When we talk about diversifying workplaces, it often brings to mind hiring employees of varying races, ages, and genders. While these are indeed all pieces in the diversity puzzle, the word ‘diversity’ applies more broadly to all the things that make people unique. This includes our personalities, our education and cognitive differences, our skill sets, our values, and our interests.
Just as our personal lives can be made richer by spending time with those who are different than us, so too can our professional lives.
The Positive Impacts of a Diverse Workforce
Building diverse workforces that are more representative of the human race as a whole help organizations in many ways. They can offer:
- A variety of different perspectives
- A wider range of skill sets
- Opportunities for innovation and creative problem solving
- More employee engagement
- Increased job satisfaction
- Lower turnover
- Improved public perception
Employers have recognized the many benefits of diversifying their teams, and they’re taking action.
Steps Employers Are Taking to Increase Diversity
More and more companies are incorporating organization-wide diversity programs, offering cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity training, and creating new roles such as Chief Diversity Officer. They’re taking pride in equal opportunity employment, embedding it within mission statements and core values. Finally!
Many organizations are trying to foster open minded work cultures that respect individual differences and explore new ways of thinking. Since diversity goes hand-in-hand with inclusion, HR teams are stepping up and making a sincere effort to welcome people and make sure everyone feels included.
But did you know unconscious hiring bias might be undermining even your best intentions?
More Diverse Teams Start with Better Hiring Practices
Sometimes, without necessarily knowing it, we can get in our own way. Our personal preferences cloud our judgement, leading to subpar decision making. This is what happens in the case of hiring bias, which can be detrimental to your diversity efforts.
As a recruiter, you act as the first point of contact and the gatekeeper to employment within an organization. Your work, alongside other hiring stakeholders, can either advance or hinder a diverse work culture. Inclusive hiring starts with establishing and following a standardized hiring process.
Structured Digital Interviews
Structured interviews ask the same questions, in the same order, in the same way, to everyone who’s being interviewed for a job. This provides a fair and positive interview experience for all.
At the heart of a structured interview are standardized questions and uniform scoring criteria. This ensures candidates are being evaluated consistently and objectively, reducing dangerous biases and favoritism, which have no place in the hiring process.
Digital structured interviews take this diversity recruitment best practice one step further by digitizing it. Recorded video interviews serve as a permanent record of your hiring process history. By reviewing these videos, one can more easily assess patterns and spot recurring bias from interviewers in order to address it.
A structured interview methodology—especially one that has been digitized for easy adoption—is the secret to improving your recruitment and increasing your diversity hires.
Other Steps Recruiters Can Take to Increase Workplace Diversity
- Building diverse pools of candidates begins with hiring beyond geographical borders and finding the right talent no matter where they choose to live and work. Remote recruitment is the best way to do this.
- Show your organization welcomes applicants of all backgrounds
- If you are an equal opportunities employer, promote that when advertising job openings
- Attend or organize multicultural job fairs (either in-person or online)
- Involve multiple people in the hiring process as this introduces different perspectives
- Speak up if inappropriate cultural/ethnic comments or jokes are made throughout the hiring process
Embracing Our Differences in Life & at Work
Life would be awfully boring if we were all the same. Thankfully, we live in a multicultural society, and we can learn from the people around us. The same is true at our workplaces. Prioritizing diversity creates organizations that are better places to work and grow as people—and it can help HR professionals attract, interview, and hire inspiring, hardworking employees who love what they do.