According to a report by McKinsey, diverse and inclusive companies are more likely to make better, bolder decisions. Despite this, 55% of employers and tech professionals are only somewhat satisfied with their company’s diversity and inclusion efforts.
Tech organizations face a significant challenge – they must do more to attract diverse teams, as there are several benefits of doing so. Although it can be difficult, there are approaches to accomplish this.
This article will walk you through 11 easy steps for building a diverse team in your tech organization. Let’s get started.
Table of contents
- Workplace diversity: Why is it important?
- Diverse tech teams: How diverse are they nowadays?
- What are the challenges of managing a diverse team in the tech field?
- How to recruit a diverse tech team: 11 steps to putting one together
- ✅ Hire diverse teams in tech effortlessly with skills testing
Workplace diversity: Why is it important?
There are three reasons why you should hire diverse teams in the field of technology: They thoroughly analyze the facts, they’re inventive, productive, and have higher retention rates.
1. Diverse teams closely analyze the facts.
According to Kelly Services, diverse teams focus more on facts and are more likely to stay objective while doing so. What is the relevance of this for tech teams?
Diverse tech teams generally evaluate key performance indicators (KPIs) to track performance and are more likely to remain objective while doing so. They’ll assess them objectively and accurately, which can result in optimized performance.
2. Diverse teams are innovative and productive.
A diverse team has a range of different perspectives, which improves their capacity to innovate. According to a BCG study, organizations with diversity in management reported 19 percentage points more than that of companies with below-average leadership diversity in innovation revenue.
Since innovation is critical in the technology field, aim to diversify your talent pool.
3. Diverse teams have better retention.
Diversity, according to Perceptyx, is also strongly correlated to employee retention. They explain that when employees witness their peers treated with respect, their performance improves. Diversity is essential in tech teams, but so is inclusion and establishing an inclusive culture.
DevSkiller also suggests that engaging diverse workplaces improve retention, and developers are more comfortable working in varied environments.
Diverse tech teams: How diverse are they nowadays?
There’s a disparity in perceptions between top executives and underrepresented employees concerning how diverse tech teams are now: Although 85% of executive leaders feel their organizations provide an opportunity for professional development, only 18% of their employees agreed.
According to skillcrush.com, only 39% of entry-level jobs in tech are held by women, with African-American women holding 12% of all tech and computing science positions.
These statistics show that recruiters who want to diversify developer teams will have a lot of work to do.
What are the challenges of managing a diverse team in the tech field?
According to the Tech Monitor survey, 61% of the respondents claim promoting diversity and inclusion in technology is a leadership challenge.
Recruiters have additional obstacles such as communication, culture, and the increased time it takes to make decisions.
1. Barriers to communication
A diverse team could speak a variety of languages. This issue might make it challenging for employees to collaborate and comprehend their colleagues, eventually leading to communication barriers that technology managers might find challenging to manage.
2. Clash of culture
Culture clashes are common when people from different cultures come together. As a hiring manager or recruiter, you may encounter difficulties in this area, as culture clashes may impact your tech team’s performance and capacity to exchange ideas if not managed correctly.
3. Lengthy decision-making time
Diverse workplaces produce well-considered decisions, but this takes time. With additional voices and opinions to consider, you’ll need to deal with various perspectives, which can impact how quickly your diverse tech team agrees on product or service alterations.
How to recruit a diverse tech team: 11 steps to putting one together
The first step is to consider diversity from the start of your hiring process. Here are the other eleven stages to creating a diverse team of developers.
1. Focus on diversity as a value: Write a diversity and inclusion statement
Consider the objective of your diversity and inclusion statement before writing it. It serves as a starting point that informs stakeholders and employees about your diversity and inclusion objectives. If it’s a lengthy statement, it might describe how you plan to accomplish these goals.
According to The Balance Small Business, you can gather advice from employees at all levels to ensure that you begin by acknowledging and respecting all cultural perspectives in your tech team.
Think about what is hindering your diversity and inclusion goals, and consider how you might overcome them. For example, if a vast majority of the tech team’s leaders are male in one department, consider how you might reorganize the teams.
2. Use inclusive language when writing job descriptions
Recruiting often begins with a job description and candidate sourcing, both of which you should prioritize to enhance diversity and inclusion. To prevent alienating specific candidates, write job descriptions that use inclusive language.
Writing inclusive job descriptions includes the following:
- Removing gender-coded words
- Using vocabulary that includes experienced candidates
- Removing terms like “cultural fit” and replacing them with “value alignment” instead
- Eliminating words related to race
3. Use alternative methods for sourcing candidates
Sourcing on social media, attracting applicants using your company blog, and relying on employee recommendations, combined with mentoring programs, are three alternate approaches for assembling a diverse tech workforce.
Social media channels
If you use social media platforms such as LinkedIn, you’ll increase your chances of engaging applicants with posts that focus on diversity and inclusion. According to LinkedIn, posts like these generate 91% more engagement than the average company post.
Company blog posts
Writing a corporate blog that features your company culture increases two things. It improves organic traffic to your organization (including candidates) and candidate engagement since culture attracts the top 20% of candidates. It can also lead you to a diversified applicant pool that has the required experience and skill set.
