In Rio, more than 11,000 athletes from 206 countries united for the 2016 Summer Olympics. For many, the Rio Games signify the culmination of their athletic career. Athletes come from around the world with various backgrounds, ethnicities, experiences, training, world views and beliefs, but they all have one common goal: to get the gold medal and be on an award-winning team.
The Olympics reminds us that people from different backgrounds and ethnicities have different strengths and weaknesses and that the strongest team would perhaps be a diverse group of people with different experiences. We can apply these same practices to business. In today’s global competition in the war for top talent, we can learn a lot from the Olympics, as these games reinforce the importance of creating diversity in the workplace. Companies shouldn’t ignore the need to develop and implement diversity recruitment strategies.
So what’s the secret sauce for forming a successful, award-winning team? Take gold with these four tips for creating a diversity recruitment strategy.
Broaden the Way You Think About Diversity:
Diversity in the workplace shouldn’t only mean hiring people of different genders, races, and cultures. Diversity also covers a range of physical and mental disabilities, the LGBTQ community, age groups, and thought diversity, as well. Creating a work environment with a diverse group of thinkers – people who are analytical, relaxed, strategists, etc. – will help your company excel by enhancing innovation, engagement, and creative problem-solving. Having a diverse team will reduce groupthink, and instead will create a culture that fosters creativity, new concepts and ideas, and encourages taking healthy risks.
Implement Technology to Build a Diverse Talent Pipeline:
Find one easy-to-use platform that seamlessly integrates with HR data and solutions such as an applicant tracking system (ATS)
, so you have one centralized location to easily and efficiently manage every step of the hiring process. Leverage diversity associations, in-house diversity employee groups, and social media pages to build a talent pipeline of diverse job candidates. Seek minority career fairs and collaborate with your public relations team to conduct proactive outreach to diverse media outlets to help you reach those audiences. Your ATS will also be able to sort candidates by specific factors and can identify whether they are male or female, Hispanic, a veteran, etc. Once you build that pipeline, regularly communicate with those candidates and keep them “warm” by showcasing ways your company embraces diversity in the office. Accurately display your company’s unique culture on the career site, and include video testimonials from different types of people.
Make Training and Education a Priority:
Enroll in training courses to learn about various backgrounds, beliefs, and management and communication styles so you can learn about the way others think and operate to remove any fears or assumptions. Acknowledging and examining your own preconceived notions and biases is the first step, and then you can work to address those issues by seeking education and training opportunities that may be negatively impacting diversity in the workplace. Enrolling in ongoing training opportunities, and requiring your employees to do the same, will help you understand who you work with, including colleagues, customers, partners, and vendors. Use metrics to track engagement for training and offer additional tools to your employees to help them apply what they learned in their daily work life. As a result, your office will have better collaboration and camaraderie.
Implement a Data-driven Approach and Put Measurements and Metrics into Place:
Diversity programs are generally managed with emotion, rather than a data-driven businesslike approach. Diversity has a significant impact on overall business results and company success and engagement, so it’s time to put specific initiatives, metrics, and benchmarks into place. According to research from McKinsey analysis,
gender-diverse companies are 15 percent more likely to outperform their industry average and ethnically-diverse companies are 35 percent more likely to outperform the industry average. Once you establish a goal, measure the success of your program and maintain diversity in your workplace by keeping the team accountable for hitting certain benchmarks.
Building and maintaining diversity at your company can be hard with unconscious biases, skills gaps, the intense competition for talent
in the U.S. labor market, and difficulty building a talent pipeline. But cultural uniformity is counterproductive in any situation. Keep these tips in mind and invest in HR tools and technology to help your team hire a diverse employee base and to educate current employees on how to work with different types of people. A diverse workplace increases productivity and creativity, and it is where greater strides, the best products and strategies, and breakthroughs are made.