4 Ways to Embrace Diversity at Your Agency

New ideas are the lifeblood of any organization. And one of the best ways for a business to tap into a limitless pool of them is to hire a diverse staff.

Companies need to bring different perspectives to the table in order to succeed. Hiring a diversified team of professionals is critical to cultivating a better working environment and retaining a budding workforce.

Here are four ways to start becoming a more diverse organization today:

Leave your comfort zone. How do you currently make new hires? Do you rely solely on networking referrals or listings in the same publications or job boards? You’re not going to find candidates from different backgrounds if you keep looking in the same places.

Think about how you advertise your job listings. Consider expanding them from traditional outlets to print and digital outlets that represent a different talent pool of various ethnicities, gender and backgrounds. For entry-level positions, expand your college outreach to include schools with a diverse, multicultural student base.

Look the part. If your current staff is made up of predominantly one type of group, you need to show that your organization is open to diversity. A good place to start is on your company’s website. Take a look at the images you use—do they represent only one kind of group? It might be time to adopt more inclusive visuals to attract a more diverse group of job candidates.

As your organization and business starts to grow with a more diverse staff, make sure you continue to update and celebrate these accomplishments with new visuals in your printed materials, website and social media.

Offer career growth in a new way. As you start to attract more diverse applicants in response to your expanded job listings, make sure management communicates during the interview process that you are looking to build a diverse leadership pipeline. To the ideal candidate, you will continue to provide ample professional development and multigenerational mentorships.

Commit and communicate. Leadership should clearly communicate business growth goals to your organization, and commit to new business practices and technologies that will help you reach these goals. Your new diverse team can help free your business from years of “this is how it works here” perspectives that stifle creativity, new approaches and, potentially, business growth.

Set out with your team’s input to outline how you plan to reach a new group of clients and businesses, as well as how you will measure business growth in this area. And don’t forget to communicate business growth successes to all levels within the organization and to outside stakeholders.

As the business climate keeps changing, insurance leaders need to tap into the knowledge of their diverse colleagues. That knowledge could prove critical for longstanding organizations that have legacy processes and protocols in place to protect the organization from being reactive to outside forces. 

An organization that works to develop and attract talented, diverse professionals will stay relevant—and ahead of the competition.

Tanya Krochta is senior vice president & chief administrative officer of ACORD.

The Power of Reflection

As you look to attract more clients or businesses from ethnically diverse or younger generational groups, feedback from your new hires will be beneficial to growing that client base through new technologies, ideas and community outreach.

Important note: Your current leadership must be open to new ideas and creativity from your new hires. —T.K.