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There Is Value in Having A Diverse Workplace

An illustration of people representing a diverse group of skin tones.

It’s essential to hire highly qualified people from different backgrounds, races, religions, genders, ages, and sexual orientations to encourage a wide range of perspectives. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is always reaching new heights with biomedical research, which is why diversity of perspective is crucial for succeeding. The Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) works diligently to advance diversity and inclusion at the NIH and ensure that the civil rights of all employees regardless of their background are protected at all times. We encourage you to think of ways to reach new candidate pools through a variety of vehicles.

So, are you ready to find qualified diverse candidates who will bring in fresh perspectives? Here are 5 tips to identify and hire top talent for your organization:

  1. Find applicants you need, don’t just focus on representation.
    I’m sure this is not news to you but it’s good to be reminded. Be clear about what kind of talents and skill sets you need in new employees for your organizations. Try a checklist to help choose the best candidate for the position based on a list of objectives tailed to your office.
  2. Identify how diversity will help achieve the organization’s mission.
    For example, The NIH’s mission is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability. Therefore, the more diverse the staff is the more diversity of thought goes into research and innovation in addition to many other important roles and responsibilities. Think of ways diversity will help enhance your workplace. Your office should reflect to help solve real issues and challenges.
  3. Broaden your candidate search.
    Search for professional organizations such as AISES, SACNAS and many others listed on the Native American Organizations page. Job boards and universities with diverse talent in your field are good starting points to find candidates.
  4. Carefully prepare for the interview.
    Interview questions need to be free of bias. Keep an open mind and consideration of your candidates' unique background and life experiences. Having search committees and a standard process for interviewing can help eliminate bias.
  5. Foster an inclusive and supportive environment.
    Listen and invite open dialogue into the workplace to ensure everyone is heard. Leaders need to be educated on what inclusion is and the importance. Strategies can then be developed to hold managers accountable for incorporating inclusive practices in their office spaces such as having certain signs displayed or resources allocated to particular staff needs.

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