As recruiters, we always need to be ahead of the curve when it comes to the topics that matter to our clients. Perhaps one of the biggest and most vital drivers for good recruitment in 2023, in addition to AI, regards diversity and inclusion. Today’s forward-thinking employers know that the success of their employer (and consumer) brands often rests on having a diverse, inclusive workforce as part of a broader business strategy.
In this blog, we will look at diversity and its importance in the workplace.
Diversity in the workplace
When we talk about workplace diversity, we talk about valuing and respecting the unique differences that every employee brings to an organisation. A diverse business is by nature an inclusive one that welcomes everyone regardless of their gender, age, colour, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious beliefs, socio-economic backgrounds and so forth.
Diversity and inclusion are so important in today’s working culture that laws are in place to enshrine their expectation. This ensures that employers cannot discriminate on the basis of the factors described above. Most modern businesses go far beyond this legal expectation and actively seek to increase their diversity using specific diversity recruitment softwares, encouraging applications from under-represented groups.
The benefits of diversity in the workplace
There are so many benefits to building a diverse workplace, and these go far beyond the basics of satisfying regulatory requirements. Here are some of the main advantages:
1. Problem Solving
A diverse workforce is better at problem-solving because it has a wider range of skills and experiences. A workforce with ‘clone culture’ will only be able to draw on limited experiences, backgrounds and experiences. Diverse groups can challenge each other’s thinking with new ideas and viewpoints which lead to enhanced problem-solving.
2. Access to talent
Where employers remove barriers to work, they can access talent pools that might otherwise be missed. An example here might be parents or carers who cannot work a traditional in-office 9-5 job because of their other commitments. If a business is prepared to offer flexible hours that allow those people to work around their childcare or caring commitments, the employer can access a vital talent pool that might otherwise not apply to a role.
Employees feel more valued and inclined to contribute – going above and beyond in a culture where they feel that their unique attributes are welcomed. Research also shows that a more diverse workforce leads to more successful, effective and profitable organisations overall. Diverse cultures tend to be supportive and encouraging by their very nature and this encourages discretionary effort, where employees will go ‘above and beyond’ through their intrinsic motivation to do well.
A diverse workforce tends to have higher levels of engagement, morale and commitment because diverse cultures and naturally welcoming, supportive and free from discrimination. Diverse cultures help employees feel supported, welcomed and safe, which lends to a natural sense of commitment and a desire to do well.
Inclusive workplaces tend to have more innovation, with diverse teams that can bring out the best creativity in each other. Again, this is because the different backgrounds, viewpoints and ideas foster positive challenges and new angles for better, more exciting and unique solutions.
Diverse workforces tend to attract a broader base of customers, especially if customers can see that employees are ‘just like them’. This is because customers feel that they can better relate to the brand and that the brand is more authentic. This explains why many businesses are now using diverse characters in their marketing, including people with different abilities, ethnicities, ages and genders. This type of imagery compels and brings more customers on board and makes employees feel proud to work for their employer.
7. Better cultural awareness
Diverse workforces invariably have internal lived experiences that give them a better insight into the nuances of different cultures and the global economy. For example, if a business has employees who speak Mandarin or Cantonese, they can help onboard a Chinese supplier and show commitment to the relationship. If a finance firm has plenty of women in senior roles, it can better appeal to female customers.
Businesses that promote inclusive and diverse workforces tend to be seen as better employers. As a result, they tend to attract more talent. Today’s discerning job-seekers want to work at businesses that treat their employees fairly and who are tolerant and accepting of all backgrounds. Employees want to feel proud of where they work and feel a personal sense of buy-in from their employer. This ties into values-led marketing and recruitment and shows just how vital diversity and inclusion are to reputation – and its knock-on effects on recruitment and talent retention.
The importance of diversity in the workplace
When a business has a truly diverse workforce, it has a workforce packed with different experiences, viewpoints, perspectives and skills. In short, it has a richer and more performance-based workforce, with individuals that are better placed to understand customers’ different needs, wants and backgrounds. As we see above, this tends to translate into powerful benefits in terms of talent, marketing, business performance and overall profitability and success.
The more that businesses can bring in diverse employees and then encourage them to contribute their unique experiences, viewpoints and ideas, the better they position themselves to succeed in the modern economy. In addition, diverse and inclusive businesses tend to find that they can attract better people into their workforce and then retain them by fostering a positive, exciting and rich culture where all people are valued for their unique contributions.
How recruitment software can help you improve diversity in the workplace
If your company is committed to building a diverse and inclusive workforce, your job as a recruiter is to find the people who will help you achieve this goal. The starting point is recruitment, and software solutions can help to achieve these goals.
Teamdash is an applicant tracking system that delivers powerful recruitment software functionalities, including diversity recruitment tools. It’s packed with valuable features such as interview scheduling, asynchronous video interviews, social media recruitment tools, etc. Book a demo to learn more about how it can help your business improve its recruitment outcomes.