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Do Not Hinder Diversity with Bias in your Hiring Process, Have a Plan.

Do you have a plan in place to eliminate bias from your hiring process? If not, now is the time to develop one—because bias today will hinder your diversity efforts for years to come, holding your company back creatively and hurting the bottom line.

Hiring decisions plagued by conscious and unconscious bias can impact diversity at every level and in every role, from entry-level to leadership roles and board membership.

So, why does diversity matter so much?

Lack of diversity at any level can have a profound effect throughout the company, potentially leading to less innovation, lower profits, a harder time recruiting the best candidates in the future, and as we see today, can become a public relations nightmare.

A diverse workforce drives your top line, bottom line, and everything in between

Diversity is good for business. You don’t need to take my word for it; there are many research-backed arguments supporting the benefits of diverse hiring. Here are just a few.

1) Diversity increases profits: Recent research from McKinsey & Company shows that companies are 33% more likely to experience above-average profitability when they have ethnically-diverse executive teams, and 21% more likely when those teams are gender-diverse. One expert even predicts that revenue across the IT industry could increase by $400 billion annually if diversity efforts at all levels were fully implemented. Research suggests that the reason for this is grounded in productivity—diverse companies tend to be more productive, leading to greater financial gains.

2) Diversity drives innovation: Diversity across teams and leadership drives innovative new products that better meets the needs of a broader clientele. A 2015 study published in Economic Geography found that companies with diverse leadership are more likely to create innovative new products than those with homogenous teams. Findings published by the Center for Talent Innovation show that diverse teams are as much as 158% more likely to understand the needs of their diverse clients, increasing the likelihood that they’ll innovate to meet those needs.

3) Diversity decreases mistakes: Research published by an MIT professor exploring past literature, found that diverse teams tend to be less susceptible to groupthink, which can drastically reduce the likelihood of making avoidable mistakes. Various studies suggest that this happens because diverse teams pay closer attention to the facts and often discover their errors during deliberations, before they can cause a problem. Diversity also impacts executive decision-making, leading to smarter business moves all round. Sir John Parker, former chairman of Anglo American, explained why in a recent discussion with the Financial Times saying that on diverse boards “someone is going to ask the unthinkable question” that ultimately prevents a catastrophe.

4) Diversity attracts great people: People want to work at companies where they’ll feel a sense of belonging. Data from Glassdoor shows that it's easier to convince great candidates to join your company when it's seen as one invested in promoting diversity and inclusion. According to the study, hiring decision makers are finding nearly one in five candidates are heavily influenced by diversity and inclusion initiatives in their decision to take the job.

Study after study all point to the same conclusion; diversity is good for business. Cultivating a strong, diverse workforce starts with how you hire.

Eliminate bias in your hiring process - NOW

Improving diversity must start with eliminating bias from your recruiting and hiring practices—if bias remains when selecting who joins your company, no real change can happen. Further, removing bias is critical for all levels of the organization. Who you choose today in those entry and mid-level positions will become your leadership and executive teams tomorrow.

As discussed in a previous article; traditional processes (like starting with a resume) will leave you favoring some candidates more than others, and without realizing it, excellent candidates from diverse backgrounds are left behind. Instead, take steps now to eliminate that bias.

In a recent post, I outlined three key steps to get rid of bias in hiring. It starts with awareness, understanding your own unconscious biases, and how they could be impacting your decision making. From there, clearly define what you need from candidates up front, before starting your search, so all candidates are evaluated against the same criteria to find the best people for the position. Finally, revolutionize your process to reduce the risks of unconscious bias from creeping in at all.

We can help.

We’ve developed a software solution that eliminates bias in the early stages of the process—helping you find the best candidates for the job before you ever discover their name, gender, or any other potentially biasing information.

Join us in stopping unconscious bias and embrace all the benefits a diverse workforce has to offer. Use #NoBias on social media, tagging us @acareerplace on Twitter, and let us hear how you are stopping bias, both conscience and unconscious in your workplace!

Want to learn more about what we’re doing? Get in touch today.

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