Recruiting For Diversity

It is about finding the perfect combination for everything to fall into place

Previously seen as a sop to do-gooders, diversity is now understood to be a key asset to a business by a lot of businesses. Others have not been as quick on the uptake of this understanding. If you prioritise the effectiveness of your organisation, it would be wise to pay heed to the facts.

Companies lacking diversity often fall into rote ways of thinking, treating the world as an already homogenised place, missing opportunities to grow and lacking understanding of different viewpoints.

When we talk about diversity we mean that a variety of ages, genders, abilities/disabilities, religions, ethnicities and sexual orientations are represented. Quite a few businesses still find it a struggle to imagine how these individuals may fit into their workplace.

To take this seriously, and be take seriously by your candidates, you must reckon with out-dated policies. Take religion, for example. Do you have a policy whereby those of differing faiths can take time off during the day, or during the year, in order to praise or respect their respective deities? If asked about this subject, can the hiring manager answer questions to ease any doubts that the candidates might have?

Diversity is not about ticking boxes. Diversity is about respect. Promoting inclusivity must lead from the job spec and job ad to the outreach to the interview and onboarding stages. Have you thought about the image your company projects within its commercials or website or literature?

Why go to the trouble, you ask? It is common knowledge that businesses with diverse workforces make better decisions and problem solve more efficiently. As the world becomes more diverse, the brain trust that comes with a diverse team cannot be underestimated. How much second-guessing does a business do? How many mistakes are made due to misunderstanding? How much of your resources have you poured into mistakes or fixing mistakes? Life doesn’t have to be that complicated.

Keeping a clear head and remaining focused on the important part of recruitment is paramount. Recruitment is subject to outside beliefs, which means it is not a sober and strategic mindset that is motivating the hiring decisions, but one of emotion and stereotyping.

The way to counter this is two-fold:

  1. Expertise. Engaging with a Specialist Recruitment Partner is important. They can guide you. Being from outside the business means that they can objectively assess the needs of the business and identify blind spots that those who have been within the company for a while cannot see. All you need to do it make your recruitment partner aware of the plan you have and they will be able to build diverse teams. But before you do that, you must understand…
  2. Data. Do you know what your current ratios are? How can you begin to tackle a problem if you do not know exactly how bad the problem is? HR need to be set the task of reporting back your diversity in order for you to assess and plan how you will improve.

Businesses that pride themselves on keeping that competitive edge need to embrace diversity. Enlarging the skillset of a business by exploiting the varied experiences of a diverse team means innovative ideas are brought to the forefront, cultural understandings are greater and adaptability is improved. When working with a business that is clearly committed to reflecting all walks of life, employees there are happier and more secure in themselves. And isn’t that what everyone wants?

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.

Giving Your Team What They Need

All hands on deck is the desired outcome

Just as a plant needs certain things to flourish (water, good soil, sunlight), so does a team. Likening a team within a company to a plant may seem ridiculous, but both need optimal conditions in order to thrive and, when a team fails to achieve, it is because one or more of these are missing.

A change of mindset is required within organisations that labour under the misapprehension that all you need to do is find the candidates with the right resumes, put them together and wait for the magic to happen.

Specific goals are required in order to measure performance. What is measurable and realistic? Without goals set, some team members can feel lost, or slack off unnoticed. Without goals set, the team can feel directionless, shifting from one priority to the other, unsure which takes precedent. These goals do not have to be set in stone, unyielding in time, but should be clearly defined.

Similar, but not the same, is the idea of a common purpose. Whilst goals are measurable, a purpose is more abstract, coming directly from the philosophy of the business. Sometimes companies are scared or intimidated by teams working within something misunderstood, such as data. Understanding how the team fits into the business as a whole is important for the business and the team. These things must be understood before demoralisation sets in.

In addition to the ‘why’ things are done there must also be a focus on the ‘how’ too. Without this understanding, the team can find itself going down blind alleys. The expertise of the team must be listened to and taken onboard by management. A path must be agreed upon. Autonomy can be a sticking point and if that conversation is had at the start, it can solve a lot of problems before they have developed.

This leads to accountability. People tend to believe that the majority of people like to avoid accountability, but this is not true. What employees like to avoid is punitive measures that are visited upon them because they made a mistake. If the organisation is one that understand that mistakes happen and it is all about how the mistake is fixed and what lessons are learned, that creates a working environment where members of a team are happy to be accountable.

You will be interviewing candidates who may have been promised the earth before and let down. Going into new roles they will want to be reassured that the resources they expect will be provided. These need to be delivered in a timely fashion in order for them to deliver the agreed-upon results.

Reassuring the candidates that the team will be prioritised and the resources, be it hardware, software or personnel, goes a long way. Keeping promised means you will keep your staff.

Empowerment is paramount if the team works across many departments and is very much in demand. Teams can become inundated with requests to work on numerous different projects and they must have the power to turn those projects down if they have competing priorities. Being a great team brings with it expectations that you can solve everyone’s problems and with that comes the issue of being spread too thin, which leads to disappointment and reputational damage.

This all comes down to one word: trust. You must trust yourself to build a great team. You must trust the team. The team must trust you. The business must trust that the team knows what it is doing. Without trust, things fall apart quickly. If you are unsure about how to proceed after reading this, you should know that there are specialist recruitment partners you can trust to help build that team and power your company into the future.

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.