Diversity & inclusion – The importance of a inclusive workplace

India Catenon

It’s no secret that businesses must aim to reflect the diversity of the world around them in order to be successful. Hiring candidates without any reference to sexual orientation, gender, race, and others can help your business explore untapped potential.

The benefits of diversity are well-documented and have been proven time and time again. A recent study by the Harvard Business Review showed that companies with more diverse executive teams are 33% more likely to achieve profitability than those without. 

But what does it mean to be a diverse and inclusive workplace? And how can you go about creating one? In this article, we’ll take a look at five essential steps for creating a successful diversity hiring program in your business. But first let’s have a look at why workplace diversity is important for businesses.

Why is workplace diversity important for businesses?

Diversity gives you access to a greater range of talent, not just the talent that belongs to a particular world-view or ethnicity or some other restricting definition. It helps provide insight into the needs and motivations of all of your client or customer base, rather than just a small part of it. And, potentially, as McKinsey & Co and a host of other highly credible researchers have shown, it makes your organization more effective, more successful, more profitable.

A team that has a variety of worldview perspectives can educate employees and clients, and reach untapped customer demographics. This opens the conversation to new, unexplored, and different ideas.

Diversity has been shown to boost creativity, and it’s no secret that companies are always looking for the next big thing. In my experience, that dynamite idea usually comes from thinking outside-the-box. When people come from different backgrounds, have a variety of life experiences, and see the world in unique ways, multiple perspectives are brought to the table. 

Recruiting for diversity: 5 steps to success

Set the diversity hiring goals

Setting diversity hiring goals will make the process much easier to navigate. It will help recruiters to evaluate companies’ diversity hiring shortcomings.

Is there a lack of a particular minority in your workplace? Does your workforce consist of a single demographic? Do people of color rarely interview at your company? Going through such specific problems will point you to why your company is lacking on the diversity front.

This lets recruiters identify some critical patterns. Is the ratio of a single demographic getting selected after the interview process much higher and consistent? Recognizing and identifying problematic patterns are an essential part of addressing hiring biases.

Improve candidate sourcing

The search and outreach process must begin with a larger candidate pool. Recruiters need to cast a large net that includes all qualified candidates. The days of relying on a personal network are over, especially when many of our personal networks are not diverse. 

Sourcing from a personal network will not find the vast number of candidates that today’s recruiting technology can reach. Recruiters should consider investing in tools that source qualified candidates across all backgrounds, which will result in a more diverse slate of passive candidates.

Dismantle bias in the recruitment process using AI

To dismantle bias in your current process, consider initiating a diversity training program tailored to recruiters that allows for a broader discussion surrounding diversity across all aspects of candidate qualification. Maintaining this training program will establish a more inclusive recruitment process. 

Leverage your recruiting team to create their own training. Review trending industry data and evaluate the data within your company’s own recruitment efforts.

Framing the right job description

The job description is the first piece of contact that you have with a possible employee. Thus, don’t overlook its importance in driving the message of inclusivity. Your entire diversity hiring process will become obsolete if the wording of the job description itself is wrong. People should be respected for who they recognize as, and that starts with how we address them. Small things like the pronouns (he, she, her, him, they) are an essential part of a person’s identity.

Promote an inclusive workplace

All of your good work creating an inclusive recruitment process will be for naught if your company does not have an inclusive work environment. Diverse candidates pay attention to the reputation of companies as it relates to an inclusive culture. 

If you have a poor reputation, you will be hard-pressed to attract diverse talent to your company. Creating an inclusive work environment is a major endeavor and a subject for another article. Culturally diverse voices working together on a team are overall more efficient and successful. It creates a safe place for employees and it positively highlights a company’s reputation.

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