Diversity Hiring – A Deeper Definition

Diversity hiring is as important in today’s job market, as it has ever been.  However, it may also be as difficult as it has ever been.  Depending on the size of your company, you may have hiring metrics in place for things such as gender, ethnicity, military, and disability hires.  What you may not realize is that the diversity metrics of today include a much deeper definition of diversity than in the past.  Here are some additional ways to add diversity to your talent pool: 

 

  1. Educational Background:  Do all your software engineers come from the same set of colleges, with the same advanced degree?  Having employees with a variety of educational experience can add depth to your team while encouraging new ideas and solutions.  How?  Consider hiring from a local college or university, even if they are not top tier or ivy league programs.  Take a holistic view of a candidate resume beyond a specific degree and consider their interests and volunteer efforts.  Your goal is to bring new voices to team conversations that have a variety of ideas and experiences.

 2. World View:  For some recruiters, seeing a gap of employment on a resume may disqualify a candidate…but for some jobs, could it be beneficial?  Consider time taken to travel, volunteer or raise children to bring a new worldview to your team.  Possibly a candidate took a one year break in between graduation and beginning an MBA program?  Could this travel experience enhance their ability to do this job?  Perhaps they learned a language or worked with an international company.  Hiring candidates with a less-than-traditional career path may be a great way to balance the voices on your team.

3. Job Sharing:  Consider offering your new employees an option to ‘job-share,” which is a way for 2 or more part-time individuals to share the responsibility of one full-time position. This is a way to broaden your talent pool to include experienced individuals who are no longer interested or available for full-time employment.  If possible, hire individuals with 5+ years of job-related experience for a job share to ensure that they have a strong foundation of work experience and the ability to manage the workload with minimal supervision.

4. Remote vs. Onsite Employees:  One way to add variety to your team is to hire a few remote employees, meaning they work from home or offsite.  By adding remote employees, you can attract talent from a broader pool of candidates that come from different cultures, various geographical locations, and backgrounds.  Managing remote employees can be more challenging; but by utilizing communication channels like Slack (instant messaging) and Google Hangout (video calling), it is easy to keep remote employees highly engaged and productive.

 

Think beyond gender and ethnicity metrics when looking to diversify your talent pool.  By doing so, you are adding depth to the knowledge base, experience, and abilities of your team.