Diversity is a critical element of not just business success but also the future of work! By diversifying teams, organizations benefit from multiple points of view and unique approaches that support business growth, combat groupthink and solve a wide array of problems.
Here, thirteen hiring managers talk about their top tips for increasing diversity in the workplace.
Embrace advances in technology
To help drive greater diversity and inclusion we must challenge traditional assessment methods. Utilizing unbiased modern technology to help understand what truly drives success in a role is a critical step in fuelling a strong diverse workforce and can be a significant driver of business performance. In order to be effective, the tools your organization select must be scientifically proven, scalable and support unbiased people decisions with data-driven insights from the right sources.
Jamie Schneiderman, Career Spark
Remember: Resumes are a Guideline, Not a Life Story
Hiring managers should look for candidates with unconventional work history or a variety of skills that could bring a new perspective to your work. Just because someone has never held the exact job title you’re hiring for does not mean they aren’t the right person for the position. When you avoid conventional traits and experiences, a more diverse workforce will follow.
Ryan Nouis, TruPath
Ensure Mutual Trust and Respect
We’re very fortunate to learn from some of our clients who pride themselves on diversity and inclusion best practices. What have we learned from companies like GoDaddy, Farmer’s Insurance, and Voya Financial? That creating an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect is fundamental to launching a successful diversity program. Without that safe foundation, tactics like forming employee resource groups will not go far. Instead, secure support from leadership and look to secure a strong foundation to help increase diversity in the workplace.
Denise Gredler, Best Companies Arizona
Our HR team is diverse and knows what to look for when strategically hiring for a diverse team. Our top tip for increasing diversity in the workplace is active recruiting. Rather than taking a job description and posting it on a job board and hoping it sticks, our HR team is diligently scouring LinkedIn, asking for referrals, and reaching out to candidates rather than waiting for them to apply.
Megan Chiamos, 365 Cannabis
Evaluate your end-to-end recruiting processes for bias. Sourcing and outreach campaigns are often treated as silver bullets, but the underrepresented talent you attract won’t make it through a poorly-designed process. Audit your job descriptions for narrow definitions of success, evaluate all candidates using the same core criteria, document all interviewer feedback, and ensure you have a fair process for making decisions.
Alex Lahmeyer, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leader
Use Blind Resume Viewing
Diverse hiring is absolutely critical for company growth, but no new hire wants to feel tokenized or like they’re “ticking a box”. Some strategies I would suggest for diverse hiring is Blind Resume Viewing or viewing a person’s resume without their name attached. It removes predispositions based on ethnic background and gender. Also, take care to maintain a connection with your current workforce, especially those who identify with marginalized communities, on their thoughts of company diversity. They will likely be able to identify areas that make them feel uncomfortable or underappreciated. It’s up to you as a company to act on those suggestions. Diverse hiring doesn’t mean anything if the diversity you hire doesn’t feel heard.
Annie deKanter, Brand Development Manager
Represent Your Customer Base
To the extent possible, your workforce should represent your customer base and the diversity of the locations where you operate. Get involved in the community, demonstrate that you are an inclusive company, and invite diverse candidates to apply.
Chris Owen, Real Estate Consultant and Investor
Be Aware of Your Own Biases
Be conscious of your internal, hidden biases. They are unavoidable, and you have to be aware. You have to acknowledge your biases, understand them, and learn from them. Then, you can take a birds-eye view & make better choices devoid of those internal biases. Also, hire more POC & women always!
Emily Beattie, Recruiter & Human Resource Consultant
Seek Different Perspectives
Diversity means something different to each person you ask—which is why there is such a need for it. It is important to not only allow but encourage differing perspectives in the workplace, be it from existing employees or candidates you interview. There is only so much you might learn from the knowledge you have already. To grow as a company and as an individual requires exposure to outside perspectives. Now, you don’t have to ignore a good hire simply because they have a similar perspective to an existing employee, but it is helpful to keep in mind when looking for a way to expand your horizons.
Tara Thompson, Markitors
Diversity can be realized in many forms and yet diversity is achieved by being intentional. Employers have to be creative and innovative in how and where they are advertising available opportunities. Employers must be clear in their messaging. Don’t be afraid to highlight diversity in the workplace. Potential candidates will likely identify and feel “safer” in pursuing opportunities with your organization. Also, involve current staff! Your best employees will be your top recruiters.
LaTisha Griffin, Associate Principal of Operations
Don’t View Diversity Hiring as a Mandate
Successful diversity hiring can stretch a company’s thought processes and nurture a positive work environment. Don’t just treat any diversity hiring as if it is a mandate; look at what the talent will bring to your company and culture.
LT Ladino Bryson, vCandidates.com
Embrace humility and recognize as a hiring manager – or a leadership team – there’s always a better way to do things. You don’t know what you don’t know. By bringing in talent from another industry, region of the country, or career specialization, you leverage an acumen and objectivity that – managed the right way – can take your brand to new heights.
Rennie Leon, Director of Marketing and Communications
Nurture the Diversity You Have Now
Care about the diversity you currently have on staff first. When people are happy at the place they work, they tend to refer their friends and tell their network about how much they enjoy working at a company. These folks will be your main way to source diverse talent. Also, put your money where your mouth is. Don’t say you care about DEI but do nothing about it, do unconscious bias training, facilitate challenging dialogues, set up ERGS, give the people resources.
Sharissa Staples, Business Operations Analyst