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Building a great workforce takes no small amount of skill on the part of the recruiter. You are looking for that perfect combination of preparedness and excitement for the position. And, of course, you are working to select that one person that amplifies the great qualities your team already has, while still contributing a new and appreciated quirkiness to the fold.

As you are working towards building the perfect team it may pay dividends to take one more thing into consideration: diversity. Incorporating diversity into the workplace can offer a number of significant benefits such as greater cross-collaboration among teammates, an improved cultural understanding, and perhaps even lower turnover.

In fact, hiring for diversity is considered one of the smartest hiring practices.

1. Boosting Cross-Collaboration

Bringing together a group of employees from a variety of different backgrounds and experiences more often than not breeds innovation. This is because it offers employees the chance to look at the same old problems through someone else’s lens, which can open up thousands of new possibilities. It is a powerful way to spark creative thinking and new ideas.

In fact, some of the most innovative company swear by hiring for diversity to improve collaboration and creative capacity. One Harvard Business Review article discusses what the authors call a 2-D diversity, essentially having both inherited and acquired diversity traits. The authors found that companies hiring for 2-D diversity were 45 percent more likely to report growth and over 70 percent more likely to report expanding into a new market.

2. Expanding into new Cultures

The ability to expand into new markets or demographics is largely correlated with workplace diversity bringing different cultures together. Diverse employees are likely able to tap into markets they have more experience with with greater ease, which can allow for a smooth transition into a new market.

Furthermore, many customers feel more comfortable working with companies that have greater diversity, as they feel more of their specific needs will be understood and met.

Even highly productive academic institutions are benefiting from integrating more diversity. For example, this year over 50 percent of Arizona State University’s incoming freshman class was minorities. The school was also ranked at the top of the “most innovative schools” list released by US New and World Report college rankings for 2016.

3. Making Recruitment Easier

Surprisingly, having a more diverse workforce can actually make recruiting quality candidates easier as well. Nearly two-thirds of people surveyed stated that they were more interested in working for companies with diverse employees. As the diversity of your company increases, so will the diversity of the people being recruited which means there will be more opportunities to find the perfect candidate.

In addition to it being easier to find great employees, diversity in the workplace might also make it easier to retain them over the long term. Likely, a very diverse workforce builds a community that embraces all employees and promotes a culture that makes people want to stick around.

Employers can promote this by supporting employee endeavors to create internal programs, networking groups, and policies designed to reject any workplace discrimination.

Building a diverse workforce is a rewarding experience. Doing so will help to build the company’s reputation in a positive manner as well as promote innovation and new ideas. It can help your company expand into new areas as well as attract new talent into your application pools. With all of these benefits, it is worth incorporating diversity into your goals as a recruiter.

Written By
Brittni Brown is a current graduate student at the University of Idaho. In her free time she enjoys a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, biking, and camping.

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