Hiring Transgender Employees: 7 Tips
According to Monster’s Future of Work Report, two-thirds of employers have DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) strategies in place, and the top priority is gender-related issues. One of the biggest areas of focus? How to create inclusive recruiting and HR practices when interviewing and hiring transgender workers.
As an increasing number of transgender candidates come out at work and during the interview process, it’s important for companies to make sure they’re not only being compliant in terms of employment laws, but also creating a welcoming atmosphere for job seekers.
The Equality Act of 2010 (England, Scotland, and Wales) protects against discrimination because of gender reassignment in employment. All types of workers are protected (including agency, contract, and temporary workers) for all sizes and types of employers. It bans direct and indirect discrimination and victimisation. The Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations (NI) 1999 provide similar protection in Northern Ireland.
Beyond the legal implications, however, the following tips will help you understand how to create transgender-inclusive hiring practices and workplaces.
1. Take a Look at Your Pronouns
When meeting an applicant, whether by phone, video call, or in person, start off introductions including name and pronouns. For example, you can say, “Hello, I’m [first name] and I use she/her pronouns.” That indicates to the applicant that your company is welcoming, and that the applicant is welcome to share their chosen name and pronouns with you.
The company should strive to include employee pronouns wherever possible. For example: E-mail signatures, website bios, business cards, and in the virtual space: your Zoom/video call name.
2. Audit Your Forms for Gender Identity
For your job application process, consider removing questions about an applicant’s sex. If that is not an option, and the sex designation is necessary for the application, include an additional designation for one’s gender identity, and have these questions be write-ins instead of dropdown/check boxes.
There is absolutely no obligation for a transgender person to disclose their gender history as a condition of employment. If they do choose to talk about it, it would be unlawful to use this as a reason for not offering them the job. Similarly, it is against the law to dismiss someone at a later date for not disclosing it sooner.
3. Create Trans-Friendly Workspaces
Even while working remotely, we need to make sure that transgender and non-binary staff feel safe and comfortable at work. One way to do this is to follow the guidance above: include employee pronouns wherever possible, even before hiring transgender workers.
Helping new hires settle into their physical office space is a great opportunity to re-examine policies and procedures with the whole staff. Make it clear that employees can use the multi-stall restroom that aligns with their gender identity or wherever they feel safest, and make sure single-stall restrooms have gender-inclusive signage.
4. Foster a More Welcoming and Inclusive Workplace Culture
Make sure that your company has transgender-inclusive policies, and make sure you are able to speak to them if asked in an interview by a potential new hire. If your policies need to be updated prioritise proactively getting these into place—do not wait for an out transgender employee to be hired to do so, or it could backfire.
Acknowledge and celebrate transgender and non-binary people not only during annual holidays including International Trans Day of Visibility (31st March), Pride Month (June), and Trans Day of Remembrance (November 20th). Build in opportunities to discuss transgender issues and best practices in the workplace all year.
Strive to use gender-inclusive language in all communications, regardless of whether you already have or plan on hiring transgender professionals. For example, greeting a group using “Hello all” or “team” or “colleagues” or “everyone” or “folks” is more inclusive than “guys” or “ladies and gentlemen.”
5. Provide Training and Education
Don’t leave it to transgender and non-binary employees to carry the burden of educating everyone about transgender and non-binary issues. Get educated and make sure everyone from the CEO down is knowledgeable about best practices for an inclusive workplace. If you’re not sure how to do this, The Diversity Trust provides transgender awareness training for the public, private, social, and voluntary / community sectors. Additionally, the UK government has produced a guide on the recruitment and retention of transgender staff.
6. Create Opportunities for Mentorship
Provide mentoring to all of your staff. All staff members can benefit from mentoring and training opportunities to help them to move up the ladder. Transgender and non-binary people can benefit from this, just like anyone else, and may feel more inclined to stay and grow with the organisation.
7. Hire More Transgender Workers
One of the most impactful things you can do is hire more trans and non-binary people. Representation matters, and if you have multiple members of your team who are transgender and/or non-binary, the workplace can feel more inclusive.
Is Your Hiring Process Reaching the Right Candidates?
If you’ve created an inclusive culture and recruiting process in your company, then you’re well on your way to hiring transgender workers and other often-overlooked professionals. At Monster, we can help ensure that you’re reaching all qualified candidates — and quickly. Find out how to get started with a free job listing today.