How to create a diverse workforce
May 13, 2021
In recent years, having a diverse workforce has become a more and more popular and important factor for companies and organizations and has resulted in the concept becoming one of the fast-growing trends in business. The idea of workplace diversity entails that the workplace should look like a society. This means that people from different backgrounds in regards to gender, age, race, experience, socio-economic levels etc. will be part of the team and reflect the society around the organization.
A diverse workforce increases the range of skills and knowledge on the team, as well as the cultural awareness that the team combined possesses. Furthermore, the majority of applicants look for jobs in diverse companies, so by having a diverse workforce, the candidate pool for job postings will be broader and more diverse. With these above-mentioned benefits, it has been proven that diverse workforces are both performing better and more innovative and productive.
Diversity is an important factor when working towards hiring and attracting diverse people to your organization. But in order to build and manage a diverse workforce, there are several factors to remember and attend to when people are recruited and before recruitment begins.
What does the concept of diversity mean to you and how broad is your definition of diversity? In order to have a fully diverse team, your definition should not be limited to gender, age, disability, and race. On the contrary, the focus should not only be on traits that people were born with but also include aspects that were acquired in the past, such as experience, language skills and mindset.
It is important to eliminate bias as much as possible during the recruitment process. Unconscious bias are the opinions and judgments that people make about other people based on the people’s characteristics. In order to create a diverse workforce, it is important to keep the unconscious bias to a minimum to decrease the chance of only hiring people that are similar to yourself.
If you already have a diverse workforce, it can be beneficial to encourage your employees to refer people from their networks to apply to your company. First of all, word of mouth referrals are great for getting top talent to your company but it is also useful for showing an interest in people of different backgrounds and with diverse perspectives. By leveraging your employees’ networks, you can also find specific target groups that are of interest to you, if one of your employees is part of that target group.
It is important to make sure that both the job title and description in the job postings are inclusive towards everyone. Hence, gender-coded phrases as well as words regarding e.g. the applicants’ age or gender should be avoided.
In order to have as diverse and broad a candidate pool as possible, it is beneficial to use several platforms when looking for candidates. This way, the chance of attracting people from different backgrounds and experiences is greater. Using platforms can also be used in a different way as it will be beneficial if you’re looking to attract a specific target group for a position. If you for instance want to recruit women in a specific industry for a position, you should look out for groups that were created for women.
If you are aware of a specific target group that you would like to recruit, you could offer specific internships or positions for these groups. For instance, if you’re organization is lacking the presence of young people and you would like to have a more diverse workforce in aspects of age, it could be beneficial to offer internship positions only for students.
When diverse people are aware of your company’s interest in diversity, they are often more encouraged to apply to positions at your company. Therefore, it is important to create an employer brand that puts diversity and inclusion at the core of the company culture. You can let your employees take part in this by having them talk about the culture and values that are embedded in the employer brand. Developing an employer brand takes quite some time, as it can only be made organically but the benefits are numerous. Diversity should play a part in the corporate culture and take place in several parts of the organization. This could be showcased on the company’s website and social media platforms in order to show the values and culture that lies behind the company. Another way of showing the importance of diversity in the company is to implement company policies that are beneficial to diverse people, such as religious holidays or flexible work hours.
There are several ways to create and expand your workforce to be more diverse and inclusive and the above-mentioned are only some of them. It’s important to note that for some companies it might be enough to only implement some changes in order to get a more diverse workforce, while others need to implement numerous changes. This depends on different aspects, such as the company structure and the level of diversity in the workforce.
Nonetheless, a diverse workforce brings several benefits to an organization such as a growth in innovation, creativity and performance and has thus become a must-have for all companies. By including people to the workforce from all genders, backgrounds, education, races, religions and more, a company takes a step towards achieving equality in the workplace.