5 Incredibly Easy Ways to Increase Workplace Diversity This Year

Sep 12, 2017 - Joe Matar
Innovation. Creativity. Problem solving. Healthy work environment. What do all of these have in common? Workplace diversity. More and more businesses are becoming savvy to the idea that diversity in the workplace is a positive business strategy. As businesses and the job market continue to evolve, there is an increasing need for recruiters to change how they approach hiring in order to fill their applicant pipelines with extraordinary candidates. Adopting diversity within the recruitment process is the first step an organization can take to develop their workplace. The following tips can help your HR team answer questions about the meaning of diversity, and how to recruit and retain a dynamic and diverse workforce.

1. Improve your candidate pools

You can’t rely solely on a passive recruiting strategy. Yes, solid applicants do come from walk-ins, online applications, and ads. However, these aren’t the only methods you can use to find qualified applicants. HR teams can adopt an active recruitment strategy by:
  • Allowing current staff, or previous employees who left on good terms, to refer candidates they’ve met within the industry.
  • Reaching out and building relationships with local universities and other institutions that are currently shaping the next generation of the workforce.
  • Using social media platforms like Twitter, where almost 40% of users are between the ages of 18 and 30, and LinkedIn, where 60% of users are aged 30-65.
  • Keep your job applicant pool full and hire based on long-term goals. Don't rush your hiring process to accomplish short-term needs; this will just result in filling seats with bodies without regarding workplace diversity.

2. Don’t wait for ‘sure things’

You want to hire someone who is going to succeed at the job you hire them for, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they need to have experience in the same job position, in the exact industry, from a similar company. Workplace diversity takes many forms, some of them being ability and experience. So how do you identify employees who can diversify your workplace?
  • Follow up on references. Use references as an opportunity to ask questions about how an applicant has demonstrated (or not) the values your company prizes and skills required of the job.
  • Map out questions the candidate can answer that gives them the opportunity to describe how their past experiences apply to the job and your workplace culture.

3. Involve employees in the hiring process

Employees know the job the best. It is as simple as that. They are the ones in the trenches, doing the day-to-day work. Because of that, they can:
  • Provide a broader view of what a potential team member may bring to the table. Employees will see the value of skill sets that you may not.
  • Assist in evaluations of resumes, qualifications, and job skills.
  • Recommend superb candidates for your company. Not every recommendation will result in a superstar employee, but you can set the tone for the process by introducing incentive programs aimed at bringing in top talent.

4. Foster company culture

There are more things than pay that attract rock star employees. Benefits can be a huge tool in a hiring manager’s tool box. People today are looking for a great place to work that allows opportunity for a healthy work-life balance. Additionally, company perks like remote work, advanced workspace options (such as standing desks or creative commons), and employee appreciation events can all foster a positive company culture. Good workplace environments then result in positive employer reviews and can draw a more diverse candidate pool. Questions you should ask yourself:
  • What does your retention and approval ratings currently look like?
  • How do you retain employees?
  • How do you reward and recognize employees?
  • What growth opportunities do you provide employees?
  • How do you engage with employees outside of the workplace?
All of these questions can help you evaluate how to move forward and how you can better cultivate a happy place to work.

5. Avoid ‘we clicked’ feelings

Inherently, companies tend to hire candidates that fit into the current mold of the company. Remember: You want to hire the smartest person in the room, not whoever most resembles yourself. Never make a hiring decision based on gut feelings or because you ‘clicked’ with an interviewee. Personality may be an important factor to consider when evaluating candidates, but hiring someone who can’t do the job doesn’t help you, the business, or them, regardless of how well you ‘clicked’. Your organization can recruit the best employees by thinking about what terms like “diversity” and “inclusion” mean throughout the recruitment and hiring process.  In the below infographic, we explore what those terms mean, and ways to help your business succeed and grow by bringing in superior employees that diversify and expand the very foundation of your company. HR recruiting   JD Miller is a marketing outreach specialist passionate about getting business resources into the hands of professionals, educators, and students alike.