• Estimated read time: 5 mins
  • Date posted:13/07/2020
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Workplace diversity and inclusion has gained considerable traction in recent years as its benefits have become abundantly clear. From increased productivity to higher revenues, Human Resources departments and hiring managers the world over are waking up to the facts; diversity has the potential to completely transform life science organisations. Hiring managers are now taking an active interest in the pursuit of diverse candidates, but where can they begin? Many hiring managers are unsure about how to attract and engage these candidates, let alone where to find them.

Here at Fraser Dove International, we’ve penned six blog posts focused on helping you to hire for diversity.

1) The Importance Of Workplace Diversity In The Life Sciences

Organisations that actively pursue workplace diversity benefit far more greatly than those that don’t. An organisation with a positive stance on workplace diversity is appealing to candidates from underrepresented groups who want to feel genuinely valued and respected within the workplace.

Workplace diversity isn’t just about hiring people from underrepresented groups. It’s about creating an environment in which employees can thrive, be themselves and participate in the organisation. This blog post introduces the benefits and drawbacks of workplace diversity.

When a workplace is diverse, people with both inherent and acquired characteristics will embody the workforce:

  • Inherent diversity: Comprised of demographic traits (e.g. sex, age, race, etc.) that you are born with.
  • Acquired diversity: Traits gained through experiences, such as previous employment and education.

Click here to read our introduction post on the benefits and drawbacks of workplace diversity: The Importance Of Workplace Diversity In The Life Sciences.

2) The Ultimate Business Case For Diversity In The Workplace

The business case for diversity in the workplace has been gaining significant traction in recent years. Despite their best efforts, hiring a diverse workforce that reflects the makeup of society remains a challenge for many life science organisations. However, the vast amount of research on the financial and performance benefits that come with a diverse workplace makes this a no brainer.

  • Increase in productivity: Despite cultural differences, more productivity was observed in the UK labour force.
  • Better problem-solving abilities: A diverse team will approach the same problem from different perspectives and spend more time evaluating all options to identify the best one.
  • Drives profitability: Organisations with diverse teams have 19% higher revenue than organisations with non-diverse teams, although the reason for this is unknown.
  • Drives innovation: When employees can bounce ideas off of each other, they can learn from one another’s unique perspectives and help to get the creative juices flowing.
  • Enhances the reputation: Organisations with diverse employees are generally perceived to be good employers.

For more benefits of workplace diversity, read the blog here: The Ultimate Business Case For Diversity In The Workplace

3) The Ultimate Guide To Attracting Diverse Candidates

Hiring for diversity is a no-brainer. Having a workforce comprising of different backgrounds and perspectives inevitably translates into a more rounded team, and with that, a better performance. With the benefits of workplace diversity clear to see, many hiring managers are keen to onboard more diverse candidates – they just don’t know how to attract or engage them. This post walks you through 6 ways in which you can attract diverse candidates to your organisation:

  • Set diversity hiring goals and communicate these to all hiring stakeholders involved so that they’re all on the same page and can be held accountable.
  • Showcase diversity with your employer brand as diverse candidates will seek out organisations where they will feel welcomed and accepted.
  • Create attractive workplace policies, such as time off for religious holidays and flexible working options for employees that can’t always work set hours.
  • Craft inclusive job adverts and embed your stance on diversity so that you attract diverse candidates.
  • Ensure your touchpoints reflect diversity by revisiting the stock photos on your website, refreshing your mission statement and including employee testimonials on your website.
  • Ask your existing employees for referrals from their network of diverse and unique professionals built up over the years.

To find out more and read the blog, click here: The Ultimate Guide To Attracting Diverse Candidates.

RELATED: Increase quality-of-hire by partnering with a reputable boutique executive search firm

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4) Hiring Managers: How To Hire For Diversity

While HR is responsible for diversity hiring initiatives, hiring managers are responsible for their team headcount. In many organisations, they get the final decision on a new hire; after all, the successful candidate will be a member of their department and report directly to them. Every candidate is entitled to fair treatment during the hiring process, and as the hiring manager, it’s your job to ensure this happens.

  • Set diversity hiring goals and get clear on how many diverse candidates you want to apply, interview and hire.
  • Put some extra time aside to identify and engage candidates by switching up the channels you recruit through and targeting passive candidates.
  • Acknowledge unconscious biases and bear in mind that while good rapport is important, their previous experience is far more telling of their ability to perform the job.
  • Onboard your new hires effectively so that team morale is high and arrange diversity training to prevent hostility from occurring.

For further information on how to hire for diversity, read the blog: Hiring Managers: How To Hire For Diversity.

5) 3 Inclusive Hiring Strategies To Diversify Your Workforce

The mission of hiring for diversity is to allow all candidates a fair chance of securing the position, regardless of their gender, age, nationality or other factors. As more and more organisations desire to incorporate diversity, many are unsure of the best way to implement inclusive hiring strategies. And without incorporating fair hiring strategies, you will find it impossible to reach your diversity hiring goals.

  • Pen inclusive job adverts because adverts that are written to target rigid candidate personas risk putting off qualified candidates that don’t fit that persona. Avoid using words such as “energetic” and “chairman” as each provides connotations about the desired individual and puts off talented executives who don’t fit the status quo.
  • Arrange to receive blind CVs in which information regarding name, gender and socioeconomic background are removed. Striking off this information helps hiring managers to assess candidates based on their experience and skills, rather than their identity.
  • Ensure the interview process is fair by creating clear interview guidelines with a list of standardised questions so that all hiring stakeholders are on the same page. For each response given, mark each candidate out of ten and then add up their total – the higher the score, the better the technical and cultural fit.

Transform your hiring strategy by reading the blog here: 3 Inclusive Hiring Strategies To Diversify Your Workforce.

6) Top Challenges Of Diversity In The Workplace

Having a diverse workforce is not without its challenges. With employees working upwards of 35 hours a week, in close proximity to one another, conflict will inevitably arise, and without a little due diligence on your side, workplace diversity can fan the flames. Decision-makers must be aware of the potential issues they may face so that they can be prepared with strategies to counteract them.

  • Communication issues could occur if English isn’t the first language of some of your team members, leading to a significant drop in team synergy.
  • Too many opinions from employees with different backgrounds and experiences may lead to failure to reach a consensus.
  • Hostility and distrust of diverse employees is a common symptom of unconscious bias and can have a significant impact on team morale.
  • Diversity implementation challenges, from the CEO not being onboard to hiring managers not having enough time to implement diversity initiatives, can quickly stifle progress.
  • Retaining bad talent is a possibility if you hold onto diverse – but underperforming – employees that currently work for your organisation simply because they boost your diversity figures.

Read the blog to find out some solutions to each of the above problems: Top Challenges of Diversity In The Workplace.


For more hiring advice tailored to hiring managers in the life science industry…

* Fraser Dove International is a specialist executive search firm operating exclusively in the Life Science industry. Passionate about people, we take pride in helping exceptional life science organisations source the talent they need to design, manufacture and distribute life-changing drugs, treatments and devices which transform and save patient lives.