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Improving Workplace Diversity: Why Recruiters Fail


Focusing on workplace diversity is a good thing. It’s a goal that every business should have and one on which many recruiters are encouraged to focus. Unfortunately, recruiters tend to fail at this goal more often than not. They may go into the process with great intentions, but they end up hiring the same types of people that they have always hired. They might end up with a few recruits that fit the bill, but in time they find that there’s been no real change to the company. Recruiters fail at promoting diversity not because they aren’t trying hard enough, but rather because there are often fundamental flaws with their approaches.

Common roadblocks for improving workplace diversity

No matter the intentions, there are often some common roadblocks that crop up when a business tries to improve workplace diversity. In many cases, these roadblocks have a lot less to do with how the recruiters feel than the way that they do their jobs. Figuring out how to avoid these roadblocks often means taking a step back and looking at everything you are doing to bring new people into the workplace and putting yourself in the shoes of a new potential hire. These roadblocks can absolutely be moved, but doing so will require first admitting that they are in place.

workplace diversity

Outdated job descriptions

If you are looking to promote workplace diversity, you’ll often start by trying to hire new people. Unfortunately, the language used in many job descriptions tends to be biased against certain people. Much of the language used in an average sales position, for example, might be specifically coded towards attracting men through the use of masculine language. In other cases, the word choices might discount the experiences or cultural values of different ethnic groups. Making sure that you take a few moments to consider whether the language in your ad is inclusive enough is a good way to bring in more people from diverse backgrounds and who still have the skills you require.

Inflexible business culture

Great company culture can help to make a business stand out. Unfortunately, though, inflexible company culture will do the same but for the wrong reasons. Bringing in new people is good, but refusing to adapt your existing culture to ensure that these new people can function really negates any ground that you might have gained. It’s perhaps most useful to look at what you really gain from bringing in employees if you are unwilling to change the way that your company works due to their presence. If all you’re willing to do is bring in people to be window dressing, you shouldn’t be surprised when you fail to get the results that you were expecting.

workplace diversity

Not educating managers

Most of the real pushes to increase diversity in major businesses comes from the C-level. While it’s always great to see major changes being called for from the top, the truth is that it’s those who are working closer to the ground level who actually have most of the impact on the company’s day-to-day operations. If your business isn’t educating managers on your diversity goals, those goals are not going to be met. Managers need to be trained on how to hire and retain more diverse employees, including lessons on why increased diversity is actually good for the business. It will be your managers who will most often be on the front lines of your campaign to increase the inclusiveness of your workplace, so make sure that they have the tools they need to succeed.

Not having a diversity policy

It’s absolutely vital that your workplace has some kind of diversity policy in place. While it’s lovely to make statements about how you want your business to be diverse, that’s never going to happen if you aren’t willing to put your goals down on paper. In some cases, having a diversity policy will help you to better guide your hiring managers and ensure that the rules you have created will be followed. In other cases, the presence of this policy will help to bring in more diverse hires and help to make your current employees feel like they have a place in your business. If you are not willing to invest the time to make a solid diversity policy, you simply cannot expect to see your goals achieved in any lasting manner.

Language and communication barriers

Language is one of those barriers that feels harder to breach than it might be in reality. In truth, it’s expected that any business that really has diversity goals will make an attempt to embrace employees who speak more than one language. If it’s at all possible for your business, make sure to have materials available in languages that actually represent the demographics of your area. It’s also a good idea to have someone available who will be able to interact with your customers in multiple languages. Don’t forget that verbal language isn’t the only important thing here – investing in sign language interpreters can also be a good way to boost inclusivity. The more work that you put in to make sure that your message gets to the right people, the more luck you’ll have when trying to create a more diverse workplace.

workplace diversity

Getting help to create the workforce you need

You don’t have to tackle all the issues of creating a diverse workplace on your own. In fact, getting professional help can be the best way to ensure that you are meeting your own expectations. Here at PayTech, we can help you with many different work-related issues, ranging from payroll processing to your hiring process. Letting the professionals guide you through something as tricky as changing your workforce is a great way to leverage the skills of others while you still guide your company to its goals. When you’re ready to make a change, make sure to visit us, and check out the various pricing options that are available.