The intent of diversity and inclusion initiatives in hiring practices is clear: to create increasingly diverse organizational communities with members more representative of the general population. The benefits of a diverse workforce are also straight forward and can be linked to improved recruitment results, increased performance, and a more engaged workforce.
Let’s consider the contribution of thought diversity, “Diversity 2.0,” and take a look at the opportunities to further improve these benefits by moving beyond the reportable metrics of gender, race, and sexual orientation. Consider a scenario in which multiple candidates of varied gender, race, and sexual orientation are interested in joining an organization. Certainly the demographic variety has the opportunity to improve the workforce blend, yet can it assure an increase in the diversity of thought to the organization?
The answer is not necessarily. Candidates will vary in terms of demographics however it can be the case that they represent very similar socio-economic and educational perspectives. In other words, the diversity of thought quotient will generally be minimized between two candidates that despite being of different ethnicity or gender bring comparable backgrounds including the same types of communities, organizations, and educational institutions.
This is an important distinction to make when moving along the spectrum of thought contribution to the organization. It is a distinction that will drive recruitment, engagement and retention policies and practices and must be considered carefully. During the recruitment stage, it is critical to understand the perspectives of each candidate and his/her potential contribution and overlay that with the areas within the organization that are in need of this type of internal evolution. In turn, the sourcing functions of the organization including human resources and any external partners being leveraged for talent management must have a clear understanding of the current climate of the organization in order to tie that to successful recruitment of new members of the organization.
Once there has been entry into the organization, a professional development plan that welcomes new members must create an environment in which innovation and unique perspective is encouraged and valued across all levels of the organization. To fail to do this will mean a loss of diversity of thought within the organization when members of the organizational community are unable to identify pathways to contribute and explore concepts new to their leadership and colleagues.
HireTalent is an expert in orchestrating the entry of Diversity 2.0: diversity of thought into the organization. Over the last twenty years, we have established a strong network of diverse candidates across industry and fill forty percent of our searches with diversity candidates. Our search specialists are in tune with both the employment and fit issues of our clients and have successfully placed hundreds of candidates into roles that are able to quickly contribute to the organization in innovative and meaningful ways.