A More Wholesome View on Hiring for Diversity

wholesome diversity

I recently read an article that defined diversity hiring this way: Hiring based on merit with special care taken to ensure procedures reduce biases related to a candidate’s age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and other personal characteristics that are unrelated to their job performance.  

The definition made me pause – not because I disagree with it, but because it highlighted all the things that can get in the way of hiring great talent. Demographics and procedural steps for hiring diverse candidates are essential, but there is so much more to diversity hiring than subscribing to a set of human resources protocols.  

It’s an intentional action strategy  

Great talent comes in different shades, ages, genders, religions, and sexual orientations and brings a variety of thoughts, ideas, and initiatives to bear. Organizations that succeed with a diverse workforce see their bottom lines increase because they:  

  • Recognize the value of diversity – and diverse teams.
  • Hire candidates with the right expertise for specific roles and who are a cultural fit.
  • Leverage a variety of talent into higher performance, innovation, and dollars. 

That’s what I mean by a more ‘whole’some view on hiring for diversity. 

Who’s missing out on great talent and strategic growth?  

Unfortunately, there are still many organizations with their heads in the sand on talent acquisition, wanting to continue a legacy of hiring a prototype, an original model on which something is patterned, even though, in most cases, the model is outdated. Companies continue to look for the same ‘type’ of job seeker even when that type no longer exists.  

These recruitment processes and hiring practices limit the size and quality of the available talent pool, create unnecessary challenges in finding top talent in a timely manner, and dull the competitive edge.  

Is it intentional? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Old habits die hard. Either way, what is the answer?  

Get out of your comfort zone  

My tip to employers and hiring managers is this: Get out of your comfort zone! Stop looking for resumes and potential candidates with the same attributes, backgrounds, or even experience in some instances, and take a chance on other potential talent. Leverage their experiences, exposure, and education in roles that you traditionally wouldn’t.  

Open your mind to the possibilities that arise within a diverse workforce. I can’t think of any company that doesn’t need qualified candidates and team members who contribute to broader perspectives, prolific creativity, more informed decision making, higher profits – and in today’s climate, a welcoming culture that attracts top talent and increases retention.  

If you need help taking action on your organization’s diversity hiring plan, we can help. Goodwin Recruiting has diversity initiatives in place for everything from unconscious bias to creating hiring processes and recruitment strategies to find candidates of different backgrounds and perspectives for our clients.