Companies love the idea of a diverse workplace. However, achieving this goal can be a challenge. If your organization wants to become dedicated to diversity, use these five tips to make it a reality.
- Expand Your Recruiting Efforts
If you advertise open positions in a limited way, you’ll end up with homogenous results. Often, this is the case with companies that rely heavily on referrals. Their employees refer their friends and family members, who, not surprisingly, share similar backgrounds and interests. The result is less diversity. To broad your funnel, experiment with new and innovative recruiting techniques. Extend your networking strategies, offer training initiatives and/or rework your brand to appeal to a broader audience.
- Recognize the Dangers of Unconscious Biases
Most of us like to believe we judge people fairly. Unfortunately, science tells us this isn’t true. “A vast body of research shows … unconscious racism, ageism, and sexism play a big role in who gets hired.” (Harvard Business Review, 2017) The first step in overcoming this dilemma is admitting we tend to prefer people who are similar to us. The next time you think someone is perfect for a job or a promotion, ask yourself, “Do I truly believe this individual is the best choice?” “Or, am I giving this person an advantage because they remind me of myself?”
- Hire Smarter
One of the best strategies for defeating hiring biases is to apply a more scientific approach. Rather than chatting with applicants to see if you like them, test their skills using an experiential interview or work sample test. Ask candidates to complete or role-play a task they would have to do on the job. Administrative assistants could write an email and schedule appointments, welders could complete a small project and nurses could interact with patients. When you see people in action, it’s easier to judge their abilities instead of their personal traits.
- Create a Sense of Belonging
Bringing a diverse group of employees into your organization is only the beginning. In addition, you must take steps to make sure everyone on your team feels welcome and included. This may mean rethinking longstanding corporate traditions and standards. For example, if you have an annual Christmas party, people of other religions may feel uncomfortable. And ultimately, employees who feel as though they must mask their identities are more likely to leave. Look around and identify policies that could potentially damage diversity.
- Make Inclusion Ongoing
Understand your Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) efforts are part of a never-ending program. Sending everyone in your company to a one-day diversity training session will NOT solve your problems. Put long-term programs in place, prepare for setbacks, and re-evaluate as needed.
Are You Working Toward Improving Diversity in Your Workplace?
The recruiters at Aventure Staffing and Professional Placement can help you find employees from a variety of backgrounds who have the right skills and the right experience. We place industrial workers, office professionals, and healthcare staff in Sioux City, Iowa, and beyond. Contact us today to learn more!