Diversity in the Workplace – How Inclusive Recruiting Works

Several studies have shown that employee diversity leads to higher productivity, better and faster decision-making processes and, ultimately, to higher profits. By broadening your recruiting strategy to embrace diversity and inclusion practices, you can lay the foundation for your company’s success. Learn what a diverse and inclusive work environment means for your company and how to shape your recruiting strategy accordingly.
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    What Does Diversity in the Workplace Mean?

    Managing diversity in the workplace implies companies deliberately putting efforts into recruiting employees with different socio-demographic characteristics and experiences and leveraging the strengths of diverse teams. A diverse and inclusive company culture stands for equal opportunities and fairness in recruiting. It rejects and actively addresses discrimination based on gender, age, religion, cultural background, physical abilities and disabilities or education. This creates a working environment in which top-notch talents feel comfortable and welcomed.

    Additionally, an inclusive company culture delivers a clear competitive advantage in the ongoing “war for talent“. Only companies that hire top-quality, competitive employees regardless of their socio-demographic characteristics will excel in the marketplaces of the future.

    Diversität am Arbeitsplatz - so funktioniert inklusives Recruiting

    How Companies Benefit From Diversity in Recruiting

    Although diversity and inclusion are embedded in human rights, they are often neglected in the day-to-day reality of the job markets. However, it has been proven that companies benefit greatly from a diverse and inclusive company culture – which starts with an inclusive and fair recruiting process. In the following paragraphs, you can take a closer look at the most valuable aspects of embracing diversity in the workplace.

    1. Better candidates for open positions

    A diverse talent pool is characterised by applicants with unique experiences and varied skills sets. This increases the chance of finding the best candidate for a vacancy. Especially for hard-to-fill positions, it is worth expanding the recruiting radius and adopting targeted measures to ensure more diversity in the talent pool.

    2. Better performance and growth

    In companies that promote diversity, employees feel more comfortable in being themselves. As a result, they are happier and more productive. As McKinsey’s report on diversity, equality and inclusion shows, this is also reflected in turnover data. According to the analysis, over five years, there has been a positive correlation between financial performance and diversity in the company. For example, companies in the top quarter of all analysed companies in terms of gender diversity are 25% more profitable than those in the bottom quarter. Companies that promote diversity thus have a clear competitive advantage.

    In addition, employee diversity has other benefits (1):

    • Increased innovation and creativity
    • Better understanding of the needs of global customers
    • A competitive company culture
    • Better problem-solving skills and a more efficient decision-making process
    •  Different perspectives on complex issues
    • Heterogeneous experience and skills (including language and cultural awareness)

    3. Employer branding: a strong employer brand

    By promoting diversity in the workplace, you will enhance the attractiveness of your employer brand. Practising equal opportunities and inclusive work culture will attract top talent and strengthen your employer brand in the highly competitive labour market.

    Make diversity a priority in recruiting and looking for employees with different socio-demographic characteristics. In this way, you will create a company culture that attracts more top talent and, at the same time, increases the quality of your services and offerings, along with the company’s innovative capabilities. This will attract more qualified applicants to your company and create a virtuous circle.

    4. Stronger employee loyalty and lower turnover rates

    In addition to attracting new talent, diversity also strengthens the loyalty of your current employees to the company. A diverse and inclusive work environment contributes significantly to the well-being of employees and improves their job satisfaction. When equality is prioritised in a workplace, employees feel encouraged to tap into their full potential and improve their performance and work quality. They are also more loyal and speak more favourably about the company as an employer. This also contributes to generating a virtuous cycle aforementioned.

    Diversität am Arbeitsplatz - so funktioniert inklusives Recruiting

    Recruiting methods for more diversity

    Now that you are aware of the benefits of diversity in the workplace, let’s move on to the next big question: How can you build more diverse teams in your company? We have compiled some helpful tips for you:

    1. Analyse your recruiting process

    To detect potential weak spots in your recruiting process, the first step is to take a closer look and analyse all stages of the employee journey. Interview your talent acquisition teams and use your company’s data to identify any potential previous shortcomings. To avoid any distortions due to recruiting biases, conduct an employee survey about the recruiting process and address especially new employees – they, in particular, can contribute valuably to this analysis.

    Furthermore, employees from underrepresented socio-demographic groups should also be included in the process. They know best how diversity matters are handled in your company. In addition, it can be helpful to consult external experts on DEI practices.

    2. Diversity training for your human resources team

    Once you have identified room for improvement in your recruiting process, you should offer diversity training to your human resources team to narrow these gaps. Often, the unconscious biases in our attitudes influence our decisions – which also occurs in the selection of personnel.

    Diversity training is primarily about creating awareness of the existing biases in recruiting and designing a recruiting process focusing on diversity. The development of a diversity policy by internal HR experts is an important step towards a diverse and inclusive workplace.

    3. Inclusive job advertisements

    Diversity in recruiting starts with the job description. Often, job descriptions contain wording that particularly resonates with people with specific socio-demographic characteristics and experiences and tends to put other groups off.

    One currently popular example in job advertisements is the term “digital native”. Employers use this to find tech-savvy candidates that are comfortable with the new media. However, the term “digital native” only covers people younger than 30 in 2022 and automatically excludes older candidates who may have more experience in the field. Therefore, instead of exclusively addressing “digital natives” in job advertisements, it is better to look for “tech skills” or “experience in managing social media”.

    The same applies to words with masculine or feminine connotations. For example, if a job ad contains words like “competitive” or “dominant”, men are more likely to feel addressed than women. In contrast, the opposite is true for terms like “interpersonal” or “supportive”. The choice of words in job advertisements can therefore be decisive in determining whether people with certain socio-demographic characteristics apply for a job or not.

    Diversität am Arbeitsplatz - so funktioniert inklusives Recruiting

    4. Use different recruiting channels

    The more different channels your recruiting mix encompasses, the more diverse the candidates you will reach. Therefore, it is better to use various sources instead of recruiting potential candidates through a single channel. For example, complement your existing recruiting platform with job postings on social networks, visit career fairs or find talent through employee referrals. Employee referrals will help you spot contact points with your prospective employees through your employees’ networks – this way, you will widely expand your outreach to suitable applicants.

    5. Involve your employees in the recruiting process

    Referrals from your current employees can be a great way to fill open positions. Qualified employees often have an extensive network with other top talents from their specialist areas. They also know the requirements for jobs in your company best. This will help them recognize whether potential applicants fit the corporate culture and refer the most suitable candidates. Thus, employee referrals work as a sort of pre-selection of the candidates.

    To increase diversity in your company through referrals, it is crucial to instruct your employees about the precise candidates’ characteristics and requirements you are looking for. Once your employees are familiar with the candidates’ skillset and personal requirements, the following rule applies: the more diverse employees submit referrals, the more diverse the referrals themselves. You can find more information on this topic in our whitepaper on diversity and employee referrals.

    An employee referral program can take you a big step closer to your diversity goals. On top of that, a good digital employee referral program can facilitate the recruiting process through automation of its stages. Learn more about how to turn employee referrals into your most successful recruiting channel and promote diversity and inclusion in your company.

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