Diversity makes this world a more interesting, beautiful place, and that includes in the workplace. Creativity and innovation is born from diversity, and hiring for diversity at your company is not just better for society, it has a direct effect on the bottom line. This is just one study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) that found that “increasing the diversity of leadership teams leads to more and better innovation and improved financial performance." Companies that have more diversity in their leadership, for example, have 19% higher revenue due to innovation!
It has been proven over and over that companies who are more diverse are more successful. Now the question becomes: how do you find and recruit diverse talent? Even with the best intentions it can seem like a daunting challenge, but here are just a few steps you can start with:
- Start with inclusion: If you do not have a culture of inclusiveness, you will find it is very difficult to hire diverse employees in the first place, let alone retain them. This is why you should begin with your current environment, and make sure it is a place where employees feel they can be their whole selves when coming to work. While this article is not about how to build an inclusive culture, there are plenty of resources on this topic. I recommend bringing in experts who can evaluate your culture and find ways to make it a more inclusive one.
- Adjust your job descriptions to be more inclusive: Bake diversity and inclusion into how you write your job descriptions! Studies have shown, for example, that women will only apply to jobs when they match the description 100%, while men will apply if they only match 60%. By rethinking your job requirements, auditing for gender neutral language, and perhaps even adding a line that encourages everyone to apply even if they’re not sure their skills are an exact match, you are opening up the opportunity to a more diverse candidate pool.
- Post to Diverse Job Boards: Partner with educational institutions which serve underrepresented communities. Schools like HBCUs and trade schools or bootcamps focused on diversity typically have job boards you can post to, which will provide visibility to your jobs with the candidates you are trying to attract. Harvard also has created a list of resources to job boards focused on diversity.
- Host Hiring Events: One idea is a virtual career fair, and instead of video using gender and racially agnostic avatars, which can reduce unconscious bias and leaves you able to focus on the work based on their experience and competency. Another idea is hosting a hackathon or hiring event specifically for underrepresented or minority groups, which will give an opportunity for candidates to network with your company and demonstrate that they can do the work!
- Source with intention: Use software that is designed to help your company with your diversity goals. Look at your EEO data and set meaningful goals based on where you see certain groups are underrepresented, and make sure to track and measure your success.