Diversity is always on the radar regarding hiring practices, especially for larger companies. There are three main reasons for this.
First, hiring for diversity does social good. It raises the dialogue about racism and sexism and attempts to solve some of the severe inequalities we still suffer in this country.
Second, it’s the law. While this can be frustrating to some people, some mandates assure that all companies hire for skill and do not use personal bias when hiring decisions.
Third, and most importantly, it’s good for your business. It’s been proven repeatedly that diverse workplaces are more innovative, more creative, and get more done. A study by McKinsey & Co. showed that:
There are many benefits to having a more diverse workplace. Here are just a few of those benefits.
One of the most apparent benefits of a diverse workforce is that it fosters creativity. When you have employees from different backgrounds and experiences, they will approach problems from different angles. This leads to more comprehensive solutions and avoids the potential for groupthink.
A diverse workforce also brings a broader range of skills and experiences. This can be especially valuable for small businesses that don’t have the resources to hire specialists in every area. A diverse workforce ensures that you have employees with the skills and experiences you need to get the job done right.
In addition to fostering creativity, a diverse workforce leads to more significant innovation. This is because employees from different backgrounds bring different perspectives to the table. When these perspectives are combined, they can lead to breakthroughs that wouldn’t have been possible with a homogeneous workforce.
Lastly, a diverse workplace can improve employee morale. Employees who feel like they belong to an inclusive environment are more engaged and productive. Additionally, studies have shown that happy employees lead to satisfied customers, which can only benefit your bottom line.
So, how do you bring more talented people to interview from all backgrounds? Here are a few tips.
If you struggle to hire millennials, your company’s reputation as a diversity-focused employer matter. Millennials value diversity, and you should focus on how your company comes across in all your public-facing interfaces. If the photos on your website are all white males, you are communicating to possible job seekers that your company is homogenous and on one note. This is true if your representatives at job fairs or conventions are all white males.
Looking for a job is stressful and makes people feel quite vulnerable. If someone from a minority group sees that your company is primarily white males, they won’t feel comfortable even beginning the application process. Even before you make contact, you have lost that potentially valuable employee.
Before you open a job position, check your biases. We all have them. Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed. It’s part of our cognitive processes to build preconceptions about people. But, in the workplace, we must be aware of our biases and try to ignore them. Because, let’s face it, even with all our preconceived ideas about people, we are surprised when they act differently than we expected. Opening our minds and rejecting our previous biases leads to excellent and diverse hires.
Take the Implicit Association Test. Most of the time, we don’t even know we are biased or prejudiced. Understanding the groups you might have built prejudices against can help you avoid unbalanced hiring.
After you have researched your own biases, you might be in an excellent position to review resumes as they come in and determine whether you want to redact them.
What does this mean? If you work with a hiring team, take the resume and black out the parts that would give away the candidate’s race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion. If the candidate’s name implies that they are African American, Muslim, or female, this may be a bias that people within your hiring team have. Leave only the information related to experience; you may be surprised at the results. The statistics on hiring are surprising, finding that identical resumes, with only different names, get many other effects from recruiters and hiring managers.
While hiring for diversity has been perceived as just an added workload for those in charge of hiring, it’s essential to work. Just as you would put extra time into a background check or looking into references, this time into hiring the right way, society and your bottom line will thank you.