Diversity in the workplace is a hot topic among employers. Organizations are not only rolling out diversity training to current employees, but also looking at the diversity of their employee population and hiring practices. Why is this important to you?  The Millenial generation is highly focused on diversity in the workplace and is the largest demographic in the US workforce today.  They are leaving universities where diversity was promoted and embraced and expecting the same from their employer.  According to a recent study, [email protected]: Perspectives on Diversity & Inclusion, forty-seven percent of Millenials actively look for diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

So what can you do to attract and retain top talent entering the workforce and seeking out opportunities where diversity is promoted?  First, diversity is more than a mix of employees from different backgrounds.  While this is clearly a component of diversity, diversity starts with welcoming differing opinions and perspectives and promoting open dialogue among employees.  This is the type of environment Millenials are looking for.  Once you, as an employer, set the diversity “tone” among your current population, that thought process will generally flow down to your hiring practices.  As an employer, you do want to be thoughtful about how you promote diversity in hiring.

Employers should start by ensuring their screening and hiring practices are focused on the job at hand.  Be thoughtful about your job posting.  Some language can be more female or male-based.  Words such as individual, force, analyze and independently tend to be viewed as more masculine, while words such as understand, support and collaborate are viewed as more feminine.  Being aware of the vocabulary used in your job posting can increase the number of diverse applicants. 

You want to eliminate any bias in your initial screening practices as well.  Some best practices employers are utilizing include removing information from resumes provided to a hiring manager that may divulge a candidate’s race, gender, age, and other characteristics completely unrelated to job performance.  Examples include removing the candidate’s name until he/she moves onto the interview phase, removing year of graduation, etc.  Being aware of how you hire can automatically promote diversity.

Promoting diversity in the workplace is not always easy.  It is more than requiring new hires and current employees to watch a diversity training video.  While diversity education is important, diversity is also about building a neutral screening and hiring program.  It is about being aware of the language you use in job postings and how you can eliminate information that may lead to bias when giving hiring managers resumes to review.  It is about having a company culture of open dialogue and welcoming different perspectives.  Lastly, it is about being aware and thoughtful about how you recruit and focusing on what really matters; how qualified is the candidate to perform the job at hand.  

If you are looking at ways to promote diversity in your workplace, ICON can help.  We have expertise in recruiting, screening and hiring candidates and can promote diversity in your workplace through your contingent labor workforce.  Please call us at 1-877-374-3216 for more information.

Stay tuned for our next update!  We are here to help you stay abreast of industry best practices and changes and will continue to provide key information to assist you with running a successful business.

Written By: Karen House