For many years, it was thought that the more homogeneous a work team was, the better they could communicate and reach agreements among themselves. Based on this reductionist line of thinking, a lot of companies during the last century ended up creating teams of people of nearly identical race, age, gender, and origin.
We don’t know if this practice ever optimized work performance. What we do know is that it worked for decades as an excellent pretext for workplace discrimination and prejudice of every kind.
Eventually with the advent of globalization and multiculturalism, it became impossible to keep marginalizing people from different backgrounds in the corporate world. Against all odds, when teams became more diverse, they began achieving more ambitious goals in a more efficient and innovative manner.
Why does diversity work on teams?
In multinational corporations like Google, Microsoft, and Coca-Cola, cultural diversity among employees is considered one of the most important pillars of the company philosophy. We know that diverse teams bring a lot of advantages to companies and projects, but how exactly does diversity achieve it?
1.- Diversity enriches the team experience
People from different cultures don’t just have different accents or traditions. They also think, view, and narrate the world in ways that are sometimes polar opposite. Having a diverse team means having a variety of complementary experiences that can enrich the decision-making process and contribute new ideas that wouldn’t have occurred to anyone else.
When different cultural perspectives, intellectual backgrounds, points of view, and technical and/or communication skills are united, teams can create innovative and efficient solutions for all types of problems and challenges.
2.- It improves employee branding
An employer brand is defined as a company’s reputation as a workplace. Cultural diversity on teams has been proven to be an extremely important factor for new generations of professionals and job-seekers.
Diversity is also positively correlated with talent retention and lower recruitment costs and turnover rates.
3.- It improves the company environment
On teams with little to no diversity, what starts out as healthy competition quickly becomes toxic rivalry. This impacts communication processes and leads to “cliques” and dysfunctional hierarchies that harm the team.
This may seem counterintuitive, but genuine diversity, the kind that integrates people with a lot of different traits on a team, encourages people to focus more on their similarities than their differences.
4.- It improves the brand image
Finally, companies with diverse teams tend to have a reputation that’s more committed to inclusion and equity. As a result, those companies are more attractive to clients and consumers from different backgrounds and cultures, which increases their market opportunities.
Cultural Diversity and Remote Hiring: a Match Made in Heaven
Despite its many advantages, diversity in recruitment isn’t always an easy goal to achieve, especially in traditional work environments. Recruiters can have a hard time finding and attracting candidates from diverse backgrounds and cultures, not to mention the geographic and communication barriers that limit the available candidates in a given talent pool.
The reality is that there are very real prejudices that still exist in hiring processes. Another common problem we see is when companies view diversity as a “quota” they have to fill by hiring one or two people who are part of a certain minority instead of really aiming to create the most heterogeneous teams possible across the board.
Luckily there are plenty of ways to overcome these difficulties and build more diverse teams:
- Be open to working with remote collaborators from different parts of the world who have skills and unique perspectives that you wouldn’t get otherwise.
- Consider talent from countries or regions that are often overlooked when searching for candidates to fill a certain position. This saves time on filling the vacancy and even hiring costs, and it also ensures a greater level of diversity on the team.
- Make sure the job description and requirements are inclusive. Make sure they don’t include any language that could discriminate against a candidate based on their gender, race, sexual orientation, location, etc.
- Use recruitment channels that reach the right audiences. For example, Workana offers one of the widest, most diverse, and skilled IT and software development talent pools in Latin America.
Keep in mind that Workana is an expert consulting firm that helps you find unique talent that can bring your company or startup something new and different. We work with devs and other professionals that already have experience collaborating with international teams, speak your language, and can adapt to your work schedule.
Check out our seven-day risk-free trial. It allows you to really make sure that you’re hiring the right person for the job with every hire you make. Ready to get started?
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