Hiring and retaining diverse employees remains, even in this day and age, a challenge for many organizations. And finding great positions can be quite the task for job seekers as well. It is crucial for businesses to embrace diversity and tap into a workforce that is skilled, productive, creative and that can bring new ideas to the table.
It is no secret that the landscape has changed over the last few decades, and it continues to evolve — all for the better. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more and more foreign born citizens are finding jobs and the trend seems to be going in the right direction. The unemployment rate for the foreign born in the United States was 6.9 percent in 2013, down from 8.1 percent in 2012.
Why Exactly Does Hiring A Culturally Diverse Workforce Matter?
Hiring a diverse workforce comprised of people from different racial, social and educational backgrounds has been proven to encourage creativity, increase productivity and foster innovation.
Not only is hiring minority employees a good thing for most organization on so many levels, a business that employs a diverse range of workers is definitely better suited to understand the needs of a wider range of customers and position themselves in communities they might not have had access to before. Companies looking to expand internationally will also greatly benefit from language diversity within their organization.
Providing A Positive Working Environment
In order to provide a positive and nurturing work environment, senior management needs to understand and embrace cultural diversity in the workplace. It’s not just about recruiting and hiring diverse employees. It is essential to truly value multiculturalism and diversity; make it part of the company culture. Otherwise, all a company will achieve is representational diversity.
How Do You Build A Culturally Diverse Team?
There are a few things that leading companies do to attract (and retain) a diverse workforce, which in turn helps them attract highly qualified diverse candidates.
Recruiting a diverse workforce is not the responsibility of only one person within an organization. It should be a common goal and a commitment that the whole organization makes. It should be part of the company culture. Communicating your commitment to diversity can be done in many ways, from using more diverse groups of people in advertisements, clearly and effectively communicating your commitment to current employees as well as potential candidates throughout the recruiting process.
Making a commitment to anti-discriminatory practices will also go a long way to retain diverse employees.
Elizabeth K. McArthur, President of Diversity At Work Ltd. wrote the following in her article “Managing Diversity for Success“:
“Businesses that fail to successfully manage diversity will suffer economic and social consequences.”
Building a diverse team is not rocket science, but it does require time and effort to achieve. Any organization can (and should) work to create a favorable working environment that recognizes the high value of culturally and socially diverse employees.