Narrowly defined, diversity means having a variety of types of people in a group. If only it were so simple. Businesses are increasingly attempting to hire in ways that broaden the talent pool in a workplace in order to have diversified perceptions and thinking. When more broadly defined, diversity reveals the challenges of achieving this goal and even discussing it. In a two-year-old study of corporate managers, diversity in hospitality and other verticals of the workforce meant one of three things to the different groups – demographic diversity, experiential diversity, and cognitive diversity. And, all three shape our identities. One problem with discussing diversity in hospitality or within the workplace is that not all employees believe in it, and others have their own biases about how to best shape the work landscape. At the very least, it is essential to acknowledge that this is a difficult topic. But just because it is thought-provoking and not everyone may agree, there are important reasons to hire a diverse workforce.
Diversify your hospitality talent pool.
Hiring a diverse hospitality talent pool (made up of employees with different cultures, ages, levels of education, physical abilities, religions, and socio-economic backgrounds, to name some) results in having a larger group of candidates to choose from. It is assumed that all businesses want to hire the best-qualified candidates to do the job, and if the businesses narrow their search to the same places they always look for candidates, they run a genuine risk of passing on great employees.
The other reason it is beneficial to hire a diverse hospitality talent pool is that people with different backgrounds are often able to come up with new solutions, as they perceive the world differently than the status quo. Building a diverse workforce allows for more creativity and innovation because people of different backgrounds see things with a new perspective.
Furthermore, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology study revealed that more diverse teams resulted in higher revenues than non-diverse ones and a competitive advantage for businesses while improving retention. However, a challenge to creating this environment is that employees can have negative cultural stereotypes about colleagues, and language issues can complicate getting the message across from the organization, as well as between co-workers.
So, how does one go about creating diversity in hospitality?
- Consider introducing diversity training for all employees, so everyone understands that diversity means more than just race and gender. This will result in an environment of respect in the workplace towards all colleagues and customers.
- Talk and teach about unconscious bias in the workplace so that employees recognize their own, but also, so they get eliminated in the work setting.
- Write a company statement about your company’s beliefs about diversity, and let everyone know about it. This allows for pride within your existing workforce, and also reveals your welcoming stand to potential employees.
- Standardize job interviews to focus on asking all candidates the same questions and scoring them to rank their skills, experience, and attributes. This way, you take out the bias and hire for aptitude.
- Create a committee within the workplace and critically assess your website and printed collateral, including your onboarding, employee handbook, and anything that both employees and customers see.
- Acknowledge that this is a process that takes time, commitment, and persistence, as not everyone will buy in immediately.
Goodwin Recruiting is Dedicated to Diversity and Inclusion
You can also use a recruiting company that is going through their own process to create a more welcoming culture for its partners and candidates, and who has committed to helping clients understand the benefits of having a diverse workforce and locate that workforce through new talent pools. Goodwin Recruiting has been on the cutting edge of recruiting for over 20 years and was recently named one of America’s Best Recruiting Firms by Forbes. Goodwin is committed to presenting all qualified candidates, standing true to the company’s core value of being Dedicated to Diversity and Inclusion.