Talent Circles

Thursday, September 18, 2014

What is Workforce Diversity in the Context of Recruiting & Hiring


By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Diversity at your workplace is more than just checking off those government boxes when it comes to your annual Affirmative Action Program or asking candidates to complete their voluntary self-identification questionnaire.

As business leaders and recruiters, we must go beyond the standard view of workplace diversity. It isn’t some ill-funded and obligatory program that your Diversity Director is enthusiastic about. It isn’t just fulfilling your affirmative action plan requirements by advertising your job openings with a women’s or veterans job board or magazine. Diversity is bigger, deeper and farther reaching that a handful of US requirements and laws. It is the future of a successful company.

Diversity is about diverse experiences, backgrounds, education and life choices. Sometimes that translates into creating a women-in-technology program at your organization and other times it means creating an job training program for professionals with visible and invisible disabilities. Recruiting a diverse workforce has numerous benefits on your corporate success far beyond the legal implications.

Companies who are recruiting a more diverse workforce will see results on not only the bottom-line but the following:

Connection to the customer: Unless your company is extremely niche the biggest benefit to having a diverse workforce is being able to understand your customer. Employees bring different cultures, backgrounds, and skills to the table. When working a diverse customer base it’s important to also be diverse in your workforce so you’re able to connect with customers on several different levels.

Employee innovation: A clear benefit to hiring a more diverse workforce is the innovation that comes along with it. Working with the same people, same ideas, and same thought-process means your company isn’t going to grow. A diverse set of people is essential for company growth and innovation on all levels.

Employee recruitment and retention: A workplace that emphasizes interests and concerns for its employees, as people will make it easier to attract a higher-quality workforce. Companies who tout recruiting a well-rounded workforce will attract smarter individuals from different backgrounds.

Employee motivation: A more diverse workplace means people will be seen and treated with the same respect as everyone else. When there are no special treatments based on whatever diverse trait you posses employees feel better about their workplace and the company they work for. This is one of the best ways to get organic motivation. When employees are happy their productivity and motivation increases.

When a company is known for hiring a diverse workplace whether it be for those who are disabled, veterans, women, or different ethnicities it makes the recruiters job a whole lot easier because they’re not recruiting for a company that has a solid reputation in recruiting practices. Never underestimate diversity hiring and the impact that it can have on all facets of your business.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

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