Over the years, we have heard several iterations of this Vernā Myers quote, “DIVERSITY is being invited to the party. INCLUSION is being asked to dance.” Many companies have diversity initiatives integrated into their hiring strategies. However, as Vernā suggests, it’s simply not enough to add diversity to your team. Your team members must feel comfortable and empowered to stay, contribute, and grow their talents.
“At what point do you recommend I disclose that I’m gay?” This question was asked to a panelist by a member of the audience during a diversity conversation last week. Many had recommendations, but one stood out – when you feel comfortable.
5 Tips on How Diversity & Inclusion Lead to Better Hiring & Employee Retention
1. Take a look at the diversity of your current team. You may be wondering how to analyze diversity. Quite simply, analyze what makes your team members different.
What are their backgrounds? Where did they grow up? What are their belief systems? What passions do they hold dear? What are their strengths? What are their opportunities?
If you don’t find many differences, you have an opportunity to focus on improving the diversity of your team. If you are unsure what the answers to some of these questions are, focus on engaging your team members (inclusion).
2. After analyzing your team and what makes each individual unique, identify the type of person or people you would like to add to your team. Why do you want a diverse team? Diverse teams make an organization more powerful with creative strategies and opinions.
As a staffing firm, TruPath spends a lot of time working with organizations to hire talent. When probed, hiring managers are very transparent with the type of person they want and don’t want. And, communicating your diversity strategy to your recruiting team ensures that they are sourcing and engaging the right type of talent.
3. Having a diverse team is something to celebrate but quickly becomes meaningless if you are not celebrating those differences. Here is where the inclusion begins.
Do you encourage your employees to contribute? Do they feel comfortable speaking up? Do you engage them about their differences? Inclusion is largely reflected in an organization’s culture. The panelist above asked, “At what point do you recommend I disclose that I’m gay?” Is your culture one that would make him feel comfortable disclosing this personal information? Will he still feel embraced and welcomed afterward?
4. Culture is quickly felt. Candidates get a feel for it as they research your organization and interact with your brand online. Their assumptions start to solidify as they enter the hiring process. Just as you qualify and disqualify candidates, they are doing the same.
When candidates walk in your door, what is their experience? How are they greeted? Is it warm and enthusiastic or bland and rushed? When they sit down with your hiring managers, do they feel welcome? As they are walked through the office, do employees greet them, smile, or engage them in conversation? What type of follow up do they receive from your recruiters and how quickly?
5. Many employees crave support, encouragement, and development. A D&I strategy can create long-term loyal employees.
Get to know your team. What are your team members passions and goals? How do they spend their free time? Encourage them to participate and share their ideas. And, celebrate their differences. This may be done with affinity groups, company celebrations, community events, flexible schedules, or development programs.
Overall, adding to the diversity of your team is often an intentional recruiting strategy. But, at the end of the day, investing in your team is what makes them feel empowered and included.
As a trusted recruitment source for more than 15 years, recruiters at TruPath have a customizable process that helps our partners feel comfortable in their search for a candidate. Contact TruPath today to tell us about your staffing needs.