A viral video clip features two little boys of different ethnicities running towards each other and hug. Watching this joyful act brings a smile to our faces. Click here to see the clip.
We can all appreciate the sweet friendship these boys have. However, when we make hiring decisions, we often go with people who look and think like we do and forget the rich experience of being inclusive. We default to what is easy or comfortable and neglect to realize the cost of not considering all qualified candidates. Whether candidates need accommodation, or lack some of the ideal experience or skills, they can still contribute in meaningful ways.
In fact, studies have shown that teams that are diverse ethnically, economically, or in age or gender, are actually more productive and profitable. Furthermore, they generate more innovative ideas and approaches to issues and challenges. The value of these teams is hard to quantify, but bringing different voices to the table will generate momentum and excellence in our work.
Accomplishing diversity requires us to intentionally seek out diverse candidates, valuing what they will add just as much as other skills or experience. Consider where you can find candidates other than those you traditionally reach. You might utilize centers of influence within your community as a way to connect with diverse candidates. Civic organizations also often have great networks that can assist in casting a broader reach when hiring.
Let’s create a vision that seeks out diversity to ensure our teams are growing and able to excel. Move beyond your comfort zone and seek those who will stretch your perspective and help create a powerful and creative team. We can learn so much from each other – don’t miss out!