Workplace Diversity Starts with the Recruitment Process

Helen Evans

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In previous blogs we’ve discussed workplace culture and the elements within the workplace which help to shape this, one of which being diversity.


Diversity encompasses not only a mix of genders, race and ethnic backgrounds, but also ages, education, tenure and cognitive styles. It’s key to enabling an organisation to develop and grow by utilising the different ways of seeing and approaches to problem solving a diverse workforce provides. And, as an overwhelming amount of research demonstrates, diversity also breeds innovation which is critical to business success!


Workplace diversity starts with the recruitment process. Our director, Dene Gambotto discussed some tools used here at iknowho in a Q&A with AdNews earlier this year. This includes guiding hiring managers to be able to identify subconscious bias when it comes to selecting the right candidate through our online quiz, as well as the option to present blind CV’s.


Tools like these are so important to change what is arguably a lack of diversity in our industry. This has been an ongoing topic of discussion, and in an interesting blog published earlier this month on Mumbrella, Bob Hoffman identifies the presence of ageism in particular within the advertising space compared to other creative industries.


So, what are some of the benefits your company can experience from engaging a diverse workforce?


  • As already mentioned, lets start with innovation. With a wide range of backgrounds comes a wide range of experiences and needs. Bouncing ideas around a team of multiple skills and perspectives drives idea generation.
  • Innovative, diverse company cultures are also typically more desirable from an employee perspective. This helps attract and retain a quality workforce, creating a full circle effect for the next round of applicants!
  • Language. Hiring employees who speak other languages can create opportunities for a business on a global stage. A variety of cultural backgrounds can also help businesses transition overseas.
  • Meeting people from different places and backgrounds also enables employees to grow both professionally and personally. It encourages an open-minded perspective and a deeper understanding of the wider population, both nationally and internationally.


In the words of Dr Adam Fraser at last years iknowho breakfast event: “diversity in the workplace is critical, not only is it the right thing to do… diversity just makes organisation’s better”. You can read our key take-outs from this interactive workshop here.


Many large companies talk about diversity as an area of business strategy. Whilst a mix of faces in a team photo looks good on the company’s about us webpage, those who really embrace a truly diverse workforce reap many more rewards.