Remote hiring has always been a possibility for many companies, but with the recent changes in the way the workforce operates on a global scale, a whole host of new experienced employees have come onto the remote work playing field. But what role can remote hiring have on diversity practices, and why is Diversity still so important? We dive in to see why remote hiring is one of the top ways to create a diverse workforce!
Why Company Diversity is Important
Diversity as a term covers a large number of differences between people, covering anything across gender, sexual orientation, physical abilities, education, language, culture, ethnicity, age, and race, to name but a few. All of these aspects come in multiple shapes and sizes, and are often not isolated to one thing per person. Often known as intersectional diversity.
By having a diverse range of people on the team, companies enjoy many benefits such as boost company morale, whilst also increasing employee confidence levels and skill offerings. It also reduces conflicts within the company, as employees become more adaptable and accepting of differences. And perhaps, most key of all for the c-suite is that a diverse workforce understands its customers better, allowing for a wider market coverage.
Studies have also shown diverse workforces to have higher revenue growth, with a better ability to innovate faster, as well as an increased ability to hire from a diverse and talented talent pool. Essentially the more diverse you become, the easier it is to stay diverse. However, most importantly of all, they are able retain employees 5.4 more times than non diverse workforces.
The Advantage of Remote Workers
So why are remote workers your way in? First of all, these potential employees are already set up to work with home offices, the ability to be productive with the time given, and most importantly, they are tech savvy i.e. slack, teams, time clocks etc.
What’s even better, is that many of them are ready to open their hearts to new opportunities, especially with the limits previously holding them back having been lifted. Here are 5 more reasons why:
Expanding Your Talent Pool
The pool of talent you pick from can often be filled with the same kind of talent, which can be easier to access, but often means you get the same kind of talent every time. By expanding the pools of talent you fish from, your rate of finding the best fit for the role increases dramatically.
Simply put, remote hiring means less barriers to working with the best, without added expenses or difficult hiring processes getting in the way. A Win-Win!
Access based on location
Similar to reason one, but in a little more detail. Location is often a huge barrier for many candidates, who live just a little too far away from their ideal job for it to be feasible. So although they may be the most skilled or the exact right fit for the role, the commute is not something in the past they’ve been willing to consider. Especially if family or lifestyle choices play a big role.
By removing location as a deciding factor in hiring, a whole new talent pool opens up and it can be incredible to witness how companies change with this influx of new diverse talent. This new talent can be found in small towns, in the countryside and even in overseas locations. The possibilities are endless, and so are the rewards. New markets become accessible, as well as new and diverse viewpoints, which sparks the innovation so many companies need to survive these days.
As much as you might hope not, when in person people’s natural bias’s can come to the fore. When working remotely as a team, less focus is put on how someone looks, their popularity in the company or how they live their lives, rather it becomes about how productive a team member is and how effectively they are executing their role.
This levels the playing field and ensures all team members are valued for what they do, not specifically who they are. That’s not to say members of a team shouldn’t be respected for that aspect though, and it’s key for leaders to clearly communicate that. A strong focus on inclusive behaviours and practices is always needed.
Global Job Boards
When moving to remote diverse hiring, partnering with a global jobs board can make life much easier. Sometimes finding the right remote talent isn’t about your willingness to do it, but rather how easy or difficult it can be to find the right talent.
Connecting with a global job board, such as Work for Impact who themselves are connected to a wide range of talented remote workers, is a match made in heaven. Best part is they’ve already filled their rolodecks with diverse and vetted candidates, who are excited to work with you. All you have to do is to bring the projects.
Circular Economy and Giving Back
By focusing on building a diverse workforce which goes beyond a company’s country borders, it fosters stronger international relations, as well as a more balanced global economy. A circular economy is one that gives as much as it takes, ensuring all wealth doesn’t continue to pour in one direction leaving one side of the scale desolate.
Remote hiring enables talented people to work from their home country, and continue to be part of that community, pouring not only their income, but their own talent and time into it.
Examples in Practice
- California based tech company Handshake focuses on inclusion at its core, with over 11 Employee Resource Group’s (ERG) at the company, and a company wide DE&I survey, this company never stops asking and listening to its employees needs and opinions.
- Software company, Workday, goes even further with its inclusion practices, and multiple ERG’s. Best yet, they stand out for being one of the most diverse companies, 36% of employees are women, with 45% being in the minority.
- Companies can have all sorts of diversity and inclusion practices, but when it’s 96% of the staff telling you the company is welcoming and inclusive, like TV streaming site Hulu, you know they aren’t just talking the talk. With ERG’s, and regular community and volunteer events, this company is taking Diversity and Inclusion to the top of its game.
Side Note: Inclusion is Key!
Before we move on, it’s essential to note Diversity efforts should always go hand in hand with Inclusivity practices. How well your new diverse workforce is integrated into your teams is what guarantees success. Ensuring their contributions, presence and perspectives are valued and integrated into the company’s output from day one of hiring, even for short term remote hires is key.
The reason for this is key is because diverse AND inclusive workplaces have significantly higher rates of productivity and increased financial benefits. Not only that, by respecting these unique inputs of all team members, companies will see how their diversity efforts truly deliver outstanding results and have a happier workforce overall. And word of mouth recommendations will always deliver the best talent in the end.
- Isolated Diversity isn’t really diversity at all
When planning to hire remotely, and specifically to aid diversity in the company, ask yourself: do you have diversity in your recruiting team? Is there diversity in each of your departments, and in your leadership team?
If your place is filled with a lot of diversity already, but they’re all in one department or nowhere near leadership roles, make those issues a priority. Potential hires need to see themselves across the company to feel true inclusion. Make this part of your hiring long term plan.
- The Go-To Employee
Be aware of the go-to employees, if a manager is unable to communicate effectively across a diverse, remote team, no matter how many new members you add, the team will not reflect the variety and depth of said team.
Ensure all members of the team are listened to, have visibility in all remote projects, and are valued for their input. No excuses for managers to go to the same employee every time, it’s time to get everyone involved.
- Retaining Diverse Talent
Post-attaining new talent from across the globe comes with new challenges. Number one often being adapting to the new paradigm of time-zones, and communication channels. No longer can a manager demand something to be done that day, more thought must be put into project planning.
Cultural sensitivity must also be employed with various holidays, religious days and events popping up across the new team to be honoured.
Any company looking to make their teams more diverse should highly consider remote hiring. With a world of possibility at their fingertips, it’s truly a wonderful opportunity to expand not only the company’s horizon’s but their own personal ones. That being said, companies must also prepare the workplace by opening the door wide and making sure doors further along the career path are also open.
Remote hiring managers must look at their existing teams’ diversity make-up, and fill accordingly, ensuring at all times those from diverse backgrounds can see themselves. Employees who are happy, engaged and productive are essential to a successful company, regardless of location or human status.