Recruiting for business success

Diversity is more than a checkbox for your human resources department. Having variety amongst a team can bring different points of view to the table and allow your department to excel even further.

For example, if you're in a customer focused role, internally or externally, having different backgrounds to pull from enables you fill in potential gaps, allowing your department to better understand and meet the needs of the people you're serving.

So, how do you begin to create that high-performing team? It all starts with hiring for diversity.

"Most people are unconsciously wired to hire based on skills needed to do the job effectively," shared Rachael Flores, a recruiting professional from the New York City metro area. "When you have an opening, that's the perfect opportunity to see how you can broaden the experiential knowledge on your team – not just fill a missing skill."  

Here are two tips Rachael shares to help you recruit diverse talent:

  1. Practice effective searching techniques.
    • From the start, ensure that the job description is less prescriptive and more inclusive of capabilities that may allow a person to excel in the role. Don't limit the description to required skills.

    • For junior roles that you're looking to fill, tap into student groups within college and universities, such as "Women in Technology." And, target colleges or universities that are historically unique, not only your top Ivy League schools.

    • For more senior roles, review resumes for work experiences that are diverse. Different industries, geographies and even company cultures may bring innovative ideas that can help lead to business success for your team and the company.

  2. Interview a slate of candidates who aren't like you, or that high-potential team member that you value.
    • When interviewing, focus on what the candidate may be capable of doing versus the skills the person may already have to meet your needs. What a person is capable of doing may actually be better than a candidate with the relevant experience – and it allows you to bring fresh thinking into the mix.

    • Finding candidates is a shared partnership between you, as a hiring manager, and your recruiter. If you're not seeing differences amongst your candidates, encourage your recruiter to go back to the drawing board to bring in a more diverse slate.


"After you get the right team in place, keeping them is equally important," concludes Rachael. "Finding a mentor for the candidate, providing them the tools and training they need to succeed, and connecting them to employee resource groups will help ensure they are engaged and simulated into the culture. And, when they do a good job, make sure promotion is top of mind. Retaining a highly productive team is equally as important as putting it together. Don't lose sight of retention when you have that great team in place. "

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