Having a diverse team in your business enables you to have a broader range of perspectives, which can be helpful across every aspect of your operations. Increasing workforce diversity can also have a positive impact on your future recruitment and hiring efforts, as many candidates view diversity as an important aspect of the company they wish to work for. Here are some considerations for improving diversity within your business.

How to Hire for Diversity

Start with recruiting and hiring people of different backgrounds to fill open positions. Consider candidates of varying races, ethnic backgrounds, genders, abilities, etc. Consider conducting a diversity hiring audit, figuring out how you need to improve, and taking diversity into account as you source and screen candidates. When recruiting, consider broadening the scope of where you're looking for recruits. Include historically Black colleges and universities, for example. Look at Women in STEM programs. Research different types of organizations that may be able to provide you with leads on qualified candidates who aren't typically where you've looked in the past.

A Diversity Officer or a Consultant?

For larger companies, it's a good idea to hire a Chief Diversity Officer, but for a small business with few employees, it may not be realistic to have a position for this sole purpose, so consider speaking with a consultant.

"DEI [Diversity, Equity and Inclusion] consultants are professionals who help organizations create and implement strategies to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within their workforce," explains TeamBuilding.com in its article on the Top 20 DEI consultants of 2023.1 "These consultants may also work closely with HR teams and other stakeholders to promote DEI initiatives in the organization. Hiring a DEI consultant can help organizations show their commitment to DEI, which can improve employee morale and attract top talent."

Another option for a small business is to give an employee a secondary role. They can carry the title of Diversity Officer in addition to their other title, and be responsible for initiatives that create and promote diversity throughout your operations. In this case, it may still be a good idea to speak with a consultant so your employee has a solid understanding of efforts that need to be made.

Be Clear in Job Postings

Being clear about the jobs you're hiring for can help attract a more diverse selection of candidates. Be transparent and avoid ambiguity. Let candidates know what they can actually expect instead of merely listing vague job titles.

"When creating job descriptions for new roles, or optimizing roles you already have out in the market, being clear and intentional will help incentivize candidates to apply—but you’ll also want to factor in DEI, as well," says Lever's Jacalyn Beales.2  "Writing clear and high-intent job postings isn’t just beneficial for you—it’s also crucial for capturing candidates’ attention. While 72% of managers believe they create effective job descriptions, just 36% of candidates agree. Not only that, but most job seekers will spend a mere 14 seconds deciding whether to apply to a role based on the job description."

Train Staff (and Yourself)

Diversity needs to go beyond bringing a diverse group of people into your company. Your employees need to understand why it's important and that certain types of behavior will not be tolerated. Having an official training program in place is a good idea. Your consultant or Diversity Officer can help you set this up.

It is equally as important that you educate yourself on diversity and what it means to have a diverse company. Participate in the training program, and also keep up on current social events that pertain to different groups of people and be sensitive to how those events might affect people on your staff. Continue to consume media from different types of perspectives and have empathy toward experiences that aren't necessarily your own.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

Make sure you are approachable and are willing to speak with your team about their concerns. Let everyone know you are there to talk about their problems or concerns, so employees aren't afraid to speak up and let their voices be heard.

Know the Law

As a business owner, you have legal responsibilities regarding anti-discrimination under federal law, though the size of your business does factor in. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, if you have at least one employee, you are required to provide equal pay for equal work to male and female employees. If you have 15 to 19 employees, in addition to the equal pay stipulation, you are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, or gender identity), national origin, disability and genetic information (including family medical history). If you have 20 employees, all of this applies, but age (40 or older) discrimination is also added to the list. The Commission's website has more details about how you can comply with these responsibilities.3

Nevada also has anti-discrimination laws of its own that you should familiarize yourself with.4 Listed unlawful business practices include:

  • Discrimination on basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, national origin or discussion of wages; interference with aid or appliance for disability; refusal to permit service animal at place of employment; consideration of criminal history without following required procedure.
  • Discrimination for lawful use of any product outside premises of employer which does not adversely affect job performance or safety of other employees.
  • Discrimination for opposing unlawful practice or assisting investigation; printing or publication of material indicating prohibited discrimination.
  • Requiring or encouraging current or prospective employees and members of labor organizations to submit to genetic test; denying or altering employment or membership in labor organization based on genetic information.

Creating a diverse workplace is the right thing to do, but it's also important for a successful business. It can lead to greater innovation, more perspectives, happier employees and customers, and even potentially higher revenues.

1. https://teambuilding.com/blog/dei-consultants

2. https://www.lever.co/blog/how-to-recruit-diverse-candidates/

3. https://www.eeoc.gov/employers/small-business/small-business-requirements

4. https://www.leg.state.nv.us/nrs/nrs-613.html#NRS613Sec330


The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank. Nevada State Bank is a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC