Why Recruiting a Diverse Workforce in Technology Transfer Is Critical to Success

At Gardner Innovation Search Partners, we are committed to being a part of the solution. We all thrive when there is a more diverse workforce in the industry, particularly in technology transfer. Historically, it has been a very small niche in higher education and government. But with university-level coursework and educational offerings now focusing on cultivating technology transfer skills, making a commitment to diversity is more important than ever. And it is not just about doing the right thing, it also benefits the organization as a whole.

When we work with clients, we make sure they understand our commitment to diversity and why it is so important.

What Is a Commitment to Diversity in Recruiting?

  • Being committed to diversity means Gardner Innovation Search Partners:
  • Scouts and presents a diverse group of candidates to the client, in both skillset and background.
  • Makes all candidates feel welcome and heard.
  • Offers the client an unbiased means by which to evaluate candidates.
  • Provides best practice/advice in recruiting and evaluating candidates.

Diversity in recruiting means actively encouraging candidates of varied ages, gender identities, races, sexual orientations, physical or mental abilities, ethnicities, and perspectives to apply. Recruiters should commit to presenting candidates of varied backgrounds to their clients for the benefit of all.

A diverse recruiting practice is designed to create a bias-free method or one that is as near bias-free as possible. That is one of the reasons we have designed and implemented our course of action. After many years in the business, we know what it takes to achieve the desired results. We have put protocols in place to help our clients meet their diversity goals, beginning with the recruitment process. For instance, when recruiting for most positions we use a custom-created questionnaire to help compare the candidates’ experience. This helps clients compare applicants equally and provides a common application from which to view their skills and experience. Resumes can be misleading and difficult for comparison purposes. A questionnaire helps eliminate unconscious bias, as the evaluation is free from gender, race, orientation, or age specifics.

With an eye on diversity and inclusion, we work to create a talent pool for our clients targeted to their needs and diverse in gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. As technology transfer acquisition professionals, we understand that our role is the first step in any of our clients’ diversity, equity, & inclusion initiatives. They cannot focus on diversity if we are not presenting a diverse group of candidates.

After all, innovation and diversity go hand in hand. It is difficult to achieve different outcomes when the process and the people are always the same. Creating an innovative environment where anyone, from any background, can contribute to the success of the organization benefits the larger vision and improves the culture, but there are other benefits as well.

Benefits of Diversity in Recruiting

In addition to it being one of the top things job candidates are interested in (more about that in this section), increased diversity in a work setting has a lot of benefits for the hiring entity, including:

Avoiding the Mirror

When a department is comprised of homogeneous employees, it is difficult to be innovative because similar backgrounds and experiences create similar ways of thinking. On the other hand, a diverse department, with employees with varied life and professional experiences, is more apt to provide differing views and approaches, which is fuel for innovation.

Hiring managers often tell us about their current department and the types of personalities that work well in them. That is when we suggest a more diverse approach for improved innovation.

Higher Cash Flow and Better Performance

Data on diverse teams points to increased performance. According to the Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Global Market Report 2022, diverse companies see 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee. Companies with diverse management see a 19% increase in revenue compared to less diverse management teams. Companies that include more racially and ethnically diverse workers are 35% more likely to perform better.

Improved Innovation

According to Josh Bersin’s research of Bersin by Deloitte, inclusive companies are 1.7 times more innovative than those that aren’t. According to the two-year research study (Bersin by Deloitte 2015 High-Impact Talent Management research), they concluded, “the talent practices which predict the highest performing companies are all focused on building an Inclusive Talent System.” 

Companies are more innovative and healthier when they rely on the unique viewpoints, ideas, and backgrounds of a diverse mix of talented people. To be engaged, employees must feel included and valued. According to Bersin’s report, diverse organizations are “1.8 times more likely to be change-ready and 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders in their market. That’s good news for an industry that thrives on bringing innovation to market.

We have seen this through experience with our clients – different perspectives, ideas and backgrounds create a stronger, more creative, and dynamic work environment that delivers better results.

Becoming an Employer of Choice

According to research at Monster, 86% of job seekers see diversity as one of the critical factors for considering a new job. One in three employees admitted they would not accept a position with an employer that didn’t make diversity a priority.

The technology transfer industry is a competitive one. While more people are becoming aware of tech transfer and pursuing degrees and coursework in it, that has not always been the case. Often when a client comes to us with a search request, we know we will likely find some of the best-suited job candidates working in the industry. That means for the candidate to want to leave their current position, they will be evaluating not only the position and the opportunity but the hiring entity and department culture as well.

The best investment a tech transfer department can make in its growth is doing the necessary things to become what is referred to as an “employer of choice.” These entities have little problem recruiting and retaining top talent. Openings are filled quickly, and employees stay with these employers. Stellar retention rates save employers money and time.

If you want your organization to be considered an employer of choice, you need to match the top concerns of applicants. And one of those top concerns is being able to show a diverse environment and commitment to increasing opportunities for all.

Helping Clients Market Their Values and Commitment

Millennials and Gen Z are looking for organizations that align with their personal values. Creating a diversity initiative helps clients attract promising candidates.

Gardner Innovation Search Partners embraces and promotes diversity and inclusion, and recruits with it in mind. Diversity helps promote innovation and creativity in the workplace, which can provide distinctive competitive edges to those who do it well.

If diversity is important to you, you should work with a recruiting company that makes it a priority. After all, a diversity initiative that fails to bring in diverse job candidates will face challenges before it has even begun.

Read more about our commitment to diversity and inclusion here.