Over time, some recruiting teams become complacent and tend to hire candidates from the same pool. This means that candidates who are hired tend to have similar ideas, skillsets, and behaviors. This can have the benefit of recruiting cohesive teams in the workplace, however diverse teams can develop remarkable strength as they learn to communicate and collaborate across differences, increasing cultural competence and team cohesion simultaneously.

There are a lot of benefits to a diverse workplace. When employees have skillsets, beliefs and other attributes that are too similar, it can lead to limited points of view and ideas, which inhibits company growth.  Diverse teams use all those different skills, beliefs, and backgrounds to increase innovation, foster creative thinking, and improve problem solving. In short, recruiting diverse teams brings better results. In this post, we will check out some strategies to ensure recruiting can be done well with diversity in mind.  

There are many different kinds of diversity: gender, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, and many more. Differing personal and professional experiences allow teams to perform better and have more success. The biggest challenge in diversity hiring is that many organizations lack diversity in senior management positions.  This reduces the firm’s ability to see and leverage the benefits of diversity, limiting their chances to increase creative strategic thinking.  

One of the benefits of a diverse workplace is that employees that come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences have been shown to adapt more readily to the needs of a changing client or customer base. However, this does not happen overnight. If a company plans to be more inclusive in their hiring, this should also be reflected in the company culture. Company culture dictates how the workplace operates, and it cannot be mandated. It must be cultivated.

Here are 4 great tips to remember when building diverse teams: 

Start with top management. 

While incorporating diversity in top management seems difficult, it is not impossible. Start by incorporating the ideas of inclusivity into the company culture. Organization culture cascades down from leadership, and is based in the values held by leadership. Be sure to incorporate top management that understands the value of diversity and supports diversity in hiring initiatives without hesitation. Involve the HR learning and development team to draft a bullet-proof plan that can be easily shared across the organization. 

Review your job descriptions.

The concepts and ideas that were planned should be reflected in your job descriptions.  This allows the employees to feel that they are a part of the change, empowering them to eventually be catalysts of change and advocating for a more welcoming work environment. It also allows you to hire for a culture that values workplace diversity. Also review your job descriptions to remove gender coded words. Eliminate requirements that aren’t essential, or considering categorizing them separately from essential requirements.

Expand diversity with your interview panels.

When candidates see that the company is more open to being equal and inclusive, they tend to be more creative and strategic with their answers. They get a glimpse of the kind of work environment that they are trying to join in. Include panel members from different backgrounds to encourage that kind of openness and creativity in your interviewee. 

Make your goals for inclusivity well-known. 

This will ensure that future employees know the culture of the company and that the current employees will be able to support the company’s vision.  Consider revising the company’s mission and value statements, or even publish a statement on diversity and inclusivity on the company’s website. This will encourage candidates from diverse backgrounds to apply, expanding your hiring pool.  

There are many ways to build a diverse team. Understanding the benefits of a diverse workforce and how to hire for diversity will help your company prepare for the future. This is the time to build a workforce that will thrive in the future, not a “copy and paste” from what has been the norm.