Diversity in the workplace

27th September 2018 | Sam Wilson

As employers, we’ve had it drilled into us that we absolutely must have a diverse workforce – but what does that actually mean and why is it so important? And, most crucially, how do we achieve it?

A truly diverse workforce is one that genuinely reflects wider society. So, stepping into your workplace there shouldn’t be any notable differences to the world outside. This goes beyond race and gender, your workforce should contain a healthy mix of ages, experience levels, values and knowledge.

Another misconception is that the key benefits of having a diverse workforce are predominantly to do with external perception and meeting supposed ‘quotas’. However, the benefits go far beyond that. Studies have shown that workforce diversity has been proven to have a positive impact on factors such as productivity, creativity, innovation and sales revenue.

So, with all that said and done: how do I attract and recruit a diverse candidate pool?

Know where your audience is

When looking to recruit a particular group, knowing which platforms, websites or even devices they use can make a huge difference. Did you know that 76% of women use Facebook, compared to 66% of men? Or that 59% of Instagram users are 29 or younger?

The more you know about your audience, the easier it is to reach and, subsequently, recruit them.

Be inclusive

The language you use can have a significant impact on how candidates respond to you. It’s essential that you consider this when writing your jobs adverts, career pages and other candidate-directed communications.

If you’re looking to attract a younger audience then avoid using overly-technical language that might be beyond their experience of your field and don’t be afraid to be more informal.

If you’re looking to attract more women then it’s definitely important to be aware of certain masculine phrases and the impact they can have. Terms such as ‘Right hand man’ and ‘man hours’ still find their way into contemporary job adverts and can immediately put any female readers off.

Remove bias

Despite what we may think, bias can still creep in to our every day – whether consciously or subconsciously. No matter what intentions someone might have, there could still be some form of bias that could impact your decisions.

Removing bias from the equation ensures that it plays no part in your or other’s initial decisions. Do this by removing any non-essential information from applications, basing your decisions entirely on merit. You might be surprised by the results.

When it comes to your recruitment, diversity should be much more than a buzzword – it should be an ongoing strategy. Whilst the challenges are significant, so are the rewards, both for your business and your people.

Want to know how you can recruit a diverse candidate pool? Our multi-generational research piece delves into how you can attract candidates from distinctly different age groups. Find out more here.