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Diversity: Maximising Ideas and Thinking Outside the Box

Oakstone International executive search: diversity: maximising ideas and thinking outside the box

Having a diverse workplace is becoming an ever-increasing focus for Boards and HR departments in companies across the globe.  Every company that works on their culture and innovation talks about having diverse talent to improve their company – but what does that actually mean? It’s time to think outside the box.

Many people consider diversity as different demographics such as genders, ethnicities, age groups, religious or sexualities – and it is, but those in HR know that hunting down a person who is for example a ‘woman and Christian’ is against the law due to discrimination (although this still happens).  What is this type of diversity going to bring to your company?

How can you get diverse talent on board without being discriminative?

For us, hiring diverse talent isn’t about hiring the minority, it’s all about finding diversity in thought and ideas and finding people who can think for themselves and outside of the box, creating a workplace that reflects and takes on board multiple points of view – whether they are the minority or not. Finding people who have a different way of thinking encourages new ideas, innovation and development to be injected into the company and allows the company to develop and thrive.

To find the best fit for your company it’s important to ask yourselves these questions when hiring…

  • What are the diversity strengths that already exist in the company? – think of specific teams and how they contribute to the company. How does your team work together to produce great work?

  • What are the diversity challenges in my team? What are you missing from your team? What kind of thinker do you need to make a difference?

Attracting diverse talent isn’t easy – you need to think about how your company is perceived and make sure the outside world know that your employees have a say and their ideas are highly valued and matter.  Those with something to say won’t be attracted to a company that don’t let them have a voice.  Attracting thinkers requires being individual, motivating and inspiring.

Tip: Avoid bias and discrimination by trying out blind interviewing. By not being able to see the person your interview will ensure you are hiring for their skills, experience and creative thinking over anything else.

How to keep diverse talent

Everyone is after diverse talent so what is going to make them stay with you?  Identifying skills and interests in individuals is important so invest in your team.  Listening to their ideas and include them in decision making – that’s why you hired them in the first place.