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{% set headerFontFamily = "Open Sans" %} /* This affects only headers on the site. Add the font family you wish to use. You may need to import it above. */

{% set textColor = "#565656" %} /* This sets the universal color of dark text on the site */

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{% set headerType = "fixed" %} /* To make this a fixed header, change the value to "fixed" - otherwise, set it to "static" */

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{% set baseFontWeight = "normal" %} /* More than likely, you will use one of these values (higher = bolder): 300, 400, 700, 900 */

{% set headerFontWeight = "normal" %} /* For Headers; More than likely, you will use one of these values (higher = bolder): 300, 400, 700, 900 */

{% set buttonRadius = '10px' %} /* "0" for square edges, "10px" for rounded edges, "40px" for pill shape; This will change all buttons */

After you have updated your stylesheet, make sure you turn this module off

by Jen Leigh on August 8, 2018

Diversity in the Workplace Why it's Important and How to Make it Happen


Diversity in the workplace is a hot topic, but it's not a new one. In fact, the concept of diversity has come full circle to the point where it's now almost taken for granted in the HR community, baked in, as it were, to the hiring process. Could you use a refresher on why, beyond the feel-good aspect, a diverse workforce makes so much sense for your company?

  • Research from Glassdoor indicates that more than 67 percent of job seekers look for diversity when they're evaluating companies and job offers. When it comes to millennials, the largest generation in the workforce today, that number rises to 84 percent according to another survey from the online recruiting platform.

  • Employees also care about your intentionality in prioritizing diversity. Studies show that 57 percent say they want their company to work harder toward creating a more diverse workplace. Demonstrate your commitment in this area and you'll reap rewards in the area of retention.

  • Diverse teams are better at problem-solving, according to research from the Harvard Business Review. Homogeneous cultures encourage "fitting in" and groupthink, while diversity encourages innovation.

  • Perhaps most intriguing, a Bersin by Deloitte survey shows that diverse companies have two times the cash flow per employee over a three-year period.

So now you've recaptured your enthusiasm for diversity. Much like getting to the gym after making an earnest New Year's resolution, the best of intentions and well-laid plans can sometimes result in a whole lot of nothing, regardless of how many meetings you have. Here's how you can get the wheels moving for real on a diversity plan that shows results.

  1. Update your recruiting processes. Building a diverse workforce is easier when you do it early and when you rework your routines from the ground up. Two action steps to implement: Consider how you network for candidates, forging relationships with underrepresented groups so that you'll have candidates from those pools whom you can encourage to apply for positions; and move your performance testing to the front of the screening process rather than the back, so that you can identify high performers - without selection bias - right at the beginning of your search.

  2. Get buy-in from the hiring manager. The hiring manager may well be the crux of the diversity effort, so ensure that he or she is completely read in on the plan and invested in its success. Additionally, diversity can mean different things to different people, so make sure that everyone on the team is clear about your company's specific goals for a diverse workplace. This doesn't mean quotas, but rather what the company's vision is for its workforce five years down the road, 10 years down the road, and the like.

  3. Write your job postings toward diverse candidates. Now that you're ready to put your job listing out there, make sure that your post doesn't self-select for applicants from a particular demographic. Even the language you use can encourage - or discourage - applicants of a particular gender or educational background, for example, to apply. When writing inclusive job postings, strive for neutral language that's as inclusive as the candidates you're seeking. (Questions? There's an app for that - or at least a plugin.)

  4. Use recruitment methods that attract a more diverse candidate pool. Are there different ways you can recruit - perhaps one of the popular quiz, neuroscience, or AI job screening tools that function without demographics attached would work for the role you're seeking to fill? Don't just show up once a year on career day at your local schools, but partner with them to get the word out. Advertise in diverse media.

  5. Enhance your interview process. Turn the telescope around and have a look at your interview process from your prospects' perspectives. As noted earlier, it's important for them to see themselves mirrored in your team when possible. Additionally, be cognizant of implicit bias. A male interviewer telling a female candidate "I like your outfit," for example, may come off to the prospect as minimizing.

  6. Feature a diverse team of interviewers. A sense of belonging is critically important to prospects when they are choosing between different positions, and an interviewer who mirrors their own experience allows them to envision themselves at the company. For example, experts say that the likelihood of a woman joining a company increases markedly when she can interact with women who are already there, while one of the key deciding factors in whether or not a female recruit accepts a position is if a woman was part of the team interviewing her.

  7. Train interviewers to spot biases against diversity in their process. Do you pull for a particular basketball team during March Madness? Would you happily greet a prospect who attended that college or university as a fellow fan? If so, you're biased - as are most people. Understand that biases are part of the normal human condition, but must be mitigated against in order to provide a "clean" interview experience. The first step to eradicating bias is admitting it's there, so have interviewers do a thorough and honest evaluation of their preferences and eliminate personal bias.

  8. Provide benefits that attract diversity. Let your creativity shine in developing a benefits package that clearly illustrates your company's support of diversity. Explore offerings like flexible work options that can accommodate individuals with disabilities or family caregivers who want to work but must do so remotely; mentorship programs that connect new employees from underrepresented populations with more experienced workers from the same demographic; partnerships with external networks to grow your employees' strength and sense of belonging in their own professional culture; and optional diversity training. There are also demographic-specific benefits you can offer, such as child care services or benefits, nursing rooms, fertility treatments, and egg banking for women, for example.

As Shelley Zalis of The Female Quotient advises with respect to workplace diversity, the best strategy when rolling out your plan is simply to "get comfortable with being uncomfortable." It may feel unfamiliar at first - growth of any kind usually does - but this is one plan that's definitely going places.

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Jen Leigh

Jen Leigh is a Senior Product Specialist with Inflection HR's Cloud Based HR and Workforce Management Solutions. Connect with Jenni and the rest of the Inflection HR Team on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, or Google +.