Why Do People Think Diversity Hiring is a Good Thing?

April 29, 2014 at 6:00 AM by Kathleen de Lara

diversity hiringIn the early 1990s, the United Colors of Benetton caused quite a stir for their controversial ads featuring ethnic and racial diversity, among other topics, in their marketing campaigns to promote clothing. (Although knitted goods hardly made an appearance in their pictures.)

For recruiters, it's a lesson in company image. Diversity hiring can't simply be defined as mass-hiring a group of diversified candidates for the sake of appearing diverse. 

If looks power your team's recruiting tactics, check out these tips to assess the company's initiatives in hiring for diversity.

Having a diversified team of employees is a realistic reflection of the world outside of work.

Candidates want to work with a team that represents today's motley crew of talent, not a filtered version based on physicality, skill, and capability. 

Picture yourself walking through downtown San Francisco during the early morning rush hour. You pass by crowds of various people, each individual unlike the previous. Older and younger women and men with different ethnic and racial backgrounds, and under the surface, an even more divergent system that tells their experience, beliefs, and identity. If that's what life looks like outside the office, why can't it be reflected inside the office? 

Diversity hiring shouldn't be just a quick fix solution to a company's lackluster "face," an image that lacks minorities or under-represented groups. It should be the result of a company's desire to build a stronger, more versatile team, while providing opportunities for a wider scope of talent.

Diversity hiring brings in new perspectives, improved employee performance, and increased company profitability.

The dangerous monoculture of employees extends beyond having a team that not only looks the same, but also thinks the same. Diversity breeds more, better ideas, and a company fueled by employees with different professional and personal experiences helps a team grow, create and develop strategies, and understand how an organization can better serve its customers.

"Don't set up a hiring system to avoid discrimination lawsuits. Hire people who are good for your business. And that probably means people who are different from you." — Heather Bussing

Despite previous claims that a diverse workplace damages group dynamics and communication, having a team comprised of both genders and varying ethnic, racial backgrounds allows companies to reach out and connect with more people, creating an expanded customer base, and increasing overall company revenue and profits.

Hiring top talent from underrepresented groups builds an organization other, similar candidates want to be part of.

Habit propels convention. Companies that subtly imply men and women are suited for specific jobs by continuing to employ each gender to its "appropriate" role institutes a dismal cycle that disregards today's continually changing workforce.

A senior college student searching for jobs may not feel comfortable applying to jobs in a male-dominated industry, and an organization loses a sharp, driven millennial. An older man feels discouraged after visiting a company he wants to work for, which is mostly comprised of middle-aged employees. In turn, the company loses a veteran with cross-cultural communication skills and refined business marketing strategies.

The talent gap source isn't limited to the lack of qualified candidates. It's also linked to gender, age, and racial gaps that are proactively established by employers. Attract a more divergent group of candidates by hiring a more divergent group of employees. Top talent who know they're represented in a company are more likely to apply, in part because of the mindset, "If they can do it, why can't I?"

Does your company employ diversity hiring techniques? If so, how are they working for your team? We'd like to hear your experiences. Share them in the comments or tweet us @Entelo!

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