When you imagine your ideal workforce, what does it look like? More companies are prioritizing hiring a diverse team and building the same kind of diverse company culture so they can reach their goals through new perspectives.
LinkedIn found that 78% of companies prioritize diversity to improve culture, while 62% do so to boost financial performance. The culture you form for your company determines the type of people who work there, what day-to-day office life is like, and the business's overall performance.
Glassdoor found that 67% of job seekers consider diversity an important factor when considering companies and job offers. Candidates are no longer seeking the highest salary or the most convenient job opportunity; instead, they're looking to work for companies that embrace cultural diversity.
In this article, I'll explore the following to help your company attract and hire a diverse team:
- How to create a diverse company culture
- How to craft a job posting that seeks diverse candidates
- How to showcase existing talent within your team
Let's get started.
The benefits of diversity for your company
Imagine if everyone in your company looked, thought, and spoke the same, and viewed things the same way. It would get boring pretty quickly. What makes life interesting is learning new things and meeting new people.
If you fail to hire a diverse group, it will be reflected in every aspect of your business. Nearly 80% of consumers say customer experience is just as important as the products and services a company provides; therefore, it's essential to have an exceptional team who can offer that to your customers.
Encouraging diversity makes room for different points of view, and it can lead to breakthroughs for your company. Harvard Business Review reports that diverse companies are 70% more likely to capture a new market.
Recent studies show that diversity boosts creativity and innovation. A team comprising members with diverse individual expertise will outperform a homogenous group at solving complex problems. This is because interacting with different individuals sparks new ways of approaching issues and problem-solving to find the best solutions for those challenges. Companies that prioritize diversity bring in 19% more revenue and report improved financial performance, according to the Boston Consulting Group.
Hiring a diverse team also fosters a welcoming community of people who share a workspace. It's one thing to hire different employees; it's another to practice inclusivity and encourage diversity. When everyone on the team feels validated and included in the conversation, it creates a positive environment. It reduces employee turnover and gives your company a wider pool of qualified candidates to choose from.
If you want to hire diverse employees to your team, here are a few ways to get started.
1. Create a diverse company culture.
You may want to hire a diverse team, but if your company culture doesn't accommodate it, you won't retain those employees. Diversity and inclusion should be infused into every part of your business model, and it starts with where you are at this moment.
Take a hard look at your existing team. Do you encourage them to be who they are without judgment? Do their co-workers respect their opinions and thoughts? Does the company's mission statement highlight that it embraces diversity?
If you answered no to any of those questions, it's time to take a step back and analyze the cracks. You can't hire diverse candidates only to bring them into an environment where they don't feel like they belong. That's the fastest way to increase turnover among your employees.
It's essential to welcome differing schools of thoughts in the workplace. According to research by LinkedIn, 67% of employees say that companies can support inclusion by fostering an environment that respects different opinions. It makes all the difference for your employees to know they can share their thoughts without being criticized. It's also crucial to encourage your team to be themselves instead of pretending to be people they're not.
2. Highlight diversity in your job postings.
Your job posting is the first thing potential candidates see when considering if they want to become part of your team. If it's written in a noninclusive way and doesn't emphasize that you prioritize a diverse and accepting work culture, you won't attract the right candidates.
The language used in your job posting has a significant impact on who applies for the position. Words like "fast-paced" and "competitive" typically speak well to men but discourage women from applying. Likewise, words like "passionate" and "loyal" speak more to women than men.
These are known as gender-coded words, and using them in your job posting can be enough to turn candidates away. Avoid this language in your job postings and during the hiring process for the highest chances of attracting diverse applicants. Use straightforward language that doesn't paint a picture of what the applicant should look like or how they should be. Take advantage of a gender decoder tool if you need help choosing adjectives.
It's crucial to make the application process easy for candidates, especially your application form. Nearly 60% of job seekers will abandon an application form if it's too long or too complex. Many companies add a survey to the application to get a better idea of who's applying and whether it's worth the time to schedule an interview. Use a conversational tone in your survey so it feels more like a face-to-face discussion than an assessment.
Be mindful of how you write your job listing so that it attracts diverse candidates and encourages them to apply. Don't make people guess if your company prioritizes diversity or not; say it from the beginning. Most companies say they're an equal-opportunity employer, but you can take it a step further by emphasizing why this is important to you.
3. Showcase existing diversity in your team.
People will inevitably do their research before applying for a position at your company. When they do, what will they see? Are there photos of your diverse team on your social media accounts? Does your website showcase your employees and include a section about why inclusion is vital to your company's mission?
If it doesn't outright say that you're a business welcoming and celebrating cultural diversity, people will assume it's the opposite. Don't make your visitors and potential applicants guess whether your company would accommodate them or not. Create a company website and social media accounts that highlight how your company embraces diversity and people from different walks of life.
Photos are a great way to show those researching your business what your day-to-day work life is like. It allows your company to express its authentic search for diverse employees and a company culture to match. You can hire a photographer to come in for a day to capture your work life. If you're on a budget, snap photos from your smartphone that look professional.
Your company must promote diversity from the ground up and practice what it preaches. It's not enough to hire diverse employees; you should adopt these practices and mindsets yourself and throughout your existing team if you want to see tangible, positive change. It starts with you as a leader.
How will you attract diverse employees to your workforce?