12 Ways To Encourage More Diversity In The Agency World | Hawthorne Advertising

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12 Ways To Encourage More Diversity In The Agency World

Author: Forbes Agency Council

Original Publication: Forbes

Date Published: August 12, 2018

There’s been a lot of industry talk recently around diversity and inclusion. And rightfully so: Having a diverse team is important for many reasons, including the ability to envision, discuss and brainstorm ideas or campaigns from many different perspectives. But there’s more work that needs to be done to balance out the playing field.
We asked members of the Forbes Agency Council for their best hiring tips for a diverse workforce. Their best answers are below:

Encourage more Diversity in the Agency World

1. Tap Your Higher Consciousness

By opening your mind, you open the door to greater possibilities and results. In order for a business to grow, it must capture more people, and that means an audience that includes as many people as possible. If you want to appeal to that mass audience, then it is imperative to hire people that have different perspectives, which means diversity, so that they may collectively appeal to that much larger and diverse audience. Diversity means greater results, happier clients and bigger profits. It also sends a message to the industry as they see you rise to the top. – Keith Herman, IPA Equities/PMBC Group

2. Go Global With A Distributed Team

The best way I’ve found to create diversity is to hire globally and build a distributed team. Even small agencies can improve diversity by hiring talent from places we generally overlook. Having a global team with a wide range of perspectives creates better outcomes for all of our clients. – Kj Prince, Insurance Engine

3. Focus On The Person, Not The Resume

Understand that a resume will not necessarily provide that information. To gain a more eccentric and diverse workplace requires you to learn more about the person’s life experiences and not just skills as they may be beneficial to the company. – Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile LLC

4. Utilize Other Languages In Your Websites And Social Media

With the growing Hispanic population, if a business isn’t utilizing Spanish, they are missing out on a lot of business, and by seeking Spanish speakers you are bound to attract them. Therefore, not only will this allow you to target an under-marketed population but it will also encourage the diversity of different races and cultures. – Imran Tariq, WebMetrix Group LLC

5. Reword Your Job Description

“Diversity hiring” entails hiring based on merit regardless of background. If you’re noticing a lack of diversity at your workplace, it may be worth revisiting your hiring process. I’d start by looking over the job posting and analyzing its verbiage to ensure that it’s culturally appropriate and not culturally biased. – Ahmad Kareh, Twistlab Marketing

6. Define What ‘Good’ Looks Like

Establishing hiring criteria standards and promotion practices eliminates pay inequality or biased hiring decisions. At our agency, we established a career level system for our employees to ensure people grow, are promoted and paid equally, and hired based on consistent measurements. Once you define what “good” looks like, diversity isn’t something you consciously do, it just organically happens. – Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

7. Check Job Descriptions And Website For Accessibility

Diversity and inclusion needs to be a priority for every organization, and it isn’t something that can just be thrown together. However, one practical tip is to have the HR team do a thorough audit of all job descriptions and website accessibility. Is there something in either of those pieces that make people self-select out of the candidate process? Everything from blind applicants to requiring bachelor’s degrees when that might not be necessary to do the job well should be analyzed. – Alyshia Kisor-Madlem, STATWAX

8. Pay Attention To Age Diversity

In this business, approaching 40 feels like you begin to “age out.” Hire encore career seekers who bring real experience and diverse perspectives. Collaborative teams with millennials, Gen Xers and boomers foster respect, understanding and learning. Our multigenerational staff is our best asset, grounding us from biases that are easily forgetten or overlooked. – Katie Schibler Conn, KSA Marketing + Partnerships

9. Lead By Example

Agencies may post policies and offer diversity training, but the reality that employees live with day-to-day is set by the actions of the executive leadership. Attitudes and language used by a CEO to the leadership team set the tone for how they engage with their teams. Executives who set a good example with their leadership team can trigger a positive ripple effect across the organization. – Keri Witman, Cleriti

10. Be Aware Of Your Implicit Biases

Work on identifying and then filtering out quick judgments that aren’t merit-based when reviewing resumes or interviewing candidates. These could include judgments on where a candidate’s from, where they went to school, or even if they worked with someone or at a previous agency with which you had a negative experience. – Larry Gurreri, Sosemo LLC

11. Attain Diversity By Design

Think “diversity by design.” Every step of both the hiring and even post-hiring process (such as performance reviews) should have diversity top of mind. For example, interview panels should include a diverse set of interviewers to ensure that hiring decisions are not homogenous. For reviews, managers should be trained on subconscious bias to ensure again that there is diversity in action. – Preethy Vaidyanathan, Tapad

12. Embrace All Forms Of Diversity

Diversity and inclusion are critical to a well-balanced culture in today’s workforce to ensure a company stays in touch with the rapidly changing environment. I would encourage employers to not just look at diversity from a gender or racial demographic but also from different angles including age and place of origin. In my company, we have employees across genders, nationalities and all five current working generations, and we’ve found that it leads to critical thinking, unique perspectives, creativity and ingenuity. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, hawthornedirect.com

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