Diversity matters in recruiting

Nolan Gray Tips & Tricks

There comes a time when many recruiters look at the pipeline in their recruitment software and realize they need to work harder to achieve diversity. A diverse workforce is not only more inclusive and open, but has the potential to be more successful as well. People of all races, gender identities, backgrounds, and abilities should be welcomed to apply to open job positions and feel comfortable in the workplace. While having a diverse workplace should be a goal all it's own, it's more likely to happen if you can demonstrate to executives exactly how diversity benefits the company. The truth is, a diverse workplace increases profitability.

Diversity is a winning strategy
When all of your team members are from similar backgrounds, they may also share similar points of view. The most successful teams have varied perspectives that allow them to solve problems more quickly and in more innovative ways. Ernst & Young, a professional services firm, cited a number of studies that demonstrate the ROI of diversity. A study from Henley Management College found that teams made of up workers from a variety of races and backgrounds demonstrated higher creativity than homogeneous teams. Studies have also found that heterogeneous teams are more innovative. All in all, having a diverse staff is simply a smart business move. 

Companies need to put real effort into their inclusion endeavors. Even with a written strategy, these efforts often come up short, likely because attracting a diverse range of applicants can be a challenge. In addition, while companies emphasize recruiting diverse employees, fewer follow up with development and retention programs, according to a study from Forbes Insights cited by Business Insider.

Reflect diversity with employer branding
Diversity is attractive to many candidates, so it should be a central component of employer branding. It's important that employer branding demonstrates an business's commitment to hiring employees from a wide variety of backgrounds. When developing a recruitment strategy, make sure it includes content related to diversity, whether it's about how your company supports diverse initiatives or how you see the value of a diverse workplace. Build up your talent pipeline and following on social channels and use social recruiting strategies to promote diversity initiatives.

Harness technology
The right tools can be a great boon to diversity initiatives. HR analytics, for instance, can give recruiters insight into how their strategies are performing. On top of that, new platforms arise that intend to remove hiring biases altogether, such as Gap Jumpers, which created a software to enable blind interviewing and testing. Applicant tracking platforms help recruiters more effectively organize talent pipelines and maintain data regarding diversity metrics. Having access to this data allows recruiters to look back at their hiring data and determine whether initiatives are working and if so, what should change.

Companies have to put significant effort toward developing diversity plans and carrying them out successfully. Technology can help, but first recruiters need to get company strategy on board. 

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