity leave. 

Follow this diversity hiring checklist:

  • Remove biased language from job descriptions
  • Rethink what your ideal candidate looks like
  • Use blind recruitment methods
  • Seek out diverse candidates and talent pools
  • Use your employee networks for referrals
  • Offer internships or mentorships to diverse groups
  • Use your employer brand to show the diversity of your organisation

4. Develop a culture of inclusion 

A culture of inclusion goes a long way to increasing retention and, most importantly, encouraging diverse candidates to develop their career with you long enough to grow into leadership roles. 57% of employees would consider leaving their current employer to join a more inclusive organisation.

Employee Resource Groups, mentorship schemes, re-entry programmes and other support systems can help you build inclusivity into the culture of your organisation. It can be important here to get feedback from your employees and respond to that feedback to improve inclusion efforts.

Close the gender gap in manufacturing and supply chain leadership with JacksonGrant

If you are looking for help in promoting female leadership and in attracting and retaining diverse candidates, we can help. We specialise in finding exceptional talent for the manufacturing, engineering, and supply chain industries in Thailand and have the reach and network to source the right diversity of qualified candidates for your organisation.

Set up a free consultation with one of our consultants or submit a vacancy today.