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Competencies HR TuneUp

How Competencies Can Help You Build a More Diverse Workforce

By Lorraine McKay on December, 17 2018
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Lorraine McKay

As an HR professional, consultant and business leader, I have worked in the area of HR management for 30 years. Throughout my career, diversity has been an important goal. 

And I have seen firsthand the impact that implementing competencies can have on achieving this goal.

In the following video, you will learn:

  • Why diversity is important
  • How competencies help to promote diversity
  • The Steps to create a culture of diversity
  • And more!

Read on for the highlights and key take-aways!

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Why is diversity important?

Diverse workplaces are proven to provide an overall happier, more innovative, and more profitable working environments. As examples, gender diverse companies are 21% more likely to outperform their less diverse counterparts, and ethnically diverse companies are 33% more likely to do the very same.

There are two main reasons why companies are getting these results:

  • When you bring a team of people together who have different perspectives and experiences, it results in increased innovation and efficiency.
  • When companies focus on hiring the best regardless of gender or ethnic background, there is a bigger talent pool to draw from and will result in hiring the best.


How competencies help promote and create a culture of diversity

Competencies help you focus on the most important qualities needed for job success. So, during a hiring process, such as an interview, taking a competency-driven approach allows you to focus on the critical skills, knowledge and abilities needed for the job and how an individual has demonstrated these in the past. This focus will result in you putting aside and deemphasizing other factors, like communication skills, appearance or mannerisms.

To create a culture of diversity, it is very important to reinforce and communicate in tangible terms the culture you want to achieve. One way you can do this is to implement a competency like “Embracing Diversity”, as part of the organization’s core set of competencies. This measure alone will help employees to clearly understand what diversity and inclusion mean and how they can demonstrate these values through concrete behaviors.


Steps to create a culture of diversity

There are four key steps you can take to start building a culture of diversity and inclusivity.

  1. Identify core competencies and ensure that they are supportive of a diverse and inclusive workplace.
  2. Implement competencies to qualify and select new hires.
  3. Communicate and reinforce positive behaviors that demonstrate your organization’s core competencies.
  4. Incorporate competencies into your HR processes, such as career development, performance, succession planning, and coaching.


Learn More About Competencies & A Diverse Workforce: 


Post last updated: January 8, 2021