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‘Diversity in the workplace’ refers to a mixture of ethnicities, religions, cultures, nationalities, genders, sexualities, physical or mental abilities, age, educational and economic backgrounds, and much more. In recent years there has been a cognitive shift where diversity in the workplace has gone from something that’s ‘nice to have’, to a tangible priority for many employers.
And for good reason: the benefits of having a diverse workplace are undeniable for many businesses and result in tangible profits. According to a seminal 2015 study by McKinsey, ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to be in the top-performing quartile.
Broad range of perspectives and a better understanding of customers
A person’s perspective and ideas will be influenced by their experiences, culture, education, beliefs and much more. Having as many different perspectives as possible will help bring a wide variety of approaches or solutions to any given issue or project.
What’s more, most audiences or customer bases are diverse, having a solid base of diversity in your workforce will help make sure your service offering or product is better able to appeal to your customers, clients or audience.
Increased employee engagement and productivity
Having a homogenous workforce can lead to a silo of ideas but having a diverse workforce means those different perspectives will help spark a broader range of solutions, more creative problem solving and dynamic teamwork as teams influence, inspire and encourage one another.
The reality of a more engaged workforce is higher productivity levels which is the basis of profit and growth.
Better employee satisfaction levels
When diversity of opinions and perspectives are encouraged, employees feel considerably more accepted and supported by their employer. They also enjoy learning more from their colleagues and work better together.
This increased employee satisfaction arising from a culture of acceptance in the workplace tends to lead to a reduced employee turnover too.
Wider talent pool options
When you remove particular biases (often unconscious) and implement a diversity incentive in your hiring strategies, then you widen the talent pool to choose from and will gain a better range of qualified candidates.
Inclusive recruitment strategies allow you to shape your hiring process to consider how different experiences, opinions and values can work together and enhance your current workforce. Inclusive strategies take dedication, as people naturally gravitate towards hiring people that most closely resemble themselves and their current team, here are three easy steps to create an inclusive recruitment strategy and create a diverse workforce:
Being aware of what biases your trying to dispel and what common unconscious biases can impede recruitment is key to creating a diverse workplace.
Finance and accounting roles can be particularly affected by biases towards certain ethnic groups and economic and educational backgrounds. Providing proper, ongoing education and training about unconscious and conscious biases about race, gender, religion, etc., to your hiring team will help to widen your candidate pool with different experiences and perspectives.
Writing a job description can be a difficult task and it’s common to use jargon or very technical language that might be part of the day-to-day language of the company but creates a barrier between you and the applicant. Try to avoid using technical acronyms or you may deter younger applicants, or qualified candidates from different professional backgrounds.
Many words are also gender coded, which means they register as more male or female oriented. This can be tricky in job descriptions, as some words will attract more male or female candidates even if that was not the intention.
Having a diverse set of people in your hiring process will bring a diverse range of perspectives when sifting applications, during interview and in the decision-making process. This will increase the likelihood of removing certain biases.
Having a diverse team when interviewing will also encourage and reassure your interviewee of your commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Engaging a recruiter can help you at every stage when creating an inclusive hiring strategy as they are educated in bias and unconscious bias. They can also help you recognise where in your recruitment strategy you may be creating barriers between your company and diverse applicants, from the job description to where and how you market your role.
At Edward Mann we can help you shape an inclusive recruitment strategy. Through our database and deep networks we are able to source high-calibre temporary, interim or permanent candidates from diverse backgrounds to suit the specific needs of your business and create an inclusive workplace. We also have the expertise to help you define your recruiting needs, advise on interviewing technique, source and assess candidates effectively and quickly to help you streamline your recruiting process.