Organizational Wellness

Four Effective Ways to Recruit a Diverse Workforce

Sep 26, 2023
Last Updated May 8, 2024

The talent within your workplace is the driving force behind your company's success. And today, fostering diversity in your workforce is not just a necessity — it’s an opportunity. Embracing individuals from diverse ethnicities, orientations, identities, and cultural backgrounds brings a wealth of unique perspectives to the table, benefiting both your employees and your organization as a whole.

And there’s still such a need to recruit a diverse workforce. Even now, 77% of the US workforce is white.

Learn the importance of cultivating a diverse workforce and uncover four essential tips for successfully recruiting and nurturing a wide range of talents.


Why Promote Diversity? 

Before delving into tips for boosting workforce diversity, it’s important to comprehend the significance of diversity. Though you may be aware of the general advantages — such as a wide range of perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds — it is important to recognize how these benefits can significantly impact your company, such as:

  • Diverse companies see 19% higher innovation revenue, which means they make more money.
  • Having just 30% of your executives as women can lead to 10 to 30% more profit.
  • Diverse companies have a cash flow that is more thantwo times higher per employee than non-diverse companies.
  • Diverse teams make better decisions 66% of the time.
  • Employees are 3 times more likely to be engaged with their work if they’re part of diverse teams.

On the flip side, a lack of diversity in the workforce can have negative consequences. Take, for example, your ability to recruit talent. People want to work for companies that promote diversity. Forty-four percent of women surveyed by McKinsey said they wouldn’t work for a company that isn’t diverse. And 80% of Americans in a CNBC/SurveyMonkey Workforce Survey said they wanted to work for a diverse company, and consider diversity when accepting job offers. 

So having a diverse workforce matters, and not having one can hurt you in the long run. But how do you recruit a diverse workforce? How do you ensure that you’re attracting culture adds? There are several ways to advance  diversity initiatives in your organization.

Eliminate Bias

Unconscious bias is a major obstacle to fostering a diverse workforce. Hiring managers often have preconceived notions about what a “good” candidate looks like, which can lead them to overlook qualified candidates who might bring real value to your company. 

Take for example a study on applications to work on the Hubble Space Telescope, researchers found that women had only an 18% acceptance rate when names and information about was included on their application. But with first names removed, their acceptance rate bumped up to 23%. And with completely anonymous applications, women were accepted 30% of the time—much higher than when bias could play a role. 

Unconscious bias isn’t intentional, but that doesn’t mean it’s not causing harm or costing your company great team members. To eliminate this from your hiring process, you could consider some level of blind or anonymous hiring, like the researchers above. You could also implement implicit bias training for recruiters, HR personnel, and leadership. This kind of education program can help them identify their biases and develop strategies to avoid them.

Review Open Job Descriptions

The way you describe opportunities at your organization can either pull candidates in, or prevent them from ever applying in the first place.

Think about the requirements listed in the job description. Often, job descriptions require certain degrees, certifications, or experience levels that may not be necessary for the job. But does this position really require a PhD? Probably not. 

Asking for more qualifications than are actually necessary can limit your talent pool. Research shows women often only apply when they meet 100% of the qualifications listed, while men will apply if they meet 60% of the list. Keeping your listing requirements to the actual essentials will prevent your posting from becoming an unnecessary barrier to working with your organization.

Strict requirements can limit the pool of applicants and inadvertently exclude qualified candidates from underrepresented groups in other ways too. By adjusting the job requirements, companies can attract a more diverse pool of applicants and still get great employees. 

Don’t forget about the wording of your job listings either. Particular word choices can actually drive potentially excellent candidates away. Research has shown that women are driven away by certain words in a job description, such as aggressive, ambitious, determined, lead, objective, outspoken — even the much loved ‘rock star.’

Jargon is another great way to scare away potential candidates. Including industry or corporate lingo in your job descriptions can be a major barrier for people applying to entry-level positions. 

Re-writing job opportunities with these inclusive guidelines in mind can help you draw in a wider candidate pool.

Expand the Hiring Pool

Speaking of your candidate pool: It’s good to keep in mind that if you keep going to the same places, you’ll get the same candidates. Expanding your recruitment efforts can look like:

  • Moving out of your geographical area. Remote work is becoming increasingly common. You can take advantage of that! Hire great and diverse talent wherever they might be living. 
  • Hosting virtual networking events. Make connections with potential candidates early on and make a great impression on them. Plus virtual events can help you start hiring out of your region. 
  • Broadening your candidate type. Maybe you’re thinking you need full-time employees to perform every task. But maybe you could spread the load across part-time employees and hire people who might not otherwise be able to work for you. 

Maintain an Inclusive Brand

Creating an inclusive employer brand is a great way to boost your diversity in recruiting. Employees want to work for a company that is working toward diversity and inclusion, so if you are showing the world how inclusive you are, they’re already going to be drawn to your company. 

So how can you maintain an inclusive brand? There’s no one right way. Your organization can leverage multiple tactics in a strategic blend to maximize your impact.

Include a Diversity Statement in Job Descriptions

Your statement could include your commitment to being an equal opportunity employer. You may consider referencing some of the inclusion-related initiatives your company offers, such as employee resource groups.

Establish a Reputation for Inclusion

If your company is practicing diversity and inclusion all across your company, it’s probably going to show up on people’s radars. That’s going to send a strong message that you’re truly dedicated to inclusion and diversity in every aspect. 

Reassess Your Interview Process

Once you’ve got a great job description, keep the momentum going. Have diverse interviewers, standardize your interview questions, and offer training on diversity as part of onboarding.  

Build a Company That Welcomes All Talent

Prom diversity is not only beneficial for employees but also advantageous for business growth. By cultivating an inclusive environment where every individual feels supported, you can foster a workplace where everyone feels welcome. 

Prioritizing employee wellbeing is a valuable investment in fostering a welcoming workplace. Implementing employee wellbeing programs not only demonstrates your organization's commitment to enhancing the quality of life for your employees, but also cultivates a positive and supportive work environment.

Wellhub can help you build a workplace that draws in top talent, and keeps it – companies with Wellhub see an up to 40% drop in turnover. Speak with a Wellbeing Specialist to get started today!

Company healthcare costs drop by up to 35% with Wellhub! (* Based on proprietary research comparing healthcare costs of active Wellhub users to non-users.) Talk to a Wellbeing Specialist to see how we can help reduce your healthcare spending!



Wellhub Editorial Team

The Wellhub Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


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