According to research, gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to outperform their peers, while ethnically diverse companies are 35% likely to do the same. It would stand to reason, then, that organizations have substantial motivation to ensure their teams represent a wide variety of ages, gender identities, and racial and ethnic backgrounds. After all, having a range of different opinions and experiences can bring so much more to the table than a homogenous workforce.
But of course, ensuring diversity within a company does have its challenges. Your organization may not even know where to begin. Ultimately, promoting diversity will begin with your hiring practices, as well as the culture you create within your organization. Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways you might staff your company with diversity in mind.
Set Some Goals
It’s not enough to have a general objective of staffing your team with more diverse hires. Although you’ll ideally want to have a team that’s truly representative of all backgrounds in the long term, that’s often too broad an idea for you to really zero in on from the start. In many cases, it’s best to focus on one or two smaller goals at a time. For instance, you might want to focus on achieving a better gender balance when staffing your team or ensuring that people of color are represented in managerial positions of power. No matter which areas you choose to focus on at first, remember that improving your team’s diversity is a gradual process and that it requires careful thought.
Create a Diversity Policy
When you want to staff your business with more diverse individuals, you need to show that you’re serious in your commitment to diversity. It helps to create a diversity policy for your company that promotes the ideas of inclusion and diversity as part of your core values. This policy should be included on your company’s website, in official materials, and in onboarding presentations. Making diversity a priority in your hiring is great, but the ethos of your company also needs to support the importance of inclusion in all areas.
Look at Job Listings
Whether you’re working with a staffing agency or are relying on job postings on various websites to capture the interest of qualified candidates, you need to make sure that the ideas of diversity are being highlighted. Even small semantic changes can make a huge difference when trying to appeal to different demographics. You likely won’t even realize the implicit bias in your own writing. There are different tools to catch instances of too many “masculine” words or otherwise polarizing language. And if you include photos of your workplace in these listings (as well as other published materials about your organization), you’ll want to make sure diversity is being represented. A study conducted by Glassdoor found that existing diversity attracts more diversity, with 67% of job seekers saying that diversity is an important factor when considering job offers. These efforts can appeal to candidates in ways you might not have anticipated.
Embrace New Practices
When staffing your team with diversity in mind, you’ll probably realize that you may need to embrace new staffing solutions. The hiring practices you’ve used in the past may not be suited for your current purposes. Consider implementing a pre-hiring diversity audit on your current practices to assess where you stand right now. You can follow that up with pre-hiring personality assessments (which help to remove bias), blind hiring practices, or changes to your candidate shortlisting process. For example, ensuring there is more than one woman or more than one person of color in the final candidate pool can increase diverse hiring practices considerably. Even something as simple as providing an incentive to current employees for referrals can help promote greater diversity when staffing your team.
Acknowledging that your company has a need for greater diversity is an important first step towards growth and inclusion. To find out more about how we can help promote diverse hiring practices within your organization, contact our agency today.