Workplace diversity should be a major goal for every company. A diverse workplace employs people from all walks of life, but hiring people with diverse backgrounds isn’t just about race, ethnicity or gender. Robyn Flint from US Insurance Agents says it best:

“[Workplace Diversity] means going deeper than just ethnic and cultural beliefs, but means professional diversity as well. People with diverse backgrounds and experiences bring different perspectives and ideas for business. Having a team of diverse individuals with different strengths and abilities makes a more well-rounded team.”

Obviously companies want to hire candidates with an educational background related to the position, but it doesn’t hurt to consider applicants with other diverse majors. Consider this: not all educational backgrounds are equal. Most educational institutions do not have the appropriate resources to update their students on the actual software and technologies that they would be working with in their respective fields.

For example, although a company may want someone with a business degree for their financial role opening, they should be aware that some graduates may not fully understand how to use Microsoft Office and all of its applications. Keeping an open mind about what background candidates have not only makes you a more diverse company but could also help you hire more effectively. Here are some reasons why:

Increased Productivity and Creativity

Diverse startup team celebrating outdoors
Diverse startup team celebrating outdoors

Diversity brings in different talents together, all of them working towards a common goal using different sets of skills. This is beneficial because companies can gain valuable skills and knowledge from each employee based on their experiences and unique perspectives. Thus, they are able to bring fresh ideas to the project by thinking out of their comfort zone.

Diversity increases creativity among teams, and gives companies the ability to have a more wider set of solutions to specific problems. With so many different minds working together, many more solutions will arise as every individual brings in their personal way of thinking, operating and solving problems (as well as decision making). Companies that encourage diversity in the workplace inspire all of their employees to perform to their highest ability.

Improved Employee Engagement

It’s important for a company to understand that the modern employee is concerned with more than just the monetary gains that having a career can lend. They want to know that the work they are doing matters and the company they are a part of cares about creating a diverse and inclusive environment. The new age employee wants to make a difference, and this ideal extends to how they would like their work environment to be. This includes being part of a diverse, and inclusive work environment.

Reduced Employee Turnover

Diverse startup team eating lunch together in restaurant
Diverse startup team eating lunch together in restaurant

A company that embraces cultural diversity in the workplace would immediately entice a wider pool of candidates for its job vacancies. Higher-educated candidates who experienced diversity while in school may feel that a diverse company is more progressive and therefore will want to work there.

Companies with a more diverse workforce and reputation of good team culture generally will appeal to a larger pool of candidates. This shows the organization cares for their employees, thus reducing turnover.

When companies recruit from a diverse set of potential employees, they are more likely to hire the finest of the industry. In this constantly increasing competitive economy, where skills and talents are crucial to improving the organization. Teams must put together the most diverse set of candidates, while keeping their most important pieces together, to succeed in the market.

Improves Cultural Insights

Cultural diversity means that a group contains people of different races, religions, ages, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, socioeconomic statuses, nationalities, and more.

Diversity benefits the workplace because people from various backgrounds have different perspectives. Their contribution to the business allows the group to look at problems from all angles. The results are often innovative, help solve problems and meet customer needs in new and exciting ways.

For diversity to bring strength, it should be valued in the corporate philosophy. More important, it must be integrated into company practices. It takes time and commitment to celebrate diversity. Workers must be open-minded and non-judgmental in order to truly understand how cultural diversity can impact the workplace and make it better.

In Summary

Overall, companies should strive to create a workplace environment where all people are treated as equals regardless of their differences, be it their race, gender, or educational background. By encouraging a variety of views and backgrounds at your company, you can help foster a community based on mutual respect of others. No matter who your employees are, your company’s ultimate goal should be to foster a culture of respect and inclusion by acknowledging an individual’s right to his or her own opinion while also ensuring that all views that are expressed are respectful of all people.

Do you have any further thoughts on diversity hiring? Let us know down in the comments.

This article originally published on GREY Journal.