When building a diverse team, a company needs to consider candidates' gender, race, sex, ethnic backgrounds and more. Diversity includes characteristics individuals are born with and traits gained from their experiences and background. A diverse team contains people who represent different ways of thinking, differing abilities and unique backgrounds.
If you want to build a diverse team, you must intentionally seek to understand all aspects of diversity and learn how to honor and support it in the workplace.
What Is Workplace Diversity?
Workplace diversity defines the varying characteristics of employees within a company. These characteristics include gender, sex, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation and more. A company achieves workplace diversity by employing individuals who have a wide variety of experiences and characteristics.
Companies used to consider workplace diversity an extra feature they could use to demonstrate their dedication to more progressive values. Today, workplace diversity is a necessity rather than an option. Companies need a diverse staff to succeed in our globally connected society and market. That diversity is essential for companies to create, market and sell their products to a broad and diverse audience. In addition, diversity increases creativity and productivity within a workplace.
How to Build a Diverse Team
Like any vital process, building diverse teams can feel challenging at first. Diversity, inclusion and safety are the three pillars that form the base of your best possible team. To start building a diverse workforce in your company, you can implement the following strategies:
1. Redefine Your Hiring Process
The hiring process is the first step to building a diverse team within your company.
Evaluate your recruiting, interviewing and onboarding processes to identify diversity roadblocks and ensure you can avoid them. For example, when companies primarily rely on referrals to find new candidates, they're likely to continually hire multiple people from the same backgrounds. If you want to increase your staff's diversity, you will need to make a deliberate effort to change your processes.
Employers can search for diversified candidates by networking and forming relationships with professional organizations that include underrepresented talent. That talent can include underrepresented groups such as women, racial minorities and the LGBTQ+ community. Companies can connect with a broader range of candidates and discover underrepresented talent by networking with diversified professional groups.
Companies can also improve the hiring process by implementing diversity metrics to increase the percentage of new employees who come from underrepresented groups. Employers should evaluate their job descriptions to ensure they are free of any biases or deterrents. Certain phrases can prevent individuals from some groups from applying. If you're interested in hiring people from different backgrounds, it can be helpful to hire a diversity consultant to review the job descriptions before you post them.
Your company can be intentional about diversity during the interview process by involving current staff members. When you interview a new candidate for a position, include team members of various genders, sexual orientations, ethnic backgrounds and other characteristics to ensure the interview process is balanced.
2. Encourage Inclusivity
Workplace diversity can only thrive in an inclusive workplace. Inclusivity lets employees know they are welcome and belong in the workplace, preventing employees from feeling alienated. Companies must create equal-opportunity and anti-discrimination policies to communicate to their teams they will not tolerate any form of discrimination. Companies can also encourage inclusivity by holding regular inclusion and diversity seminars to help employees learn how to support each other's differences.
Another way companies can encourage inclusivity is to incorporate it into their overall values, vision, goals and mission. For example, a company can reflect its commitment to diversity through a goal to connect with and support clients of diverse backgrounds. Employers can also cultivate inclusivity by celebrating important occasions for groups that usually go unrecognized. These occasions can include Mental Health Awareness Week, International Women's Day, Blackout Tuesday, Pride Month and other celebrations.
3. Provide a Safe Place
Employers cannot monitor employees at all times, so they must provide a safe space for employees to report any instances of prejudice or discrimination. Ensuring open lines of communication allows employees to feel supported and heard and enables employers to take action when discrimination occurs. Management failing to act on a report can damage an employee's trust in a company's leadership. Employers must be prepared to respond quickly to any reports of discrimination.
4. Consider All Facets of Diversity
Diversity includes more characteristics than just race, gender and ethnicity. Inherent diversity includes characteristics an individual is born with, and acquired diversity includes ways of thinking that individuals gain from their experiences. Diversity is comprised of a wide range of factors that include the following:
- Sexual orientation
- Political beliefs
- Physical disabilities and abilities
- Socioeconomic background
- Military service
- Geographical orientation
It's essential to address all aspects of inclusion and diversity in the workplace to help prevent conflicts. Though people initially find themselves drawn to others with similar backgrounds, a greater range of associations is one of the benefits of a diverse workforce. By addressing all facets of diversity, employers can help teams collaborate effectively and avoid excluding any individuals from office tasks and activities.
Building Diverse Teams From Military-Connected Individuals Across the Globe
Instant Teams' remote team marketplace helps companies incorporate diversity into their hiring process by connecting them with untapped remote talent. Our goal is to create diverse teams from military-connected individuals worldwide. We make the hiring process easier for companies by providing a pipeline of talent they can trust and rely on. We help companies build remote teams fast with curated, ready-to-work pipelines to match their requirements with skilled candidates. Instant Teams can help your company build a team in as little as seven days.
Instant Teams' job marketplace software pre-vets candidates and matches them with companies based on work style, skills, availability, preferred management style and preferred work environment. Since Instant Teams is founded, owned and run by women, we understand the need for more diversity and inclusion in the workforce. Our mission is to connect our remote team marketplace of untapped talent with remote work opportunities. Because of this, we naturally attract talented and diverse candidates with a variety of backgrounds and experiences.
Learn More About Instant Teams
Building a diverse team is important for all companies. Contact Instant Teams to learn more about how we can help you build a diverse team and connect with an untapped community of military-connected talent.