Pursuing a diverse workforce isn’t a trend, it’s an essential component of developing a strong, competitive, and nimble organization. When teams consist of individuals whose backgrounds, lived experiences, and lifestyles are different, workplaces can thrive.
With diverse talent collaborating toward your organization’s mission, teams benefit from the unique perspectives of their members.
However, authentically increasing the diverse representation within your company doesn’t happen overnight. Diversity initiatives require thoughtful strategies and measured goals developed with the whole employee experience in mind.
1. Expand Your Hiring Pool
In recent years, prioritizing geographic location while hiring has practically become an obsolete practice thanks to modern technology, collaboration channels, and workforce acceptance. Companies willing to adjust their hiring practices and work arrangements can eliminate one major barrier to diverse teams: location.
Nudge your organization to begin hiring global talent by putting the building blocks in place that make it simple. External partners like an employer of record can help organizations of any size access global talent while managing risk.
The right structure for hiring and training for your team, can open up a world of hiring possibilities. With a global team, your organization can benefit from their global perspective, lived experiences, and efficiencies.
Companies serving global customers can improve their ability to serve time zones and may better understand local customs and dialects. Additionally, global teams can be more nimble and aware of new opportunities, which can give your company an advantage.
Ensure your talent acquisition channels clearly convey your interest in global talent, especially if it’s a new endeavor. Outwardly state that you’re building a global presence and invite talent to join you on this journey.
Engage your current team in this effort, gaining their input on onboarding, training, and long-term engagement, which can improve outcomes.
2. Reassess Job Criteria And Qualifications Markers
Traditional job listings can be stringent, requiring years of experience in certain fields or specific educational achievements. However, several years of experience or prestigious degrees don’t always equate to the talent your team truly needs.
Experience in the traditional workforce is a great foundation to consider, but it’s not the only indicator of top talent. Non-traditional pathways to education can equate to unique, high-value contributions for your organization.
Trade schools, internships, volunteering, and parenting equip individuals with field experience that higher education can’t often mimic.
Organizations prioritizing developing diverse teams must reassess the required qualifications for their positions. Researchers found that even qualified individuals won’t apply to roles if they don’t meet all or most of the requirements.
This means there’s a wealth of untapped talent interested in your organization, but your tight specifications are boxing them out.
Conduct a careful audit of your job listings to determine what details are essential for advertising to prospective candidates. While some roles will require certifications, achievements, or accreditation, keep an open mind to non-traditional experience.
Especially as you open your talent pool internationally, remember that many nations encourage gap years or apprenticeships too.
Once you’ve updated your requirements, communicate this information to your current staff and management. With a 360-approach, you can identify new internal candidates, increasing internal upward mobility, which can also improve engagement and overall retention.
3. Establish The Framework For An Inclusive Culture
Simply stating that your organization desired increased diversity won’t get you far, but actions will. Just as you’ve reassessed your hiring practices and qualifications, organizations preparing to welcome more diversity must build an inclusive framework.
Diversity can be an overwhelming, broad term. However, the most simplistic answer is that diverse cultures welcome and include everyone, no matter their background. Race, gender, ability, and culture are among the many diversity markers to consider, but they’re by no means exhaustive.
The work culture of tomorrow depends on its members’ ability to be comfortable, empowered, and developed equitably. While performance and development paths should reflect colleagues’ individual contributions and potential, every team member should have access to support.
Affinity groups, robust benefits packages, alternate work arrangements, and sensitivity to personal and religious commitments can help.
The more aware your organization can be to external commitments, interests, and needs, the more diverse your team will be. As your company matures with its global perspective, many of these factors will present themselves.
Educate your leadership team about the unique needs and cultural norms of a diverse team. Update policies to equitably support your team members for things like religious obligations, family commitments, and country-specific traditions.
With a flexible, inclusive, and welcoming approach to differences of all kinds, your team makeup will better reflect the world and communities you serve. You can improve your company’s ability to achieve its goals thanks to the contributions of a diverse and well-supported team.
Share Your Diversity Journey Authentically
Embarking on a journey toward a more diverse company makeup requires authenticity and vulnerability. If your organization has traditionally lacked diversity, it’s important to acknowledge the past with an eye toward the future.
Organizational awareness surrounding team makeup, leadership representation, and customer-facing content is essential for a successful diversity initiative.
Share lessons learned, goals, and successes as you make progress within your organization. Align hiring statistics with employee engagement and satisfaction factors, comparing these data sets to your teams’ results.
You’ll build trust internally and externally while netting up to 20% higher productivity thanks to your engaged, diverse workforce.
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