How to build a diverse team

Learn how a diverse team can make your business a success.

Laptop open on desk with team members on a Zoom call.

Hiring a diverse team can be the difference between long-term success and falling short in key areas. Not only is diversity a positive social development, but it can also have a measurable impact on your bottom line. According to ClearCompany, companies that employ an equal number of men and women produce up to 41% higher revenue. This leaves many leaders wondering how they can build a diverse team of their own.

Why diversity is important

There’s no shortage of reasons why diversity is important in the workplace. Here are a few of the most basic ways your organization stands to benefit: 

  • Increased productivity: Diversifying your team can boost productivity, which improves the likelihood of your team reaching its goals. Also, diversity will increase employee morale, leading to more efficient and effective work. 
  • Greater creativity: Like-minded individuals typically generate similar ideas and take the same approach to problem-solving. This can kill creativity. A diverse workforce is more likely to exchange unique perspectives and ideas. 
  • Reduced turnover: You want employees to feel valued, respected, and accepted. These positive experiences make workers more likely to stay, which saves your company the costs of finding, hiring, and training new talent. 

These are are just some of the many benefits of hiring a diverse team, but they provide a starting perspective on why it’s so important.  

Building diversity into your hiring pipeline 

Building a diverse team won’t happen by accident. It takes a targeted and dedicated approach that starts with your hiring pipeline. Here are three simple steps to get started:

  • Grow your network: Establish relationships with professional groups and relevant student organizations representing minorities. You can then reach out to them when you have an opening to fill so they can refer promising candidates in your field. 
  • Get feedback on jobs before posting: In your mind, you may feel that a job description is unbiased. But it always helps to have at least one other person review the listing before it goes online. This helps you eliminate language that might sound like it relies on stereotypes or conveys a preference for a specific type of candidate.
  • Diversify the interview process: Involve current employees with different backgrounds in the interview process. Think about traits such as job title, race, sex, and gender expression when building your interview team. 

If you do these three things, you’ll naturally improve the diversity of your hiring pipeline. 

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Development opportunities

It’s important to hire diverse employees, but your efforts can’t end there. It’s critical to avoid overlooking these employees for promotions. When development opportunities come around, consider these four questions:

  • What are the responsibilities associated with the promotion?
  • How many people do you have internally who are qualified for the position?
  • Are any of these people from underrepresented categories?
  • Have you asked a colleague (or several colleagues) to review job responsibilities and internal candidates?

As you answer these questions, you’ll come to understand what it takes to provide development opportunities in an increasingly diverse environment. 

Measuring diversity in the workplace

1. Recruitment

As noted above, you should build diversity into your hiring pipeline. Focus on the number of inquiries, applications, interviews, and hires to identify where you can improve your process. Do qualified candidates get weeded out by automation at any point in the process? Are your applicant pools less diverse because your job postings aren’t appearing in the right places?

Additionally, find out what employees think about the company’s diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) guidelines. An anonymous survey can help you get a sense of how the workplace is perceived and what is likely to resonate with quality candidates going forward.

2. Retention

When you know the percentages of employees by gender and race across departments and levels of seniority, you can then track the attrition rates throughout the company. Track the number of both voluntary and involuntary departures. 

3. Advancement

How many underrepresented employees do you have? Of these, how many have been promoted to date? How many are in line for future promotions? Compare these answers to statistics associated with well-represented employee groups. 

4. Representation

Underrepresented employees should be spread throughout the company. For example, women shouldn’t be concentrated solely in administrative roles. 

Pay close attention to the percentage of underrepresented employees by level, position, and department. 

5. Pay

An employee’s job title and responsibilities should determine pay. This should never be based on personal characteristics, such as race, gender, or sexual orientation. Instead, focus on: 

  • Role and tenure
  • Base salary or rate
  • Bonus pay and other discretionary payments

Let Oyster help

One of the easiest ways to build a diverse team is to open your hiring pipeline to the world. With the help of Oyster’s global employment platform, it’s never been easier to find and manage talent all over the globe.

About Oyster

Oyster is a global employment platform designed to enable visionary HR leaders to find, hire, pay, manage, develop, and take care of a thriving distributed workforce. Oyster lets growing companies give valued international team members the experience they deserve, without the usual headaches and expense.

Oyster enables hiring anywhere in the world—with reliable, compliant payroll, and great local benefits and perks.

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