For businesses looking to grow and continue to thrive with the next generation, diversity is typically necessary. A diverse workforce may provide businesses with the opportunity to find new levels of innovation, attract higher levels of talent, and improve their reputation with their customers and peers in their industry. While the concept of a diverse workforce is not new, it is sometimes challenging for businesses to know how to get started to improve the diversity among their employees. If improving diversity is a goal for your company, below are a few tips to help you get started.
- Diversify Your Network
One way to start improving the diversity in your business is by expanding your network to involve more diversity. This may include broadening your network on professional sites, participating in group discussions that focus on a diverse group, or attending new events. Often employers may find connections between employees and vendors from these groups. When you diversify these connections, you may open yourself up to a more diverse group of people, which may assist you in finding the ideal people to add to your team.2
- Expand Your Job Requirements
To find a diverse group of applicants for a job, it is crucial to widen the net. By focusing on very narrow job requirements, you may be cutting out a large portion of people who may still have comparable skills, education, and the ability to excel in the position. Try not to focus on narrow resume skills, such as education or niche-related skills. It is fine to put these skills as optional, but if you find the ideal candidate, they may be able to be trained to fulfill the needs of the position. This way, you may get a more diverse range of applicants to choose from that have the ability to fulfill the needs of your company.2
- Have a Standard Interview Process
Start by examining your current interview process. Perform an audit and look at your hiring data, determining what types of people make it through each stage of the interview process. Look for any biases in the interview process and make corrections before implementing them. Once you have a set of questions and an interview process that removes any bias, keep this process the same for every applicant who comes through the company.2
- Train Staff to Respect Diversity
While the hiring process is essential to gaining diversity, retention is also important. To set your diverse workplace up for success, create a welcoming environment where all employees feel like they are seen and heard. You may also have staff training that focuses on treating everyone with respect and in the same manner no matter their differences. Ensure your company mission statement and messaging speak to a diverse workforce and customer base, so those who read it feel empowered and included.1
1'Impacting people in the most positive way we can': How small businesses can commit to diversity, USA Today, https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/columnist/2021/01/13/how-small-businesses-can-commit-diversity/6653442002/
2How to build a diverse and inclusive workforce as a small business, Business Insider, https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-build-diverse-inclusive-workforce-small-business-2020-10
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