For organizations that strive to reflect their customers and communities, being intentional about hiring diverse talent is the easy part.
The mistake I’ve seen well-intentioned companies make is hiring for differences, and then subtly pressing for assimilation until those differences disappear.
Sameness is a Problem
Diversity is more than race and ethnicity. We hire people to bring their unique perspectives and their best selves to work, and that includes varied religious and political beliefs, education, socioeconomic backgrounds, sexual orientation, talents and skills.
But are your processes, culture and systems set up to support sameness rather than these differences?
If you hire for differences but reward sameness, all the time and money spent to recruit diverse talent will be for little gain — and actually might hurt recruiting efforts down the line. Senior leaders who support diversity recruiting efforts will start to question the investment because they don’t see the contributions or the results.
Uphold Your End of the Promise
If your culture is more comfortable with majority rules, diverse talent will do one of two things:
- Stop contributing ideas because the norm is what’s recognized
- Leave the team or the company
There’s no debate that diverse candidates seek companies with a diverse workforce. Research from Glassdoor shows that 67% of candidates view a diverse workforce as an important factor when considering companies and job offers — 89% of black respondents, 80% of Asians, and 70% of Latinos said it was important to them.
Once diverse talent joins your organization, are you asking them to leave their difference at the door?