Diversifying Your Workforce

Written by: Amy Studhalter | October 2017

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An organization’s success and competitive edge often depends on how diversity is embraced. Diversity in the workplace is a topic that is arising more and more amongst hiring managers seeking the perfect fit for their organization. Different backgrounds and perspectives can lead to a variety of new ideas, knowledge and ways of doing things which have a greater impact of propelling a company or team forward.

Managers are often tasked with ensuring their team is diverse so the range of knowledge, viewpoints and approaches from which decisions are made are well-rounded. Creating a diverse team can often be an overwhelming undertaking since diversity encompasses many differences amongst people including:

  • Race
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Personality
  • Skillset
  • Culture
  • Tenure
  • Education and many more

Hiring managers realize it’s important to strategically build their team to optimize maximum productivity, but how to do this with success is where they often struggle. The best way to start, to find the missing piece, is to first take a look at the characteristics that your current staff possess. Ask yourself a few simple questions:

  • What are the diversity strengths among my team?
  • How can I build upon those talents?
  • What are the current diversity challenges in my group?
  • How can I successfully address those challenges?

With a better understanding of your team’s strengths and weaknesses, the next step is to start thinking about how you can enhance the group. What skills and background will help contribute to your goal? Establish a long term strategy that will help you attract a wider range of applicants. Your recruitment team can provide value by helping you determine the tools to utilize to attract a diverse applicant pool to your opportunities and implement that plan. They may also be able to help you look within the organization to identify individuals looking for new challenges or become contributors on projects needing a more diverse skill set.

Beyond recruitment efforts, it can also be helpful for leaders across departments to periodically meet on this topic. By sharing ideas and vision around each group’s goals, you will be able to really streamline your diversification efforts. You’ll also have a better understanding of best practices in your industry and be more aware of what works and what doesn’t.

Ultimately, thinking about diversity and incorporating it into your staffing needs is paramount to effectively building your team. There is an endless world of opportunity as to how this can impact the business and breathe new life into your brand. You just have to take the first step.