While 67% of American employees say diversity and inclusion in the workplace are important to them in their job search, only 45% say their organization prioritizes diversity. The value of diversity in the workplace, however, cannot be overstated.

In our newly-remote world of work, we’ve been handed an unexpected advantage: a diverse hiring pool. Diversity in the workplace has a striking impact on workplace effectiveness:

The most important argument for diversity, however, can’t be quantified. Building diverse teams is the right thing to do—and it’s the recruiting priority of the future.

Here’s how remote hiring allows you to hire diverse teams, and why that’s important.

Remote hiring strengthens diversity and inclusion

Remote recruiting allows HR to recruit from a much wider pool of recruits: not just across borders and time zones, but cultures and experiences. 

Remote work opens doors for the physically disabled

Remote work and WFH open countless doors. Not only can recruiters hire from all over the country—nay, globe—but they can also hire people with physical conditions barring them from working in a physical office. Jennifer Aldrich, Senior Manager of Design Community Partnerships at the fully-remote company InVision, wrote about her experience working remotely with chronic illness:

“That remote job saved [my] life. Full benefits, the ability to be a full-time employee contributing 100% without anyone even knowing [I] was ill, and having the opportunity to grow in [my] career was the most incredible gift [I] could ever have been given…

Remote work…is a life-changing opportunity for people with chronic illness whose minds are fine, but their bodies don’t cooperate. Want to make your company more inclusive? Create opportunities for people to work remotely. The impact is staggering.”

61 million Americans live with a disability that impacts their day-to-day lives; 14% are impacted by mobility-based disabilities. Remote hiring allows people whose daily activities are limited by physical disabilities to participate in the workforce.

Remote hiring from underrepresented communities

An important principle of diversity and inclusion is recruiting from underrepresented communities. With the freedom to hire from anywhere, recruiters are able to focus on specific communities, including:

(Check out our guide to addressing nonbinary gender in the workplace)

Why is diversity important for recruiters?

People want to work for diverse organizations

People seem to be happy working remotely. People are definitely happy working for remote teams.

A 2019 study of millennials in the workplace conducted by global consulting firm Deloitte confirms what many have suspected: strong businesses invest in diversity and inclusion. One of the report’s recommendations for businesses looking to attract and retain talent is to “create a culture that encourages diversity, inclusion, and social mobility,” with strong diversity and inclusion programs ranking among the top reasons millennials stay loyal to their workplace.

Diverse teams make better decisions

Why do inclusive teams make better decisions 87% of the time?

Erik Larson, CEO of decision-making company Clearpop, has some ideas. Larson suggests that “are more likely to encounter operational friction when executing business decisions,” meaning that the more varied opinions and experiences are represented in a team, the more thinking and debating goes into the decision-making process.

According to a study conducted by the Society for HR Management (SHRM), age-diverse teams are more productive than heterogeneous teams. An age-diverse atmosphere increases productivity of workers across all ages and is positively correlated with success in complex decision-making tasks.

Building teams including representatives of all genders, age groups, races, ethnicities, and sexual orientations will help your organization be more innovative, thoughtful, and creative. 

Build a vibrant remote culture

Maintaining remote culture is a challenge, but it’s possible. While so many teams are moving to distributed or remote models, remote hiring is going to become common practice—and strengthening remote culture will become a top priority.
Representing different cultures within your organizational culture will help you build an inclusive, effective workplace. According to the 2018 Hays Asia Diversity and Inclusion, diversity is associated with improved company culture, leadership, and innovation—fostering an environment for personal and professional growth among your employees.

You’re already hiring remotely. Now, hire right.

Our businesses were abruptly moved to a remote model overnight, and we’re not going back to the old “normal” any time soon. While we’re building the rules of the new world of work, let’s take time to create cultures we want to be a part of: diverse, inclusive, creative, and innovative.

Shayna Hodkin

From Shayna Hodkin

Shayna lives in south Tel Aviv with two dogs and a lot of plants. She writes poems and reads tarot.