The Importance of a Diverse Workforce

From recruiting to creating an inclusive work environment for all, the spotlight is increasingly focused on developing a workplace where individuals with different perspectives have a voice and everyone feels respected and valued. Diversity is expressed in many different forms such as age, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, individuals with disabilities, and veterans. 

Benefits of an Inclusive Workplace 

Adopting a diverse workforce is not only an ethical practice but also one that can generate several benefits for an organization. It elevates the quality of ideas, engages in new types of collaboration, and fosters creativity in the workplace, opening opportunities for company growth resulting in a better society.  

Commitment to diversity in the workplace begins with integrating the attraction, selection, and hiring of diverse candidates through sound ethical business practices. Bringing diverse talent into your company will create a team representing different cultures and backgrounds. A diverse and representative workforce of people with different views and experiences will better leverage your organization for success in the global environment in which we operate.  

Diversifying Your Hiring Strategy 

So how do you go about ensuring a strategy that builds a diverse team?

Seek out the right job boards. One way to begin is by identifying resources where diverse groups of candidates look for jobs. Organizations can put together a qualified talent pool that represents the many different individuals who make up the marketplace by contacting local communities and by posting open roles to diverse job sites. These sources can ultimately lead to productive candidate pipelines. 

Evaluate the messaging aspect of your recruiting strategy. Make sure it is consistent and aligns with your efforts to attract and engage diverse candidates for your workforce. You’ll want to show that you create equal opportunity and encourage a diverse and inclusive workplace in your company. Your organization should also develop and instill policies that appeal to diverse candidates.  

Back up your claims. If you’re going to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace, you’ll need to support those claims. This can include implementing time off for various holidays and allowing flexible hours so employees can be engaged with what is also important to them. Documenting and keeping records of your recruiting practices can also be helpful with supporting diversity efforts. 

What to Keep in Mind When Hiring 

When you are recruiting and selecting candidates for new roles, it’s crucial to consider an individual's skills and keep in mind the team's diversity. Review the characteristics of the overall group and ask yourself some questions. What are the candidate’s abilities and unique attributes? How can your hiring efforts contribute to developing a more diverse and inclusive team? 

When recruiting, consider a popular recruiting technique being used more often to eliminate bias: block out the personal information on the candidate's resume. This strategy takes judgments that are sometimes unconsciously adopted due to life experiences and socialization out of the equation. Eliminating bias in the hiring process is critical to making the best selection.  

When is Diverse Hiring Mandated? 

Laws and regulations vary, so be sure to do your research when hiring to ensure you’re meeting local and/or state guidelines. One sure instance where it’s essential is for federal contractors and subcontractors. The OFCCP enforces non-discrimination policies to ensure contractors do not allow discrimination to impact hiring and to help diversify the workforces of companies with contracts with the federal government.

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