Diversity & Inclusion - Two Sides Of The Same Coin

While closely related, diversity and Inclusion are terms that mean two completely different things. In this blog, we focus on addressing the importance of diversity and inclusion as two separate, equally important priorities. while exploring their differences, we’ll identify strategies and tactics that employers can implement to support diversity hiring.

Brooke White, Senior Employer Brand Specialist Written by Brooke White, Senior Employer Brand Specialist

The Intersection of Diversity and Inclusion: Understanding the Connection


While closely related, Diversity and Inclusion are terms that mean completely different things. Diversity highlights differences, and can be measured, counted, tracked and ultimately reported. Inclusion on the other hand, is about behaviour, creating an environment where people feel a sense of belonging and comfort. It’s about the how diverse individuals are embraced. As we know, in the corporate landscape, it is significantly easier to count differences than measure feelings, which is why organizations often fall back on tracking inclusion by leveraging diversity statistics. (HR Professional Now).

Although very different, both Diversity and Inclusion are critical – employers must consider them as two sides of the same coin.


Since Diversity can be measured, counted, tracked and reported, it makes sense to start here. There are many different strategies and tactics employers can implement to attract, support and convert diverse candidates. Below, we explore techniques to get you started.

Understand Your Gaps and Create Goals
You can’t improve diversity metrics if you don’t know what they are. Organizations must first start by gaining an understanding of where they’re starting out. Often times, this information will already exist in employee and HR databases. If it doesn’t, employers can poll employees via onboarding or annual surveys to understand how they identify in terms of diversity. Once these metrics have been collected, organizations can begin to identify gaps in representation and create diversity hiring and retention goals.

Recruitment Policies to Enforce Diversity
To begin to improve diversity at an organization, employers must start with recruitment. By creating diversity recruitment policies, employers can ensure diverse candidates are represented throughout the recruitment process. These policies must ensure HR presents diverse candidates to hiring managers, while holding hiring managers accountable in their hiring decisions. If your recruitment team is unable to present diverse candidates, you’re likely not advertising your roles in the right places.

Market Your Roles on Diverse Job Boards
If employers aren’t receiving diverse applications, they may need to revisit their recruitment marketing strategy. A great way to do this is by leveraging diversity networks and job boards. There are infinite diversity networks across the country, both national and local, that focus on supporting diverse individuals in their job search. When you partner with these organizations, it’s a great way to target diverse candidates while highlighting your commitment to diversity.

Values Based Hiring
Another effective strategy focuses on shifting to values-based hiring. Having well-defined and articulated company values that are emphasized throughout the hiring process allows companies to create a team where all employees are on the same page. Values-based hiring means defining and committing to a set of organizational values, and making job descriptions, interview questions and employee evaluations reflective of them. This is a great way to eliminate biases by setting specific criteria for the selection and assessment of talent.

Track Your Progress
It’s not enough to say, “we’re more diverse.” When improving workforce diversity, you need to qualify success with metrics. it’s essential to keep track of hiring success rates by diversity group. For example, if the goal is to hire more veterans, you need to be able to show how many were successfully hired. Many HR platforms already include and provide analytics to separate your diverse candidates by group and measure your success in each category.


Employers too often focus on hiring diverse talent and forget about inclusion. Putting diversity strategies and policies in place is a great first step, but it’s only one step in the process. Focusing on diversity in isolation will not work if employees don’t feel like they belong once they’ve joined. Diversity is not mutually exclusive from inclusion, the two must be carried out at the same time in order to be effective.

If underrepresented minorities, women, and others of diverse backgrounds and experiences aren’t successful within your company, it’s pointless to address the pipeline. No matter how much you focus on recruitment, candidates won’t stay long if they’re unable to be successful. To measure the inclusiveness of your culture, you need to investigate the retention of diverse employees and understand their experiences. Your diversity hiring and pipeline efforts can only make an impact once you’ve built an inclusive culture.