Fifty years ago, the term “diversity and inclusion in the workplace” didn’t hold much importance or value.
While the Civil Rights Act of 1964 granted certain protections in the workplace, change takes time. Now, over 86 percent of job seekers say that an employer’s diversity and inclusion in the workplace is important to them.
Employees want to work for companies that internally foster diversity and inclusion, while also including it in their employer brand. Promoting diversity is of great value to employers as well.
Emphasizing and fostering diversity helps employers attract more candidates during the recruitment process. It doesn’t hurt that studies show more diverse workplaces are usually more profitable.
More importantly, though, fostering a diverse workforce provides organizations with a wider pool of thoughts to promote innovation & forward-thinking. As Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai once said,
A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.
Now, the question is: how can employers actually work to grow diversity in their organization? Let’s take a look.
Understand the Breadth of the Term ‘Diversity’
Before you can start improving diversity and inclusions in the workplace, it’s important to understand just how wide an umbrella the term represents. Oftentimes, “diversity” is boiled down to a race issue — particularly down to a black and white one.
But that misses the point of “diversity”! A truly diverse workforce should seek to employ, represent, and support people of all:
- Races & Ethnicities
- Languages & Cultures
- Financial Statuses
- Sexual Orientations
- Genders & Gender Presentations
- Mental and Physical Abilities & Disabilities
- Backgrounds, schooling levels, experiences
As you can see, boiling down your idea of diversity into just race severely limits the type of diversity you can foster.
Consider how someone falling under multiple categories of minority groups would struggle or experience the world differently.
Identify Where You Need to Improve
While one organization’s issues could be centered around gender inclusivity and the wage gap, another could be dealing with racial or cultural diversity issues.
Where exactly are you faltering in terms of diversity and inclusion? Who are your employees, and what are their backgrounds? What does your recruiting data & data on your current employees show about your workforce?
You can pull salary data, employee demographic information, and other metrics to analyze just how diverse (or how you’re lacking in diversity) you are in key areas. Use that information to better understand exactly where you need to improve and foster minority groups.
Go to the Source
Don’t underestimate the power of your employees’ thoughts, either. They are the ones experiencing the day-to-day in your organization, and they’ll be the most reliable source of how they experience diversity & inclusion in your particular organization.
Take the time to interview or speak with a variety of employees to get their takes on what needs improvement and how they’d like to see that improvement move forward.
Start with the Job Listing
Now that you’ve worked to identify what needs improvement, start making the changes at the very start of the process with the job listing. The job listing you put out needs to accurately represent the position as well as your company.
Using gender-neutral language throughout is important for allowing anyone to imagine themselves in the position.
You should also include statements in the job description emphasizing your company’s dedication to hiring and fostering a diverse workforce, including some specific examples of what you do. Be sure to optimize your Google job postings for Google ranking signals as well as for inclusive language.
For more specific information on optimizing job listings for inclusion in the workplace, check out our article in our news section.
Expand Your Reach
A whopping 80 percent of jobs are never posted online. Instead, most positions are filled through referrals or through internal hires.
While there’s nothing inherently wrong with this method, think about how limited that reach is. Think about how those of certain social classes & backgrounds will often only have connections within those same groups, limiting your diverse options. There’s only so large a personal referral network can be.
Greatly widen your reach and the potential candidates by getting your job openings online, especially on Google for Jobs. Getting them on Google for Jobs is your best bet at getting the widest possible audience, seeing as 73 percent of all job seekers start their search there.
Not quite sure how to do that? Partner with an expert that does.
Allow Remote Work & Flexible Scheduling
Many people find it difficult to make the 9-5 life work whether that’s because of other jobs, family obligations, schooling, or even a mental or physical health issue.
Allowing your employees to work remotely, or to create a more flexible schedule, opens your doors to working parents, those with disabilities, and a wider range of people with different schedules, aptitudes, and backgrounds.
As more and more workplaces begin to hire remote workers, being the one that doesn’t could signal that you aren’t listening to the wants & needs of your employees and applicants.
Working parents are a huge demographic of workers who would benefit from remote work.
How else can you support employees with families? Learn in our post here.
Diversity Doesn’t End with Hiring
Many of the tips and steps we’ve gone over here have to do with recruitment and hiring a diverse workforce.
However, it doesn’t end with hiring. Far from it, fostering diversity is more about how you support and educate all of your employees once they join your team.
If you don’t fix the internal barriers, problems, and issues that make it harder for minorities to succeed in your organization, it makes hiring a diverse workforce relatively meaningless. This can also give the impression that you’re using diversity for appearances instead of actively caring for these employees.
You need to work to cultivate a work environment that makes diverse groups feel welcome, listened to, and valued.
To evaluate how you’re doing with inclusion post-hire, ask yourself some of the following questions:
- Are minority employees surrounded by any other people with similar backgrounds?
- Are there opportunities to help foster learning and growth for them within the company?
- Do materials reflect different backgrounds, accommodations, and situations?
- Are you educating your other employees on diversity & inclusion practices and topics?
- Do your benefits, policies, and values align with not only hiring but also supporting hires throughout their time at your company?
- Do employees in minority groups stay with your company for a long time, or do they quickly find a new position?
- Are employees in minority groups represented in your executive team?
- Have you asked your employees in minority groups how they feel and how you can do better?
Answer these questions to gauge what you need to do to create a safer, more welcoming, and more inclusive workplace — and how your employees want you to do it.
Dedicate Your Company to Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace are about more than “looking” good. It’s about being good for your employees, your customers, and yourselves.
We understand that keeping all of this in mind while taking care of recruitment marketing, SEO optimization for Google search jobs & listings, and creating an inclusive & accepting work environment is no easy task.
Let Jobiak make it a little bit easier for you. Our AI-powered recruitment technology automatically optimizes and structures your open jobs to get in front of the perfect pool of diverse and qualified candidates.
Contact us here to learn more.