As demographics continue to diversify and expand, employers need to realize the importance of establishing and supporting a diverse talent pool. Additionally, companies that feature more diversity consistently outperform and are more innovative than those who do not. In a 2018 McKinsey report, companies that greatly favor diversity are 33% more likely to financially surpass those that do not.
Recruiting and understanding the importance of a diverse staff proves essential to the success of a company for the following reasons:
- Different backgrounds and perspectives lead to innovative ideas. By expanding the social and cultural backgrounds present during the decision-making process, the range of perspectives, knowledge, and experiences grows as well.
- By building a diverse workforce, companies will attract more talented employees who know that they will appreciate, respected, and valued.
1. Openly Acknowledge and Value Differences
Inclusive companies must admit that people are different from one another and actively try to include identified marginalized groups.
Establish a policy for honoring a multitude of cultural and religious practices and not those just prevalent among the majority of the employee base. Inclusive practices include:
- Hosting a nondenominational holiday party.
- Offering floating holidays, so people can choose the time that are most important to their beliefs.
- Designating space that can be used for prayer.
- Providing a separate storage area for kosher food.
The steps that employers take should be reflective and tailored to the specific needs of their employees. Opening the floor to talks of diversity will identify what practices a company needs to implement to ensure safety and inclusivity. The freedom to express various cultural identities empowers companies to not only listen but actively seek diverse perspectives.
2. Ensure that Leadership Reflects the Company’s Values
A diverse executive team is reflective of the entirety of the workforce and sends a message of inclusivity to customers and stakeholders. A 2019 survey report from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) identified that only 5% of CEOs among Fortune 500 companies are women.
This lack of diversity among the top positions in companies was common among all marginalized groups.
In addition to promoting innovation and different perspectives, a diverse leadership team encourages underrepresented employees to see the opportunity for mentors and growth.
3. Actively Seek Diverse Hires
While creating an inclusive environment goes a long way to promoting diversity, efforts cannot end there. Actively seeking diverse employees during the recruitment process continues to increase the experience and skill set of your company. A few easy ways to actively seek diverse hires are:
- Promote your company’s dedication to diversity on every job description, on social media, and on your website.
- Offer internships to people from underrepresented communities.
- Offer additional incentives for diverse referrals.
- Combat implicit basis during the hiring process by creating a blind system of reviewing resumes so demographics are not considered.
- Including diverse people during the interview process.
Additionally, multiple niche job boards specializing in finding diverse populations looking for jobs. Posting on boards such as Diversity Working (the largest online diversity job board) and Recruit Disability (designed for hires with disabilities) expands the candidate pool while presenting opportunities to people who are often overlooked.