Combining employee referrals with mentorship programs
Employee recommendations, when paired with mentorship initiatives, can assist you in hiring a diverse workforce. The tech platform Slack, for example, has extended its mentorship program for black and Hispanic/Latinx employees. To improve diversity, they deliberately recruit and reach out to underrepresented talent while also using mentoring programs and networking.
4. Widen your candidate pool
You have a better chance of recruiting a productive, diverse team of developers if you have a diverse talent pool. You can broaden your applicant pool in two ways:
- Promote your organization’s culture. Culture can drive job satisfaction, but the reverse is also true. When your employees are content with their job, it contributes to a positive culture. As stated by Robert Half, combined, these factors can attract top talent and help you broaden your talent pool.
- According to LinkedIn, 66% of leaders are confident flexible or remote working will usher in a more diverse workforce.
If this describes your organization, have your employees share their thoughts on remote work and how working remotely or flexible working arrangements have benefited them, and then feature their testimonials on your company website.
5. Avoid unconscious bias when hiring
To eliminate unconscious bias in recruiting, make sure your whole recruitment team understands what it is. Even if you employ artificial intelligence throughout the hiring process, you should still discuss it with your recruitment team before hiring candidates.
A Forbes panel of experts highlighted that even with artificial intelligence, we feed it datasets to allow it to learn. This indicates that AI can still contribute to unconscious bias in hiring, which means that learning about bias is still essential throughout the recruiting process.
Another way to avoid unconscious prejudice is to appreciate differences and inquire about how a diverse candidate would benefit your tech team and the organization. Take the following steps to do this:
- Create a multicultural calendar that features ethnic events, or
- Arrange days for cultural education, when teams can bring culturally inspired dishes for lunch
6. Use skills testing platforms and personality tests
Platforms for skill testing and personality tests are ideal for determining how diverse applicants can contribute to your team. They assist your recruiting team in overcoming unconscious bias, and you are less likely to hire individuals just because they think similarly to existing team members.
Once you’ve hired a candidate for your team, use personality tests as part of team-building activities to determine whether new employees are a good team fit. It allows you to reorganize your teams accordingly and increase diversity.
Other benefits of skills testing platforms include:
- A shorter recruitment time
- They help to reduce your time to hire
- You to learn which technical skills your candidates offer
7. Diversity and inclusion team meetings and diversity committees
As an HR professional, you’ll be in charge of implementing strategies to increase diversity in the workplace. You can do this by conducting inclusive meetings or setting up a diversity committee for your tech organization. This will also include setting up an advisory body that will aid in the integration of diversity and inclusion throughout the organization.
8. Encourage active listening
Encourage active listening at team meetings to ensure that all voices are heard. According to brinknews.com, it entails interacting with employees at all levels of the company, and creating a trusted environment in which staff members feel comfortable speaking up is vital.
Encourage teams to stay interested by asking open-ended questions when listening to colleagues to avoid disregarding ideas without thinking about them. This growing interest fosters a positive environment within a diverse team.
9. Focus on diversity in leadership
According to Gartner, it is crucial that leaders think, source, and act differently to widen the talent pool although it’s tempting for an organization to celebrate when it successfully promotes underrepresented talent.
Begin by collaborating with leaders in your tech organization to analyze your existing pipeline and measure your current diversity in leadership roles, then look for methods to increase diversity in the pipeline.
To do this, leaders must eliminate bias in their recruiting process and provide equal opportunities to all team members. Although mentorship is a good place to start, leaders need to force an intentional shift in their thinking to uncover untapped talent. They’ll then need to provide them with the best networks as they develop and grow.
10. Foster and encourage communication between teams
You might use different types of communication like Slack or Zoom to interact and engage between tech teams. However, within various companies, certain employees may have preferences for communicating.
To solve these kinds of communication barriers, consider experimenting with different modes of communication, as suggested by Andrew Jornod in Forbes. By catering to all communication preferences, you can enhance inclusion among teams.
Being honest in communication can be challenging in the workplace since employees may believe that their coworkers or even managers are out to get them. Fostering communication amongst tech teams, on the other hand, can assist team members to connect with others and boost positivity in diverse teams.
11. Focus on comprehensive onboarding with one-on-one meetings and coffee chats
Organizing comprehensive onboarding and one-on-ones with team members can help you with onboarding. However, you might take it a step further to improve the performance of a diverse workforce.
Certain tech firms whose teams work remotely, such as GitLab, use coffee chats to foster dialogue and inclusion among various groups. Their virtual coffee breaks help others get to know you better and they serve as an extension of their onboarding process to build team camaraderie.
Hire diverse teams in tech effortlessly
Diversity in technology teams isn’t easy to accomplish, however, the following are essential strategies to employ a diverse team of developers and establish a diversified workforce:
- Use skills testing
- Avoid unconscious bias
- Encourage communication between teams
- Encourage active listening
Check out skills testing platforms to help you avoid unconscious bias and start hiring diverse development teams because diverse teams perform better. Get started with TestGorilla.