If you want your team to be successful, you must consider putting a team together with diverse and complementary skill sets. However, what does a diverse group look like? And what do we mean when we refer to the term workplace diversity?
Workplace diversity is the general umbrella that covers two terms: intrinsic diversity and acquired diversity. When we talk about intrinsic diversity, we refer to demographic characteristics that include gender, age, ethnic background, and so on. When we talk about acquired diversity, we refer to differences in knowledge, personality, values, experience, etc.
When looking into hiring a diverse team, you will need to tackle both diversity angles: intrinsic and acquired. You cannot diversify your team based on one alone. For instance, people with the same education and experience but from different ethnic backgrounds will have something different and valuable to offer to the team.
So, if you want to reap the benefits of a diverse team, you need to make sure you have individuals that are diverse on both levels: inherent and acquired.
However, what are the benefits of using a diverse team?
Benefits Of A Diverse Team
Studies have shown that diverse teams offer various benefits because they drive product development and create new market opportunities. Each team member will have a niche for a specific target group or type of content. This means that your team opens up to new markets and can reach a plethora of buyers.
Diverse team members will bring new ideas to the table and offer creative ways to solve problems or increase revenues and sales. In fact, research has shown that an increase in diversity (as measured by demographic terms) positively correlates with an increase in revenue.
How To Make Sure That You Hire A Diverse Team
1. Begin With One Form Of Diversity And Then Move On To The Next
The first thing that you must do is to ensure that you do not restrict yourself to one form of diversity. Your diversity strategy when recruiting your team should make an effort to target intrinsic and acquired diversity. It is easier to start with intrinsic diversity and then work your way towards the other diversity form. For instance, you can set your targets from the get-go when it comes to how many women vs. men you want to hire, how many from each ethnic background, and so on. You can then work within that strata and find team members that have acquired diversity.
2. Use Software Tools To Eliminate Bias In Recruitment
Several companies use software tools to address bias in recruiting and, thereby, support their diversity strategy. Such software can screen all CVs you have available and apply the criteria of skills and experience you have set forth across all candidates. This eliminates the risk of unconscious bias and unwanted discrimination.
3. Do Not Use In-House Referrals
If you are looking into recruiting new members to your team, you should avoid referrals from existing group members. As a general rule of thumb, people’s networks are comprised of other people who are very similar to them when it comes to demographics, experience, and education. So, if you rely on your team members to bring in new members on board, you will end up with a wagon full of indistinguishable passengers.
4. Make Your Workplace Appealing To Diverse Team Members
One of the best ways to attract diverse team members is flexibility. The more flexible you are, the more likely it is to find people who will want to work for you. Offering a flexible schedule or the ability to work from home will bring in candidates from all over the world. Your team members do not need to interact physically; technology has rendered such physical proximity obsolete. In fact, if each one of your team members is in a different part of the world, you have already established diversity. With various social and ethnic backgrounds, diverse team members will be able to tackle the market in their geographical area, create different buyer personas, and have skill sets that will complement one another.
5. Advertise Your Team Member Vacancies On Diverse Channels
If you want to improve your team’s diversity, you need to make sure that you reach diverse candidates. Do not use one single medium for advertising your team member vacancies. Make use of magazines, websites, and forums frequently visited by groups on your target radar.
For instance, if you want to bring in new ideas and hire younger team members who will better engage your younger buyers, you need to reach them through social media. If, on the other hand, you want to hire members with many years of experience and specific expertise, you may need to look for them on forums or social work marketing networks.
Diversity Is Key
If there is one thing you have to do this year, it is to make sure you hire a team with a diverse set of skills. People from different backgrounds, education, ethnicity, gender, and age will bring different skills to the team. Each will add something valuable, and each will help you reach out to a wider audience. Why wait? This is the year to reap the rewards of a diverse team.