The right candidate for a job can come from a variety of different walks of life. Many great candidates get missed when companies don't do enough to foster a diverse work environment. Research has shown several benefits of diversity in the workplace, including offering different perspectives, quicker problem solving, increased profits, decreased employee turnover, and more.
What is Workplace Diversity?
Some companies may think that they are doing enough to foster a diverse workplace, but their efforts go as far as mentioning it in the new hire pack. True workplace diversity has a workforce filled with employees of different genders, ages, races, religions, and languages. When these various groups of people come together to work and solve problems, it brings about a scenario where every side is addressed effectively. There are many ways that a company can begin increasing the diversity in its talent pool. And realistically, none of them are too difficult to implement.
Recruiting and Hiring
Of course, the first place to begin building diversity is within the realm of hiring. Many companies use recruiting and hiring methods that need improvement. For many, looking for a new hire comes down to reposting the same ad multiple times on the same job board, which is quite ineffective. Some job boards target more diverse groups. These include Diversity Working, Hire Autism, Recruit Disability, and more. The company should begin posting jobs onto all of these sites as well to find candidates that would not normally see the ads. Also, those on the interview panel could be a diverse group themselves. This shows the potential employee that it is a diverse workplace and it also decreases the chance of bias in the hiring process.
Internships or Scholarships
A very effective way to discover great diverse employees is to offer scholarships or internships to underrepresented groups. This may provide opportunities to many candidates that are having a difficult time finding the right job.
The Importance of Management Training
It is important to have properly trained management when managing a diverse workforce. They need to know how to effectively and properly support all employees within the workforce. Cultural and sensitivity training for managers may be a good first step in this avenue.
The career page on the company website is a great way to find more diverse employees. It should clearly establish the companies commitment to fostering a diverse workplace for those seeking jobs. In addition, every single job description on the page should include something regarding diversity.
Create Inclusive and Effective Workplace Policies
The policies within the company need to be inclusive if they are hoping to create a diverse workplace. This can include letting employees take of certain religious holidays, even if they are not official business holidays. Some parents struggle greatly with childcare during the day, so offering onsite childcare or flexible work hours can be beneficial.
Employee engagement can be incredibly effective in fostering further diversity. The company can begin offering mentorship programs to employees who have the potential to move up, regardless of their age, gender, etc. Asking for feedback from all employees can help obtain data on what could be improved and it also shows employees that they are being heard. Further down the road, this can also lead to employees referring the company to others as a great place to work. This last point could be encouraged by adding a referral reward for those who refer underrepresented candidates.