Hiring managers often have a two-step process when it comes to putting together a team: find the most qualified applicants, and then find the diversity hires.
Diversity hires are often placed onto teams just to fill quotas rather than because they really are the most qualified candidates, and although this practice creates opportunities for applicants coming from the most diverse backgrounds, this practice is an impractical attempt to make an appearance of being a diversity supporter, and can actually backfire on a company.
Assembling a team that naturally represents various and diverse backgrounds is actually the most powerful tool a startup can have when it comes to staffing for a variety of reasons, and below are the top 4 reasons as to why you should change your definition of “Diversity Hiring”.
Offers More Perspectives
Having your staff all come from different backgrounds and experiences allows your staff to have that many more differing thought processes to pull ideas from. Having a team all think exactly the same way will only offer you so many different ideas, but having each member of the team bring a different perspective to the table is a dream come true for teams when it comes time to brainstorm new business opportunities.
More than Just Appearances
Diversity is so much more than just how individuals may look in appearance and behavior. Diversity can refer to past experiences too. It’s these experiences that shape the way we approach problems and find solutions. Finding better solutions than your competition is the key to building a successful startup.
Having staff members and employees all look one way does not mean that they all come from the same backgrounds. Past experiences can starkly vary from person to person, and it is those past experiences and perspectives that are truly wanted by hiring managers looking for real diversity.
Your Startup’s Voice is to be Put Above All Else
When it comes to looking at that stack of resumes with those “Diversity Hire” spots in the back of your mind, remember that it doesn’t matter in the long run how diverse this individual may look on the outside: You should hire the applicant who can propel your startup forward the best. Period. Fill the spots with individuals who will best operate within the position and who will best represent your startup’s brand the best.
Why is Diversity Vital Within the Workplace
Having a wide mix of diversity is important because it can push how comfortable employees feel within the workplace. Having a balance within the office can help employees feel less like they are representatives of a minority group. For example, if you have a staff of 8 men and 1 woman, that one woman on your staff can feel singled out and outnumbered, which in turn can stifle her ability to feel comfortable enough to be creative when she needs to be.
Keeping a diverse balance in the workplace promotes a feeling of comfort, which it in turn will make it that much easier for all employees to let the creativity flow.
Diversity is an overlooked tool for startups, and having diversity happen organically is a best case scenario. Take a look at your current staff and note what it is that they each bring to the table that the others cannot. This is what makes each individual diverse.