Article authored by Qualigence CEO & founder Steve Lowisz

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, there’s been a renewed conversation around D&I among leaders, HR teams and recruiters.

While it’s amazing that more people are talking about diversity, there are a few things I feel are often missing from the conversation.

I’ve studied diversity from a HR, recruiting and overall business perspective for years. The business case for diverse teams is overwhelming.

Diverse teams are statistically more profitable, more innovative and more successful.

Unfortunately, many times approach D&I from a short-sighted perspective. Allow me to explain.

1) Look at it From a Realistic Perspective

One of the biggest mistakes companies make is setting goals that are too ambitious when it comes to diversity.

All too often, I see companies set diversity goals that are expecting too much change too fast.

I’ve seen plans that would require such a large investment that it would bankrupt the company!

This puts undue pressure on talent acquisition and HR teams, and also sets the initiative up for failure before you even start. To create lasting, successful change, it’s best to take things one step at a time.

2) Create Inclusive Cultures Before Recruiting for Diversity

It’s great to recruit underrepresented candidates. But if you can’t retain them at your organization, all your efforts are wasted!

Look closely for bias in your organization and consider the opportunities you are (or are not) providing for underrepresented professionals.

You may want to hire a chief diversity officer, create employee resource groups, or otherwise demonstrate your commitment to inclusion before a big recruiting initiative.

3) Reconsider Where You Are Sourcing Candidates

If you source candidates from the same places you always have, you’ll only get the same results.

Explore some alternatives to traditional methods. Encourage a referral program among existing employees, build an employer brand that showcases your commitment to diversity, or offer targeted internships and scholarships. In industries that are especially non-diverse, you may want to think outside-the-box and source candidates with parallel skills from other sectors.

Consider what skills can be trained and broaden your ideal candidate profile accordingly.

Diversity is Worth Getting Right

Diversity is only going to get more important as time goes on. It’s important that recruiters, HR professionals and business leaders think carefully about how they can make their D&I initiatives successful rather than simply following the herd.