Diversity in the workplace is about much more than just race and ethnicity. The differences can also be linked to employees’ political and religious beliefs, education and socioeconomic background, physical or mental disabilities, gender, sexual orientation and many more. The benefits of having a diverse workforce are multi-fold - diverse employees bring creative and innovative ideas as well as new perspectives to the table.
Diverse employees also help businesses overcome language or cultural barriers, increase their global outreach and expand their client-base.
Employers are increasingly aware of the huge advantages of hiring diverse candidates and are now placing diversity at the heart of their talent attraction strategies. This blog post looks at the various ways of attracting diverse candidates and best methods and practices to help you increase the diversity of your talent pools.
Diversify your sourcing strategy
If you’re aiming to build a truly diverse talent pool, you may want to explore some less-conventional ways of finding candidates as opposed to using the standard tools, such as LinkedIn and Indeed. Think about schools, universities or associations known for their diverse population and try contacting them. Participating in job fairs targeted at specific audiences will also prove extremely useful. A good example is the ‘Diversità Lavoro’ - a job fair organised annually in various Italian cities which brings together employers and candidates with the ‘protected categories’ status (candidates with disabilities, widows, orphans and veterans). Also consider advertising in publications with diverse audiences and don’t hesitate to go off the beaten track to find truly talented diverse candidates.
Take the time to review your job ad
Identifying the right sourcing channels is key but ensuring your job advert grabs the attention of your target group is equally as important. Job ads can say a lot about company culture so the right choice of words is of utmost importance if you want to reassure the candidate that you’re an equal opportunities employer. The description of key criteria for the role needs to be prepared carefully too in order to avoid any gender-biased wording. According to a study by the American Psychological Association, words such as ‘dominant’, ‘competitive’, ‘assertive’ and ‘determined’ are usually perceived as masculine, thus leading some female candidates to rule themselves out before they even apply for a job. Take the time to carefully review your job description and make sure the wording doesn’t deter diverse candidates from applying.
Make sure your candidates know that you value diversity
From the very first point of contact, your candidates need to know that your company is committed to building a diverse workforce. Make sure the message about diversity being at the core of your company’s DNA is communicated clearly to all candidates via your career pages, website and social media. There are many more actions you can take to show that you truly care about having a diverse workforce.. Make sure you emphasize the importance of diversity during interviews and invite a diverse interviewer to sit on the panel. Many candidates would also love to hear that your company regularly contributes to causes and initiatives aimed at advancing diversity. This should constitute a central part of your marketing campaign and should be communicated in a clear and transparent manner on your company website and social media.
Educate your partners
Your existing employees, colleagues, business partners and recruiters need to be able to fully appreciate your diverse workforce for your diversity-focused strategy to be successful. Get your employees signed up to training courses to help them get a better understanding of the benefits of working in a diverse team. Make sure they get a clear explanation of how welcoming diverse points of view can build more successful teamwork. You may find that most of them won’t need it, but for some it may be helpful in recognizing and overcoming their own unconscious bias when recruiting and hiring.
Remember that culture fit may not always be enough
Company culture and whether a candidate would be able to fit in is always a big question in all recruitment processes. Why not try experimenting every now and then? Rather than focusing solely on whether candidates tick the ‘culture fit’ boxes, you might want to consider bringing in a diverse candidate with a set of unique experiences to your team - your company culture will never be at risk of remaining utterly homogeneous if you do this.