According to LinkedIn’s “Global Recruiting Trends 2018″ report, which surveyed 9,000 recruiters and hiring managers from around the world, diversity is of critical importance to today’s hiring authorities.

More accurately, LinkedIn’s report deals with three related but distinct categories under the “diversity” umbrella: diversity, inclusion, and belonging. As the report puts it, “Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance, and belonging is dancing like no one is watching.” (That is, “belonging” means feeling psychologically safe enough to perform at your best in a given work environment.)

LinkedIn found that 51 percent of companies are “very” or “extremely” focused on diversity, 52 percent are focused on inclusion, and 57 percent are focused on belonging.

Among the various kinds of diversity, employers are the most focused on gender diversity, followed by racial and ethnic diversity. Lower on the priority list are diversity based on age, education, disability, and religion.

Beyond attracting diverse talent, companies are also beginning to look at how their cultures embrace diversity. Sixty-seven percent of companies said they are working to foster an environment that respects different opinions. Fifty-one percent want to encourage people to be themselves at work. Forty-five percent are embedding diversity in their company missions and values, and 44 percent are emphasizing diversity in their leadership teams.

Diversity is a global issue for companies today. In the United States, 78 percent of companies are focusing on diversity, compared with 77 percent in Brazil, 82 percent in the UK, 73 percent in France, and 85 percent in Australia.

Companies surveyed by LinkedIn identified three top reasons to focus on diversity:

  1. To improve their corporate cultures (78 percent cited this reason)
  2. To improve company performance (62 percent)
  3. To better represent their customer bases (49 percent)

One company doing especially well in diversity, according to LinkedIn, is recruitment software company Lever. Fifty percent of Lever’s employees are women, as are 53 percent of its managers, 43 percent of its engineers, and 40 percent of its board of directors.

To achieve this level of gender diversity, Lever employs unusual hiring tactics. The company has removed the “requirements” section from its job ads. Studies show that women are much less likely to apply for a job if they don’t meet all of the requirements, whereas men will often apply even if they meet just some of the requirements.

Lever also avoids making hiring decisions based on “culture fit,” as doing so can create teams of people who all think and act the same. Lever has also developed a compensation system that benchmarks the value of each role, rather than relying on a candidate’s past salary to determine their present earnings.

A version of this article originally appeared on Copeland Coaching.

Angela Copeland is a career coach and CEO at her firm, Copeland Coaching.

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